3 days in Crete, Greece’s largest island
Why did I choose Crete, Greece?
There are several Greek islands and it was actually quite difficult for us to decide which islands to visit. Mykonos and Santorini are the most heard of. Each Greek island has a very different terrain and are known for different activities and sights. Dustin and I like to hike, eat good food, see wild life and explore unique bodies of water; Crete embodied what we were interested in as there are so many gorges to hike, it’s known for it’s food and mountain goats, and there are pink sand beaches! Crete was our favorite place out of Athens, Crete, and Santorini!
Easy, majority of people were able to speak English; there were less English speakers in the suburban areas, but everyone was always friendly and wanted to help!
Check currency exchange site
My Travel Time
November (US Thanksgiving)
This was a great time to travel to Greece as it’s considered off peak season. It was around 20 degrees Celsius on average, so it wasn’t blazing hot like it usually is in the summer during peak season, but not too cold where you need anything more than a lighter jacket. When we were in the sun, it was actually extremely hot. We even got to spend a day at the beach and got an unexpected strong tan.
Click here to check the weather
Click here to check when the sun rises and sets
My Flight Details
Airline: Olympic Air, ATH – CHQ (less than an hour flight); there are three airports in Crete (CHQ, HER, JSH) and after some research, we chose to stay in Chania because it’s closer to a lot of the places we wanted to see. Crete is huge and there is so much to see and do, so for our 3 days, we had to choose what we interested us the most. We took a plane because the ferries did not run as frequently during the off peak season.
Price: ~150 USD round trip w/ a check-in baggage
Transportation: We rented a car from CHQ for 3 days (~ 115 USD); in my opinion, renting a car is the best way to see Crete, so I strongly recommend it.
My Hotel Details
Hotel Porto Antico
This hotel is located right in the heart of the Old Port, Venetian Harbor of Chania. It’s close to shops, restaurants, supermarkets. This hotel is in an old building, so if you like something more modern, this might not be the place for you. Hotel Porto Antico has an old charm to it.
My Crete Trip Itinerary
Seitan Limania: This is a must go to beach in between rock formations only 15 minutes from the Chania Airport! The drive is a little rocky at times and you’ll have to hike down to the beach, which is also quite rocky, but it’s completely worth it if you’re comfortable with some rocky terrain.
Tamam: Delicious restaurant with Greek cuisine 2 minutes away from Hotel Porto Antico(fried mushroom & cheese rolls, Tamam salad, spinach lasagna, fried calamari)
Lighthouse in Old Port Chania: Landmark lighthouse in the heart of the port
Sklavenitis Supermarket: We went to this grocery store several times since there weren’t many food options around the gorges we hiked or the beaches we hung out at. We bought salami, mozzarella cheese, chocolate tahini spread, rye crackers, yogurt, and juice that would last us for the lunches we were not near restaurants.
Elafonisi: A pink sand beach and clear blue water located in the southwest area of Crete; this is definitely my favorite beach I’ve been to so far.
Falasarna Beach: Beach with a umbrellas, seating area was set up (even during the winter, although it’s empty); waves can get super strong here!
Aroma: We had a Cretan salad and pork souvlaki at this restaurant in Old Port. The pork souvlaki was delicious and it came with pita, crispy potato slices, onions, tomatoes and a yogurt sauce (a lot of food!).
Note: We stopped for gas on our way to Elafonisi
Imbros Gorge: A 3 hour hike through a gorge (one-way). During peak season, it costs 2.5 Euro to enter the gorge. There were a lot of mountain goats in the gorge wandering around. We parked our car in one entrance and to get back to it, we would have to hike back the same path for 3 hours. The other option is to find someone at the end of the trail to bring you back to the entrance, which is what we took. There aren’t taxi cabs, but some restaurant owners have cars that they run as a taxi service to the entrance of the gorge. The first person we asked wouldn’t take us unless we paid them 30 Euro, so we continued to wait a little longer and got someone else to take us for 20 Euro.
Glossitses: My favorite restaurant we ate at in Crete. After a long hiking day, we wanted a warm meal. This place was delicious, we got home made pita, tzatziki sauce, Greek salad, grilled mushrooms, and yogurt curry chicken with rice pilaf.