Best Things To Do in Crete: With an incredible nightlife, splendid views and a range of attractions, Crete is one of the most activity-rich locations you can visit in Greece. Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the 88th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. To help you budget for everything, we’ve compiled a list of 7 free things to do in Crete – perfect for keeping you occupied on your Greek escape.
According to Wikipedia, Crete, Greece’s largest island, is known for its varied terrain, which ranges from fine-sand beaches at Elafonisi to the White Mountains. Mt. Ida, the tallest of the range, is home to the Ideon Cave, which was the birthplace of Zeus, according to Greek mythology. The capital, Heraklion, is home to the renowned Heraklion Archaeological Museum, housing Minoan artifacts, and Knossos, a Bronze Age settlement.
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7 Best Free Things to do in Crete, Greece
1. Visit a Palace
Not too far from Heraklion, The Palace of Knossos is usually crowded and will cost you a minimum of six Euros to enter. However, between the months of November and March, you’ll be greeted with much fewer people and best of all, free entrance to this insightful Minoan Temple.
2. Keep it Fresh
Lake Kournas is not only one of Crete’s most popular natural attractions; it is also the only freshwater lake on the island. There are two springs around the lake as well as numerous opportunities for swimming, relaxing and catching the sun – so it’s definitely worth a visit, with or without a budget.
3. Lappa Up the Ruins
Heading to the ancient Archaeological Site of Lappa is a must for anyone on a budget. Here you can peruse the olde-worlde ruins of Roman baths, scattered among statues of Greek heroes and Gods. Sometimes difficult to find, locals in nearby tavernas will be more than happy to lend a hand, or at least serve you up some fantastic cuisine before setting you on your way.
4. Sunbathe on Beaches
Crete is home to some of Greece’s best beaches and a trip to the island wouldn’t be complete without soaking up the sunshine. Make sure you check out Chania to sample Balos, Elafonissi and Falassarna beaches, or traverse to Heraklion for Matala and Tympaki – some of the best beaches in Crete.
5. Enjoy a Free Festival
While many of the villages will put on festivals throughout the year, one of the free ones you can visit is in Houdetsi, 23km south of Heraklion. Here you will gain free admission to a yearly run music festival, where musicians from all over Greece come to display their talents. This year you can enjoy the festival between the 6th and 9th of August.
6. Take to Snorkelling
Known for its varied corals and rocky coastline, Crete is the ideal place to snorkel. Not only is it a cheap alternative to scuba diving, but the waters surrounding Crete are crystal clear so there’s plenty to see. Just don’t forget your snorkel.
7. Hike Lefka Ori
Not many associate the Greek Islands with snow, although Crete’s mountain ranges provide ample opportunity for hikes amid white peaks and valleys. Particularly covered in the winter months, the numerous pathways of Lefka Ori can be enjoyed at any time of the year. Ensure you pack good walking shoes for this one.
From hiking mountains to joining in the festivity, there’s plenty to do on this Greek Island. As we’ve discussed in the details about Things to do in Chania, Stalis, Gouves, Sissi, Malia, Almyrida, Elounda, Kalyves & similar Crete destinations. Know of any other cool free things to do in Crete? Let us know by commenting below.