Greece has been an extremely popular tourist destination over the last decade. The country began making strides to position itself as a favorite amongst travelers in the early 2000s. Today, destinations like Santorini and Mykonos are some of the most visited places in the world. 

Outside of the hustle and bustle of major Grecian cities, the island of Crete offers both adventure and luxury to travelers. You’ll find an abundance of top resorts, pristine beaches, and ancient ruins across the island. While it may not be the most popular destination, Crete is the largest island in Greece and has much to offer to travelers who stumble upon its shores.

Explore Chania

Photo credit: Pham Ngoc Anh

Formerly the island’s capital, the city of Chania is enchanting with an Old World charm. It’s the second largest city in Crete next to the current capital, Heraklion. For travelers looking for a lot of things to see and do in one place, Chania is the perfect destination to set up shop. White Mountain National Park is Crete’s only national park and you’ll find an array of hidden beaches, an ancient theater, and other archeological sites here. Outdoor adventurers can also take a tour of the legendary Samaria Gorge. There are more exotic beaches outside of the park to explore throughout Chania as well as the Museum of Typography. 

Witness The Beauty Of Balos Lagoon

When it comes to beachside beauty, there’s no better place to visit in Crete than Balos Lagoon. Considered the most photographed beach in the country, Balos Lagoon is a stunning natural wonder. Its turquoise waters and white, sandy shores are unlike the rest of Greece. The lagoon is located northwest of Chania and travelers suggest visiting beach space outside of the summer months to avoid large crowds. 

Take An Olive Oil Tasting Tour

For those seeking gastronomic experiences in Crete, many travelers suggest booking a private olive oil-tasting tour. The luxury experience takes travelers to the small village of Epanos Archanes where they’ll witness the oils being made from beginning to end. In addition to tasting olive oil, guests can also try other goods from the olive grove including grape syrups and sweet vinegar. 

Luxury Rides Through East Crete

Traveling history buffs will love the luxury rides through East Crete. These private, chauffeured experiences are personalized for each guest and take visitors through some of Crete’s greatest historical monuments. You’ll visit many smaller Cretian villages, explore local markets, and see cultural art relics. Perhaps the most notable site on the drive is the Cave of Zeus. Rumored to be the mythical birthplace of the Greek god, a visit to the cave should be at the top of an itinerary when visiting Crete. 

Cruise On A Pirate Ship To St. George’s Bay

Many people say the best way to experience Crete is by boat, and there’s no better boat to cruise on than a pirate ship. Travelers can book a trip on board a real pirate ship to cruise from Hersonissos to St. George’s Bay. You’ll pass several smaller islands along the way, enjoy a catered lunch on board, and even stop for snorkeling and swimming.