Your holiday destination
Destinations you can visit from Linz Airport
Crete is the southernmost and largest of the Greek islands. With more than 1000 kilometres of coastline, it has beaches for every type of sunhungry holidaymaker. And there are plenty of attractions to discover, too! The island is diverse and boasts a long history, great archaeological finds, quaint mountain villages, idyllic towns, rugged cliffs, imposing mountain ranges, deep gorges, fertile plateaus and tasty food.
Speaking of which, did you know that the healthy and varied Cretan cuisine is said to boost longevity?
Holidays on Crete
A diverse island with a breathtaking scenery
“Kalimera” on the island of the gods! On Crete, you will find numerous vestiges of antiquity and the Greek gods. According to Greek mythology, Zeus, the father of the gods, is said to have been born there. What’s more, you will also find the remains of the oldest European advanced civilisation, the Minoan culture. The Palace of Knossos, probably the most famous archaeological excavation site on the island, is located near the gates of Heraklion, the capital of Crete. Equally impressive are the Minoan palaces of Malia, Phaistos and Oleander. Many of the artefacts found there are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, which is one of the most important museums in Europe.
But it is not only Crete's cultural sights that impress visitors. The island is also bursting with scenic beauty and heartfelt Greek hospitality.
The palm beaches of Preveli and Vai are probably the most beautiful on the island. During peak season, they are often full of tourists. However, the white sandy beaches surrounded by beautiful Cretan date palms are still well worth a visit. The beach of Agios Nikolaos is perfect for relaxing in the Cretan sun. When you’re done sunbathing there, you can stroll through the pretty harbour, visit the marina, see the oldest church in Crete, and shop for fresh fruit and souvenirs at the weekly market every Wednesday. The lively tourist town also has a variety of tavernas, cafés, restaurants and bars. The coastal town of Chania with its Venetian harbour and beautiful old town is well worth a visit, too. And it's always worth stopping at one of the many beautiful cafés and restaurants. That’s where you can taste your way through the specialties of Greek cuisine and enjoy the idyllic view, a glass of wine in hand.
Another must-do on Crete is a hike through Samaria Gorge. With 17 kilometres in length, it’s one of the longest and best-known gorges in Europe. But keep in mind, you need to have a good level of fitness and wear sturdy shoes. The fascinating view of the Cretan mountains and pristine nature on the Lassithi Plateau is impressive as well. From there, you can also admire the Psychro Cave, the Zeus Cave, and the Kera Kardiotissa monastery.
Let’s go – sirtaki and Greek wine are waiting for you!
Popular sights and attractions on Crete
- Palace of Knossos: the largest Minoan palace in Crete and the most important archaeological site on the island
- Arkadi Monastery: former Orthodox monastery from the 14th-century, located near Rethymnon
- Samaria Gorge: at around 17 kilometres, the longest and most famous gorge in Europe
- Spinalonga Island: day trip to the island of the lepers, Venetian fortress from 1579
- Cretan Olive Oil Farm: olive oil farm about two kilometres outside of Agios Nikolaos
- Iraklion Archaeological Museum: located in Heraklion, houses one of Greece's most important collections of antiquities (note: combined tickets for the Palace of Knossos available)
- CretAquarium: located in Heraklion, 60 reservoirs of different sizes with a total volume of 1.7 million litres of salt water and around 2,000 aquatic animals from 200 species
- Lassithi Plateau: and the Zeus Cave (Psychro Cave), located 70 km east of Heraklion
- Matala: Neolithic caves, home to a large hippie commune in the 1960s
- Ruins of Gortyn: "Gortyn Law Code", oldest code of laws found in Europe, consisting of 42 stone blocks
Ideal travel time
The summer months in Crete are hot, with an average temperature of 24 degrees in June. In July and August, the sun shines for 13 hours a day and temperatures climb to between 27and 30 degrees Celsius. Even in the evenings and at night, it stays relatively warm. The best time to travel, both for sightseeing and for going to the beach, would be in the months of May, June, September, and October. (Please note: It can rain more often in October.) Winter is mild but humid. Most precipitation falls in the months from November to March.