Itinerary Guide – One week in Crete
My first taste of travel in Greece was on the island of Crete. And what an introduction it was. The Greek islands, Crete and mainland Greece are all so vastly different. When planing your trip to Greece, I recommend trying to get as much variety as possible by visiting at least 2 out of those 3 regions. It was winter during our visit, so island hopping was quickly ruled out. Instead we decided to spend our time on the island of Crete, and the mainland.
We spent one week travelling through the three main cities of Crete, soaking up sun, culture, and good food, and found that one week was a good amount of time to visit and explore all the sites that interested us.
There are two main airports on the island of Crete, so you will likely start your visit in one of them. However, if you are planning to move on to the main island, I would recommend starting your journey in Chania and ending it in Iraklion, as Iraklion is the departure point for overnight ferries to Athens, and other parts of the country.
One Week in Crete
Start your journey by flying into the beautiful ancient city of Chania. Chania is a lovely place to base yourself for a few days. The ancient Venetian harbour is lined with historic buildings, and lovely tavernas to grab a drink at.
We used Chania as a base to explore some of the surrounding area, including the town of Rethymno. You can easily visit Rethymno in one day, making it easier to visit this town as a day trip instead of packing up all your bags and relocating yourself.
If you are feeling a little adventurous, head out of town to the Samaria Gorge, one of Crete’s national parks and a World Biosphere Reserve. Or if hiking isn’t your thing, head just out of town to some of the beaches nearby to the city.
I would recommend spending at least 3 or 4 nights in Chania, allowing yourself a day or two to explore the city and another day or two to head a little further afield.
When you are finished your visit to Chania, hop on one of the busses that goes between Chania and the larger city of Iraklion several times daily. Iraklion is the largest city on the island of Crete and is home to one of Crete’s most famous historical sites. We have all heard of the legend of the Minotaur and it’s terrifying underground labyrinth. The inspiration for this myth was the very real Minoan palace at Knossos. Knossos is easily reached by city bus from the centre of Iraklion, and was one of our favourite UNESCO sites in Greece.
Need more inspiration? Check out our photo post of the highlights of Crete.