A huge island in Greece. People come here for ancient culture, beach relaxation and nightly parties. Climbing mountains, caves, citrus plantations – all this is Crete with its unique nature and dramatic past.
The island can be conditionally divided into parts:
- western Chania;
- central Heraklion and Rethymnon;
- southern Lassithi.
Going on a tour tour, you will not see all the wonders. The most convenient option – fly on your own and rent a car on the spot. Crete by car – for those who are ready for discoveries and drive.
Rent of transport and all road nuances
There is so much to see in Crete, so it would be a mistake to focus on the area near your hotel. Once on the Greek island – “storm” his city. You can get from one locality to another by public transport.
But in order not to depend on the schedule and not waste time, it is best to rent a car. In a short time you will be able to see the maximum number of attractions.
Car rental will cost you from 25 to 50 euros per day plus gasoline. It will be more profitable to rent a car immediately for a week. The driver must be over 21 years of age and have at least 12 months of driving experience. When renting a car, do not forget about full insurance. It must be included in the cost of the service. Read the contract carefully.
The main route of the E75 island runs along the northern coast, connecting the cities:
- Agios Nikolaos;
The secondary roads of the island are far from the standard. Rushing inland from the north, you will encounter sharp turns and narrow roads. Some sections of the path are hilly, the road winds up and down. Take this into account when planning your route.
The traffic in Greece is right-handed. It is customary to give way to the overtaking one. Most gas stations are cash only and close as early as 9 pm, so you need to fill the tank in advance.
To Crete for antiquities and open-air museums
Sights of Crete worth your attention:
- Knossos Palace;
- Arkadi Monastery;
- Lassithi Plateau and Diktea Cave;
- Spinalonga Island.< /li>
< li>Heraklion Fortress;
Every year tourists flock to the Greek island to see the remains of the Minoan civilization. The main attraction of Crete – Knossos Palace, located near Heraklion – main city of Crete. According to legend, the Minotaur was imprisoned in this palace.
The second significant monument of Heraklion – ancient fortress encircling the city. In addition, there are interesting museums here: Historical and Archaeological. Both houses antiquities.
CRETAquarium is located not far from Heraklion. It is also worth stopping by, especially if there are children in the car. 250 marine life presented in the aquarium will not let you get bored.
In Rethymno, visit Arkadi Monastery – it symbolizes the struggle of the inhabitants of the island with the Turks. Wander the cobbled streets of the old town. Here you will see a 16th-century Venetian loggia, an Ottoman minaret, the Rimondi Fountain, representing a sculpture of a lion with three heads.
No less interesting places:
- Contemporary Art Center;
- Guor's Gate;
- Cathedral and others.
Lassithi Plateau and Diktea Cave
When planning routes around Crete, include the Lassithi plateau located in the eastern part of the island . The main attraction worth seeing here – Diktean cave with an underground lake and stalactites.
According to myths, Zeus was born in this cave – god of thunder and lightning. If you are going on the road, throw a sweater into the car and put on comfortable shoes. It is better to come to the cave in the morning. In the parking lots, everything is tight and, perhaps, there will be nowhere to park a car during the day.
Interesting places in Crete include the island of Spinalonga, which can also be reached by car. Here you will see the ruins of the Roman civilization.
Where to live? For accommodation, it is better to choose the areas of Rethymnon or Hersonissos. These cities are located in the center of the island. Leaving them, you can see the whole of Crete on your own.
To the beach – for relaxation and meditation
- Red Beach Beach;
- Preveli Beach;
- Vai Beach;
- Matala Beach ;
- Elafonisi beach;
- the beaches of Hersonissos, Agios Nikolaos and Rethymnon.
An amazing place is the Samaria Gorge National Reserve. Here you can meet mountain goats. A trip to the village of Matala will also be exciting. Not far from it is a bay with caves, where people were buried in ancient times.
Red Coast Beach
Moving a little south of the village, you will come across the Red Coast Beach. , which got its name from the copper-colored sand. Get out of the car – time to sunbathe.
An interesting beach located on the southern part of the island – Preveli. The picturesque place has become the highlight of Crete. Two kilometers from the beach there is an Orthodox monastery of the same name.
The beaches of Vai, Matala and Elafonisi
Three more beaches that you need to take into service when going on a trip – Wai, Matala and Elafonisi. The first is ideal for diving and windsurfing. Located near the city of Sitia. The beach is surrounded by a palm forest.
The second one is called “Hippie Beach”. In the 60s, representatives of this subculture liked to relax here. Matala – the most beautiful place of Crete, shrouded in myths and legends.
And finally, the third – unique beach with pink sand – the dream of tourists and the goal of many photo tours. In order to relax on Elafonisi, they travel across the entire island.
The beaches of the cities of Hersonissos, Agios Nikolaos and Rethymno
In Hersonissos, Agios Nikolaos, Rethymnon and other cities of Crete, you you will also find wonderful beaches where you can sunbathe and swim.
When traveling around Crete, take a map of the island, because the navigator can junk. Rent a car with a manual transmission. When visiting cities, use audio guides, sometimes they are more useful than guides. If you have a student card, show it to museums – They'll give you a discount on your ticket.
If you're planning to have lunch or dinner, remember that the portions in these places are large. You can take one for two. Stock up on a good mood, it is necessary on a sunny island.
Crete by car – great topic for a post on LiveJournal.