A huge island in Greece. People come here for antique culture, beach relaxation and nightlife. Mountains, caves, citrus plantations – all this is Crete with its unique nature and dramatic past.
The island can be conditionally divided into parts: western Chania, central Heraklion and Rethymno and southern Lassithi. Going on a trip on a tour, you will not see all the miracles. The most convenient option is to fly by yourself and rent a car on the spot. Crete by car – for those who are ready to discover and drive.
- Transport rental and all road nuances
- To Crete for antiquities and open-air museums
- To the beach – for relaxation and meditation
Transport rental and all road nuances
There is a lot to see in Crete, so it would be a mistake to get stuck in the area near your hotel. Once on a Greek island – “storm” its cities. You can get from one settlement to another by public transport. But, in order not to depend on the schedule and not to waste time in vain, it is best to rent a car. In a short time you can see the maximum number of attractions.
Photo: sol-o.ru – Crete
Car rental will cost you from 25 to 50 euros per day plus petrol. It will be more profitable to rent a car immediately for a week. The driver must be over 21 years of age and have at least 12 months of driving experience. When renting a car, do not forget about full insurance. It must be included in the cost of the service. Read the contract carefully.
The main route of the island, E75, runs along the northern coast, connecting the cities of Rethymno, Chania, Agios Nikolaos and Heraklion. The island’s minor roads are far from the standard. Heading inland from the north, you will encounter tight bends and narrow tracks. Some parts of the path are hilly, the road winds up and down. Consider this nuance when making a route.
Driving in Greece is right-hand. It is customary to give way to the overtaking one. Most gas stations work only for cash and close at nine in the evening, so you need to fill the tank in advance.
To Crete for antiquities and open-air museums
- Knossos palace
- Fortress of Heraklion
- Oceanarium CRETAquarium
- Arkadi Monastery
- Lassithi plateau and Dikteyskaya cave
- Spinalonga island
Every year tourists flock to the Greek island to see the remains of the Minoan civilization. The main attraction of Crete is the Palace of Knossos, located near Heraklion, the main city of Crete. According to legend, the Minotaur was imprisoned in this palace.
Photo – Palace of Knossos
The second significant monument of Heraklion is the ancient fortress that encircles the city. In addition, there are interesting museums here: Historical and Archaeological. Both contain antiquities.
Not far from Heraklion is the CRETAquarium. It is also worth going there, especially if there are children in the car. 250 marine life presented in the aquarium will not let you get bored.
Photo: way2day.com – CRETAquarium
Where to live? It is better to choose for living areas of Rethymno or Hersonissos… These cities are located in the center of the island. Leaving them, you can see the whole of Crete on your own.
In Rethymno, visit the Arkadi monastery – it symbolizes the struggle of the inhabitants of the island with the Turks. Walk the cobbled streets of the old town. Here you will see the Venetian loggia of the 16th century, the Ottoman minaret, the Rimondi fountain, representing a sculpture of a lion with three heads. No less interesting places: Center for Contemporary Art, Goura Gate, Cathedral and others.
Photo: s1.fotokto.ru – Arkadi Monastery
When planning routes in Crete, include the Lassithi plateau, located in the eastern part of the island. The main attraction worth seeing here is the Dikteyskaya Cave with an underground lake and stalactites. According to myths, Zeus, the god of thunder and lightning, was born in this cave. When going on the road, throw a jacket in the car and put on comfortable shoes. It is better to come to the cave in the morning. Everything is tight in the parking lots. Perhaps during the day there will be nowhere to put the car.
Interesting places in Crete include the island of Spinalonga, which can also be reached by car. Here you will see the ruins of the Roman civilization.
Photos – Spinalonga island
To the beach – for relaxation and meditation
- beach “Red Coast”
- Preveli beach
- Wai beach
- Matala beach
- Elafonisi beach
- beaches of the cities of Hersonissos, Agios Nikolaos and Rethymno
An amazing place is the Samaria Gorge National Reserve. Mountain goats can be found here. A trip to the village of Matala will also be exciting. Not far from it there is a bay with caves, where people were buried in ancient times. Moving a little south of the village, you will stumble upon the Krasny Bereg beach, which gets its name from its copper-colored sand. Get out of the car – it’s time to sunbathe.
Photo: aviasovet.ru – “Krasny Bereg” beach
An entertaining beach located on the southern part of the island is Preveli. The picturesque place has become a highlight of Crete. Two kilometers from the beach there is an Orthodox monastery of the same name.
Three more beaches that need to be taken into service when going on a trip are Vai, Matala and Elafonisi. The first is ideal for diving and windsurfing. Located near the city of Sitia. The beach is surrounded by a palm forest. The second is called “Hippie Beach”. In the 60s, representatives of this subculture loved to relax here. Matala is a beautiful place in Crete, shrouded in myths and legends. And finally, the third – a unique pink sand beach – a tourist’s dream. In order to relax on Elafonisi, they travel across the entire island.
In Hersonissos, Agios Nikolaos, Rethymno and other cities of Crete, you will also find wonderful beaches where you can sunbathe and swim.
Photo: grekomania.ru – Elafonisi beach
When traveling around Crete, take a map of the island, as the navigator can go awry. Rent a car with a manual transmission. When arriving in cities, use audio guides, sometimes they are more useful than tour guides. If you have a student’s card, show it in museums – they will make a discount on the ticket. If you are planning to have lunch or dinner, remember that the portions are large in these places. You can take one for two. Stock up on a good mood, on a sunny island it is necessary.
Crete by car is a great topic for a post on LiveJournal.
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