What to do in Crete? 9 activity ideas

Alexandra, Travel content editor
Alexandra, Travel content editor

With a unique landscape, a history that goes back thousands of years and the ever-present sea, every traveller will find his happiness in Crete. The activities are as numerous as they are diversified. Your trip to Crete will be far from monotonous! Those who want to explore the country from coast to coast will be delighted to know that there are a multitude of hiking (hiking and horseback riding) and trekking trails. The thrill-seekers also have their own playground: in the water or in the air, Crete will reveal another face, wilder an enchanting. Those who prefer quieter activities will land on one of the beaches and take a swim in the water. A trip to Crete also means taking an interest in its fascinating history mixed with legends and glorious civilizations. A detour to archaeological sites and museums is a good way to understand this history. Are you tempted? Then let's go, discover all the activities offered in Crete. Rendez-vous with Fabrice for hiking, cycling and canyoning.

  • Learn about Crete’s history through its museums riches
    Heraklion Archaeological Museum

    Learn about Crete’s history through its museums riches

    Various archaeological excavations have unearthed treasures thousands of years old. Pique your curiosity at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum where Minoan artefacts are displayed. The museum in Chania houses a wider collection from different eras. The Nautical Museum is home to a replica of a Minoan ship. The Lychnostatis Open Air Museum in Herssonissos is devoted to local craft traditions such as weaving and making olive oil. Likewise, the Museum of Cretan Ethnology in Voirire traces life on the island from the 15th century.

  • Discover the Minoan civilisation through its archaeological remains
    Phaistos Minoan Palace

    Discover the Minoan civilisation through its archaeological remains

    Thought to be the first European civilisations, the Minoans existed over 3,000 years ago. Today, various archaeological sites bear witness to this great civilisation, ruled by the legendary King Minos.Knossos is the best known and best preserved site - its paintings and columns still in tact. Malia Palace, Katos Zakros and Phaistos are among the other sites.

  • Travel on horseback to see Crete differently
    Hoseback riding

    Travel on horseback to see Crete differently

    Horseback. An unusual and individual way to discover Crete. Alone or accompanied by a guide, travel the byways which cross the island and enjoy the exceptional views. Experience a different way of travel, off the beaten track and at your own pace. For a day or two, a week or more, the choice is yours!

  • Tickle your taste buds with the local cuisine
    Greek salad

    Tickle your taste buds with the local cuisine

    Crete’s food tends to be healthy. You can feast yourself without moderation. Well, almost. You will be overwhelmed by the flavour of sun-ripened vegetables such as tomatoes and aubergines. Pulses are also very popular, often served as a puree. So close to the sea, you can’t avoid fish, octopus and squid. And don’t miss out on pitta bread stuffed with various fillings. As well as the classic feta, Crete has other delicious cheeses to offer such as ewe’s milk mizithra and graviera which is similar to gruyere. Last but not least is raki, the aniseed flavoured spirit. Don’t turn it down as it is offered as a sign of welcome.

  • An authentic taste of Crete in Loutro
    Loutro and its white houses

    An authentic taste of Crete in Loutro

    Loutro, a pretty little fishing village of white houses and blue shutters gives the false impression of being in the Cyclades. Only accessible by boat or by a footpath, Loutro is a quiet haven ideal for those who yearn for some peace. Set in a beautiful bay, the colour of the water will draw you like a magnet

  • Basking on idyllic beaches

    Basking on idyllic beaches

    Visiting Crete allows you time to relax and there’s nothing more relaxing than rolling out your towel on one of the island’s many beaches. Although Crete’s beaches are characteristically volcanic black and pebbly, you can also find fine sandy beaches too. Elafonissi is one of the most beautiful beaches in Crete with its pink sand and transparent waters. The turquoise water in the Balos Lagoon is also magnificent. As the water is shallow the temperature of the water is pleasant.

  • Get your fill of thrills

    Get your fill of thrills

    Extreme sport enthusiasts can get their adrenaline rush in Crete. There is a variety of outdoor activities including canyoning, rafting, paragliding, rock climbing and bungee jumping. All in a spectacular landscape for a truly unforgettable experience.

  • Swim in crystal clear waters in search of marine life
    Snorkeling in Crete

    Swim in crystal clear waters in search of marine life

    With clear waters and weak currents, conditions in Crete are perfect for discovering the sea bed. The diverse sea life of multicoloured fish, groupers, rays and moray eels play hide-and-seek among the rocks. The most beautiful spots can be found to the north of the island between Chania and Heraklion. Agia Pelagia is particularly renowned for its rich biodiversity. On the south coast, Plakias has numerous caves and inlets which are favourable for observing aquatic life.

  • Walk through spectacular countryside
    Hiking on the E4 trail

    Walk through spectacular countryside

    Crete’s hilly terrain is cherished by hikers. There are numerous possibilities for walking in the mountains, valleys and caves. Wherever you are in Crete, you won’t be far from a footpath. Whether the trails are difficult or undemanding, they will take you through magnificent countryside. There is also the E4, a route which crosses the island from east to west over 200 miles. Trekking is also possible in Crete, especially through the gorges which cut through country. Of note are the spectacular Samaria Gorge, Ago Fango and its hidden caves and the Aredena Gorge.