Crete Travel Guide

Dagmar Schwelle

A visit to Crete, Greece's largest island and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean, will appeal to beachcombers, armchair historians, and active travelers alike. With its irregular coastline, there are more than 600 miles' worth of beaches and coves for the adventurous traveler to explore. When you visit Crete, you'll also find an island that sits at the crossroads of Mediterranean culture; it was home to the Minoan civilization, and the Greeks, Romans, Turks, and Venetians all controlled the island at various points throughout history. Away from the coastline, the island's interior features dramatic peaks and fertile plains, ideal for sightseeing and exploring. When you plan a trip to Crete, you can also visit Vai, Europe's only palm tree forest, located at the eastern end of the island.

Things Not to Miss in Crete

You'll likely want to spend much of your time on Crete's famously pristine beaches; you'll find that the north coast of the island is more developed, attracting larger throngs of tourists, while the island's south coast is quieter. When you've had your fill of sunbathing, our Crete travel guide covers the island's many sights, including:

• The Knossos palace
• Samaria Gorge
• The Heraklion Archaeological Museum
• Chania Old Town
• Lake Kournas, Argyroupolis and Ancient Lappa

When to Go to Crete

Summer in Crete can be exceptionally hot– travelers should expect temperatures in the 90s. Winters, on the other hand, are mild, but can be wet and rainy. Spring and autumn bring the most pleasant temperatures, and are the ideal seasons to visit Crete.

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