One of the main and biggest Greek islands, Crete, has by far the longest summers. You can get a decent tan here from April until early November. Spring is the golden time to come: in April and May the island is comparatively empty of tourists, the weather clear and not overpoweringly hot, and every scene is brightened by a profusion of wildflowers. By mid-June is when the rush is getting started, with and July & August being only the hottest, but also the most crowded and most expensive periods of time. They are also intermittently ruined by ferocious winds and accompanying high seas, which make sometimes a boat trip pretty uncomfortable, but to be honest with you, it’s not that bad – at their worst can mean staying indoors for a day or two, but no more. Crowds gradually start to thin out in September, and Autumn can be a great time to visit again.
Given that, and taking into consideration that you have 14 days to spend on your holidays, here is an interesting road trip itinerary for your next vacation. I hope you get some interesting ideas about what to do in Crete and how to use the time here more efficiently that will end up in some beautiful memories.
Rent a car at the Heraklion Airport, book a room at one of the hotels in town, and take a walk around the Archaeological Museum. Take the path through the old town area by admiring the Historical Museum of Crete and the Christian Art Museum. Next morning, pay a visit to Knossos Palace.
After you take lunch in Heraklion, take the car to Agios Nikolaos, and have another night there by using either Booking.com or Airbnb. Enjoy the nightlife of the city, and take the second day in the morning a boat trip to Spinalonga, a former colony of lepers.
Have lunch in Agios Nikolaos, and take the road to Toplou Monastery and Vai beach, through Sitia city. Book two nights near Kouremenos Beach. On the fourth day, go hiking through the Hohlahiés canyon and windsurfing at Koureménos.
Continue the road passing through Ziros and Makry Gialos. You will see several beaches along the way. Stop for lunch (and a visit to the museum) in Ierapetra. Then head west and spend the night at Myrtos.
Enter the island from Myrtos to the Mesará Valley, stopping at Ano Viannos where you can admire church frescoes, then to Zaròs, where you will spend the next two nights. On the seventh day, walk through the Rouvas canyon or visit the monasteries of Vrondisi and Agios Fanourios. Take a detour to the ancient city of Gortys.
Pass by the two Minaic cities Phaistos and Agia Triáda. Take a lunch break in Vóri or Matala (and a bath if you choose the second option). End your day in Plakias or Spili, where you can stay for two nights. Wake up early for a tour of the Amári Valley to visit the churches in the area. At noon, you can take a dip in the sea at Agios Pavlos Beach.
On the way to Réthymno, stop at Arkádi Monastery and then stay two nights in this charming old town. The next day you should dedicate it entirely to the old centre, visiting especially Fortezza, the Museum of History and the Museum of Folk Art.
Head west to Chania, but not before taking a swim in Lake Kourná. You can also have lunch in the area. When you arrive in Chania, stay at one of the hotels in the old town for two nights. The afternoon and the next day will be enough to enjoy the city’s museums, shops and restaurants.
Park and take the bus in the early hours of the morning to Xyloskala for a breath-taking hike through the Samaria Gorge. Stay overnight in Agia Roumeli, the next day take the boat to Sougia or Paleohora for a swim in the crystal clear sea. Take the bus back to Chania, retrieve the car and head to the airport.
Hope you enjoyed the reading and got some inspiration for your next trip. If you are interested to find out more about Crete: local stories, events, adventurous itineraries etc. – don’t hesitate to sign-up below. Have a great one!