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Crete is one of the largest islands in Greece

What to visit in Crete? The main regions are Heraklion, Rethymno, Chania, and the lesser known Agios Nikolas. The ferry services go mainly through Heraklion, there are some flights through Chania and very rare flights through other cities. The most attractive region is exclusively Chania. The rest of the regions, for the most part, you can not even look.

  •     Heraklion is a port and a big city! It is a place of transit, but not for vacation. Koules Fortress is on the port promenade and everything looks so bleak and sad and dirty! There's also the Palace of Knossos, but that's for lovers of architecture and antiquities... You can stay here only for the purpose of seeing Ayios Nikolas and the monastery of Kera, there is nothing to do here more than 1 day.
  •     Agios Nicolas is a village with a waterfront that is not that small. We still went to this region, after which we didn't even go to the outermost village of Sitia! But the promenade is so dull, with no views and along the highway and parking lot... That it's easier to pass this promenade and drive on! The arrows on the map below show the driving route from a possible parking spot (free, if there is room...), through the local landmark Lake Vulismeni and of course the promenade. From the top of the lake you have the most beautiful view of the city center - it's the best thing in the village.

Monastery "Panagia Kera Kardiotissa" (Keras Kardiotissa) is a place of power! In the temple there is an icon of Our Lady (it is in the center), to which people go from all over the world, with a plea for procreation. There is also a chain in the temple (to the left of the icon), with which people tie themselves with requests for healing.

So, there is nothing more to see in the region of Heraklion - Sitia, let's move on).

набережная Ираклиона и вид на крепость Кулес
карта проезда к храму Panagia Kera Kardiotissa из Ираклиона
Айос-Николас карта
вид с верхней точки озера Вулисмени
  •     Rethymnon is a large and not a cozy town in Crete.

Here again, there is a long promenade, but without any cafes and stores, but along the road. Thus, it is enough to drive through the city along the waterfront, admire the closed gates of the local fortress and drive on, without stopping) Fortezza Fortezza was closed for some reason, although from the top should not be a bad view of Rethymno. Were on a weekday, about 13 hours, but the truth is in January).

Bali is a local village, located in the middle of the road from Heraklion to Rethymnon. There is nothing to see and nothing to do!

Kournas or Kournas is one of the few places of interest in Crete. Just outside Rethymnon, on the way to Chania, there is a beautiful lake, worth visiting and maybe even a meal or a dip in the season. The views here are really beautiful. But the photo below fit the whole view and it is the only one again) On the shore of the lake there are a few cafes, free parking and rental of catamarans in the season. But how many people will be there in the season...??

деревушка Бали - единственный вид и пляж)
карта проезда к озеру Курнас
озеро Курнас
  •     Chania is a real attraction of Crete

There is an old town, though not very beautiful, a fortress, even if ruined and without views) But most importantly, there is a pedestrian promenade without cars and parking, called Venetian Harbor. This is when Greece dreams of becoming Italy - though, it would be something to strive for) There are cafes, hotels and pleasure boats. Worth a visit during the day and in the evening, quite nice walks turn out)

The map below shows the locations of convenient parking lots and walking options. You can walk to the lighthouse and along the beach. But the map highlights the main part of the route on foot, in fact, the promenade continues in both directions, but with roads.

карта парковки и прогулки в Венецианской гавани в Ханье
вечерняя Венецианская гавань в Ханье
вид на Венецианскую гавань в Ханье с дорожки к маяку

Balos Bay and Elafonisi Beach - The Best Sights of Crete

Bay of Balos can be classified as one of the top beautiful places in the world. The way to them is not short, even from the nearest town Chania. The travel time to both beaches from Chania is 1-1.5 hours! There is no accommodation. In summer, there is kind of a bar. While the distances are ridiculous. It's all about the road! The best way to visit the bay of Balos, if you can, is from the water, by boat. The main part of the road to the bay is 7 km off-road with mountain goats! Riding speed varies 10-20 km/h!!! Upon arrival, you still have to walk sort of 1-1.5 km to the parking lot, but again it will be steps mixed with rocks))) From the parking lot on the way to the beach, will be a great vantage point - Viewpoint Balos, where the panorama is made, which is below in the photo. If you are going by car be patient and take some fruit to feed the mountain goats) Another important point is parking! It is not big and in the season you will need to park along a narrow road, and then walk from the parking lot to the beginning of the path to the beach ... Bottom line, a boat is better)

The beach Elafonisi is paradise views and a strong wind) There is also a myth on the internet about the legendary pink beach, supposedly there is pink sand... The road here is also 1.5 hours, but it's kind of easier if you are an experienced driver) The road is paved and only 50% consists of 1 lane serpentine that changes its direction every 200 meters) The speed is unlikely to exceed 50, maximum 70 km / hr. By the way, it is possible to settle here in the season, as there are a couple of houses and cafes. But in winter, nothing worked at all.

карта маршрутов к пляжам Крита
парковка, панорамный вид и тропинка к пляжу в бухте Балос на карте
горные козочки на пути к бухте Балос
дорога к бухте Балос
бухта Балос - ТОП красивых мест на Крите и в мире
пляж Элафониси

It is best to visit Crete during the warm season for beach holidays. The ideal location is the city of Chania. Visiting time is from 7 days minimum, better 14 days with a day visit to places like Balos Bay, Elafonisi beach.


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