Why Crete, Greece’s largest island, is a must-see destination
Stretching over 8,336 square kilometers, Crete Crete is the largest Greek island, and fifth largest in the Mediterranean. As you step off the boat, you’ll be thrown into vibrant towns where historic buildings rub shoulders with cosmopolitan cafés. There are plenty of myths and mysteries to get under the skin of here – and delicious coffee and pastries to enjoy after getting swept up in Crete’s stories.
With Celestyal’s mid-size ships, you’ll explore the glittering islands larger ships can’t access and get closer to dazzling destinations like Crete. The largest Greek island has plenty to see and do, even if your visit is as fleeting as a shooting star.
Here are just a few reasons why Greece’s largest island is also one of its best.
Beautiful Natural Landscapes
Don’t be fooled by the industrial harbor. Crete has plenty of beauty spots to rival her postcard-ready sister islands. Coastal star Ammoudara Beach is the ideal place to enjoy a moment of beachy calm. Lie back on the golden sands and listen to the azure Aegean lazily rolling in. Those daily worries will feel blissfully out of reach here.
To see some truly authentic stars of the island, head inland to ‘Experience the Cretan Countryside and Lifestyle’ with Celestyal. You’ll journey up into the mountains to Stironas, one of the island’s most traditional villages. Sample wine and raki fresh from the barrel, then clear your head with fresh mountain air as the sun sets.
Centuries of rich history
Crete is packed with well-preserved history, everywhere from Heraklion’s Venetian fortress to Chania’s narrow streets. When the sun gets a little too hot to handle, head to the sprawling Historical Museum of Heraklion for a taste of history instead.
The island’s past is as vivid and colorful as its present, with a deep-rooted history dating back thousands of years. Mythology enthusiasts will recognize Crete as the birthplace of Zeus, the king of the Greek gods. Minoan civilization, one of the earliest in Europe, flourished here almost 3000 years ago. Today, you’ll spot incredible relics from their time – including the world-famous Palace of Knossos.
The star of Crete, this Bronze Age site from Europe’s oldest city was lost for thousands of years. Listen as your expert guide tells you the secrets of its discovery in the 1870s. As you wander, you’ll imagine King Minos sat proud of his throne and see the rooms where the Minotaur legend came to life.
Crete’s flavors won’t leave your taste buds feeling disappointed. Historically, residents here have crafted their menus from the fruits of the lands. When you imagine Cretan cuisine, think of fruits and vegetables ripened by the warm Mediterranean sun. The freshest fish that travels from the sparkling Aegean to the dinner plate in hours. Lean meat made delicious from rich mountain grass.
Imagine tasting your way across the island. Letting local olive oil, honey and cheese delight your palate, all washed down with locally produced wine and Cretan raki. With Celestyal, you can wish upon a star and bring a truly authentic gastronomy experience to life. Join the Heraklion Food on Foot tour. You’ll tour the city with a local expert, stopping to sample herbal tea with thyme-infused honey, Greek phyllo custard pie and sizzling street food along the way.
Crete – a journey of a lifetime
With Celestyal, Crete becomes far more than just a destination. It’s a journey through time, a sensorial feast, a place to become the star of unforgettable memories. This land of enchanting beauty, profound historical significance and rich cultural heritage will find a permanent place for itself in your heart. Our authentic experiences bring Crete’s shores to life, showing you the true charm of this popular destination.
Join a Celestyal cruise to see more incredible islands like Crete. And once you’re welcomed back on board after a busy day of exploring, you’ll feel the warmth of our famous Greek hospitality. Our ships were crafted with your happiness and comfort as our North Star – so there’s no better way to cruise Greece and the Mediterranean in shimmering style.