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The best places to visit in Crete

Crete, a beautiful island in the Mediterranean, is the largest of the Greek islands. This large island, where the ancient Minoan civilization (the oldest known civilization of Europe) was located is rich in history, culture, myths and legends.

It also has beautiful beaches, incredible sights, rugged mountains, and lush scenery. From the bustling cities to the small traditional villages, there is plenty to see and do in Crete. Although part of Greece, it has its own cultural aspects and cuisine. So add one holiday Crete to your wish list, because it's a trip you won't soon forget. Here are some of the best places to visit in Crete.

Knossos ruins

If you are interested in Ancient Greek history or just want to set foot in the oldest city in Europe, you cannot leave Crete without Knossos to discover. This vast collection of Bronze Age ruins was long ago the ceremonial and political heart of the Minoan civilization. The ancient temples, chambers and pathways are very well preserved. Learn about King Minos and the myths behind the labyrinths of the Minoans, including the famous story of Theseus and the Minotaur.

The Knossos Ruins | The best places to visit in Crete

Elafonisi beach

Elafonisi is without a doubt one of the best beaches in Crete, if not all of Greece. Famous for its pink sand that shimmers in the sunlight, Elafonissi is a collection of beautiful white sand beaches, all set around a central lagoon. Relax under the palm trees, jump into the warm lagoon, which is only one meter deep, or go hiking and explore the beautiful landscape. It's located on the southwesternmost point of the island, and while it can be a long drive to get there, it's more than worth it.

Monastery Agia Triada Tzagaroli

You cannot visit Crete without stopping at one of its beautiful monasteries, and it Ayia Triada Tzagaroli monastery is one of the most authentic buildings. Inside you will find flower-decorated corridors, terracotta architecture and many turrets and viewpoints. The rich history is clearly visible throughout the building and on the outside area. It is a short drive from Chania Airport, northeast of the city. This Greek Orthodox monastery, built in the 17th century, is located in a beautiful mountain landscape.

The Agia Triada Tzagaroli Monastery | The best places to visit in Crete
The Agia Triada Tzagaroli Monastery | The best places to visit in Crete

Samaria short

Crete has many gorges, but not all gorges are equal or equally breathtaking. The Samaria Gorge is the most famous gorge on the island and attracts hikers and trekkers from all over the world. South of Chania, near the Pakhnes mountain range Samaria a vast and towering valley with high cliffs. It is one of the best places in Crete to go on an adventure, with perfect scenery for a hike and trails for all levels, from beginner to advanced. Cross small water streams, trek through forests and through deep mountain gorges in an adventurous hike. We recommend that you take the walk in the morning when it is still cool, because in the afternoon sun the walk can become very strenuous.

Also read: Itinerary Greece 1 to 3 weeks | Island hopping, tips and highlights

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