Crete is unlike any other island in Greece. It is the largest of the Greek islands and the fifth biggest island in the Mediterranean. Below is our list of the top 10 sights in Crete you can visit with a REDRENT car.

Chania Old Venetian Harbor

chania old venetian harbor

The best place to start your walk is from the west side of the harbor and the imposing, red-colored Firkas Fortress. It is a building that changed use many times in its long history, and now houses the Maritime Museum of Crete. Right after the fortress, the restored fine buildings of the Venetian era create a setting that puts you in a laid-back mood and travel you back in time. Walk leisurely heading east, past the picturesque cafes, restaurants, shops and boutique hotels, always along the coast. After about 300 m, on a corner of the promenade with ample space around, you come across Yali Tzamii, with its exemplary Islamic architecture. It is the only remaining Mosque, a reminiscent of the Ottoman era, which has been painstakingly restored. Continuing towards the east, along the array of fine cafes and restaurants, you reach the Chania Marina, along with the impressive 16th century stone-built Grand Arsenal. It is the grandest of the Venetian shipyards(Neoria), which has been restored to all its previous glory and now houses the Center of Mediterranean Architecture. Right next to it, you see the other 7 attached Venetian shipyards(Neoria). Continue walking towards the east, and after the marina, in the corner of the port, you will find the Moro Neoria. It is the last Neorio on the docks and is now serving as the headquarters of the Sailing Club of Chania.

Seemingly, your walk along the Venetian Harbor would end here however don’t be hesitant and continue on the Old Sea Wall; the big stone wall the Venetians built to protect the harbor from the northern waves. While on the wall, just stop for a minute and admire the magnificent view facing the harbor and that of the sea. Get past the St. Nicholas bastion that used to protect the port from the pirates and continue all the way towards the emblematic Egyptian Lighthouse, having made a full circle around the Venetian Harbor. There is one last thing left to do, however it’s not an easy task; to choose your favorite spot from a large selection of bars, cafes and restaurants in the harbor and just sit leisurely and relax, capture the moment and watching the world go by under the Cretan sun.



crete rethymno Sometimes Venetian, sometimes Ottoman but always unmistakably Cretan, Rethymno’s Old Town hides its secrets in plain sight. A walking tour takes you through the original settlement of the city located on Crete’s northern coastline, midway between Chania and Heraklion, introducing you to its distinctive buildings, street markets, narrow alleyways and historical monuments.

You’ll understand how the Old Town grew into Crete’s third-largest settlement, spreading from the harbour in around 1300, and appreciate how it has retained its intimacy and colour despite its growth, with little bars, cafes and concept stores opening in refurbished buildings. In many of the tavernas, you can enjoy traditional Cretan food and music.

Rethymno is one of Crete’s best-preserved settlements. Look out for the ornate doorways decorated with Venetian crests, Ottoman mosques with minarets and the wooden facades of mansions all vying for your attention – before you emerge at the waterfront by the iconic harbour.


Agios Nikolaos

agiosnikolaosAn international cosmopolitan seaside resort, attracting thousands of visitors every year. The lake, the town’s jewel, is known for its many legends, according to one of which, Athena and Artemis are bathing in its waters. The lake becomes one with the sea through a narrow canal, and is surrounded by red rock formations and lush vegetation.

A stroll in the shops is always a pleasure. Stores sell unique traditional Cretan art artifacts, copies from the local archaeological museums, jewels, and impressive embroidery. They also sell local products and delicacies that dazzle everyone’s palate. The town is filled with traditional coffee shops that serve local dishes and raki.

Agios Nikolaos is equally magical at night. There are numerous bars, with a relaxed atmosphere and loud music, that attract the younger crowds. The town of Agios Nikolaos is a beautiful place with open-hearted people!



spinalongaSpinalonga is a significant historical attraction of Crete. This infamous islet was the base for one of the most important Venetian castles of Crete. Also known as the Island of the Lepers, Spinalonga was the place where all lepers from Crete and the rest of the country were quarantined at until 1957. For many decades it remained unexploited.

However, following the growing tourist interest, the state started the systematic restoration and repair of the old buildings, fortified Venetians walls, old residences and streets on the islet. The Ministry of Culture has requested the inclusion of Spinalonga in the UNESCO World Heritage Monuments List.


Diktaion (Psychro) Cave

psychro cave

As you wander around Crete (and Greece for that matter), you’ll no doubt come across tales of the ancient Gods, their duties, lives, and origins. Considered the most important Greek god, Zeus was the god of the sky, thunder, and the king of all other gods and men. It’s in Diktaion Cave that this famous god was brought forth for all humanity.

Legends aside, the Diktaion Cave is considered one of the best of the 4,500 caves and sinkholes found throughout Crete. Its cool environs are a pleasant escape from the sun and heat of the Crete. You’ll pass through five antechambers as you make your way down deep into the earth. At the bottom of the cave is a glass-calm lake surrounded by immense stalactites and stalagmites. Across the lake in a small chamber is the area where Zeus was apparently born.

Diktaion Cave is located up on the Lasithi plateau, an area quite unlike the rest of Crete. This high area is mostly flat and is the breadbasket of the island, with orchards and extensive farms. Stop in a small village and grab a lunch consisting of the fresh, local produce capped off with a cold beverage.


Samaria Gorge

samariagorgeCrete is known for its outstanding gorges, but the most impressive is the Samaria Gorge. Contained within the Samaria National Park, it is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Walking the popular 16-kilometer trail that runs through the gorge is one of the most popular things to do on Crete for tourists looking to get active.

From Xylóskalo, just outside the mountain village of Omalos, the gorge descends 1,250 meters to arrive at the Libyan Sea in Agia Roumeli on Crete’s sunny south coast. The river Tarraios, which dries up in summer but floods in winter, runs the length of the gorge with high rocky cliffs to each side. The gorge is open to visitors from May through mid-October.

Although the hike is mostly downhill, with most of the elevation loss occuring in the first couple of kilometers, the stony path is a bit challenging and not recommended for people with knee problems. It’s a must-do for hikers who don’t mind a good day hike.

The walk can take four to six hours depending on how fit you are, but with transportation, plan on a 12-hour day at a minimum from the time you leave your hotel in Chania to the time you return. This is a one-way hike, with a ferry and bus shuttling visitors back to town.


Village Argyroupoli (Ancient Lappa)

ArguroupolhArgyroupoli is a small town in the province of Rethymno, built in a beautiful location at an altitude of 260 meters above the valley of the river Mouselas. The settlement has been characterized as traditional, as it preserves many of the architectural elements of the rich past.

Argyroupoli is built on the site of the ancient city Lappa. Scattered monuments from the Roman, Byzantine, and Venetian periods indicate the strategic importance of the city that flourished in the depths of the centuries.

It is worth walking in the narrow alleys of the village, to see the traces of the mosaic floors, the Byzantine frescoed churches, and the Venetian mansions. You can also visit the nearby necropolis of ancient Lappa with the carved Greco-Roman tombs, the monumental plane tree, and the temple of Pente Parthenes.

However, the place that accepts the most visitors is the famous Springs of Argyroupoli, which are formed in a green setting a few meters below the village. The water comes out of the cave of Agia Dynami and after passing the old watermills that once ground the grain, they end up in the riverbed of the river Mouselas. The watermills today have been turned into taverns that offer traditional food.

Source:  Travel Guide for Island Crete , Greece – Argyroupoli


heraklion boats harbor

Heraklion is the island’s capital and a pleasant surprise for first-time visitors. The Old Town is a maze of lovely pedestrian streets lined with shops and restaurants. Huge trees provide ample shade in the squares, where you can linger over a coffee for hours at an outdoor café.

Heraklion is also an obvious base for visiting Knossos and exploring central Crete. Like many of Crete’s finest coastal towns, it gained its present layout under the Venetians, who ruled from 1204 to 1669, a period which saw a considerable cultural flowering on the island, producing artists such as El Greco, from Fódele, near Heraklion.

The noted 20th-century writer, Nikos Kazantzakis (author of Zorba the Greek, 1946) was also from Heraklion, and you can see his tomb within the old town walls.


Heraklion Archaelogical Museum


The Heraklion Archaeological Museum is one of the oldest and most important museums in Greece, and among the most famous museums in Europe. It houses representative artefacts from all periods of Cretan prehistory and history, covering a chronological span of over 5,500 years from the Neolithic period to Roman times. The Heraklion Archaeological Museum prides itself for its unique Minoan collection, which includes the masterpieces of Minoan art. It is rightly considered as the Museum of Minoan Culture par excellence.

Located in the town center, it was designed by the architect Patroklos Karantinos and was built between 1935 and 1958 on a site previously occupied by the Venetian monastery of Saint-Francis which was destroyed by earthquake in 1856. The ruins of the monastery are visible in the museum’s garden.

The Heraklion Archaeological Museum is a Special Regional Service of the Ministry of Culture. Along with the permanent exhibition, the museum organizes temporary exhibitions in Greece and abroad, creates and implements educational programs, collaborates with scientific and scholarly institutions, and houses a variety of cultural events.


Kournas Lake


Lake Kournas is the largest natural lake in Crete and is located in an enchanting landscape, between the west slopes of the White Mountains and the fertile plane of Georgioupolis. It is located near the village Kournas, 2.5km south of the beach of Georgioupolis, 43km east of Chania and 20km west of Rethymnon. Lake Kournas and its surroundings constitute a very important ecosystem for Greece, as the wider area of Apokoronas is one of the very few areas of Crete where plenty of fresh water is stored throughout the year.

The ecological value of the area has included the lake in the Natura 2000 protection network of protected areas. However, the surroundings have been degraded by human intervention, such as the construction of restaurants and other lakeside stores. The lake is set amidst an environment with rare aquatic plants and trees. The dark color of the lake is due to the algae at its bottom.

Source: ⭐ Travel Guide for Island Crete ⛵, Greece❗ – Lake Kournas