Holidays in Greece 10 plans that show that Crete is unique
More than an island, a parallel universe
Surprise yourself with Elafonisi's pink sand
Crete has been in the heart of the Mediterranean for so long that even Hellenic mythology placed the birth of Zeus here. Its undisputed beauty and exceptional location made it an object of desire for years thanks to places like Elafonisi, a beach of pink sand whose curious color comes from the accumulation of pigmented microorganisms brought in by the tides.
And for everything to fall into place why not stay at one of the top hotels in Crete with Iberostar Hotels and Resorts?
Travel to Minoan times
When you get to the ruins of the Cnosos palace, the first thing you might think is what interesting Greek remains! However, these columns and bases were the home of King Minos, the great leader of the Minoan civilization. In fact, his power was such that this complex had up to 1000 rooms and, according to mythology, even a maze where the Minotaur lived. When you visit it you will not find any hybrid animals. Not even the route of the old stone maze. What you will find are small doses of what was a very creative culture and, in many ways, the seed of mighty Greece.
Be amazed by a historical capital
Very close to Cnosos you will find the island's capital, Heraklion, a city that condenses the essence of Crete with fortified remains from the Venetian era such as the fortress of Koules or the arsenal. This mix is the essence of its charm, especially when you stroll through its old port or enter the recently renovated Archaeological Museum where the most outstanding remains of Mycenaean and Minoan culture are on display.
Cross Samaria from end to end
Crete is surprising for its past, for its magnificent hotels and also for the charm of its inner landscapes. The most attractive of all is the gorge of Samaria, the longest gorge in Europe of more than 16 kilometers.
Be fascinated by Balos Bay
Of all the hypnotic beaches in Crete, Balos is the most special because it is located in a crystal-clear water lagoon and maintains its wild essence. Its main uniqueness and magnetism is in its two coasts and in its islets, whose peaks will offer you unforgettable panoramic views.
Let yourself conquer Chania
The Venetian Republic dominated much of the Mediterranean during the start of the Modern Age, and its best remnant in Crete is Chania, a port town that will enchant you with its large number of historic buildings, the colors of its facades, and the aesthetic care that goes into every corner. Don't miss either the aristocratic district of Topanas or the iconic mosque of the Janissaries.
Find the magic of its monasteries
Due to its steep terrain, many monastic communities decided to come to these lands to establish monasteries that will surprise you with their delicate stone constructions and untouched surroundings. Wherever you go, you will find one near your hotel in Crete. What’s not to be missed? The monasteries of Arkadi, Agia Triada, Chrisoskalitisa and Toplou.
Join the hippie routine at Matala
As with other paradises such as Ibiza, Crete was also the home, in the 1970s, of a hippie community that settled in the caves of Matala, in the south of the country. Almost half a century later, its aesthetics and daily life have been absorbed by the locals, making streets, markets and restaurants show this relaxed spirit that you will end up being infected by.
Fall in love with Elounda Bay
If you had to summarize this island into just one landscape, it would be this bay. Here you will find those transparent waves typical of the Mediterranean, with clean, white and sunny beaches and also a little bit of history. On the islet of Spinalonga stands a 16th century fortress that served to protect and welcome the people of the bay and whose walls today are photogenic testimony of that past.
See where Zeus was born
Greek mythology places the birth of the father of all gods on this island, and popular legends have limited it to two places: Mount Ida and the Diketeon Cave. The latter, in addition to its archaeological significance, will end up literally trapping you because of its karst formations and maze of stalactites and stalagmites that will give your vacation an adventurous touch. And it is proven that Crete is one of those unique and special destinations that is capable of attracting all kinds of travelers. Are you up for it?