What to see in Crete? This question will surely arise to all of you who decide to set out to conquer Crete. In this particular case, the question is very justified - Crete is not only fascinating and beautiful, but also full of diversities. Filled with lush vegetation and stunning beaches that will take your breath away.
Therefore, it would be a sin to spend your vacation in Crete in one place, so make sure to rent a vehicle and hit the road.
Let’s begin with Rethymnon, a compelling town, one of the best preserved medieval cities in Greece ,with the castle of Fortezza dominating over the beautiful Old Town, the Venetian Port with its lighthouse and so many other monuments and attractions.
While you're in this prefecture, Rouvas Forest is located on a small, inaccessible plateau, on the southern slope of Psiloritis. The forest stretches along the Gafari gorge. The isolation of this place made it possible to preserve the ecosystem in almost its original form. Here you can see many endemic plants, as well as very rare and beautiful plants of Greece, interacting with many species of animals such as badgers, weasels, hares, and shrews. One of the most interesting inhabitants of the Rouvas forest is the Cretan wild cat, that was thought to be extinct until a few years ago.
Another nearby hidden gem, Perched on the northern slopes of Psiloritis, in between two hills and at an altitude of 740 meters is the historic village of Anogia. A charming tiny village suitable for a variety of activities such as cycling, hiking, and skiing if you feel courageous enough. Its richness of the flora and fauna of Psiloritis mountain will blow your mind.
Further west, Chania is a spectacular old city and the best part of Crete for day-trips to beautiful beaches with crystal clear waters. Its Venetian port with the lighthouse and the old town in the center have given Chania the reputation of the most picturesque city in Crete, which hosts thousands of visitors every year.
A must see place while in Chania is Samaria, the longest gorge in Europe and the second most visited tourist attraction on Crete. Another worth mentioning fact is that you will find unique species of plants and animals there, that are protected by international conventions.! You are guaranteed an amazing experience available only to the real daredevils.
The most populated city of Crete is Heraklion, an alluring town with traces from all its historical periods. The Venetian walls, the fortress of Koule, the countless fountains, old mansions, churches and museums are just some of the many attractions of the city. Be sure to visit Knossos and the Archaeological Museum that surely need special attention as they highlight the Minoan period. The intense nightlife, the exquisite food, the impressive market are just a few things you shouldn't miss for the world.
Last but not least, Agios Nikolaos, the smallest of the large cities in Crete, home to a picturesque thought-to-be bottomless lake is surrounded by some of the most beautiful and famous beaches in the world. The amazing Palm forest of Vai, Elounda and Plaka - places of high interest to a lot of famous visitors, due to the exceptional facilities of world renowned hotels and restaurants of the area- the boat rides to the once sanatorium island of Spinalonga, all together create a variety of things to do and see, that is definitely worth visiting even during the winter. And if you're more of a mountain person, don't forget to visit the plateau of Lassithi, a large agricultural area filled with small villages, usually covered with snow, to enjoy the local treats, accompanied by a glass of raki, always home made by the locals.
After all, when we talk about enchanting beauty, Crete is definitely one of the first things that comes to mind. Do not miss the opportunity to visit the island, especially in the winter and get lost in its bewitching charm..!