Crete has some of the world’s most stunning beaches many of which fall under European law protection. East of the island is Vai Beach, famous due to its palm forest, clear waters and sandy beach. Further north is Seitan Limania Beach. Rather a hike to reach this small beach due to the rocky location, but worth it due to the deep water, and the opportunity to dive in from the rocks. Agios Nikolaos has stunning beaches located in the heart of the city and therefore easily accessible, perfect for families since local tavernas are nearby and facilities for showering and toilets. Also situated near the town of Heraklion is Psaromoura Beach in Agia Pelagia, a beautiful beach with clear shallow waters perfect for snorkelling.
Journey south of the island to find the Red Beach, close to Matala. The unique feature of this beach is that nudism is acceptable and very common and the opportunity to swim out to explore the caves within the sea. The sand at Elafonissi Beach is a beautiful shade of coral, and the waters are clear and shallow. One can opt to stay close to civilisation and amenities or walk further along the beach to find seclusion and quiet.
From beaches to cities, experience an authentic taste of Crete with a visit to one of its most attractive towns. Chania offers a kaleidoscope of various features including ancient ruins, local culture, and delectable local food. We recommend you explore the narrow and winding streets and experience the artisan shops, visit the 100-year-old market, eat mezedes and drink raki with the locals.
Visit the romantic city of Rethymnon on the north coast, the third largest town in Crete. This vibrant and colourful city, conquered many times over the centuries by pirates, Venetians and Byzantines, with evidence of various cultural influences on display from grand Venetian mansions to catholic and orthodox churches, mosques, arches and cobbled streets.
Sample traditional local snacks such as koulouri, sip the strong thick Greek coffee, sweet Cretan pastries, and try the local cheese and olives on offer at many of the tavernas
The capital of Crete and its biggest city, the vibrant Heraklion is sure to impress with its fortified walls providing fantastic views of the town and birthplace of one of the world’s most famous authors Nikos Kazantzakis, son of Crete and author of Zorba. Stay a few nights to benefit everything Heraklion has to offer from shopping, restaurants and nightclubs to walks along the old fishing harbour and waterfront. Heraklion is vibrant and trendy, whilst remaining rich in culture and history.
Original Content by Tracy Jennifer on behalf of City Guide Gibraltar