Crete – a beautiful island to discover.
Crete is bathed with sunshine and warm weather for many months of the year, making it the perfect place to visit even in October, when it’s not too crowded and it still feels like summer.
The temperature at that time is warm enough to go swimming and have dinner in the lovely outdoor squares, but not too hot to be unbearable – and the perfect time to enjoy a luxury yoga retreat.
The largest of the Greek islands, Crete is full of beautiful beaches, amazing historic sites, breathtaking gorges and charming fishing villages.
4 Must-See Places in Crete:
Chania is the most charming town on the island of Crete and some say in all of Greece, with its gorgeous Venetian harbor, old town center and colorful pedestrian streets. You can spend hours walking around exploring the boutique shops, getting lost in an outdoor market, or taking a break at a waterside café at the harbor, watching life go by.
The food and the locals
The food is amazing, with fresh ingredients based around a healthy Mediterranean diet – having dinner at an outdoor restaurant along the harbor is an experience not to be missed.
The locals are super friendly and welcoming, and you can feel the history in every building from the lighthouse to the old port. It doesn’t feel touristy and it’s been able to maintain it’s authentic charm and style despite it being in every guide book’s highly recommended stops. This is definitely a must-see and top on our list of places to visit in Crete.
Elafonisi and Falasarna beaches
These two long gorgeous beaches are a highlight in everyone’s trip to western Crete.
Elafonisi beach sits on the southwestern coast of Crete and has clear blue water and unusual pink sand caused by particles from pink coral and shells that have been ground into fine sand by years of natural erosion.
You can walk through the water from the end of the beach to a small island with more beautiful pink sand, and spend your day on a sunbed reading a book and taking in the beautiful scenery. You’ll feel like you’ve landed in paradise!
Falasarna is closer to Chania on the western part of Crete, with a very wide golden sandy beach and green-turquoise water. Despite being a popular beach destination, it still feels very peaceful and spread out, perhaps due to its size. There is always a breeze here, making it an ideal escape on very hot days.
Both beaches are a definite must for beach-lovers and an easy day trip from Chania.
One of the longest and most spectacular gorges in Europe, the Samaria Gorge boasts some magnificent flaura and fauna and incredible scenery. It’s a wonderful experience for both novices and expert hikers alike, and recommended by every local friend you’ll make in Crete.
You do however need to go prepared with appropriate hiking boots, hat, and plenty of water, since parts of the gorge can get a bit challenging.
And it’s quite a long hike – it can take up to 4-6 hours depending on your pace, still easily doable as a day trip. But it’s worth every step, and at the end of this wonderful journey, you can treat yourself to a swim in the warm Libyan sea – with a view of Africa in the distance.
Knossos is the largest of the Minoan palaces and was the political, ceremonial and administrative center of Minoan civilization until it was abandoned after its destruction in 1375 BC.
It grew to occupy about 20,000 square meters and was a maze of workrooms, living spaces and storerooms close to a central square.
According to Greek mythology, the palace was designed with such complexity that no one placed in it could ever find the exit – and therefore became the famous Labyrinth dwelling of the Minotaur in Greek mythology.
The southern entranceway to the palace offers a grand arrival, leading the visitor through a corridor with elegant frescoes decorating the walls. The main square leads to other areas including a throne room, a central palace sanctuary and a residential quarter, which may have housed royal apartments.
Full of wonderful historical details, Knossos Palace is a must see for history buffs.
And so many more secret little corners to explore…
These are just four of the numerous wonderful things to see in Crete – an island rich in beauty, history and culture. We’ll have plenty of time to visit these places on our Crete yoga holidays, and also explore secret corners that only the locals know about.
After our day trip to Elafonisi beach and a restorative yoga class by the sea, we’ll wander into a sweet little hillside town nearby and have the most delicious home-cooked meal ever.
This cozy local restaurant used to be the children’s school and still has black & white pictures of its young students on the wall. A simple old stone building with a lovely courtyard, a few tables, and food made with love!
Our luxury yoga retreat dates in Crete:
2–9 October 2020
1–8 October 2021
Yoga Escapes organizes luxury yoga retreats in beautiful places around the world, offering a mix of Vinyasa yoga and restorative Yin yoga classes. Contact the Yoga Escapes team for info on upcoming yoga holidays.