Things to do in Crete


Crete is more than a piece of land looking out of the water in the middle of the sea. It is a cultural heritage and spiritual value. All those looking for things to do in Crete should first understand its rich heritage to enrich their experience of arriving on the legendary island.

Even if you exclude the thousands of years that this land has passed, there are still a lot of things to see in Crete, because it has smooth weather and beautiful landscapes to take cool photos. After all, you can always taste local wine, but then you can’t avoid the association with Dionysus.

As you can see, it is almost impossible to appreciate things to do in Crete, Greece avoiding going into its past. We have prepared a short overview of the island’s legends and the best of Crete places for you.

Minoan civilization

minoan civilization

About four thousand years ago, most of the things that we know now, such as Christianity, English, and tourism, did not exist. But the Minoan civilization did exist. It is the first highly developed culture in Europe, the importance of which cannot be overestimated. So even 4 000 years ago, there were things to do in Crete. They made huge dishes, processed bronze, used the written language, and built complex multi-story structures.

These complex multi-story complexes were palaces, which were the center of cultural, political, and economic life in Minoan culture. The political elite lived here and held meetings with overseas guests. At that time, the main partners were Egypt and Babylon – perhaps these more popular names will help you imagine how old it was.

What is curious is that all these Minoan palaces did not even have protective structures. The interior walls were decorated with many stories from everyday and ritual life, but there were no scenes of war or other mass armed conflicts on them. Apparently, at that time, there were many other things to do in Crete. Nevertheless, we cannot assume that this is an accident because the Minoan culture existed for about 1200 years (almost as long as the Roman one), and it seems to have been just peaceful.

It is important because civilization has died. It wasn’t conquered by wild barbarians or greedy neighbors – nature itself ruled its fate. A series of earthquakes and the following volcano eruption became the real end of the Bronze Age world. Highly developed and peaceful Minoans, as well as Egyptians and other peoples, who lived on the coast could not survive the consequences of climate change.

When the savages from Greece came to the ruins of Crete, they could not believe that it was created by humans and invented myths about demigods that built palaces and semi-pets that guarded the labyrinths. So they say that the myths of ancient Greece are mostly true.

Now, after a massive foreword, we can appreciate Crete attractions in full. Since you can find reviews on the Internet that there is nothing to do on the ruins and the entrance costs an unbearable 15 euros, we thought it necessary to make a small excursion into history before presenting you with our selection of the best things to do in Crete.

The palace of Knossos

The palace of Knossos

It is the largest palace of the Bronze Age, one of the best places to visit in Crete. More than 10 square kilometers of bedrooms, halls, storerooms, and other rooms, the number of which exceeded a thousand. This place was considered an ancient legend a hundred years ago because it was discovered only in the early 20th century.

Now everyone who is under 18 years old can get here for free, the rest have to pay 15 euros. For this money, you will get a whole day of a fascinating journey through the cradle of Hellenistic culture, which formed the ancient Greek culture, which became the basis for the Roman culture, which defined the type of modern European culture. Therefore, those who are not interested in history and have not taken care of sun protection will get burns and a feeling of wasted money.

All others will get the best of Crete sights. All the more so because it is very affordable. The capital of the island is only five kilometers from the palace of Knossos, and if you want to save money, you can even come here on foot. We recommend thinking in advance about a good guide who can enrich your trip with curious facts and suggest top things to do in Crete.

Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Heraklion Archaeological Museum

If you have little time and are interested in where to go in Crete, then the Heraklion Archaeological Museum is your choice. Hereunder one roof is collected the most significant material objects of the Minoan civilization. Ancient clay harps, frescoes, jewelry, and statues that represent art for thousands of years. The entrance costs 10 euros, which may seem like an expensive price tag, but it is worth it. Even if you are not a fan of history, the museum exposition will surprise you because it is the pride of the capital and one of the best places in Crete.

Balos Lagoon

balos lagoon

It is what to do in Crete if you like beaches and photos. An unusual lagoon allows you to admire the confluence of three seas The Aegean, Ionian, and Libyan. Wild nature prevails here, as even the beaches are not equipped with any facilities. However, tourists are crazy about this place, because the water here has different shades and it allows you to take unique photos, the truth of which is hard to believe.

Visiting the pink beach is another one of the unique things to do in Crete Greece. The mixture of sand corals and shells gives the most unusual shades, which are commonly exhibited in social networks with a “no filter” hashtag.

Coming to the end of our list of best places to visit in Crete, we can admit that we have missed out on another ten best of Crete sights. This place has a too rich heritage. Once the center of the world, it is now a popular tourist destination. Everyone will find things to do in Crete: Christian pilgrims will find monasteries, Islamic pilgrims will find mosques, lovers of lying on the beach – wild places with seas of unusual color, lovers of history will simply be left speechless, and for all the rest the god Dionysus prepared the best varieties of local grapes. Visit Crete, and you will stay delighted. We recommend you to visit the legendary island!

Read more about what to do in a foreign country in the article What to do in Chattanooga?

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