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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 Rethymno: Half-Day Quad Bike Safari

1. 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 Chania: Day Trip to Elafonisi Island

2. 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 Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

3. 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

4. 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 Rethymno: Samaria Gorge Full-Day Trek with Pickup

5. From Rethymno: Samaria Gorge Full-Day Trek with Pickup

Take a day trip from Rethymno to set out on an outdoor adventure into Samaria Gorge National Park. Hike at your own pace with a guide over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees, along a river, and by fresh-water springs. Keep an eye out for mountain goats roaming in the wild. Begin your full-day excursion to Samaria Gorge with pickup and a drive to Omalos, in the heart of the White Mountains, where you can enjoy breakfast before you start the hike. Challenge yourself with 17 kilometers of walking over rocky terrain. Be accompanied by a mountain escort who speaks English, German and French. Get briefed about your hike and get your tickets for the entrance and ferry boat from your escort. These fees have to be paid to the guide upon arrival. After breakfast, enter the Samaria Gorge. Walk at your own pace as your guide will be at the end of the group to help out if you need them. 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, board a boat to go from Agia Roumeli to Sfakia, where the bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the pickup point.

From Kissamos Port: Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa

6. 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.

Agios Nikolaos: Santorini Guided Day Trip with Ferry Ticket

7. Agios Nikolaos: Santorini Guided Day Trip with Ferry Ticket

Experience the iconic clifftop villages overlooking the Aegean on a guided day trip to Santorini. Transfer from Agios Nikolaos by ferry. Soak up the caldera views, see the pastel-painted houses of Oia, and stroll through the streets of Fira. Start your day trip from Crete at the port of Agios Nikolaos, or opt to include pickup from your hotel in an air-conditioned vehicle and marvel at the blue and white buildings typical of the island on your way to the harbor. Climb aboard a ferry and journey to Santorini. Upon arrival at the port of Athinios, take a tour of the island by air-conditioned bus. Learn about the history of one of the most romantic islands in Greece from your guide. Travel through the beautiful countryside en route to the village of Oia at the northernmost tip of the island. Built on the lip of a volcanic caldera, the village offers magnificent views of the blue and white houses studded along the hillside.   Continue to Fira and get plenty of free time to explore the island's capital. Stroll down the picturesque alleys and take in the views of the architecture typical to the Aegean. Browse the shops or enjoy a drink at a bar with stunning views of the volcano and its caldera cliffs. Alternatively, travel by boat to the caldera (subject to availability) for views of the volcano up close. Depart for Crete in the evening for the return trip to the Port of Agios Nikolaos, where the tour ends. If you opt to include transfers, you'll be dropped off at your hotel.

From Crete: Santorini Island Guided Tour

8. 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 Georgioupolis: Half-Day Quad ATV Safari

9. From Georgioupolis: Half-Day Quad ATV Safari

Discover the Mountains of Crete and experience driving a 450cc ATV quad bike in the morning or the evening. Feel the fresh air on your face as you cross shallow rivers and explore hidden hills and small gorges that are only known to the local shepherds. Feel enchanted by the changing landscape of Crete and have guaranteed fun driving on the dirt roads. You will be accompanied by an experienced guide who will introduce you to wonderful Cretan landscapes and will entertain you with fascinating local tales and Cretan culture. This perfect holiday will give both you and your family a treasure chest of memories to share and look back on.

From Kissamos: Balos Gramvousa Sailing Cruise with Lunch

10. From Kissamos: Balos Gramvousa Sailing Cruise with Lunch

Enjoy a relaxing cruise along the Aegean sea and admire stunning views as you sail for Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa Island. Take time to swim and explore these incredible locations at your own pace. Start your morning at Kissamos port and board a private sailboat. After learning the safety procedures on board from your experienced skipper, set sail on a private cruise for Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa Island. Relax on board while taking in the spectacular views of the Cretan coast. Learn a bit about sailing on the trip with the help of your skipper. After 1.5 hours at sea, reach Balos Lagoon. Soak up the sun on the pristine shores of Balos Beach or even go for a swim in the clear water. Next stop: Gramvousa Island. Hike to the extraordinary castle built high up on the island and admire panoramic views of the horizon from above. Take your time exploring this rugged island or practice your snorkeling. At noon, relax on deck and enjoy a delicious lunch cooked on board. If it's too hot, take a break in the cabins. Admire the beautiful views of the sea once more as you head for the port.

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.