There are plenty of sun-kissed destinations that are popular during the summer months, but if you’re looking for somewhere that will satisfy your every whim, then Crete is the place for you. Crete is known for its incredible history, ancient ruins, golden sands and beautiful scenery. It has so much to offer even the pickiest of tourists, but if you’re not sure of where to start, here are the top five to get you started…
- Take a walk on a pink beach
You could visit anywhere in the world for a beach, but what about a coral pink beach with turquoise waters? There are two that you’ll be able to visit in Crete. You can either escape to the white silky sands of Elafonissi, that, in a certain light, have a pink hue caused by coral that has broken down over time. Balos on the other hand, has white and pink sand, coloured by the old seashells that have been transformed by the sea.
- Visit the ancient palace of Knossos
As the largest Bronze Age archaeological site in Crete, Knossos sees thousands of visitors walk through its streets every season when the weather is particularly good. It’s considered Europe’s oldest city, as the ceremonial and political centre of the Minoan civilization and culture. A maze of workrooms, living spaces, and storerooms close to a central square, it’s the perfect place for those who want to walk in the footsteps of the ancients.
- Take a scuba diving lesson
If history lessons aren’t your thing, why not learn how to scuba dive instead? There are plenty of fully qualified instructors that can guide you through the warm Mediterranean waters, and teach you all the techniques so that you can explore a whole new underwater part of Crete. Whether it’s the rock faces and coral reefs that appeal to you, or if you just want to photograph the tropical fish and marine life, it’s all waiting for you.
- Go sightseeing in Heraklion
Heraklion is a melting pot of culture, and is the perfect place for people who want to mix the old and new. For those who love strolling through history, you won’t run out of sightseeing opportunities, from the 16th-century Venetian Palace to the Archaeological Museum and the great Koules Fortress. Then, you can round off your day at one of the top restaurants and cocktail bars that the cosmopolitan side of the city has to offer.
- Explore Dikteon Cave
You might know Crete for its archaeology, but it’s also home to three-and-a-half thousand caves, just waiting for you to explore. The grandest of them all is Dikteon; once a place of cult worship, it is said that the Greek Goddess Rhea hid baby Zeus here to stop his father from eating him. To most tourists though, it’s just a classic example of the wonders of nature, and it can only be reached on foot or by donkey.
Are you planning a trip to Crete?