Languages: Cretan Greek
Best Time to Visit: April to October
Time Zone: GMT+2/ +3
Driving Side: Right Side
Main Attractions: Agios Nikolaos Church, Samaria Gorge, Santa Maria de Miracoli Monastery, The Byzantne Walls and the Venetian wall,
Crete is the largest amongst all the Greek islands. It is one of the thirteen peripheries of Greece and boasts of an ancient history. The island was the hub of the Minoan civilization, the oldest of Greek and European civilizations. For centuries, it was known by its Italian name ‘Candia’. Owing to the large number of archeological sites located here, Crete serves as a thriving tourist destination of Greece. The treasure trove of the island includes natural sites, monuments, splendid beaches and many other fascinating tourist attractions. Check out information on places to see and things to do in Crete.
The most interesting places to visit in Crete include Agios Nikolaos Church, which is the oldest here and occupies great importance from archeological perspective. Built in Byzantine period, the church is a must visit for those interested in ancient architecture and history. The next is Samaria Gorge, which is actually a fissure in the White Massifs of Crete. It has a length of ten miles and an astounding height of over one-thousand-two-hundred meters, providing a breathtaking view of the low lying areas.
Santa Maria de Miracoli Monastery is yet another attraction, which is known as the cloister of the Virgin Mary of Miracles. Constructed in fifteenth century, the ancient structure is now in ruins, which have considerably stood the test of time, that can be seen by the visitors. The Byzantne Walls and the Venetian wall are also amazing pieces of architecture, which are associated with different historic tales and purposes. Besides, some other places that can be visited in Crete are Arkadi Monastery, Etz Hayyim Synagogue, Panagia Kera Church, etc.
Crete boasts of many impressive museums, offering visitors a deeper insight into the background and cultural aspects of the island’s history. The Heraklion Archaeological Museum is one of the must visit spots. It houses distinct collection of artifacts belonging to the Minoan period, including bull-headed drinking vessels and the curious Phaistos disc. Apart from this, other museums worth visiting in the city are Lychnostatis Museum at Limenas Hersonissou, Sitia Museum at Lassithi and Historical and Folklore Museum at Rethymno.
Crete offers some splendid and pristine beaches for you to splurge on. The beaches here are ideal for those, who wish to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the city. However, those who are in search of hip activities and beaches thronged with trendy crowds can visit Vai or Elunda beaches. Apart from this, Hersonnisos is an excellent option for those interested in youthful crowds and sassy night life. Matala is yet another interesting beach, with historic cave tombs soaring high above it.