4-Day Cultural and Historical Tour of Crete, Greece

Crete, Greece

4 days

Elafonisi beach
The port and view of Agios Nikolaos at night
The Minoan ruins of Knossos
Dikteon cave, the mythological birthplace of Zeus
Balos bay beach

About Crete, Greece

Experience the magic of Crete, Greece's largest island, rich in mythical history and vibrant culture. Explore the ancient ruins of the Minoan Palace, hike the awe-inspiring Samaria Gorge, or simply relax on the stunning Elafonisi beach. Crete offers a diverse culinary scene, with local specialties like Dakos and Moussaka. Visit traditional villages like Vamos and Kritsa to experience authentic Cretan life. The island's unique blend of beautiful landscapes, historical sites, and warm hospitality make it a perfect destination for all types of travelers. Whether you're a history buff, a foodie, or a nature lover, Crete promises an unforgettable journey.

4-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring Heraklion and the Minoan Civilization


Start your day with a visit to the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, home to the world's best collection of Minoan artifacts. Spend your morning exploring the museum and learning about Crete's ancient history.


Enjoy a traditional Cretan lunch in a local taverna. Try local specialties like dakos, a Cretan salad, and moussaka, a layered eggplant and meat dish.


After lunch, head to the Palace of Knossos, the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete. Explore the ancient ruins and imagine life in the Minoan civilization.


Have dinner at a seaside restaurant. Enjoy fresh seafood and local wine while watching the sunset over the Mediterranean Sea.


Spend your evening strolling along the Heraklion waterfront, taking in the night lights and the lively atmosphere.


Begin your day with a visit to the beautiful Lake Kournas, Crete's only freshwater lake. Enjoy a leisurely walk around the lake or rent a paddle boat for a relaxing morning on the water.


Have lunch in a local restaurant in Chania. Try Cretan cheese, local olives, and a glass of raki, a traditional Cretan spirit.


Spend your afternoon exploring the Old town of Chania. Wander through the narrow streets, visit the old Venetian harbor, and shop for local products and souvenirs.


Dine in a traditional taverna in the heart of Chania's Old Town. Try lamb with stamnagathi, a wild Cretan green, and finish your meal with a slice of bougatsa, a local cream-filled pastry.


End your day with a leisurely walk along the Chania waterfront, enjoying the night lights and the lively atmosphere.


Start your day with a visit to the Samaria Gorge, the longest gorge in Europe. Enjoy a challenging hike through the gorge, taking in the stunning natural beauty.


Have a picnic lunch in the Samaria Gorge. Enjoy local cheeses, bread, and fruit while surrounded by the natural beauty of the gorge.


After your hike, relax on the beautiful beach of Agia Roumeli, accessible only by foot or boat. Swim in the crystal clear waters and soak up the sun.


Enjoy a beachside dinner in Agia Roumeli. Try grilled octopus and a glass of local white wine while watching the sunset over the sea.


Spend your evening relaxing on the beach, stargazing, and listening to the sound of the waves.


Begin your day with a visit to the Monastery of Arkadi, a significant symbol of the Cretan resistance against the Ottoman Empire. Explore the historic monastery and learn about its history.


Have lunch in a local taverna in Rethymno. Try stifado, a traditional Cretan stew, and a glass of local red wine.


Spend your afternoon exploring the Old town of Rethymno. Visit the Venetian fortress, wander through the narrow streets, and shop for local products and souvenirs.


Dine in a traditional taverna in Rethymno. Try rabbit with potatoes and a glass of local raki.


End your trip with a leisurely walk along the Rethymno waterfront, taking in the night lights and the lively atmosphere.

Attractions in Itinerary (7)

Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Heraklion Archaeological Museum

One of the greatest museums in Greece and the best in the world for Minoan art.

Cultural Experiences
Palace of Knossos

Palace of Knossos

The largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete and considered Europe's oldest city.

Cultural Experiences
Lake Kournas

Lake Kournas

Lake Kournas is the only freshwater lake in Crete. It is surrounded by hills and located near the beach. It is a place of unique beauty and a protected wetland.

Old town of Chania

Old town of Chania

A charming historic district with narrow streets, old buildings, and a unique atmosphere.

Cultural Experiences
Samaria Gorge

Samaria Gorge

A national park that is home to the longest gorge in Europe. Offers a challenging hike with breathtaking views.

Old town of Rethymno

Old town of Rethymno

A historic area with narrow streets, old buildings, and a unique charm.

Cultural Experiences
Agia Roumeli Beach

Agia Roumeli Beach

Agia Roumeli Beach is a beautiful pebbled beach with crystal clear waters, located at the exit of the famous Samaria Gorge. It's a great place to relax after hiking the gorge.


Local Food and Drinks (12)



A traditional Cretan dish made of a slice of soaked dried bread or barley rusk topped with chopped tomatoes and crumbled feta or mizithra cheese, and flavored with herbs such as dried oregano. A staple in the Cretan diet.


A strong distilled spirit containing approximately 37% alcohol. It is often served at the end of a meal in small glasses, and is considered a symbol of Cretan hospitality.



A popular dish throughout Greece, but also a must-try in Crete. It consists of layers of eggplant, potatoes, and spiced meat, topped with a creamy béchamel sauce and baked to golden perfection.



Stuffed grape leaves typically filled with rice, pine nuts, and various herbs. They are often served with a side of yogurt and are a common starter in Cretan cuisine.



Sweet cheese pastries that are a popular dessert in Crete. They are made with mizithra cheese and often flavored with cinnamon and honey.



A popular Greek fast food consisting of small pieces of meat and sometimes vegetables grilled on a skewer. It is usually served with pita bread, salad, and tzatziki sauce.



A traditional Greek sauce or dip that is made of yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and dill. It is often served with grilled meats or as a dip for bread.

Chochlioi Boubouristi

A traditional Cretan dish consisting of snails fried in olive oil with rosemary and vinegar. A unique delicacy for adventurous food lovers.



A traditional Greek white or rosé resinated wine, which has been made for at least 2000 years. Its unique flavor is said to have originated from the practice of sealing wine vessels with Aleppo Pine resin in ancient times.



A traditional Greek pastry made with phyllo dough and filled with custard, cheese, or minced meat. In Crete, the most common filling is sweet custard.



Traditional Greek cookies that are typically made during Easter. They are butter-based with a sweet vanilla flavor, and are known for their twisted design.

Sfakian Pie

A traditional Cretan dessert made from dough, mizithra cheese and honey. It is named after the region of Sfakia, where it originated.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Crete, Greece is typically during the late spring or early autumn months, specifically May, June, September, and October. During these months, the weather is warm but not too hot, making it perfect for exploring the island's beaches, historical sites, and beautiful landscapes. The summer months of July and August can also be a good time to visit, but they are usually the busiest and hottest months. If you prefer a quieter and cooler vacation, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1


New Year's Day

January 6



March 18


Clean Monday

March 25


Annunciation of the Virgin Mary

March 25


Greek Independence Day

May 1


Labor Day / May Day

May 3


Orthodox Good Friday

May 6


Orthodox Easter Monday

June 24


Orthodox Holy Spirit Monday

August 15


Dormition of the Holy Virgin

October 28


The Ochi day

December 25


Christmas Day

December 26


Synaxis of the Mother of God

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Renting a car is one of the most popular ways to get around Crete. It offers the freedom to explore the island at your own pace. There are numerous car rental agencies available at the airport and in major towns. Remember that driving is on the right side of the road in Greece.

Crete has an extensive public bus system that connects major towns and tourist destinations. The buses are reliable and relatively comfortable. Timetables can be found at local bus stations or online.

Taxis are widely available in Crete and can be hailed on the street, booked in advance, or picked up from designated taxi ranks. They are metered, but it's also common to agree on a fare before the journey. Taxis can be a convenient option for short trips or if you're traveling with a lot of luggage.

Ridesharing services, such as Uber, are not currently available in Crete. However, there are local apps like Beat that offer similar services. These can be a convenient and cost-effective way to get around, especially in larger towns and cities.

Renting a bicycle can be a fun and eco-friendly way to explore Crete's towns and countryside. There are numerous bike rental shops, particularly in tourist areas. However, be aware that Crete's hilly terrain and hot summer weather can make cycling challenging.

Ferries are a great way to explore Crete's beautiful coastline and visit nearby islands. There are regular services from the main ports of Heraklion and Chania. Some smaller ports also offer local ferry services.

Many of Crete's towns and cities are compact and pedestrian-friendly, making walking an enjoyable way to get around. This is particularly true in historic areas like Chania's Old Town, where narrow, winding streets are best explored on foot.

Renting a motorbike or scooter can be a fun way to get around Crete, particularly in rural areas or along the coast. However, be aware that you'll need a valid motorcycle license, and you should always wear a helmet for safety.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency€ EUR

Time zoneUTC+2

Driving sideRight

Emergency phoneAmbulance: 112, 166; Fire: 112, 199; Police: 112, 100

Drinking waterOpt for bottled water

Power sockets

Power socket type CPower socket type F

Voltage230 V

Things to know about Crete, Greece as a first time visitor


Crete is the largest island in Greece and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean.


The official language is Greek, but English is widely spoken in tourist areas.


The currency used in Crete is the Euro (€). Credit cards are widely accepted, but it's always a good idea to carry some cash.


Crete has a Mediterranean climate. Summers (June to September) are hot and dry with temperatures ranging from 86°F to 95°F (30°C to 35°C), while winters (December to February) are mild with temperatures ranging from 50°F to 60°F (10°C to 15°C).


Crete is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2).


The island is known for its healthy and delicious Cretan Diet, which is a variant of the Mediterranean Diet.


Tipping is customary in Crete. It's common to leave a 5-10% tip in restaurants and round up to the nearest Euro for taxi drivers.


Crete operates on 230V supply voltage and 50Hz. The power sockets are of type F, so you may need a travel adapter.


Public transportation is reliable and extensive. Buses are the main form of public transport, and there are also taxis available.


Driving is on the right side of the road. If you plan to rent a car, an International Driving Permit is required along with your domestic license.


Crete has a lower crime rate compared to other European destinations, but it's always wise to take standard precautions to protect your belongings.


The tap water in Crete is generally safe to drink, but bottled water is recommended for those with sensitive stomachs.


Crete has four airports: Heraklion, Chania, Sitia, and the military airport of Kastelli.


Pharmacies in Crete are well stocked. However, it's advisable to bring any prescribed medications with you.


Crete is rich in local traditions and festivals. If you're visiting during a local feast or festival, you'll get to experience the Cretan culture at its best.


The island is home to many stray cats and dogs. They are generally friendly, but it's best not to feed or pet them.


Crete has a smoking culture, and it's common to see locals smoking in public places. However, smoking is officially banned in enclosed public places.


The sun in Crete can be intense, especially in the summer. Always wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself.


Crete has a relaxed dress code, but it's respectful to dress modestly when visiting religious sites.


The emergency number in Greece is 112. It's good to have this number saved in your phone.

Basic Greek to know as a first time visitor

English phrase

Native phrase


When to use it


Γειά σου

Yah soo

Greeting someone




Leaving or saying goodbye




Making a request

Thank you



Showing gratitude




Agreeing or confirming




Disagreeing or denying

Excuse me



Getting attention or apologizing

I don't understand

Δεν καταλαβαίνω

Den katalaveno

Communication difficulties

Do you speak English?

Μιλάτε Αγγλικά;

Milate Anglika?

Finding someone who speaks English

I'm lost

Έχω χαθεί

Eho hathee

Asking for directions

Where is the bathroom?

Πού είναι η τουαλέτα;

Pou ine i tualeta?

Finding a restroom

How much does it cost?

Πόσο κοστίζει;

Poso kostizi?

Asking for the price

I would like to order

Θα ήθελα να παραγγείλω

Tha ithela na paragilo

Ordering food or drink




Asking for water




Ordering a beer




Ordering wine




In case of emergency

Call the police

Καλέστε την αστυνομία

Kaleste tin astinomia

In case of emergency

Good morning



Morning greeting

Good night



Evening farewell

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Lightweight clothing

  • Swimwear

  • Beach cover-up

  • Underwear

  • Socks

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Sandals

  • Hat

  • Sunglasses

  • Light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings

  • Toiletries

  • Travel-sized shampoo and conditioner

  • Body wash

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Razor and shaving cream

  • Sunscreen

  • After-sun lotion

  • Makeup and makeup remover

  • Hairbrush or comb

  • Prescription medications

  • First-aid kit

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport

  • Driver's license or ID card

  • Health insurance card

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Hotel and car rental reservations

  • Airline tickets

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Cash in local currency

  • Guidebook or map

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for smartphone

  • Power adapter

  • Camera

  • Charger for camera

  • Headphones

  • Portable power bank

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Travel pillow

  • Earplugs and eye mask

  • Snacks

  • Reusable water bottle

  • Books or e-reader for the flight

  • Travel-sized laundry detergent

  • Beach bag

  • Beach towel

  • Insect repellent

Weather Conditions

Crete, Greece, is known for its Mediterranean climate, which means it has hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The best time to visit Crete would be during the late spring or early autumn when the weather is warm but not too hot, and the tourist crowds are smaller. During the summer months, from June to August, temperatures can reach up to 86°F (30°C), and there is very little rainfall. So, if you're planning a summer trip, pack lightweight clothing, sunblock, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun. Also, remember to stay hydrated, especially when exploring outdoor attractions. In the winter, from December to February, temperatures can drop to around 50°F (10°C), and there can be significant rainfall. If you're visiting during this time, pack a waterproof jacket and warm clothing. Despite the rain, winter can be a great time to visit if you enjoy quieter tourist sites and exploring the island's beautiful interior. The shoulder seasons, spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November), offer moderate temperatures, ranging from 60°F (15°C) to 75°F (24°C), and less crowded tourist sites. These seasons are perfect for outdoor activities like hiking and exploring the island's many archaeological sites. Regardless of when you visit, remember that weather can be unpredictable, so it's always a good idea to check the forecast before your trip and pack accordingly. Enjoy your visit to Crete!

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview


16° / 8°

January is the coldest month in Crete, with occasional rainfall. It's a quiet time for tourism, so you'll have the sights to yourself.


16° / 8°

February is still chilly with a chance of rain. The island is peaceful and uncrowded, perfect for a tranquil getaway.


18° / 10°

March sees the beginning of spring with slightly warmer temperatures. The countryside is lush and green, ideal for hiking and exploring.


23° / 12°

April is a lovely time to visit with mild temperatures and blooming wildflowers. The Easter celebrations are a cultural highlight.


27° / 16°

May is a great time to visit Crete, with warm temperatures and little rain. The beaches are less crowded, making it perfect for sunbathing and swimming.


31° / 20°

June is the start of the summer season with hot, sunny days. It's a popular time for beach activities and water sports.


34° / 23°

July is the hottest month in Crete, with long, sunny days. It's the peak tourist season, so expect crowded beaches and lively nightlife.


34° / 23°

August is equally hot with a high influx of tourists. It's a great time for beach parties, festivals, and outdoor dining.


31° / 20°

September is a fantastic time to visit with fewer crowds and still warm temperatures. It's ideal for sightseeing and enjoying the local cuisine.


27° / 16°

October offers pleasant weather with fewer tourists. It's a great time for exploring historical sites and enjoying the local harvest.


23° / 12°

November sees cooler temperatures and the start of the rainy season. It's a quiet time for tourism, perfect for a peaceful retreat.


18° / 10°

December is a cool month with occasional rain. Christmas celebrations add a festive touch to the island's charm.

Did you know?

Did you know that Crete is the largest island in Greece and the fifth largest one in the Mediterranean Sea?

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