Crete attracts 4.5 million tourists each year, which generates 3 billion euros. The attraction for this Greek island is not surprising, when we see the beauty of its landscapes, the richness of its culture and the authenticity of its architecture. Without forgetting its weather, its gastronomy and its welcoming population, which will quickly seduce you. If you are planning to visit Crete soon, these 4 tips will come in handy:
1. Choose the right period
First, your trip to Crete will be much more enjoyable if you choose the right time. In general, the weather is nice between April and November, which gives you a good range of choices.
However, it is better to avoid the summer period for several reasons. On the one hand, very hot weather can be quite difficult to bear. Scorching weather may not be ideal if you want to enjoy walks and outdoor tours. On the other hand, the tourist influx is often more important in high summer. This means that from June to September you will be caught in a real wave of tourists. All in all, then everything will be more expensive and more crowded. In conclusion, better to visit Crete before or just after!
2. Visit the best places
Secondly, we advise you to list the places that you would like to visit during your stay in Crete. Here is a selection of the most popular, but don’t hesitate to dig deeper to find more!
- Chania, which includes a lighthouse, a maritime museum and a Venetian port.
- Heraklion, a port city housing the famous Palace of Knossos (archaeological site) and the fortress of Koules.
- Rethymno, with its superb fortress-citadel, its Venetian port and its beach.
- Chersonissos, renowned for its vibrant nightlife and water park.
- Matala, with its cave, cliffs and beach.
- Plakias and Platanias, ideal for snorkeling enthusiasts (snorkeling to be practiced with care).
- Do you want the mountains? Also discover Lefka Ori!
- Omalos is the perfect place for backpacking tourists, who like to immerse themselves in the heart of wild nature.
3. Rent a car to explore the island
Then Crete is around 260 km long and 15 to 60 km wide. During a stay of one to two weeks, it is then possible to explore it in order to discover its most beautiful places.
The best way to do this is to hire a car in Heraklion, if that’s where you are staying. Rent a vehicle in the city or at the airport, and begin your superb road trip across the island. Renting a vehicle will guarantee you comfort and flexibility, without having to depend on public transport.
4. Buy souvenirs from local artisans
Finally, it is nice to bring back some typical souvenirs from your trip to Crete. The most popular come from local crafts: leather articles (especially Greek sandals), pottery / ceramics, jewelry, olive oil, honey, spices & aromatic herbs, wine or even raki (brandy in ‘anise). Of course, the ideal is to buy them from craftsmen.
So after all this information, what are you waiting for to book your tickets to Crete?