Thursday, June 20, 2024
HomeUK Travel20 Unspoilt Locations To Discover In Crete For Journey Snobs

20 Unspoilt Locations To Discover In Crete For Journey Snobs

Crete is among the many most well-known Greek islands (together with Santorini, Corfu and Mykonos). Nevertheless, Greece’s largest island has rapidly developed a fame as a celebration island, with crowds of revellers within the busier resorts searching for their subsequent shot of ouzo. 

Nevertheless, there are nonetheless many quieter, much less commercialized resorts and villages to remain in. After spending many breaks on this lovely island, listed below are my selections in order for you a extra genuine break…

1. Sissi

Sissi Crete

Sissi Crete beach

Suppose you consider a sleepy Greek fishing village. In that case, you in all probability have photographs of small boats bobbing in quartz waters, piles of multicoloured nets, and fishermen unloading their catch earlier than nipping off to the Taverna for a cheeky ouzo. You don’t have to think about, as you’ve simply considered Sissi! 

As about as non-commercial because it will get, in my expertise, Sissi is all the things you need from a fairly Mediterranean fishing village.

You gained’t discover events and bars right here, however a set of genuine native eateries, a number of small sandy seashores, and crystal-clear waters, too! For me, it was bliss!

My favorite highlights…

  • Spending the day on the idyllic Kalimera Kriti Seashore, the place the sleek waters are perfect for swimming.
  • Going for a scenic hike on the village’s trails for spectacular views of vineyards, olive groves and conventional villages.
  • Absorbing the appeal of the winding roads and Insta-worthy vibrant homes whereas wandering by means of the village.

Location: Sissi is situated on the north coast of Crete, a 40-minute drive from Heraklion Airport.

My lodge alternative – Grecotel Meli Palace

Grecotel Meli Palace

2. Elounda

Elounda Crete

Elounda beach crete

Providing loads of five-star luxurious, Elounda has lovely resorts and stylish motels. It’s not maybe as quaint and ‘domestically genuine’ as a number of the different locations on this checklist, however what it lacks in custom, it greater than makes up for in swankiness and nonetheless manages to retain an air of what makes this island so charming!

A number of celebrities (together with Brad and Angelina in happier days!) have been noticed strolling on its sandy shores, which, mixed with its being a hotspot for European dignitaries, provides to its unique enchantment.

It’s a little bit of a trek from Chania airport, so I recommend flying to Heraklion in the event you’re going. There are quite a few seashores to go to, and if they’re a bit far otherwise you wish to go additional afield, you’ll find rent vehicles for the usual price as a much bigger resort.

Thankfully, Elounda’s costs don’t have a Hollywood price ticket, so I personally assume it’s a wonderful center floor for many who don’t need utter isolation however nonetheless wish to maintain their break moderately relaxed! 

My private highlights…

  • Discovering the traditional ruins of the underwater city Olous with a snorkelling tour.
  • Taking a ship journey over to the well-known Spinalonga Island for the attractive views throughout the bay to Plaka and Elounda.
  • Having fun with dinner at one of many city’s favorite eating places for fish and seafood specials, Kanali.

Location: Elounda is situated in east Crete round an hour’s drive from Heraklion Airport.

My lodge alternative – Domes of Elounda

Elounda Hotel Crete

3. Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaos Crete

Agios Nikolaos Beach

Agios Nikolaos, Or simply ‘Agios’ in the event you want, is a bustling city and a working port. It’s situated simply east of Heraklion, that means it’s simple to get to in the event you don’t wish to spend an excessive amount of time with pesky transfers.

The city isn’t strictly a ‘seashore resort’, so there’s loads to see and do in addition to basking.

There are church buildings tucked away in winding streets. The city is constructed round a wonderful lake for many who wish to get pleasure from a waterside view with out the sand (Lake Voulismeni). I like to recommend taking within the views whereas additionally eating in model in one among a large number of lakeside eating places! 

My private highlights…

  • Strolling across the boutiques the place I discovered distinctive handmade clothes, souvenirs and native produce.
  • Exploring the Mediterranean Sea in another way with a semi-submarine tour.
  • Visiting the Cretan Olive Oil Farm to expertise how the native olive oil, wine, raki and pottery are made.

Location: Agios Nikolaos is on the island’s east aspect, a few 50-minute drive from Heraklion Airport.

My lodge alternative – Minos Palace Lodge & Suites

Hotel in Agios Nikolaos

4. Panormos

Panormos Beach Crete

Panormos Crete

Did anyone say wine? Panormos – a small and charming conventional Cretan fishing village situated on the northern coast – has a number of little further bits that make it engaging and a vineyard, it additionally has guided excursions and tasting as nicely making it a gorgeous proposition certainly.

Three seashores are inside strolling distance from the cobbled stone road village. All of them are fairly shallow and nestled amongst some beautiful native topography, permitting for some fairly good snorkelling experiences.

My favorite was Geropotamos Seashore. To the west, there’s a fairly engaging stone arch; to the east, a freshwater river runs straight into the ocean.

My favorite highlights…

  • Enjoyable and rejuvenating with a therapy from Relaxika Therapeutic massage Specialists and Spa.
  • Spending a day on the Aqua Park in Marine Palace, which hosts a number of the wildest water slides. 
  • Occurring a biking journey by an E-bike tour with JoyRide.

Location: Panormos is situated on the island’s North Coast, round a 50-minute drive from Heraklion Airport.

My lodge alternative –  The Royal Senses Resort

Panormos hotel Crete

5. Plakias

Plakias Resort Crete

Plakias Crete

In case you are searching for area, Plakias gives one of the intensive seashores in Crete. What amazed me once I was in Crete was how quiet it was.

For those who keep a number of nights, you don’t want to fret about thumping music or all-night events. It’s tremendous sedate. A ‘naturist’ seashore is off to the east if it tickles your fancy. Seashore balls apart, there’s extra to Plakias than sand and sunshine.

It’s house to a considerable palm date forest, which is accessible by foot or by automotive. Strolling by means of the forest is elegant, and the river that cuts by means of it’s clear sufficient to swim in (we should always hope in order it leads straight out onto Plakias Seashore).

My favorite highlights…

  • Exploring the breathtaking palm groves and the gorge was an impressive expertise.
  • Catching essentially the most photographed and vibrant sundown at The Plakias Dragon landmark, created from rock formations.
  • Slowing down and chill out alongside the seashore’s sandy shores.

Location: Plakias is on the south coast of the island, about an hour and 40 minutes’ drive from Heraklion Airport.

My lodge alternative – NERĒA Boutique Lodge

Plakias Hotel Crete

6. Kato Zakros

Kato Zakros - unspoilt Crete

Kato Zakros Crete Beach

Positioned on the japanese aspect of the island of Crete, Kato Zakros is a bit out of the way in which however nicely well worth the go to.

That is the land of Greek mythology, and I half anticipated Jason and his argonauts to pop over the horizon at any second whereas we sat on the seashore! Mythology apart, you may go to the ruins of the Minoan Zakros palace, which is a real archaeological web site.

If business isn’t your factor, quite a few guesthouses within the space supply their distinctive hospitality model. Many have floral and aromatic herb gardens. With that and the relative peace, it’s a really perfect spot on this lovely island.

My favorite highlights…

  • Visiting the historic Minoan Palace of Zakros which was solely found within the early Sixties, and has been stored in good situation.
  • Strolling alongside the beautiful E4 path to discover Gorge of the Useless, the place I discovered a number of picture alternatives on the way in which.
  • Enjoyable on the seashores that are well-known for the clear waters, and seeing the small gardens surrounding them.

Positioned: Kato Zakros is on the island’s east coast, round a 3-hour journey from Heraklion airport.

My lodging alternative – Terra Minoika Boutique resort

Kato Zakros resort

7. Kalamaki

Kalamaki Beach Resort

Kalamaki Crete

Kalamaki is a comparatively new city in Crete. It does have extra of a purpose-built really feel, however I might nonetheless advocate it because it’s not a loud and brash sort of place.

It’s a relaxed resort city (and in comparison with its busier neighbours!), and in order for you a no-nonsense turn-up and to chill out on the seashore vacation, then I personally assume this can be a sensible choice!

The seashore is massive and a variety of tavernas and outlets providing meals at a really affordable value. It’s identified for its calm waters, and for being a nesting web site for endangered loggerhead sea turtles.

My favorite highlights…

  • Having enjoyable on the Mini Golf course.
  • Taking an after-dinner stroll and trying out the leisure alongside the principle road within the night.
  • Renting a pedal boat and exploring the ocean.

Location: Kalamaki is situated on the south coast of the island round an hour’s drive from Heraklion airport.

My self-catering lodging alternative – Golden Solar Resort

Golden Sun Resort - Adults Only

8. Sougia

Sougia Village Crete

Sougia Crete

Sougia is a small village situated by the Libyan Sea. It may be a little bit of a drive, particularly from some extra developed areas, but it surely was half the enjoyable for me!

As you traverse the coast highway with steep hills and plush greenery, the surroundings provides views that may take your breath away. When you’ve pushed (rigorously) to the city, you’ll discover a laid-back vibe and easy-going environment synonymous with many of the lesser-known spots on the island.

In order for you a bit of sunshine tradition, there’s a church (Agios Panteleimon) on the Western aspect of the village; it has a stunning mosaic ground and isn’t business in any means (if you wish to see it, you’ll need to go to the kiosk on Sougia seashore and ask for the important thing your self…critically)!

My favorite highlights…

  • Discovering peaceable surroundings strolling by means of the attractive Agia Irini Gorge.
  • Visiting the secluded seashore and having fun with a swim within the calm and quiet bay.

Location: Sougia is on the island’s South-West coast, a few 3-hour, 20-minute drive from Heraklion airport.

My lodging alternative – Monastery Property Retreat

Sougia Hotel Crete

9. Falassarna Seashore

Falasarna beach - best places to visit in Crete

Falassarna beach Crete

Regardless of its small measurement, Falassarna is a well-liked spot and has a fame for being top-of-the-line seashores on the island. The seashores on this space are sandy, clear, and stretch so far as the attention can see!

Nevertheless, there’s additionally an ecological curiosity – Falassarna is a part of the Natura 2000 community because of the space’s intensive wildlife.

It’s weak to excessive winds – however alternatively, this makes it supreme for surfers. Falassarna Seashore has gained prizes for being essentially the most lovely seashore in Crete and is all the time one of many high ten seashores in Europe, with its fantastic, superb white sand and heat, crystal-clear water.

My favorite highlights…

  • Experiencing a paragliding journey overlooking the coast and admiring the island in another way.
  • Occurring a cruise over to the attractive Balos Lagoon full of blue and inexperienced water earlier than heading to the historic web site of Gramvousa.
  • Taking a surf lesson and have some enjoyable out on the ocean driving the waves while wanting again over the gorgeous shoreline.

Location: Falassarna is on the island’s west coast, round a two-hour, forty-minute drive from Heraklion airport.

10. Triopetra Seashore

Triopetra beach

Triopetra Beach - places to visit in Crete

Siderotas mountain, olive groves, and, after all, the seafront encompass Triopetra. The realm is known as after the three majestic rocks that rise out of the ocean on the peninsula’s edge.

Small Triopetra (or Koumado) is the smaller of the 2 seashores. It’s extra of an enclosed, sandy, and rocky bay. 

Are you bored of sunning your self? You may all the time go to the implausible chapel of Prophet Elias. In the meantime, the world’s primary seashore, West Triopetra or Chatzi, is characterised by lovely coarse sand that casts uncommon colors throughout the seashore and water.

It’s well-known for its unending stretch of sand, fabulous sunsets, and peaceable environment.

My favorite highlights…

  • Admiring the breathtaking rock formations alongside the coast.
  • Going snorkelling alongside the shallow waters and discovering the fantastic underwater world.
  • Having a picnic on the sandy seashore.

Location: It’s situated south of the island, round a two-hour drive from Heraklion airport.

11. Elafonisi Lagoon

Elafonisi Lagoon Crete

Elafonisi Lagoon Crete

This pure magnificence spot is an absolute pearl, however you’ve acquired to time it proper. Up till pretty just lately, Elafonisi was one among Crete’s best-kept secrets and techniques. Sadly, social media selfie-lovers have a agency grasp of it, so it might probably get hectic within the excessive seasons.

Nevertheless, don’t let that put you off. Go within the shoulder months, and also you’ll be rewarded with a day journey to recollect.

The lagoon itself is an island that may be reached by paddling out to it. While you get there, don’t count on something in the way in which of facilities (it’s really a nature reserve and is handled accordingly).

Suppose you’ve braved the paddle (or walked over the sandbar resulting in the island). In that case, you’ll be rewarded with water that’s the temperature of bathwater, smooth pink sand (specific to this space solely), and photos that you simply’ll treasure…Prizes had been awarded for recognizing a sea turtle…and deducted for duckface Instagram posts…get pleasure from!

My favorite highlights…

  • Enjoyable on the distinctive and idyllic pink sands surrounded by crystal-clear lagoon waters.
  • Having fun with the magnificent surroundings surrounding the seashore.
  • Taking a hike throughout the lagoon and thru the dunes and discovering the hidden gems.

Location: Elafonisi Lagoon is on the west coast of the Greek island of Crete, a few 3-hour, 20-minute drive from Heraklion Airport.

12. Plaka

Plaka Village Crete

Plaka Crete

I wish to point out that you simply shouldn’t confuse your Plakas. There are two, one inhabited and constructed purely for ex-pats. The one we mentioned is right in the event you’ve determined to remain in or close to Agios, because it’s simply across the bay.

Plaka has a beautiful seashore, particularly in the event you don’t like sand getting all over the place, because it’s made out of pebbles. Contemplating you might be solely down the highway from one among Crete’s busiest cities, it’s quiet and enjoyable.

You’ll discover the usual Greek beachside fare in order for you a halftime break. Nestled in its backstreets are many boutique-style outlets promoting handmade and not-so-handmade trinkets.

My favorite highlights…

  • Going for a swim within the crystal clear waters at Plaka Seashore.
  • Waterskiing with Plaka Watersports.
  • Searching the stylish garments, boutiques, and present outlets alongside the backstreets.

Location: Plaka is on the coast east of Crete, round an hour’s drive from Heraklion Airport.

My lodging alternative for Plaka – Solar and Sea Plus Resort

Plaka Aparthotel Crete

13. Glyka Nera

Glyka Nera Crete

Glyka Nera Beach Crete

Glyka Nera is among the most lovely seashores on the island, with deep blue water and superb white sand. There are two routes to the seashore – by boat or, for essentially the most excessive, a path from Chora Sfakion and one other from Loutro.

These hikes might be strenuous and, at occasions, hair-raising, however they’re nicely maintained. A tavern sells native nibbles, drinks, and sunbeds on the seashore.

As a result of presence of chilly spring water streams, the seawater might be chilly, even in summer season, however the seashore is gorgeous. For those who arrive by boat, the route and views are spectacular! 

My highlights…

  • Discovering the unbelievable aerial viewpoints of the seashore by following one of many climbing trails across the bay.
  • Spending the night time tenting below the shade of the tamarisk timber.

Location: Glyka Nera is situated on the south coast of Crete, a 2 hour half-hour drive from Heraklion Airport.

My lodging alternative close to Glyka Nera – Myrto Lodge

Near Glyka Nera Beach

14. Tripiti to Sougia Shoreline

Tripiti Coastline Crete

The stroll between these two areas is genuinely gorgeous. Fortunately, the trail is marked with cairns to information your route, as it’s simple to get distracted by the views! Though parts of the stroll might be tiring, it’s most positively price it.

Though the panorama could make you set off pleased with the digital camera, don’t ignore the wonder proper beside you on the trail – a Venetian fort, historical church buildings, historical cisterns, and the breath-taking stays of the ruined historical city of Pikilassos, to not point out the attractive wildlife that you simply encounter alongside the way in which, together with a lot of olive timber – resist the urge to pillage!

The stroll can take as much as two hours relying on capability, pace, and inclination; be sure you take time to take in the attractive views and environment.

My favorite highlights…

  • Stopping and admiring the historic websites alongside the way in which.
  • Absorbing the attractive views overlooking lovely turquoise waters.
  • Capturing Insta-worthy pictures of the surroundings alongside the path.

Positioned: Sougia is on the Southwest Coast of Crete, a 3-hour and 20-minute drive from Heraklion Airport.

15. Myrtos Village

Myrtos village Crete

Myrtos village Crete

This tranquil, pristine, white-washed village stuffed with conventional appeal is within the island’s southeastern nook. The city has a wealthy historical past, together with a museum that homes finds of Minoan archaeological significance.

It additionally has a handful of genuine taverns and a quiet sandy seashore.

The seashore of Myrtos is a hidden treasure that not often will get crowded and offers an actual alternative to take a load off and actually chill out. For many who like to discover, ruins all around the space relationship from the Neolithic and Roman durations might be uncovered and found with a little bit of tenacity. 

My highlights…

  • Spending the day at Myrtos Seashore, which has a Blue Flag award and is among the warmest seashores in Europe.
  • Studying in regards to the architectural treasures across the space and the village’s historical past on the Myrtos Museum.
  • Taking a drive to Selakano Forest and exploring the charming trails full of waterfalls.

Location: Myrtos village is on the south coast of Crete, a one-hour and twenty-minute drive from Heraklion Airport.

16. Ligaria

Ligaria Beach Crete

Ligaria Crete

I cherished Ligaria – a small and charming seaside village situated on the north aspect of Crete – particularly its beautiful seashore with the identical title. It’s postcard-perfect with steep, sandy-coloured rocks dropping straight into the ocean on this horseshoe-shaped bay and crystal clear water.

The realm is in style with locals, which ought to let you know one thing. In consequence, the beachside delicacies within the native tavernas is to a fairly excessive normal.

It’s barely commercialised, but it surely’s not too dangerous in the event you just like the occasional deep-fried or sugary deal with delivered to your lounger while you catch the solar!

My favorite highlights…

  • Experiencing conventional Cretan dishes at Atatoah Taverna Liguria.
  • Going jet snowboarding! 
  • Visiting the fascinating Monastery of Panagia Deligara which is constructed on the ruins of the unique monastery. 

Location: Ligaria is situated on the north coast of Crete, round a 30-minute drive from Heraklion Airport.

17. HeraklionHeraklion Port - Crete Heraklion - Crete1

Heraklion is Crete’s capital and the biggest metropolis on the island. It’s a port metropolis with an city vibe and a contact of nature.

Regardless of the place you go, you’ll all the time discover inexperienced spots. If you wish to discover the native delicacies, there are lots of eating places and implausible espresso outlets. The town has an airport, making it the primary spot to discover the world.

I’d additionally recommend catching a ferry to go to Santorini, Mykonos and different islands.

My private highlights…

  • Visiting the excellent Bronze Age metropolis and Palace of Knossos.
  • Discovering the Heraklion Archaeological Museum and seeing the traditional shows.
  • Strolling across the vibrant Outdated City and the scenic harbour full of fishing boats.

Location: Heraklion is situated on the north coast of Crete and is house to the island’s primary airport.

18. Milatos 

Milatos Crete

Milatos Crete

If discovering tucked-away coves and exploring craggy rocks appeals to you, then Milatos, a small quaint Crete village, perhaps the place for you!

It lacks the sweeping white sand of a few of our different solutions however doesn’t have the footfall, making it supreme for a day journey.

In case you are a real adventurer, take your flashlight and head as much as Milatos caves. It’s not significantly well being and security pleasant, however in case you are courageous sufficient, you’ll be rewarded with a view of a hidden church constructed inside the caves. Cool or what?

My private highlights…

  • Exploring the Milatos Cave after strolling up a scenic path to the doorway. 
  • Indulging in nice meals and wine at Meltemi Taverna while watching a panoramic sundown over the Mediterranean Sea.

19. Paleochora

Paleochora Crete

Paleochora Crete

Paleochora, a small city on a small peninsula in southwest Crete, is right in order for you a little bit of each. By that, I imply you wish to bask in chilling out and perhaps have an excellent time within the night.

There are some bars, however they’re extra prone to be stuffed with civilised locals than your normal 18-30 gangs.

After a day on the (pebble) seashore, you may step out in your Sunday greatest and tempo up and down the walkway paralleling the seafront whereas questioning if in case you have time to take a look at the menu earlier than the occupants accost you (I’m joking; they’re beautiful and customarily pleasant fairly than pushy!).

My favorite highlights…

  • Going for a swim at Pachia Ammos Seashore, identified for being top-of-the-line seashores alongside the South Coast.
  • Visiting the Paleochora Citadel and seeing Instagrammable panoramic views over the city.
  • Eating al fresco alongside the Paleochaora Piazza.

20. Loutro Village

Loutro village Crete

Loutro village - unpsoilt places to visit in Crete Greece

While you land within the fairly, peaceable village of Loutro, you’re feeling such as you’ve stepped again in time! It’s a small village with a number of motels and tavernas, outlets and eating places, and a church. Nonetheless, what Loutro lacks in modernity, it makes up for in nostalgia and panorama.

It’s flanked by steep mountainsides, house to a large herd of goats (judging from the clinking of bells), and a tepid sea sheltered by a lush bay.

No roads lead right here, and there aren’t any nightclubs or nightlife. Guests can detox from life and sort out long-awaited books, take walks alongside the gorgeous surroundings, or eat, drink, and be merry.

My private highlights…

  • Renting a ship and exploring the breathtaking southern shoreline.
  • Visiting the historic Koules of Loutro fortress ruins.
  • Wandering across the city’s fairly streets and sampling the road meals.

Supply hyperlink



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments