With its accessible and varied pleasures, Crete island is a favorite of many. Drawn to the colonial charm of Mediterranean sea, Heraklion’s pulsing nightlife, the glitz of Vai Beach, or the quiet expanse of the southern Crete, almost all visitors find something to love here.
From the powdery white beaches of the Elafonisi beach to the vibrant coral reefs of the Plakias, the ocean is always calling—for sailing, fishing, diving, swimming, and other water sports. Stray off the path a few miles, and you might glimpse a bit of the Crete of old, including old traditional works. Villages and people of other ages.
Arriving On Flights to Crete
Tourists on flights to Crete will most likely land at Heraklion International Airport, Chania International Airport, or somethimes in Sitia International Airport. Heraklion International Airport, located in Central Crete, is the most popular airport for those wishing to visit Crete’s main attractions, including Knossos Palace. This airport is home to vehicle rental companies and free shuttle rides to WaterParks or to a number of hotels in the area. You also might be able to find cheap airfare to Crete’s smaller domestic airports throughout the state.
Gavdos Island and St Ioannis Beach, the island of freedom and nudists
At the southwesternmost reach of Crete, Gavdos island has beautiful beaches with enormous sand dunes along its eastern flank, sophisticated restaurants, interesting shops, and accommodations that range from bed-and-breakfasts to traditional houses to rent. The town of Gavdos is on the island’s northern end; a century ago fishermen thrived here, but those are gone. Today there’s little reminder of the town’s old days, though one event comes close: the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, held during the first weekend of May. Most of visitors travel to find a place to relax, nude beaches everywhere and many camping places to stay.
Agios Ioannis Beach – Gavdos – The beach of Agios Ioannis is situated in the north of the island of Gavdos, and it was voted as second most beautiful beach of the world by the Travel Channel in 2007. Agios Ioannis (St John’s beach) is situated next to the tiny village with a population of ten, and it is home to several impressively large caves. There are no hotels or pensions or any luxury, only the sea, the sand and a beautiful view of the island of Crete. At the busstop of Agios Ioannis (end of the road) you will find the only tavern in this region of Gavdos: Kapetan Theofilos and hundreds of nudists around.
The island of Gavdos is a paradise for naturists. Roughly estimated about 80% of the beaches is naturist area. The beach of Agios Ioannis is one of the naturist beaches. You can go there by bus. This bus stops at a taverna / minimarket and from there you should have to do a little walking towards the west (about a quarter of an hour). The beach is about 500 meters long and quite wide. On the beach are trees where you can lie down in the shade. The beach of Lavrakas west of Agios Ioannis is a naturist beach. You can get there if you follow the coast from Agios Ioannis but on some parts of the walk you have to walk through the sea (don’t do this in bed weather) walk or you can climb up the rocks behind Agios Ioannis beach and then follow the paths. The trip takes about 40 minutes from the beach of Agios Ioannis. Lavrakas is not as good as Agios Ioannis. It is a flat beach with trees and in the sea are many rocks, so you have to look out for the best way you can get into the sea. It is a beautiful place to snorkel though.
Getting Around Crete
To get around Crete, consider using the bus services provided by Ktel. These buses connect the main cities in Crete. Car rental is a popular way to travel around Crete, and it’s possible to rent vehicles for a very affordable price. Car rental agencies are located at almost all Crete airports. Look out for the car rental companies Athenscars Rent-A-Car athenscars.gr , carCrete.com, Kretarent.gr, athenscars-crete.gr . Crete’s roads are not easy to navigate, but beware that many of them are old manufactured. You can also access Crete’s major attractions by bike or bicycle.
Attractions in Crete, where to focus on visiting when on the island
There are so many attractions in Crete that are great for the whole family. If you’d like to have an educational afternoon, then the Natural Museum of History is a must-see. Crete’s theme museums are a delight for kids and adults alike. Pay a visit to Archaeological Museum of Heraklion. If you don’t want to wander around the large theme museums in the area, take a trip to one of Crete’s many beautiful beaches. Vai Palm Beach, West Elafonisi Beach and Agia Pelagia village Beach are popular with tourists. The interior of Crete has a number of private theme parks, like the one in Lassithi plateau-Lassinthos.
Shopping, Dining and Nightlife in Crete, modern or in old taverns
Now that you’ve saved money on your cheap flight to Crete, you should spend a day at one of Crete’s shopping malls. Visit the Mall of Talos to explore over 50 fine stores and eating establishments. Adults visiting Crete can dance the night away at Hersonisos city. For a buffet to suit the whole family, visit Petousis Steakhouse where you can find a wide variety of foods at an affordable price.