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Things to See in Crete: Top Attractions & Sights

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There’s more to Crete than just its beaches and beautiful sea, so make sure to take some time to explore the cultural, historical, and entertaining sights and attractions that the island offers guests.
Anneliese O'MalleyBy Anneliese O'Malley

The 10 Best Things to See in Crete

There are plenty of interesting sights and attractions in Crete. We’ve made a list of our favorites so that you can plan your ideal visit to the Greek Island.
Knossos
1

Knossos

The ruined Palace of Knossos is one of the most popular sights in Crete. According to Ancient Greek myths, it was the home of King Minos, the terrifying minotaur, and the labyrinth. Whether there’s any truth in the legend or not, it’s still a fascinating place to discover the Bronze Age Minoan culture.
Heraklion Archaeological Museum
2

Heraklion Archaeological Museum

The archaeological museum in Heraklion is home to one of the world’s most impressive collection of Minoan artifacts, which date back over 3000 years. It also houses a collection of ancient Greek and Roman artifacts, and you’ll also be able to see the ruins of a Venetian monastery.
Chania
3

Chania

The city of Chania is the second largest in Crete and might well be a base for many visitors to the island. Even if you’re not staying in Chania, it’s worth visiting to see the picturesque Old Town, with its Venetian harbor, or to take part in a food tour.
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Elafonisi
4

Elafonisi

The island of Elafonisi is a beautiful spot to visit in summer, separated from the main island of Crete by a shallow stretch of water. Visitors can wade across to the stunning pink sand beaches or take a boat tour that makes a stop at the island. The shallow water makes this an ideal spot to swim with younger children.
Cretaquarium
5

CretAquarium

The CretAquarium was designed for research and education as well as recreation, and a trip to visit the 250 species will ensure that you learn plenty about the incredible creatures on this planet. It’s a particular favorite with younger children, who will enjoy spotting the animals they recognize, including sharks, rays, and octopuses.
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Samaria gorge
6

Samaria Gorge

This nature reserve in southwest Crete is home to several rare species of plants and animals. The path through the gorge is 10 miles long and is a reasonably challenging hike for the adventurous. It’s not the easiest place to get to, so look out for group tours that will drop you off at the start and pick you up at the end.
Palaiochora
7

Palaiochora

This beautiful little town might not be on most people’s list of places to visit, but those who do will be rewarded with the chance to explore a ruined Venetian fortress, stunning beaches, and inspiring hiking routes.
Acqua Plus
8

Acqua Plus

Acqua Plus claims to be the largest water park in Crete, with 11 more extreme slides and rides plus several smaller rides and pools for younger children. They also offer massages and a fish spa, if you’re looking for a more relaxing experience.
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Psychro Cave
9

Psychro Cave

This out of the way site has been thoroughly explored by archaeologists. According to legend, it’s the birthplace of the Greek god Zeus, and it was definitely in use as a burial site and place of worship, all the way back to Minoan times. It’s definitely an interesting spot to visit if you’re exploring the island.
Watercity Water Park | Wiki Commons: Pkioupakis CC BY-SA 4.0
10

Watercity Waterpark

This water park has 18 different pools and slides to choose from, including slides for thrill-seekers and for younger kids. There’s also a beauty salon on-site for visitors who want to let the rest of their family play while they relax.
More Sights in Crete
Heraklion21 tickets & guided tours
Balos5 tickets & guided tours
Imbros Gorge3 tickets & guided tours
Limnoupolis2 tickets & guided tours
Chrysi7 tickets & guided tours
Preveli Beach5 tickets & guided tours
Anneliese O'Malley
Written byAnneliese O'MalleyAnneliese is a former Londoner, keen traveler, and total word nerd. As a Content Management Specialist she knows the TicketLens inventory inside out and curates, matches, and writes about the most interesting attractions worldwide.
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