Crete travel

Who I am
Judit Llordés
@juditllordes
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Holidays in Crete information, tips and useful advice on what to do, what to see, places to visit, where to stay, where to have fun and which are the most beautiful beaches.

  • Crete holidays advice
  • Crete what to see
  • Chania Creta
  • Crete Elafonissi
  • Kissamos Creta
  • Crete balos
  • Rethymno Creta
  • Agios Nikolaos Crete
  • Chrissi Island Crete
  • Heraklion Crete
  • Crete's most beautiful beaches
  • Crete nightlife
  • Crete pictures and photos

Crete holidays advice

Last year my husband, my daughter and I decided to spend ours summer holidays in Crete.



I booked the flights from the end of February (via the internet of course) and, by doing so, in June, comparing the prices of the moment, I found a saving of about 800 euros.

Departure 1 July: Bari / Athens flight by My Air airline (despite the plane being small, the flight was excellent), flight Athens Heraklion with Aegean Airlines.

Crete what to see

Arrived at Creta with a slight delay, after having collected the luggage, we headed towards the exit where the person in charge of thecar hire Alianthos (reservation of a Suzuky Jimmy always made via the internet at the price of 485 euros for 11 days full insurance (they did not want the credit card number but only our names, the arrival and departure dates, the flight times and so we paid in cash upon delivery of the car, giving the data of our driving licenses as the only guarantee).

Crete nightlife

- hotels I had always booked them via the internet through Booking.com which I turn to for almost all my trips because you don't have to pay anything in advance, you pay directly at the hotel.



Chania Creta

Once we loaded the luggage we left for Chania, our first stop.

We walked there National Road which is not like our motorway, you have to respect the speed indicated by the signs because sometimes you find the police and there the fines are high and, unlike in Spain, if you want to drive at a lower speed than the allowed one, you have to travel on horseback in the emergency lane, otherwise the other drivers will start honking.

A Chania we stayed overnight at the Traditional Hotel Ontas in ancient Venetian style, located 100 meters from the Venetian port, with free parking in the immediate vicinity (cost for three nights in three 240 euros).

A Creta for dinner we spent a maximum of 45 euros in three: mussaka, souvlaki, zaziki, fried potatoes, wine, water (at the end of dinner they offer you either watermelon or dessert + their national liqueur Raki, which is our grappa).

The most expensive thing a Creta it was the coffee: 2 euros each and many times it was not good (always ask for the cold nescaffé frappé with sugar which they bring you after 15 minutes minimum because the Greeks like to do things calmly).

Chania it is located to the north-west, it is a town that has undergone several dominations: Roman, Arab, Turkish, Venetian, Byzantine and still today you can see the remains of these rulers.


There is a nice promenade with many local but I recommend you eat in the internal streets because the prices are lower and the food is much better.

Crete beaches

Crete Elafonissi

The next day we left for Elafonissi: I had read on the internet that to reach it it was advisable to go through Topolia and in fact this is the road I recommend (the other is beaten by very strong winds and full of holes and stones that fall from the mountain that flanks the road; we traveled back because we wanted to see Falassama).


Arrived at Elafonissi, the show that presented itself to our eyes was wonderful: White sand e pink sand, sea crystalline and turquoise.

I recommend that you arrive when the beach it is almost deserted and enjoy it and take lots of pictures and shoot the video as I always do during my travels.

We rented an umbrella and two sunbeds for the price of 7 euros for the whole day and then, my daughter and I crossed a very shallow stretch of sea to reach theElafonissi island (it is very close and the water reaches the thighs).

There are some dunes and baiette and some tourists reach it with all their luggage from the sea and stop here.

We took a bath, the water was transparent, not very cold but the most beautiful thing, which we had never seen before, was the pink sand on the shore (these are the remains of thousands of pink shells).


At about 14 pm we left this enchanting place and headed towards Falasama Beach, along the coastal road I told you about earlier.

Here too sand is pink and the sea it is turquoise: it is an area beaten by very strong winds but swimming can be done easily (cold water, of course).

Even if the distances are short it takes a long time to get from one place to another because the roads are full of curves.

Kissamos Creta

The next day we went to the port of Kissamos to embark at 10 (27 euros each) and go to see another earthly paradise: la lagoon in Balos.


We went with a boat because the road leading to Balos it is unpaved, full of holes and runs along a precipice.

It was a kind of cruise: they took us along the coasts of promontory where we observed the phenomenon of the rise of the shore line, between 6 and 9 meters above sea level, which occurred about 2000 years ago.

On the peninsula and onGramvoussa island over 100 have been identified species of birds e 400 .

In the coastal caves gives birth to the Mediterranean seal, while in these waters he comes to seek his food there sea ​​turtle Caretta Caretta.

After about 55 minutes we arrived at theGramvoussa island where we took a bath (the water was turquoise) (some went to visit an old fortress built by the Venetians at 137 meters above the sea: it can be reached in 20 minutes along an uphill path).

Crete balos

After enjoying the bath in the beautiful waters, we went back on board where they had prepared a delicious lunch (of course extra), we decided to have something to eat and after 15 minutes we disembarked in Balos.

It's a lagoon that resembles a lunar landscape: we went down, we traveled far and wide, at the bottom there was an emerald green sea, we took a bath and here too we saw the pink sand.

Rethymno Creta

The next day we left Chania and we left for Rethymno which is always located in the northern part ofisland of Crete.

On the way we deviated from Georgioupolis to be able to see the Kourna lake from the blue waters full of ducks, we rented a pedal boat at the price of 6 euros for an hour, we took a bath, we ate something at the restaurant on the lake and we left for the hotel Kima Beach a Rethymno, another prefecture of Crete.

Here we spent 195 euros for two nights with breakfast: the hotel is located in front of the port, where we found free parking, and a short walk from the center.

I local that follow one another and overlook the sea are very elegant as are the shoes that are sold in the shops located in the side streets.

There is also an ancient part and a castle where you can admire the remains of the Venetian domination.

The next day we headed to a particular beach: Translated by Beach, 38 km south of Rethymno.

It is an oasis of webbed with crystal clear waters and fine sand.

Il Kourtaliotis river it ends its course, with a delta mouth, on this beach where the fresh water mixes with the salty sea water.

Along the river bed there is a dense palm grove that we have covered on foot (there is also the possibility of going up the river with a pedal boat) but it is much more suggestive to do it like us because you walk under the fronds of palm trees whose green shimmers and contrasts with the surrounding barren rocks.

Translated by Beach it can be reached on foot after parking the paid car near the Monastery of Preveli but this route is long.

The other possibility is to follow a good dirt road which can be reached by turning left where there is a sign for Preveli beach, past a small bridge and a bar on the left.

After 4 km you will arrive at an open space, you can park for free next to a restaurant and you go along a pathway leading to the beach (we chose this one).

Agios Nikolaos Crete

The next day we left Rethymno and we headed towards Agios Nikolaos, which rises on a blue lake which is separated from the sea by a narrow channel around which there are countless beautiful local while to the west there is the Gulf of Mirabello so called by the Venetians.

We stayed at the Crete Hotel (60 euros per day for three, the landlady also speaks Italian).

We arrived after about 3 hours of travel and so, on the advice of the owner of the hotel, we went for a swim in a beautiful beach which is located right under the hotel (umbrella and 2 sunbeds 5 euros for the whole day).

Chrissi Island Crete

The next day we left for Ierapetra (35 km south of Agios Nikolaos) to be able to embark and reach theChrissi island, in the Libyan Sea.

We left at 10 from the port where we bought the tickets for the crossing (25 euros each, of course you have to arrive well in advance to be able to park the car (we have placed it in a parking lot near the port, 6 euros all day). day) and find tickets because, in the high season, when there is a lot of turnout, the seats sell out quickly).

The ship is beautiful, new, comfortable, equipped with all comforts.

On board we bought some fruit: 4 peaches, 2 bananas for the price of 2 euros and a plate full of watermelon always for 2 euros.

After about two hours you get to this tropical paradise with White sand, turquoise sea and cedar trees.

We were unlucky because of the sea of ​​the Golden Beach, which gives on Libyan sea, it was moved and so we could not see the transparency of the water.

We were told that we would find thousands of shells on the shoreline but, frankly, we have not seen them, I have only collected a few under a cedar.

We left at 16:30 and, during the navigation, the sailors performed by dancing the Cretan sirtaki, also involving the passengers.

The next day we went to Elounda and Plate where there is a beautiful pebble beach, right in front of the island of Spinalonga (north of Agios Nikolaus).

Here we rented two sunbeds and an umbrella for 7 euros.

The next day we left at 7 in the morning towards the famous Palm grove of Vai with its beach.

They are 100 km but you can get there after about 3 hours because there are some difficult sections (now they are working on the construction of a National Road).

Here you leave your car in a paid parking lot (5 euros) and access the beach which is surrounded by about 5000 palm trees: it is said that they were born from the kernels of dates left by Arab and Phoenician pirates during their raids.

Usual umbrella and sunbeds but this time 10 euros.

Here my husband saw a lot of fish, including a snapper weighing several kilos that approached his hand without fear.

In the afternoon we left and stopped at Toplou Monastery (18 km east of Sitia) whose architecture resembles that of a fort because, over the centuries, the Monks they had to defend themselves from pirates, bandits and invaders.

Toplou Monastery it means Monastery with the cannon and this name was given to it by Turks because the monastery was equipped with a cannon.

It is dedicated to Panagia Theotokos and here we visited an interesting museum of Byzantine icons.

Along the way back, different landscapes presented themselves to our eyes: barren mountains, expanses of fragrant purple thyme, cypresses, oleanders, olive trees, beaches, flocks, churches built in the most unexpected places.

Heraklion Crete

The next day we went to Heraklion (Kastro hotel near the center and the airport).

We went to visit Knot but honestly here everything has been rebuilt and we didn't like it as much as the Museum in the open air of the Cretan tradition of Lycnostatis ad Hersonissos, next to the sea.

Here we visited the typical Cretan house, the oil mill, the pottery workshop, the herbarium, the weaving workshop, the windmill, the church.

In the evening we walked through the streets of the center where we admired the Loggia and some very rich churches, we dined in a tavern on via 25 agosto, right in front of the port, from which we could admire the Castle erected by the Venetians, illuminated by the red sunsets of Creta.

Creta we liked it very much for the variety of its places, for the friendliness of its people, for its scents, for its colors: turquoise, crystalline, emerald green sea; blue sky; yellow sun; pink, white, golden sand; silvery olive trees, light green palms, dark green cedars; white, gray, red rocks.

Crete's most beautiful beaches

To know all the beaches of this fantastic island consult Crete's most beautiful beaches.

Crete nightlife

For advice on where to have fun in Crete check out Crete night clubs and discos.

For all the information you need on the island consult Crete Holidays Tips.

Crete pictures and photos

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