Knossos Palace, Φειδίου, Heraklion, Greece
Today, the ruins of the palace of Knossos are a popular tourist destination. Visitors can explore the labyrinthine ruins of the palace complex, marvel at the beautiful frescoes and architecture, and learn about the fascinating history of the Minoan civilization. The site is also a testament to the enduring power of human culture and civilization, which can survive and thrive for centuries, even in the face of catastrophic events such as volcanic eruptions and natural disasters.
Full ticket 15 euro, reduced ticket students and citizens 65 and over 8 euro. There is a combo ticket available for the Palace of Knossos and the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion and costs 20 euro.
Summer: Daily 08:00 – 20:00
Winter: Daily 08:30 – 15:30
Free Admission Days
- 6 March (in memory of Melina Mercouri)
- 18 April (International Monuments Day)
- 18 May (International Museums Day)
- Last weekend of September (European Heritage Days)
- 28 October (Oxi or Ohi Day)
- First Sunday of the month from November 1st to March 31st
- 1 January: closed
- 25 March: closed
- Good Friday: 12:00-17:00
- Holy Saturday: 08:00 – 16:00
- 1 May: closed
- Easter Sunday: closed
- 15 August: 08:00 – 20:00
- 28 October: 08:30 – 15:00
- 25 December: closed
- 26 December: closed
CRETAquarium Thalassokosmos, Heraklion, Greece
General Entrance Fee €8 (1/11 – 31/03)
Children 0-4 years old Free Entrance
Children 5-17 years old €6
Seniors – Adults over 65 years old €6
Virtual Reality experience €5
(1st November – 31st March) Daily, 9.30 in the morning till 4 in the afternoon
(1st April – 31st October) Daily, 9.30 in the morning till 19:00 in the afternoon
Spinalonga is an island located in the Gulf of Elounda in the eastern part of Crete. It is a small island that was originally fortified by the Venetians in the 16th century and was used as a leper colony from 1903 to 1957. Today, the island is a popular tourist destination and attracts visitors from all over the world.
The history of Spinalonga Crete is fascinating and unique. During the Venetian occupation, the island was used as a strategic military fortification to protect the Gulf of Elounda from pirate attacks. The island was also used as a place of exile for political prisoners during the Ottoman Empire. In 1903, the island was converted into a leper colony, and patients from all over Greece were brought there to live in isolation. The colony was closed in 1957, and the island was abandoned until the late 1960s when it became a popular tourist destination.
Visitors to Spinalonga can take a boat tour to the island and explore the ruins of the old colony. The island is surrounded by a beautiful, crystal-clear sea, and visitors can swim or snorkel in the warm waters. The island is also home to many interesting ruins, including the remains of the Venetian fortifications and the old leper colony buildings. Visitors can also explore the narrow streets and alleys of the old colony, and see the homes and shops where the lepers once lived.
One of the most interesting parts of Spinalonga is the old church, which is still standing on the island. The church is a beautiful building that has been well-preserved, and visitors can still see the original frescoes and mosaics inside. The church is a unique and beautiful example of Venetian architecture, and it is one of the highlights of a visit to Spinalonga.
Spinalonga has been rather popular over the past few years after the best-selling novel of Victoria Hislop tells the story of a family tragedy set in the leper colony.
The island can be accessed by boats departing from Plaka, Elounda as well as Agios Nikolaos The boat trips from Plaka take about 15 minutes, while the trips from Elounda take 25 minutes and from Agios Nikolaos take up to an hour.
Round trip via boat from Plaka is 8 euro, from Elounda 10 euro.
Entrance fee costs 8 euro.
Spinalonga Crete is a unique and fascinating island that has a rich history and many interesting attractions. Whether you are interested in history, architecture, or simply want to enjoy the beautiful scenery and crystal-clear waters, Spinalonga Crete is a must-visit destination. So, if you are planning a trip to Crete, be sure to include a visit to Spinalonga on your itinerary!
Lychnostatis Open Air Museum, Hersonissos, Greece
Lychnostatis Open Air Museum
Lychnostatis Open Air Museum is a folk tradition and ethnology museum located in Hersonissos, Heraklion. The museum first opened in 1992 with a private collection of items of Yiorgos Markakis. Besides the folk tradition and ethnology artifacts of the museum covers culture, nature and the environment of Crete.
The area of the museum is quite large with many zones such as a traditional Cretan village house, wine and olive presses, a church, a windmill, a raki distillery, herb and fruit gardens to name a few. There is also a 250-seat theater where cultural, as well as tasting events take place.
Opening Times: Sunday to Friday 09:00-14:00 (Last entry 13:30).
Entrance Fee: Full ticket 6 euro, Children 2 euro and Students 3 euro.
David Vegera, Ευρώπης, Piskopiano, Greece
David Vegera Greek Tavern
One of the top rated Greek restaurant in Crete. No Reservations Accepted. First come first served.
Cave of Diktaion Andron, Psichro, Greece
Dikteon Andron Cave or Psychro Cave is located in Lassithi plateau between Heraklion and Agios Nikolaos approximately 60 km from each. According to the legend, it is believed to be the cave that Zeus was born.
The cave has been used as a burial site and a shrine from Early Minoan times. It is very imposing full of stalagmites and stalactites and a small pond further inside and it is a great experience for families. The area offers great panoramic views of the Lassithi plateau.
There are two ways to reach up to the cave. The first is a rocky footpath from the right side and the second is a paved footpath from the left side. It takes about 20 minutes to climb up. There is always an option to get a donkey ride up and down the cave for 15 euro.
Tip: Ensure you use the left path up to the cave for a more comfortable hike.
Admission Fee: 6 euro.
Opening Times: Daily 08:00 – 20:00
Lion Square, Heraklion, Greece
Vai Beach, Eparchiaki Odos Monis Toplous - Vai, Toplou, Greece
Vai Palm Beach Forest
If you’re looking for a beautiful and relaxing beach destination in Crete, Vai Beach in Sitia is definitely worth considering. This stunning beach is located on the eastern side of the island and is known for its tropical landscape and clear blue waters.
One of the main draws of Vai Beach is its unique palm forest, which is the largest in Europe. The forest is made up of over 6,000 palm trees and creates a lush and tropical atmosphere that is unlike anything else you’ll find in Greece. The trees are believed to have been planted by Arab pirates who used the area as a hideout in the 15th century.
Apart from the palm forest, Vai Beach boasts a long stretch of golden sand and crystal-clear waters that are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. The beach is also surrounded by rocky cliffs and hills, which provide a stunning backdrop for photos.
For those who love watersports, Vai Beach is a great spot for windsurfing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. There are also a beachside taverna where you can enjoy fresh seafood and other local specialties while taking in the stunning views.
If you’re looking to explore beyond the beach, there are a number of interesting sights in the surrounding area. The nearby Toplou Monastery is a must-visit for history buffs, while the small town of Sitia is a charming place to wander and explore.
Getting to Vai Beach is relatively easy, as there are regular buses from nearby towns and cities. If you’re driving, there is a large parking area just a short walk from the beach.
Vai Beach is a truly unique and beautiful destination that is well worth a visit if you’re in Crete. With its stunning palm forest, crystal-clear waters, and laid-back vibe, it’s the perfect spot to relax and soak up some sun while enjoying the natural beauty of the island.
Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Chatzidaki, Heraklion, Greece
Agios Nikolaos, Greece
Agios Nikolaos or Aghios Nikolaos (Greek: Άγιος Νικόλαος) is a picturesque coastal town located on the eastern side of the island and lies approximately 60 km east of the island’s capital Heraklion, and 65 km west of the town of Sitia. It is the biggest town in the regional unit of Lasithi, ahead of Ierapetra and Sitia.
The town is known for its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the town of Agios Nikolaos and explore its many attractions. Agios Nikolaos is a relatively small town, with a population of just over 10,000 people. However, it is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world who come to enjoy its stunning beaches, charming harbor, and vibrant nightlife.
The town is situated on the shores of the beautiful Mirabello Bay, which is surrounded by rugged mountains and lush greenery. Sitting partially upon the ruins of the ancient city of Lato pros Kamara, Agios Nikolaos has a long history from the Final Neolithic era 3000 BC, throughout the Minoan Bronze Age and then the Classical Greek and Roman period. Agios Nikolaos did not develop during the Byzantine era and remained a small finish village throughout the years. It was the first place in Crete to experience tourism development, long before the western part of the island.
One of the most popular attractions in Agios Nikolaos is the Lake Voulismeni. This picturesque lake is located in the center of the town and is surrounded by quaint cafes and restaurants. According to legend, the lake is bottomless and was created by the Greek goddess Athena. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll around the lake or enjoy a coffee or meal at one of the nearby cafes like Arc Espresso Cocktail Bar for some amazing views of the lake.
Popular attractions in Agios Nikolaos are also the two main city beaches the Ammos beach and Kitroplateia beach. These stunning beaches are located in the heart of the town and offers beautiful waters, soft white sand, and plenty of sun loungers and umbrellas for visitors to relax and enjoy the sunshine. The beaches are also home to several beach bars and restaurants, making it the perfect spot for a day of fun in the sun.
In the evenings, the town comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene. Visitors can enjoy cocktails and live music at one of the many bars and clubs scattered throughout the town, or take a moonlit stroll along the harbor and soak up the atmosphere.
Whether you are looking to soak up the sun on the beach, explore the rich history and culture of Crete, or enjoy a night out on the town, Agios Nikolaos is the perfect destination.
Matala, a small seaside village on the southern coast of the Greek island of Crete, has become a popular destination for tourists seeking a more laid-back, authentic experience. Located approximately 70 kilometers south of Heraklion, the capital city of Crete, Matala has a long and interesting history that makes it a fascinating place to visit.
Matala first became famous in the 1960s and 70s, when it was a popular destination for hippies and other young people seeking a more bohemian lifestyle. The village’s most famous attraction is the Matala beach, which is surrounded by cliffs and caves that were once used as tombs by the ancient Minoan civilization. In the 1960s, these caves were inhabited by a group of hippies who came to Matala to live a simple life free from the constraints of modern society.
Today, Matala is a popular tourist destination, but it has managed to retain much of its charm and character. The beach is still the main attraction, with its clear blue waters and dramatic cliffs, but there is also plenty to see and do in the surrounding area. The village itself is small and picturesque, with narrow streets and whitewashed houses, and there are plenty of tavernas and cafes where visitors can sample local food and drink.
One of the best things to do in Matala is to explore the Matala Caves that surround the beach. These caves were used as tombs by the Minoans, who believed that they were the entrance to the underworld. Today, the caves are home to a colony of wild cats, who are known to be friendly and approachable.
Matala is also a great place to explore the surrounding countryside, with its rugged mountains and olive groves. There are plenty of hiking trails that lead through the hills and offer spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.
In addition to the caves, the picturesque streets and the stunning beach, Matala also boasts another unique attraction – the Red Beach. Located just a short distance from Matala, the Red Beach is known for its dramatic red cliffs and crystal-clear waters. The red cliffs provide a striking contrast to the blue waters and make for some fantastic photo opportunities. The Red Beach is not as well-known as the main beach in Matala, which makes it a quieter and more peaceful spot.
Matala is a charming and fascinating place to visit, with a rich history and plenty of things to see and do. Whether you’re interested in exploring ancient history, soaking up the sun on the beach, or just enjoying the laid-back atmosphere, Matala is well worth a visit.
Rethymno town (Greek: Ρέθυμνο) is a beautiful coastal town located on the northern coast of the island of Crete, Greece. It is the third-largest town on the island, after Heraklion and Chania, and is home to approximately 40,000 people.
The town is steeped in history and culture, with a rich heritage dating back to ancient times. It was first settled by the Minoans and later became an important city in the Roman and Byzantine empires. In the Middle Ages, it was ruled by the Venetians, who left a lasting legacy on the town’s architecture and culture.
One of the most prominent landmarks in Rethymno is the Venetian Fortezza, a massive fortress that dominates the town’s skyline. Built in the 16th century, the fortress offers stunning views of the town and the sea, and is a popular attraction for visitors. Other notable attractions in Rethymno include the Archaeological Museum, the Historical and Folk Art Museum and the beautiful Old Venetian Port
Rethymno is also known for its beautiful beaches, which stretch for miles along the coast. Some of the most popular beaches include Rethymno Beach, which is located just a short walk from the town center, and the somewhat distant beaches of Kavros and Bali, which are both located a 30 minute drive from the town.
In addition to its history and natural beauty, Rethymno is also home to a vibrant cultural scene. The town is known for its traditional music and dance, which can be heard and seen in various festivals and events throughout the year. The town also has a thriving food scene, with many restaurants serving delicious Cretan cuisine made with fresh local ingredients.
Overall, Rethymno is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Crete. With its rich history, stunning beaches, and vibrant culture, it is a town that truly has something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in exploring ancient ruins, soaking up the sun on the beach, or experiencing the local culture and cuisine, Rethymno is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Chania town (Greek: Χανιά), located on the northwest coast of the island of Crete, is a beautiful and historic city that offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into Greek history and culture. With its charming old town, picturesque Old Harbor, and stunning Venetian architecture, Chania town is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Crete.
One of the highlights of Chania town is its beautiful Old Town, which dates back to the Venetian period of the 13th century. The old town is a maze of narrow streets and alleyways, with beautiful old buildings, churches, and squares. The architecture is a blend of Venetian and Ottoman styles, reflecting the city’s rich and diverse history.
Visitors to Chania town can explore the narrow streets of the Old Town, browsing the shops and boutiques, sampling local food and drink, and soaking up the atmosphere of this ancient city. The harbor is also a popular spot, with fishing boats and yachts bobbing in the water, and plenty of restaurants and cafes where visitors can enjoy a drink or a meal while watching the sunset.
One of the most iconic sights in Chania town is the Venetian lighthouse, which stands at the entrance to the harbor. Built in the 16th century, the lighthouse is one of the oldest in the Mediterranean, and it offers stunning views across the town and the sea. Visitors can walk all the way under the lighthouse for even better views, although the walk can be challenging through the rocky parts.
Another must-visit attraction in Chania town is the New Archaeological Museum, which is located in the historic area of Halepa. The museum contains a fascinating collection of artifacts from across Crete, including Minoan pottery, Roman sculptures, and Byzantine icons. There are also displays that focus on the history of Chania town itself, giving visitors a deeper understanding of the city’s rich past.
The Municipal Market is a colorful indoor market is a great place to sample local produce and products. Vendors sell everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to local cheeses, olives, and honey. The building itself is also worth admiring, with its beautiful wrought-iron architecture. Currently it is closed as it is undergoing renovation until December 2023.
The Maritime Museum is small museum is housed in a Venetian-era building and showcases the maritime history of Chania and Crete. Exhibits include ship models, navigational tools, and other artifacts related to seafaring.
Overall, Chania town is a beautiful and fascinating city that offers visitors a glimpse into the history and culture of Crete. Whether you’re interested in ancient history, stunning architecture, or just soaking up the atmosphere of a traditional Greek town, Chania town is a destination that should not be missed.
Elafonisi, Inachori, Greece
Elafonisi or Elafonissi Beach (Greek: Ελαφονήσι) is a must-see destination for anyone visiting the island. Known for its crystal-clear turquoise waters, pink sand, and stunning natural scenery, Elafonisi Beach is a paradise on earth.
The beach is located on the southwestern tip of Crete and is surrounded by a protected nature reserve, making it a pristine and untouched location. The shallow waters and gentle waves make it an ideal spot for families with children, while the rugged cliffs and rocky outcroppings provide plenty of opportunities for adventurers.
One of the unique features of Elafonisi Beach is the pink sand, but it would be best to set your expectations to a minimum from all the heavily edited photos you have seen online. The pink color comes from tiny crushed shells that have mixed with the sand over time, creating a beautiful and unusual color palette. The sand is soft and powdery, making it perfect for sunbathing and relaxing.
The beach also has several natural pools and lagoons, formed by the rocky terrain and the tide. These pools are perfect for a refreshing dip and provide a unique swimming experience.
For those interested in wildlife, Elafonisi Beach is also home to a variety of rare and endangered plant and animal species, including the Loggerhead sea turtle.
Elafonisi Beach is a true gem of Crete and should not be missed. Its natural beauty, unique features, and serene atmosphere make it the perfect destination for anyone looking for a little piece of paradise.
Whether you plan to go there by car or bus, brace yourself for one challenging ride. The travel time is about 2 hours and 15 minutes from the city of Chania if you go by bus and just under 2 hours if you go by car.
Tip: Big parts of the pink sand has disappeared due to change of the sea level, so set your expectations very low on the pink sand you see on various photos online.
Balos Beach, Greece
Getting to Balos Beach can be an adventure in itself. You can reach the beach by hiking, driving, or taking the boat. You can also choose to drive to Balos, although the road is unpaved and bumpy. Also the hike path from the parking lot to the beach is rocky, steep, and can be quite slippery, so wear appropriate footwear and bring plenty of water. The overall effort is worth it, though, as the views along the way are breathtaking. Alternatively, you can take the boat from Kissamos or do a boat tour from Chania and enjoy the scenic route from the sea.
Once you arrive at Balos Beach, you will be greeted by a picturesque landscape of white sand dunes and crystal-clear water. The water is shallow and calm, making it an ideal spot for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. The beach is also surrounded by a lagoon, which is home to a variety of marine life. You can rent umbrellas and sun loungers on the beach, but when it’s busy you might not be able to get one, or you can bring your own equipment. When taking the boat from Kissamos, you can also rent umbrellas on board.
In addition to its stunning beauty, Balos Beach also has a rich history. The beach was once a pirate hideout, and the remains of a Venetian fortress called Gramvousa can still be seen on the hill overlooking the beach. The fortress was built in the 16th century to protect the island from pirates, and it offers stunning views of the lagoon and the surrounding area.
Balos is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Crete. Whether you prefer to hike, drive, or take a boat tour, the journey to the beach is well worth the effort. Once you arrive, you will be rewarded with stunning natural beauty, crystal-clear water, and a rich history. Don’t forget to bring your camera or have plenty of space on your phone to capture the memories of this unforgettable destination.
Atrium Bar & Restaurant, Evropis, Koutouloufari, Greece
Atrium Bar & Restaurant
In Atrium for the first time, Cretan cuisine sounds in unison with the latest culinary trends and Cretan products rise to a height of recognized delicacies. Want something traditional? Cretan cheese, honey, aromatic plants & herbs are selected from the local farmers who have kept traditions from their older generations.
Every dish from the menu is a result of a long work, gastronomical expeditions and a special respect for traditions.
Seasonal local products, original recipes and finely-designed combinations – those are the distinctive features of Atrium Cretan and Mediterranean cuisine.
Crete South Coast - A twisty road heads towards to Xerokampos, a hidden beach with some taverns in the South East of Crete. The 3 beaches of Xerokampos are covered with white sand. The small salt lake of Xerokampos forming a lagoon, an ideal refuge for birds, Flamingos! In the summer time you´ll see a dry lake, but when you visit xerokampos in the winter time or spring time you will see it is flooded with water. From the North coastal town Sitia to Xerokampos you have to drive 1 hour (44km): The nearest village is Zakros, 11 Km 20 minutes drive. From Airport Heraklion to Xerokampos 3 hours drive 167 km. To the south coast town Ierapetra 1 hour 40 minutes drive. Due to the long distances from the towns of Lassithi, Xerokambos is one of the most remote areas of the island. Petrol station, Pharmacy or butcher can be found at the Coastal Village Zakros 20 minutes drive, for withdrawing cash (ATM) you have to drive up to the mountain Village Ziros 44 Km, 30 minutes drive.
Xerokambos is a quiet remote hamlet far away from all. We know the beaches of xerokambos before the paved road was built. It was a little adventure to get to Xerokambos. Nowadays Xerokambos can be reached on a well made road, which passes a mountain chain of about 600 metres. Of course Xerokambos is a perfect location to have a pure bathing holiday and a perfect place for snorkeling, diving and fishing.
Chrysi, Ierapetra, Greece
Situated 15km off of Ierapetra on the South coast of Crete, the natural beauty spot of Chrissi (Chrysi) island with its protected ecosystem can be found. Though no longer a secret location, Chrissi island rather resembles paradise with its white sand beaches and African Cedarwoods not to mention the crystal clear blue water perfect for snorkeling.
Old Chersonisos Center, Hersonissos, Greece
Saradari Beach, Anissaras, Greece
Malia 700 07, Greece
Malia (Greek: Μάλια) is a harbor town located 34 km east of Heraklion and is ranking as one of the most popular holiday resorts in Europe.
Malia is primarily known for its nightlife and is well-liked among individuals and couples of young ages mainly visiting from the United Kingdom and Scandinavian counties. The town has plenty of hotels, restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
The Minoan town of Malia lies 4 km east of the town and is one of the largest in Crete covering an area of 3000 square meters with the main attraction of King Sarpidon’s palace. Malia region also includes villages such as Mochos and Stalida.
A long sandy beach extends along the coastline of Malia with many beaches, restaurants and cafés, as well as water sport activities.
Peskesi, Kapetan Charalampi, Heraklion, Greece
Housed in a restored mansion (a historical stone-walled building) in the center of Heraklion since 2014, the rustic-style establishment of Peskesi is widely regarded as one of the finest restaurants in Greece, having received numerous distinctions of excellence, including a #1 spot in the category of Greek and Regional Cuisine at the Restaurant100 awards of 2019.
Everything in Peskesi is strongly tied to their farm-to-table beliefs, offering traditional Cretan cuisine with long-forgotten flavors and rich aromas. Each dish is made with ancient techniques and traditional methods, bringing you the freshest meal possible every day! The menu boasts a wide array of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free choices, so it is the ideal destination for everyone. Notable dishes include the battered zucchini flowers and revered high-quality meat cuts, like the slow-cooked goat or pork on the spit, as well as tasteful vegetable salads, shrimp platters, and various pasta dishes!
Peskesi offers a plethora of top-tier desserts for you to enjoy after your meal, such as its unique carob mousse, some baklava, or a mille-feuille pastry dish. In addition, you may try Peskesi’s very own raki drink (plain or flavored), have some delicious fresh tea, a homemade fruit beverage, or a bottle of wine from its extensive hand-picked list! Plus, one may visit the bar area for an unfiltered, locally-produced beer or a high-end cocktail! Also, Peskesi hosts olive oil tasting and food pairing experiences, both serving perfectly as an appetizer.
On top of that, Peskesi’s Organic Farm, established in 1998, is situated atop the uphill Charaso Village. It is a farmland area spanning 30 acres, hosting over 120 different varieties of fruits and vegetables, including herbs, olive trees, beehives, and domestic animals, making a strong effort to preserve organic farming! Should you visit this organic farm, stop by its Kafeneio to taste the products, along with a cup of tsikoudia.
The restaurant is open daily from 13:00 to 02:00.
SPAR, Eleftheriou Venizelou, Limenas Chersonisou, Greece
Beachcomber Bar Restaurant Stalis, Agiou Ioanni, Stalida, Greece
Beachcomber Bar Restaurant Stalis
Mediterranean Restaurant & Cocktail Bar
Listis Beach, Greece
Listis, a charming beach tucked away 69km southeast of Iraklion, is nestled between the towns of Kastri, 2km to the west, and Tsoutsouras. The road that connects these two towns skirts the edge of the beach. To reach the beach itself, it’s necessary to navigate a steep slope. Alternatively, you can alight at the neighbouring Kamboula beach and stroll eastwards. Regardless of the route you choose, the destination is undeniably worth it.
Despite its modest size, Listis beach stands out as one of Crete’s most appealing. It’s an unmanaged location that can get crowded during peak season. The beach boasts sandy stretches and shallow, crystal clear waters. Its uniqueness lies in the large rocks scattered in the sea and along the shore. Even though the water is rocky, the sandy seabed is perfect for swimming and frolicking in the water. If you swim east of the beach, beyond the massive Listis rock, you’ll find a quaint sandy beach with a spring in the Xirokambi area.
Listis rock, rising above the beach, is home to several intriguing caves. According to local lore, these caves once sheltered a bandit, hence the name Listis, meaning bandit. The caves are easily accessible from the main road rather than from the beach. On the crest of the hill, remnants of an ancient sanctuary can be found.