Discovering Crete

Why go to Crete? This romantic island has been a destination for travelers for thousands of years. Its appeal is partially timeless: sun and sea; and partially based on time: even ancient history feels like it breathes here.

It’s the largest of Greece’s many islands, but, to many visitors, Crete feels much smaller. Crete flights land at a modern, international airport near Heraklion, the capital. Heraklion makes a good base for travelers who are hoping to explore the rest of the island by car or bus, and who wish to find boat service to nearby islands.

Who would enjoy Crete? Let’s take a look:

Got kids? Aquaworld Aquarium is a big hit with the little ones, according to reviews on TripAdvisor. In fact, it’s currently the top-reviewed sight to see on the island. The aquarium houses some of the creatures of the sea that have sustained island fishermen since it was the seat of the Minoan civilization.

If you define the success of your vacation by how many hours you get to spend in the sun, Crete will be a paradise for you. The island is rimmed by long, beautiful beaches, such as Elafonissi. Explore the city of Ierapetra to double down on history and beachgoing–not only does it boast some of the better beaches of the island, but it’s home to an ancient Venetian fort.

Crete has some awesome museums to explore, as well as sites full of archeological relics still in situ. Reviewers cite the Lychnostatis Open Air Museum and the Historical Museum of Crete as two of the best. Wine-loving history buffs will especially enjoy the wine-making exhibits at the Lychnostatis (you may even get a chance to trample grapes with your own two feet!).

A lot of time is spent gazing at the man-made monuments on Crete, but the island’s natural attributes are also worth exploring. Make time on coastal and inland trails in the southwest of Crete, near Loutro, or hike the Zakros Gorge to Zakros Palace, a palace from the Minoan period.

If, like me, you also like to spend time below the sea on a beach-oriented vacation, Crete also has some awesome scuba diving.

So, to answer our first question: why go to Crete? Why not?

(Top photo: Romantic Crete by Jiří Zralý via Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

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Hi! I’m Beth. Thanks for visiting Everyday Travel Stories, a site that celebrates all of the glorious travel opportunities on our planet.

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