Traveling in Crete Essential Guide

Crete is the biggest Island in Greece and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean Sea
The island offers a combination of attractions and promises unforgettable holiday experiences.
Endless coastlines, exotic sandy beaches, archaeological monuments, wild mountain peaks, breath taking gorges, picturesque fishing villages and cosmopolitan club-bars mix together creating a unique destination.

Weather in Crete

Mediterranean and North African, climate with plenty of sunshine.
The Summer period is long and dry with mild temperatures (April-October). Winter is usually rainy although the South Coast falls in the North African climatic zone, and enjoys significantly more sunny days and high temperatures throughout the year.
Snowfall is common on the mountains peaks between November and May, but very rare in the low land.

When to Visit Crete

High Season- Peak tourist season is from late June to early September.
Mid Season- is from April to June and from September to early November, this is one of the best periods to visit Crete. Holiday resorts are less jam-packed and the weather is mild and comfortable.
Low Season- is from November to March. Temperatures are colder although extreme winter conditions are rear near cost line. The South parts of the island even during winter months have high temperatures and sunshine days. Nature and the landscape during winter offers astonishing contrast, this period is recommended for alternative vacationers that seek calm and relaxed holidays within a mild winter climate.

Island Morphology & Structure

Crete is a mountainous island stretching 264 Km from east to west, 60 Km at its widest point and 12 km at its most narrow part.
Crete covers an area of 8,336 km2 with a coastline of 1,046 km.
A chain of high mountains divide it into four distinct regions.

  • The White Mountains or Lefka Ori 2,452 m
  • The Idi Range or Psiloritis 2,456 m (8,058 ft)
  • The Dikti Mountains 2,148 m (7,047 ft)
  • Kedros 1,777 m (5,830 ft)
  • Thripti 1,489 m (4,885 ft)

These mountain ranges form a natural division the four provinces of the Island: Chania, Rethymno, Heraklion, Lasithi.

Accommodation in Crete

Crete Island has a considerable number of Hotels & Room Apartment lodgings which operate under the rules of the national tourism organization G.N.T.O. Visitors can also rent lodgings at camp-sites, cottages and holiday villas that operate throughout the country. Most G.N.T.O. verified lodgings offer high-quality facilities and guarantee a comfortable stay.
Types of Accommodation:

  • Hotels
  • Bungalow Resorts
  • Rooms for Rent
  • Self Catering Apartments and Studios
  • Guest Houses, Villas, Cottages
  • Camping Sites for Tents or Caravans
  • Youth Hostels
National Celebrations & Holidays
  • New Years Day: 1st of January
  • Epiphany: 6th of January. Sea and water is blessed. The priests throw the Cross into the sea and young men dive to catch it.
  • Ash Monday: 41 days before Orthodox Easter.
  • 1821 Independence Day and Celebration of Evaggelismos: 25th of March.
  • Christian Orthodox Easter From Holy Friday until Easter Monday.
  • Labor Day: 1st of May.
  • Pentecost: It is celebrated 50 days after Easter.
  • Assumption of the Virgin Mary: 15th of August.
  • 28th of October: World War2 National Resistance Celebration.
  • Christmas: 25th-26th of December.

MUST SEE ATTRACTIONS

Chania Old Harbor

Chania Town

Samaria Gorge

44 km south of Chania Town

Elafonisi

76 Km s/east of Chania Town

Fragokastelo

14 km east of Sfakia, Chania

Falasarna Beach

16 km west of Kastelli, Chania

Rethymno Old Town & Harbor

Rethymno Port

Arkadi Monastery

24 km s/east of Rethymno Town

Preveli Beach

14 Km east of Plakias, Rethymno

Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Heraklion Town Center

Knosssos Palace

5 Km south of Heraklion Town

Phaestos Palace

65 km s/west of Heraklion Town

Matala

75 Km s/west of Heraklion Town

Agios Nikolaos Port

Agios Nikolaos Town

Gulf of Mirabello

Agios Nikolaos Town

Lassithi Plateau

70 Km east of Heraklion Town

Vai Palm Beach

28 Km n/east of Sitia, Lasithi

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