Crete is the largest island in Greece and the fifth largest one in the Mediterranean Sea. Here, you can admire the remnants of brilliant civilizations, explore glorious beaches, impressive mountainscapes, fertile valleys, and steep gorges, and become part of the island’s rich gastronomic culture. Crete is, after all, a small universe teeming with beauties and treasures that you will probably need a lifetime to uncover!
Where to go
Heraklion is the largest city in Crete and one of Greece’s major urban centers. The city flourished under a multicultural influence throughout the centuries; that’s why there is a plethora of Byzantine, Venetian, and Ottoman structures to look out for!
The city’s landmark is the 16th c. Koules fortress on the westernmost side of the old Venetian port, which along with the fortification walls (dating back to the same period) are among the most significant and imposing sights.
Chania (also spelled: Hania) is the capital city, a place where different civilizations have flourished throughout the centuries. Strolling around the Old Town’s maze-like alleys with the beautiful Venetian mansions, the fountains, and the churches will guide you through well-preserved historical monuments. The city of Chania is built in the area of Minoan Kidonia, at the end of the homonym gulf between Akrotiri and Onicha peninsulas. It was the former capital city of Crete (from 1847 until 1972). Nowadays, it is the second-largest city of Crete after Heraklion and the capital of the homonym prefecture. Get familiar with the city of Chania by wandering around its streets, visiting its museums, and admiring the different architectural styles presenting the historical route of the city.
Rethymno is located at the north end of the prefecture, built by the sea, and is a city with many faces. Rethymno or Rithymna as it was once called has been inhabited since the Later Minoan III period. Nowadays, it keeps the elements inherited by its history (from antiquity up to now), preserving at the same time the characteristics of a modern city. You can reach Rethymno by boat from Piraeus or by plane from Athens to Chania and then drive 60 km to Rethymno.