Crete, Greece's largest and most populous island, is known for its varied terrain, which ranges from fine-sand beaches at Elafonisi to the White Mountains. Mount Ida, the tallest of the range, is home to the Ideon Cave, which was the birthplace of Zeus, according to Greek mythology. The capital, Heraklion, is home to the renowned Heraklion Archaeological Museum, housing Minoan artifacts, and Knossos, a Bronze Age settlement.
In Crete you can admire the remnants of brilliant civilizations, explore glorious beaches, impressive mountainscapes, fertile valleys and steep gorges, and become part of the island’s rich gastronomic culture. Crete is, after all, a small universe teeming with beauties and treasures that you will probably need a lifetime to uncover!
Wandering around the Old Town’s maze-like alleys with the beautiful Venetian mansions, the fountains and the elaborate churches will help you discover well-preserved historical monuments. Get familiar with the city of Chania by wandering around in its streets, visiting its museums and admiring the different architectural styles presenting the historical route of the city.
Iráklio (Heraklion) Archaeological Museum in Crete is the world's greatest showcase of Minoan artefacts, even more so in the wake of an eight-year refit. Stop in before visiting nearby Knossos, despite much speculative restoration the most impressive of several Minoan palace complexes. Fast-forwarding in time, the medieval old towns of Réthymno and Haniá are redolent of the Venetian and Ottoman tenures on Crete. For hikers, the Samarian Gorge is the most spectacular of about a dozen canyons slashing through rugged mountains to arrive at the sea.
The best beaches in Crete include Vai , Elafonisi, Paleohora and Mrtos and Sougia.