Find the top 5 excursions in Crete Greece and experience the beauty and culture of the island! As you already know, Crete is one of the most beautiful and diverse islands in the Mediterranean Sea. From the east to the west, from the south to the north, you will find stunning beaches, ancient ruins, vibrant cities and lush countryside. Whether you are looking for relaxing beach holidays, an adventurous experience or tense nightlife, this place has options for everyone. It is simply the perfect getaway for your summer holidays! Read the following article and find out the best excursions for the upcoming summer!
Ways to explore Crete
To begin with, taking part in an excursion in Crete is probably themost interesting thing you can do. These activities offer the chance to experience the natural beauty of the island, as well as the rich culture and traditions. Boat trips, to jeep safaris and guided hikes-the visitors get the chance to explore it in both fun and educational ways. In facr, boat trips in Chania are a great way to discover the magical coastline and visit some of the best beaches. Moreover, jeep safari will give you a taste of the wild mountainous beauty and the scenic villages. Hiking in Crete will also make you fall in love with the place.
Picture by: Janiecbros
Τhere are numerous of well-marked trails with outstanding views of the countryside and the coastline. Apart from that, along the European hiking trail (E4 path) there are many historical remains or ancient ruins. So, let’s find out extensively about the most interesting and beautiful places you should visit during your stay!As the biggest island in Greece, Crete offers unlimited excursions and destinations from one side to another. So, if you want to discover them, you will probably need many days and time. However, below you will find some of the most famous excursions in Crete Greece that you should definitely not miss!
1.Hike Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge is a stunning natural wonder located southwest of Chania Prefecture. The gorge is the longest in Europe, stretching for 16 kilometers and descending from an elevation of 1250 meters to sea level. The landscape diversity is amazing, as the area boasts of magnificent and natural beauty. The whole area is home to numerous species of flora and fauna, including rare species such as the wild Cretan goat, Kri Kri. Thus, it protected by Natura 2000 and its preservations is of utmost importance.
More specific, the gorge is a popular tourist destination and visitors can explore it only on foot. The entrance is at Omalos Plateau, where you will stay speechless with the pristine land and the tranquility of the place. The hike will take approximately 5 to 6 hours depending on the pace and the experience. After the long hike, you will end up at the scenic village of Agia Roumeli on the Libyan Sea. At this point, you either you will stay there for the night or sail the same day to the nearby villages, in order to catch up the bus back to Chania. One the other hand if you are a hike lover, you can continue the hike by following the E4 European path towards the closing seafront villages.
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2. Elafonisi beach at Chania
Elafonisi Beach is one of the most famous beaches of Greece and at the top rates worldwide. Located close to the southwestern corner of Crete, this amazing place is known for the pink sand and the crystal-clear shallow waters. This masterpiece was created by thousands of sea shells and coral fragments mixed with the white sand, resulting in this pink hue. The beach offers unique environment and that’s why it is such a popular destination for travelers. Moreover, the waters are very shallow making it an ideal place for children to play and explore. It is sure that Elafonisi will make your trip to Crete truly unforgettable!
Picture by: Davidcallan
Find the best excursions in Crete Greece!
3.Knossos Palace at Heraklion
The Palace of Knossos is an important archaeological site, located at Heraklion. It was the largest and most significant center of the Minoan Civilization during Bronze Age and considered to be the focal point of Minoan society. According to Greek Mythology, Knossos Palace was the residence of the mythical King Minos, the son of Zeus and Europa. King Minos had the legendary artificer Daedalus construct an underground labyrinth to imprison the mythical creature, the Minotaur.
During your visit to the palace, you will be astounded by its grandeur and the history behind. Explore the most important parts such as the Great Hall of the Double Axes, the Royal Megaron and the Throne Room. The last one was the most sacred part of the palace which contained a throne, an altar and a stone throne. Furthermore, it was also home to a variety of artwork, including frescoes, sculptures and ceramics. End your tour by visiting the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, where you can learn more about the history of the Minoan Civilization. Check our article about Knossos here and find out all the necessary information about the excursion.
Picture by: miv123
4.A tour at Spinalonga Island
Spinalonga Island is located in the Gulf of Elounda in northeastern Crete, at Agios Nikolaos. The island has a long and dark history as it was used as a leper colony from 1903 to 1957. During this period, Spinalonga was a place of exile for those suffering from this crippling disease. Nowadays, it is a popular tourist destination and a site of immense historical significance. A place of sorrow and tragedy, but also of courage and hope.
A tour at the island will take you back in time. It serves as a reminder of the suffering and injustice inflicted on those with leprosy. As a protected historical monument, the ruins are well protected and can be visited by anyone who wants to learn more about the history. Moreover, the visitors can explore its 16th century Venetian fortress as well as the beautiful beach.
Picture by: andrant
5.Balos Beach and Gramvousa Island in Crete Greece
As Crete is home to many stunning beaches, few can be compared to the beauty of Balos Beach. It is located on the northwest side of the island and it is considered as one of the most popular excursions in Crete Greece. Balos boasts white, pink and dark sands, turquoise waters and amazing views from the top. It is definitely a must visit for everyone who visits the island.
To begin with, the beach itself is amazing but quite crowded during summertime. The best thing you can do is to arrive early and make sure to catch a good spot. The waters are very shallow and ideal for water sports and kids’ activities. The surrounding area is also very interesting and popular for hiking and exploring. There are many trails that lead up to the top of cliffs, offering breathtaking sea views. Moreover, you can take a boat tour and explore the nearby island of Imeri Gramvousa, which is famous for its ancient ruins and wildlife. Whether you are looking for a relaxing day or a chance to explore the place, Balos Beach is the perfect destination.
Picture by: op23
In conclusion, these were the top 5 excursions in Crete Greece you should definitely visit once. However, the choices on the island are thousands and Crete has something to offer everyone. With so many activities to choose from, you will definitely find something that appeal to you.