Crete is among the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean, a mix of beaches, culture and nature.
In this definitive guide we see in detail how to organize a trip to Crete. You will find all the information you need to plan your vacation and make the most of your stay on the Greek island.Crete Travel Tips
How to get to Crete?
Crete is well connected from the main airports and can also be reached by sea. The island has two international airports, the main airport is that of Heraklion, the second is that of Chania.
It is essential to know what the arrival or departure point will be before organizing the travel itinerary in Crete, so as to optimize all movements.
Keep in mind that direct flights, in high season are quite expensive, so it is preferable to book them well in advance to get cheaper rates.
Alternatively, if you want to save money or don't travel by plane, you can reach Crete by ferry, there are daily connections from Piraeus (the port of Athens) to the various ports of Crete. Obviously the journey is longer and more tiring, but a good idea could be that of spend a few days in Athens before leaving for the island of Crete.
How to get around Crete
A delicate phase when planning a trip to Crete is that relating to travel. Many ask me: “How do you move around Crete? Is it better to rent a car or is it possible to get around it by bus?
The best way to visit Crete is by hiring a car, essential for exploring the island independently and for reaching the most beautiful and hidden beaches. The cost of car rental is low, especially local car rentals offer very advantageous rates, they do not ask for a deposit or a credit card and you can easily pay in cash.
I recommend booking the rental car, especially if you go in high season. It is true that on the spot you could save something but it is also true that you could risk being left on foot.
The roads of Crete are in good condition, only some are unpaved and narrow in some places, such as the path to reach the famous Balos beach.
It is also possible to get around the island by bus to visit the main cities and some beaches. Unfortunately, however, with public transport you will not be able to see the hidden pearls of Crete and the most remote beaches. If you really plan to rely on local public transport, choose a well-connected city as a base, such as Chania, located in an excellent position.
When to go to Crete
Crete has a pleasant climate all year round, with hot summers and rainy winters. The bathing season runs from May to mid-October. Winter in Crete is short and runs from December to February, however not too cold months.
The most touristy and consequently the most expensive months are obviously July and August, with temperatures reaching 40 degrees.
The best months to visit crete are May, June, September and October, the climate is still excellent for enjoying the wonderful beaches of Crete, the costs are low and the tourists are not many. These months are also perfect for exploring the island, visiting the historical cultural part and seeing its main attractions.
How much to stay in Crete
The time you spend in Crete depends on what you prefer to do and how long you want to get around the island. Obviously an island that offers so many things to see and do takes some time.
The ideal would be to have at least 2 weeks available, you will not be able to go around the whole island but it will be possible to see most of it. For example, you can spend a week in the north-west area, to discover the beautiful beaches of Elafonissi, Balos and Falassarna. The other week you could visit the south area or alternatively take a tour of the east coast.
Where to sleep in Crete
I have already talked about this topic in the previous article on where to stay in Crete.
As we have seen, the island is very extensive, the largest in Greece. So to optimize the movements the best thing is to make several stages. So let's see the best places to sleep in Crete divided by area.
West area: is where the most famous beaches are located, usually the area chosen by those who decide to visit Crete for the first time. Here, among the most strategic places to stay overnight in Crete, there are Chania and Kissamos.
Also Agia Marina can be a good solution, it is located between Chania and Kissamos and offers sandy beaches suitable for families with children.
South Zone: the south coast is wilder and less touristy than the north, to visit the south center, you can evaluate Agia Galini o Matala. If, on the other hand, you want to take a trip to the beautiful Chrissi Island, you will have to stop in Ierapetra.
Zona East: A good base to stay in eastern Crete is Sitia, perfect for visiting Vai beach. Or Agios Nikolaos , closer to Heraklion.
Crete is a wonderful island, perfect for a traveling vacation. But often they ask me if there are areas with nightlife. In this case the best choice is Hersonissos, full of clubs and pubs, but keep in mind that the sea and the beaches are not the best.
Crete accommodation by area
What to do in Crete
Crete truly offers many things to see: dream beaches, archaeological sites, nature excursions and charming towns.
Among the most beautiful beaches in Crete are the three wonders of the west coast, Balos, Elafonissi Falassarna, the palm grove of Vai a is e the splendid beach of Glyka Nera on the south coast.
As archaeological sites, the best known on the island are the palace of Knossos, Phaistos and the Archaeological Museum.
While for trekking lovers not to be missed Gorges of Samaria.
If you want to know more I suggest you read my previous article with all the information on what to do and see in Crete.
Visit other islands
Crete is also well connected with other Greek islands, by air or sea flights. For example, there are several ports from where you leave for the Cyclades islands. The fastest route is from Heraklion to Santorini, about 1 hour and 45 of navigation.
Trip to Crete? Start with The Right Guide
Tips and practical information to plan a trip to Crete and to organize the best itinerary.
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