Crete Island Attractions,Travel & Hotel Guide

The pearl of the Aegean, the mysterious and fascinating island of Greece: Crete! Standing like a jewel shining in the waters of the Aegean for thousands of years, Crete Island is like lost in a fairy tale. Crete fascinates its visitors with both its natural beauties and historical richness. Crete Island is also home to the legend of Minotaur, one of the greatest heroes of Greek mythology. According to the legend, the Labyrinth where the Minotaur lived is under the Palace of Knossos. This place continues to fascinate its visitors even today with the mysterious structure of the ancient period. Cretans also attach great importance to their traditions and culture. Folk dances, fairs and local festivals reflect the vibrant and colourful atmosphere of the island. Dancing and having fun at a local festival in a Cretan village is one of the best ways to feel the spirit of the island. Crete Island is a place full of legends, fascinating with its natural beauties and delighting the palate with its flavours. The experiences you will have on this magical island can turn into memories you will never forget for a lifetime. Unleash your imagination and start planning your Crete adventure!

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Unknown Things About Crete Island?

Crete Myth and Minotaur, Crete Island has an important place in Greek mythology. The famous Minotaur myth dates back to the period of the Minoan Kingdom of Crete. According to the legend, the Minotaur is a half-human half-bull creature living in the labyrinth in the Knossos Palace.

The Oldest City in the World, Crete was home to the Minoan Civilisation, one of the oldest civilisations in Europe. This civilisation is located in the city of Knossos in the south of Crete and is considered the oldest city in the world.

Mysterious Writings, Crete was home to two ancient writing systems, Linear A and Linear B, dating back to antiquity. These writings are still unsolved and not understood, which shows that the history of Crete is full of some mysteries.

Traditional Dances and Music, Crete Island is also famous for its traditional music and dances. Dances like Sirtaki and traditional instruments like bouzouki are an important part of the island's cultural heritage.

Unique Culinary Culture, Cretan cuisine is full of local ingredients such as olive oil, fresh vegetables, seafood and Cretan cheese. Mezes, olive oil dishes and seafood are among the indispensable flavours of Cretan cuisine.

Mountainous Landscapes and Canyons, Crete is famous not only for its beaches but also for its mountainous landscapes. The island is full of impressive canyons. Samaria Canyon is one of the most fascinating natural attractions of Crete.

Sparsely Populated Villages, Some parts of Crete are still home to sparsely populated villages. These villages are known for their traditional architecture, friendly people and tranquil atmosphere.

Events and Dates Festivals in Crete Island

Cretan Easter Rites, Easter is a very important religious holiday on the island of Crete. In various parts of the island, traditional religious rites and celebrations are organised. These rites are performed with the participation of the local population and are accompanied by traditional Cretan music.

Cretan Food Festival, Cretan cuisine is famous for its rich flavours. The Cretan Food Festival is organised in different parts of the island and you can participate in activities such as tasting local dishes and traditional dance performances.

Cretan Agricultural Fair, Crete is known for its fertile land and rich agricultural tradition. The Cretan Agricultural Fair is organised to showcase the island's agricultural products and local produce. These fairs provide a platform for local farmers and producers to promote their products.

Greek Independence Day, 25 March, is celebrated as Greek Independence Day and is also celebrated with enthusiasm on the island of Crete. The people of Crete participate in ceremonies and march through the streets decorated with flags to commemorate their national heroes.

Rethymno Carnival, held in the city of Rethymno, is full of colourful costumes, music and dance performances. The performances on the streets during the carnival are attended by locals and visitors alike and reflect the colourful culture of the island.

Crete Island Public Holidays

New Year, Christmas, New Year's Day, Independence Day, Easter, 1 May, Christmas.

The Best Time to Go to Enjoy the Island of Crete?

May and June are one of the ideal months to visit Crete. Air temperatures rise, but it is not as hot and crowded as expected in summer. It is the perfect time to visit the beaches and tourist areas.

September and October, September and October are among the best months to visit Crete. As the tourist density is reduced, it is perfect for enjoying the sea. In addition, you will not regret if you choose this period to discover the natural beauties of Crete during this period.

November and April, November and April are ideal for those who want to experience Crete in a calmer and quieter atmosphere. The weather may be cooler during these months, but there are fewer tourists around and more areas to explore.

Christmas and Easter is one of the best times to experience Greek traditions and festivals in Crete, especially around Christmas and Easter. Many traditional events are organised on the island during these times and you can have the opportunity to experience the local culture more deeply.

Do Not Return Without Doing These Things in Crete Island!

Discover Samaria Canyon! One of Crete's most famous natural wonders, the Samaria Canyon has a hiking trail that offers spectacular views. Exploring this canyon is the perfect opportunity to experience the beauty of nature and unique wildlife.

Try Cretan Cuisine! Cretan cuisine offers rich and delicious flavours. During your visit to the island, you should stop by local restaurants to try traditional Cretan dishes and mezes. Many local specialities include dakos (dry bread salad), souvlaki (skewered meat) and saganaki (fried cheese).

Visit Knossos Palace! Knossos Palace, one of the most important archaeological sites of Crete, was the centre of the ancient Minoan civilisation. This historical site is the perfect place to discover traces of antiquity and interesting mythological stories.

Swim at Balos Beach! One of the most beautiful beaches in Crete, Balos Beach is famous for its turquoise waters and white sand. Relaxing by swimming in this unique beach and enjoying the view will be an unforgettable experience.

Watch the Sunset at Elafonissi Beach! Elafonissi Beach is famous for its pink sands and turquoise sea. Spending time on this magnificent beach at sunset allows you to experience unforgettable moments. Watching the sunset accompanied by the slowly changing colours in the sky is a great opportunity to experience the natural beauties of Crete in the best way. Enjoy your stay.

Places to Visit in Crete Island

The Palace of Knossos is one of the most famous archaeological sites in Crete and is known as the centre of the ancient Minoan civilisation. It is an ideal place to see traces of the advanced Minoan culture and explore the ruins of antiquity.

Rethymno Old Town, Rethymno's old town is known for its narrow streets, colourful buildings and historical atmosphere. While wandering here, you can get lost among the churches, cafes and shops dating back to ancient times.

Chania Port and Old Town, Chania's port is famous for its colourful buildings, old lighthouse and historical texture. Here you can stroll along the narrow streets, enjoy the beautiful views along the harbour and explore the historical buildings.

Samaria Canyon, one of the longest canyons in Europe, is famous for its spectacular natural landscapes. Here you can hike, observe wildlife and discover unique natural beauty.

Elafonissi Beach, one of Crete's most famous beaches, Elafonissi is known for its pink sand and turquoise sea. Here you can relax, sunbathe, swim and spend a peaceful day with magnificent views.

Preveli Beach and Palm Forest, Preveli Beach is a beautiful beach with a turquoise sea surrounded by palm trees. This place is known for its natural beauty and calm atmosphere.

Spinalonga Island, Spinalonga Island, located in the northeast of Crete, is home to a historical castle. It is a popular tourist attraction to explore the ruins from the Ottoman period and enjoy the impressive sea views.

The Most Beautiful Beaches in Crete Island

Elafonissi Beach, one of the most famous beaches of Crete, Elafonissi is known for its pink sand and turquoise waters. It attracts visitors with its natural beauty and unique view.

Balos Beach, Balos Beach is famous for its white sand and clear waters. The beach is like a corner of paradise and can be reached by hiking or by boat.

Falassarna Beach, Falassarna Beach is located on the west coast of Crete and is known for its wide sandy beaches. It is an ideal place for snorkelling and sunbathing.

Vai Beach, Vai Beach is a unique beach surrounded by a palm forest located in the east of Crete. This natural beauty resembles a tropical paradise.

Preveli Beach, Preveli Beach is located in a picturesque bay and surrounded by palm trees. It also includes a river beach where fresh water flows into the sea.

Crete Island Food and Drink Recommendations

Sfakia Pies is a pastry reminiscent of pancakes prepared with the famous goat cheese of the region. Served with mountain thyme or Cretan honey, this flavour is well known in the island cuisine.

Among the Cretan flavours, recipes prepared with snails are also very famous. Snails, which have been consumed in Cretan cuisine for many years, are fried in olive oil and served with wine or vinegar.

Cretan Mushrooms (Saganaki) is a Cretan flavour prepared by frying various mushrooms in olive oil. It is usually flavoured with garlic and fresh herbs and served with lemon juice. You can try it in local restaurants.

Cretan Lamb Casserole (Stifado) is a traditional Cretan dish prepared with lamb, onion, tomato, garlic and spices. This slow-cooked stew has an intense and rich flavour.

In Crete Island, you can try local drinks made with olive oil as well as traditional Greek drinks such as ouzo or raki. These drinks are usually served with a meal.

Dakos, one of the most beautiful flavours of Greece, is made with tomatoes, cheese and various herbs sprinkled on toasted bread soaked with olive oil called Paximadi. It is a healthy and delicious food that you can eat at every meal.

Sea Cowpea, one of the favourite appetisers of the Aegean coasts in Turkey, is also one of the iconic tastes of this charming island. We can say that it is quite similar in its preparation and presentation.

Crete Island is also very diverse in terms of seafood. From snails to squid, from lobster to mackerel, you can choose from a list that goes on and on, and try delicious flavours in a shabby fish restaurant.

Gamopilafo is a traditional dish usually served at weddings. Rice, called "piláfi", is cooked in broth and served with boiled meat. The dish is finished with lemon and black pepper and you can find it in many restaurants.

Kalitsounia is a kind of pastry, usually filled with cheese, and is considered to be the symbol of Easter. You can find salty varieties of these pastries, which are one of the delicious flavours unique to Crete, as well as sweet options with cinnamon and sugar additions.

Sokaki Taverna is a taverna in the city centre, very close to the beach. It is a place where you can taste Cretan cuisine and spend a pleasant evening with live music. Sokaki is among the popular restaurants on Tripadvisor. Don't pass by without trying the grape dessert on vanilla ice cream.

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Where are the entertainment venues on Crete Island, what are the recommendations?

Chania Old Harbour, Chania's old harbour is famous for its cosy cafes, restaurants and bars. Here you can enjoy the historical atmosphere in the evening and spend a romantic evening with live music.

Heraklion Harbour, Heraklion's harbour area is the heart of the nightlife. It hosts many bars, taverns and nightclubs. Here you can have fun in a young and energetic atmosphere.

Beach Parties, Many beaches of Crete also host beach parties in the summer months. Especially in holiday resorts such as Malia, Hersonissos and Platanias, beach parties are very popular. You can have fun at these parties full of live music, DJ performances and dance shows

Recommendations for Shopping in Crete Island

The local markets, organised in various cities and towns of Crete, are a great shopping spot where local products and handicrafts are sold. Here you can find local products such as fresh fruit, vegetables, olives, cheese and olive oil. Crete is also rich in traditional handicrafts and handmade products. You can find shops selling handicrafts such as ceramic ware, woven products, wood carving and glassworking, and beautiful souvenirs that you can take as a souvenir of your holiday. Crete is also known for its quality olive oil production. Olive oil can be found in local markets and olive oil mills. In addition, food products such as local cheeses, herbs, honey, jam are other delicious options that can be bought.

Where is Crete Island and How to get there from Turkey?

Crete is one of the 13 administrative regions of Greece. It is the largest island of Greece, the second largest island in the Eastern Mediterranean after Cyprus and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean. There are various transport options for getting to Crete Island from Turkey. Here are the common transport methods that can be used to go to Crete Island from Turkey:

1. By plane

One of the fastest and most common options is by plane. You can evaluate direct flights to Greece from various major cities in Turkey. There are two airports on Crete Island, Heraklion and Chania.

2. By ferry

There are ferry services to Crete Island from various ports in Turkey. There are ferries to Crete from various ports, especially over the Aegean Sea. You can cross to Crete by ferry from Turkish coastal cities such as Çeşme, Bodrum, Marmaris.

3. Hydroplane from Marmaris or Fethiye

You can cross to Crete by hydroplanes from coastal areas such as Marmaris or Fethiye. This option can offer a fast and unique experience.

4. By Bus or Private Car and Ferry

By travelling from Turkey to Greece by road, you can also cross to Crete Island by ferries. However, this option may involve a long journey and border crossings.

5. Combined Transport

Many travel agencies offer packages that combine flight and ferry tickets. In this way, you can have different experiences by travelling both by air and by sea.

When making your travel plans, it is important to book ferry or flight tickets. It is also important to check border crossing rules and visa requirements. Transport options may vary depending on your travel dates, budget and preferences, so detailed planning is recommended.

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