Crete is Greece’s largest island, and it’s definitely a place that deserves a spot on any travel lover’s bucket list. The beaches are stunning, for one, and if you’ve had enough of drinking cocktails on a sunbed (question: is this even possible?) then there is plenty of culture for you to soak up, too. If you’re still not convinced, we’ve put together a list of 10 of the most exciting things to do in Crete, for all of those people with the travel bug!

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1. Visit Elafonisi

2. Take a trip to Knossos

If you’re looking for a cultural trip, Knossos is your best shot. This site is home to some ruins of what is potentially the oldest city in Europe, and some archeologists say that it points back to the 5th century AD. Before this, they presume that the site was home to a palace as early as 2000 BC. If you want to see a place that has shaped European civilisation, then Knossos is your best shot. Jump in a car rental in set off to drive the beautiful roads of Crete. 

Balos Beach is another one of Crete’s many natural wonders, and you could enjoy hours here lounging on the beach, and going for a swim in the sea. The sand is white and the sea is a heavenly shade of blue, but don’t forget to add extra time onto your journey for the hike and the dirt road drive there. If you want to see this wonder, you’re going to need to look into car rental Crete for the journey.

3. Swim at Balos Beach

4. Visit Spinalonga

Spinalonga is another one of Crete’s amazing island beaches, and it’s definitely worth a visit. We know, another island beach? The truth is that you’re really spoilt for choice here, but this ex-leper colony with an extensive history as an area of conflict is certainly an interesting place, and in contrast to its complex past, it’s very peaceful and relaxing here. Get your towel ready for another day on the beach!

As any true travel lover will tell you, a country is only as good as its local cuisine, and Crete blows all of its European counterparts out of the water. Crete boasts a variety of cheeses, their own version of a delicious bruschetta, Dakos, and cheese pies, for those who just can’t get enough of the local goods. They also love olive oil, and if you’re a fan of trying new things whilst travelling, then get your hands on some fried snails.

5. Eat Greek style

6. Take a trip to Chania

For those city lovers amongst us, Chania just has to be on your list. Home to a Venetian harbour, a whole host of waterfront restaurants, and enough museums to drive any culture fan over the edge, you could spend a good few days enjoying this gem, where the streets are lined with some of the most beautiful architecture that you’ll see throughout Europe. This is also a good place for the foodies out there, who want to experience the local cuisine.

If you’re looking for some more history in Crete, the Arkadi Monastery is a good shout. Dating back to the 16th century and boasting some beautiful Renaissance architecture, there is also a dark history here, but it’s something that you just have to see for yourself during your trip to Crete. Whether you’re visiting for the history, or you just want to see the architecture, this is worth putting on your Crete bucket list.

7. Experience some culture in the Arkadi Monastery

8. Visit Rethymno

If you haven’t seen enough of the beautiful cobbled streets of Crete (and come on, can you ever see enough of these lovely little places?) then Rethymno is also a great place to stop off at if you have the time. A city with another Venetian harbour – and a 17th century Venetian fountain – this place also boasts some art galleries and museums of its own, and you could spend hours walking around the streets here for sure.

Psychro Cave is another one of those wonders that you have to behold for yourself, and it’s steeped in Crete’s rich history, too. Many people state that this place is the birthplace of Zeus of Greek mythology, but whether you’ve got an interest in mythology or not, this really is worth a trip just to see the scale of the place, which will blow you away. Definitely consider heading here if you can find the time!

9. Venture into Psychro Cave

10. Take a trip to Aquaworld Aquarium & Reptile Rescue Centre

OK, we know what you’re thinking. Why would you want to go to an aquarium with all of this beautiful wildlife around you? However, Aquaworld aquarium in Hersonissos is a pretty wholesome place if you ask us, and the animals that inhabit this place are either those that have been rescued, or the unwanted pets of others. From lizards, snakes and iguanas, to the local species of the area, there are many different rescued animals to see here.

So, if you’re thinking about taking a trip to Crete, then these things should definitely be on any travel lover’s list, and they will ensure that you remember your trip as a relaxing, fun-filled, and culture-filled time. There are so many things to do here that you just won’t know where to begin, so get your bags ready, book those flights, and experience Crete for yourself. After all, this is the only way to appreciate it in all of its glory!

We won’t be jealous at all if you manage to get to this heavenly place…