Crete is not only known as Greece’s largest island, but also an island with the most variety in terms of its terrain and landscape. You can find virtually anything in Crete, from beautiful white sand beaches to challenging hiking trails and steep hills of the White Mountains. Crete offers something for every kind of traveller, which is why it is so popular in the first place.
To enjoy the best of Crete, however, you can’t just plan a trip there and hope for the best. Knowing how to really sample the best things this island has to offer can make a usual holiday in Crete even more spectacular. To help you get started, I have the best tips and tricks to use in this article.
1. Time Your Visit
The period between May and October is always the best time to visit Crete. The weather is perfect during this period and you can try more things while on the island. The peak season covers August and September, so May and June would be the perfect time to visit Crete for the best experience, or sometimes in late spring.
Keep in mind that the weather in Crete can be very hot during these times, especially in May when there is a lot less rain. Even the night can be pretty hot, so prepare for the higher temperatures and pack a lot of sunscreen for the trip.
2. Set Aside Time for Some Wine
Crete has several wineries that you can visit. In fact, the only way you can bring home a few bottles of local wine from Crete is by buying them from the wineries directly. Rather than doing some wine shopping as an afterthought, set aside some time to really explore the wineries on this island.
There are a lot of interesting activities to try while on a winery tour. You can try making your own wine in some wineries. You can also do some wine tasting or have an entire lunch or dinner prepared for you and your travel companion.
3. Watch Out for Discounts
Another reason to visit Crete in May and October is the superb discounts and special offers you will find. There are many great retailers on the island and they usually host their seasonal sales at these times.
Shopping is a big thing in Crete. Being the largest island (and the most populated) in Greece, Crete is home to designer boutiques, top brands, and local retailers. Spending a day or two around cities like Heraklion is exactly how you pamper the shopaholic in you.
4. Stay in Villas
Greek islands are always best enjoyed in complete luxury. You don’t have to break the bank to be able to stay in a luxurious villa on many of the islands. The villas in Crete are no exception. You can find the best Crete luxury villa for your trip and still find it reasonably priced, especially when you consider the luxury amenities you get with the property.
Booking villas in Crete is also made easier thanks to BlueVillas and its online booking system. You can browse through the available properties, find one that suits you and the kind of trip you want to have perfectly, and complete the reservation process in just a couple of minutes.
5. Lots of Celebrations
Another thing to consider when planning a trip to Crete is the many festivals and local celebrations the island hosts regularly. Timing your visit to Crete correctly will give you a chance to take part in special occasions like the Panagia Festival in August.
The celebrations are also perfect for when you are travelling with the entire family. The children will certainly love the festivity and they can take part in some celebrations too. Villages and cities such as Neapoli and Mohos regularly host local celebrations that you can attend.
6. Don’t Forget to Tip!
Tipping is somewhat mandatory in Crete. It is part of the local way of life and not tipping is considered rude and unacceptable. You don’t have to leave a lot of tip – unless you are really happy with the service – but adding around 10% as a tip is highly recommended.
In some restaurants, the 10% tip is even added to your bill directly. Yes, that’s how important tipping is for the locals.
7. Leave Room for More
Lastly, always leave some room in your itinerary for some spontaneous adventures. You will come across many interesting things while exploring Crete, and it is always good to be able to just follow your instincts and explore those things further.
There are guided tours that will take you to historic places and local markets too. Make sure you choose a guided tour with a good reputation and you will have plenty of fun exploring the island.
With these tips in mind, your trip to Crete will be highly enjoyable for sure. Don’t forget to share stories from your trip in the Comments section below! If you have more tips on Crete, feel free to share them too.