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Things to do in Crete

Meander between coastal villages, colorful old towns, and idyllic beaches on Greece’s largest island.

Our most recommended things to do in Crete

From Chania: Day Trip to Elafonisi Island

1. From Chania: Day Trip to Elafonisi Island

Travel to the southwest corner of Crete on a guided day trip from Chania to Elafonisi Island, with hotel transfers included. Spend a relaxing day swimming in the clear blue waters, relaxing on the pink sand beach, and soaking in the unique landscape of Elafonisi. Start with a hotel pick up and take in the lush green landscape en route to the island as you travel through the impressive Topolia Gorge and pass many traditional villages. Stop to purchase coffee and breakfast in the village of Elos, known for its chestnut trees. After arriving at Elafonisi, enjoy 4 hours of relaxing on the beach and swimming in the crystal-clear waters. Afterward, enjoy lunch at a local tavern (not included). Situated just off the island of Crete, Elafonisi is easily reached by walking through the shallow waters. Both the beach and island are protected wildlife areas of rare beauty.

From Crete: Santorini Island Guided Tour

2. From Crete: Santorini Island Guided Tour

Enjoy a roundtrip tour to Santorini. Travel comfortably on a modern boat and in air-conditioned buses while learning about this island's history and mythology. Capture pictures of Santorini's famous Aegean architecture and narrow, winding streets.  Travel to Heraklion port where you will depart on a high-speed boat for Santorini. Enjoy ocean views on the 2.5-hour cruise to the island and pickup a snack from the bar onboard.  Arrive at Port Athinios and hop aboard the bus for the guided tour. Travel 40 minutes to Oia, where you will admire the blue and white houses built over the cliffs. Learn about the city before enjoying free time to admire the volcanic caldera at your own pace. Next, travel 30 minutes to Fira, the main town of Santorini, built on the edge of a 300-meter cliff. Check out its narrow streets, white vaulted houses, and bright blue domes. Have the option to take a cruise from Fira in a wooden boat to the volcano and hot springs (for an additional charge) or spend more time exploring the city. Return to Port Athinios where your guide will help you board the return ferry.  Take in the late-afternoon views on the boat before arriving at Heraklion port.

From Rethymno: Half-Day Quad Bike Safari

3. From Rethymno: Half-Day Quad Bike Safari

Choose from a morning or afternoon Quad Bike safari, and benefit from a hotel pick-up from Rethymno, Bali, or Georgiopoulis. Journey to the base in Rethymno town and get kitted out with all the necessary equipment. Listen to a detailed briefing before you set off for some serious off-road fun. Journey up into the mountains of Maroulas, and head for the summit for a 10-minute break to take in the panoramic views. Then, continue on your bike for another 20 minutes to reach a spot where you can relax over coffee at a traditional kafeneion (Greek coffee house). Soak up the peace and quiet of Café Gidospito overlooking beautiful Lake Potami before making your way to the picturesque village of Prassies for a quick snack to refuel after your Quad Bike experience. Return to Rethymno and get dropped off at your hotel to relax and freshen up after your dusty adventure.

From Kissamos Port: Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa

4. From Kissamos Port: Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa

Go on a day trip from Kissamos port to the uninhabited island of Gramvousa and Balos Lagoon by a round-trip cruise. Glide past cliffs, stop at pristine golden beaches, swim in the crystal-clear waters, and visit Gramvousa Fortress—a castle that offers incredible panoramic views. Depart from Kissamos Port and sail for about an hour in the bay. Approach the island of Gramvousa and then the lagoon of Balos or vice versa, depending on the itinerary route. Cruise against a stunning backdrop of steep cliffs and rocks, incredible secluded beaches, and the infinite blue. Have the chance to see a large cave, which is thought to be an ancient shipyard.  At the end of the bay, sail between Gramvousa Island and Cape Vouxa. Soak in the scenic landscape against the backdrop of Valenti, Pontikonisi, Balos Lagoon, and Imeri Gramvousa. Arrive in the small port of Gramvousa and spend the next 1.5 hours here. Enjoy the magical environment created by the Cretan nature, the legends, and the area's turbulent history. See the beach is adorned by a lonely shipwreck. See the famous castle of Gramvousa, the highest point on the island, that sits atop a steep rock. You can swim in the area next to the Church of Agioi Apostoloi, stay on the ship to relax, or have some fun on the water slide. After a stop at Gramvousa, get back on the boat to head to the Balos Lagoon. Listed as one of the world's best beaches, this exotic beach lagoon is situated between the Gramvousa Peninsula and Cape Tigani. Choose to swim in the turquoise blue waters, relax on the pink sandy beach, or admire the natural beauty, the rocks, and the cliffs rising above you during your 2.5 hours at the beach.

From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

5. From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

Embark on a full-day guided trip to the Samaria Gorge from Chania. Arrive in Omalos in the heart of the White Mountains, and enjoy breakfast before trekking along the longest gorge in Europe — 4,000 feet above sea level.  After breakfast, enter the Samaria Gorge. Walk at your own pace with your English speaking guide at the end of the group to help out if you need them. Hike over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees and along a river, passing by fresh-water springs along the way. Enjoy views of Crete’s most beautiful mountain range and see mountain goats roaming in the wild. Feel the exhilaration of challenging yourself with a long hike. At the end of the trek, visit the village of Agia Roumeli, where you’ll find a number of taverns, bars, and shops. Enjoy some free time to take a swim or have some lunch. A meeting point will be arranged so you can collect your ferry tickets from your guide. Late in the afternoon you’ll board a boat that will take you from Agia Roumeli to Sougia, where the bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the starting point about 730 PM.

Heraklion: Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Guided Walking Tour

6. Heraklion: Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Guided Walking Tour

Join a guided tour of Knossos, a complex of more than 1500 interlocking rooms, once an astonishing palace built for a mighty king of the Bronze Age. Knossos is considered Europe’s oldest city. As you wander through the labyrinthine ruins, get the chance to see the original throne of ‘’Minos”, the mystifying sanctuaries, the luxurious domestic quarters of the royal family, Crete’s treasures pantries, and the water-management systems. The first palace of Knossos was erected soon after 2000 BC. In 1700 BC, a catastrophic earthquake destroyed the Palace. A new palace was built immediately, the most monumental of all, and for over 300 years it represented the pre-eminent center of power in Bronze Age Crete. The new palace was an imposing complex with important architectural innovations, splendid frescoes adorning the walls, hundreds of rooms distributed in four storeys, impressive storage areas, specialized workshops, and spacious courts hosting ceremonies and feasts. Learn how during the last decades of the 14th century BC, a series of earthquakes led to the final destruction of the palace. 

From Heraklion or Agios Nikolaos: Full-Day Santorini Trip

7. From Heraklion or Agios Nikolaos: Full-Day Santorini Trip

Discover the beauty of the island of Santorini on a bus and catamaran tour from Heraklion or Agios Nikolaos. Capture pictures of the classic blue and white houses in Oia and have some free time to explore Fira in the shadow of the Santorini volcano.  Enjoy the convenience of being picked up directly from your accommodation. Sit back and relax on the air-conditioned bus transfer to the high-speed catamaran in Heraklion harbor. Sail across the Mediterranean to the island of Santorini. Hop off the boat to take a tour of the beautiful island in a comfortable and climate-controlled bus. Listen to live commentary about the history of one of the most romantic destinations in Greece. Travel to the village of Oia at the northernmost tip for magnificent views of the typical blue and white houses across the hillside and stunning views of rolling hills meeting the sea. Continue to the capital at Fira and have some free time to browse the shops or enjoy a drink at a bar with views of the volcano and the returning boat in the evening. Cruise back to Heraklion and transfer back to your hotel.

Crete: Off-Road Quad Safari Tour with Hotel Transfers

8. Crete: Off-Road Quad Safari Tour with Hotel Transfers

Off-Road self- drive atv quad safari tour in Crete! Just before we start for this unforgettable guided quad tour experience, the experts of our quad safari will teach you everything about the atv vehicles, including lessons for beginners so that everyone is ready to discover Crete safely, with lots of fun and excitement! To begin we go uphill onto an off-road terrain between olive groves to reach our first stop, where we will enjoy the panoramic views at the chapel of the prophet Elias. Then let’s… Off-road again! Descending through this verdant place full of colours, we will safari on an impressive off-road route between the vineyards and the olive forest to explore the Cretan nature which will amaze you! Then we will take a tour of the local olive oil factory where we will learn how to extract olive oil. A small taste test will follow! We continue through dirt roads to the historical cave of Milatos. Impressive mountains and wildlife nature with rich flora and fauna and unique views. Opportunity to collect some local herbs and be one with nature! Take stunning photos and then let’s carry on exploring one of the most historical caves of Crete after hiking from the ancient path to the Milatos Cave ( Only on 8:30 morning tour ) ! Then…??? Let’s swim in the crystal clear waters of Milatos beach! Free time to lunch at a restaurant ( Only on 8:30 morning tour ) ! This is before our seaside safari tour through the narrow streets of the two most representative fishing villages of the area, the traditional villages of Milatos and Sissi. At the end of this adventure and as ready now we will have fun on an amazing dynamic off-road route around the archaeological site of the Minoan palace of Malia! Having experienced an incredible quad self-drive safari trip in Crete, we are sure you will come back full of amazing memories that will last a lifetime!

From Heraklion: Morning Sailing Trip to Dia Island

9. From Heraklion: Morning Sailing Trip to Dia Island

Enjoy a cruise, snorkeling and fishing in crystal clear waters on this relaxing and fun trip to Dia Island. Relax on the 1-hour trip to the island, taking in the scenery and enjoying the comfort of your boat, which will have a maximum of 8 passengers onboard. Next, visit the romantic gulf and ancient Minoan port of St. George. Spend 2.5 hours swimming in the turquoise water, walking on the beautiful trails, fishing or just relaxing on the beach. Relax and let the crew take care of you by providing you with any snorkeling and fishing equipment you need. Enjoy unlimited refreshments, seasonal fruits and a delicious Mediterranean lunch served by the crew.

Crete: Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island

10. Crete: Day Trip to Agios Nikolaos and Spinalonga Island

Embark on a full-day guided trip to northeastern Crete and take a boat trip to Spinalonga Island. Visit Agios Nikolaos with its famous lake, and explore the picturesque village of Elounda. Begin the day with the visit to Agios Nikolaos, and see the shore of Mirabello Bay. Explore the town, famous for the lake at its center and its shopping and cafes. Take your time for a walk to enjoy the views, enjoy some shopping or have a drink in one of the numerous cafes around the lake. Explore an open-air market on Wednesdays. Move on to see Elounda village, a former fishing village on the northern coast of the island. Depart from Elounda for the cruise to Spinalonga Island. Learn about the island's vibrant history, from a home for the Venetians and Turks to a place of isolation for those suffering from leprosy. Experience the island, more popular after the 2005 historical novel “The Island” about how lepers lived in Spinalonga. Join the hundreds of people who come to the island every day to visit and learn its history.

Available activities

  • Aegean cruises & sails
  • Cretan wine, olive oil, & more
  • Exploring Crete
  • Crete on wheels
  • Knossos, Minoan gems, & more
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What people are saying about Crete

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 23,195 reviews

Highly recommend this Ecobike tour with wine tasting! We had never ridden ecobikes before, but we got used to them pretty quickly. Alex and Marina were very communicative prior to the tour. Marina was our guide for the day and we thought she was fantastic: friendly and informative. We stopped by three different restaurants in town to sample delicious mezzes and five glasses of wine. Because Marina is a professional sommelier, we learned a lot about local wines. Alex joined us at the last stop and they shared anecdotes and local recommendations; it felt like hanging out with friends and we had a blast!

Panos (captain) and George (Skipper) were great. They picked us up right in the Chania harbor. They then sailed is out to one near by island where we laid anchor and got out and swam with snorkels and noodles. Then they brought out snacks and refreshments before getting underway. The views of Crete and the surrounding islands were great from the boat. George and Panos made this the perfect evening sail for my Wife and myself on our honeymoon.

I am an archaeology student, and the guide was able to adapt to that, moving beyond all of the basic talking points and going deeper into the history and archaeological practice at the site. She was extremely knowledgeable!

The palace was beautiful and I enjoyed guided tour because we got some special informations that I am sure we couldn't get visiting on our own. I would highly recommend to visit this palace.

Excellent fun, the captain and crew were lovely and the food was surprisingly good. Views were stunning, highly recommended.