Due to its favorable location in the very east of Crete, the coastal town of Agios Nikolaos is not only a nice base for your stay on the island but most of all the ideal destination for a lovely day trip.
Bright lights, big city: Although Crete’s capital Heraklion has only 200,000 inhabitants – which still makes it the island’s largest city – it surely has some swag and its rough vitality can definitely compete with the fierce energy of Athens. Now, add some amazing history, the proximity of some beautiful beaches and major hubs like an international airport, a busy seaport, and a bus station from where you can get to all of Crete’s most captivating spots – and there you have it: Heraklion, your perfect base in the East of Crete.
Located about halfway between the Cretan capital of Heraklion and the glorious coast town of Chania, idyllic Rethymno is kind of a smaller version of the latter: The same historic old town, a Venetian harbor, picturesque alleys, and fascinating Ottoman heritage make Crete’s third-largest city one of the most popular destinations for vacationers. But due to its favorable location, Rethymno is also the ideal place for a lovely day trip.
Have you also seen those incredible pictures of the Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa Island where some of Crete’s most excellent beaches are located? Do you wonder if those places are really as beautiful and as dreamy as shown in those pictures?
Well, yes and no. While those places are truly mesmerizingly beautiful, they are pretty far from being dreamy. Simply because hundreds of day trippers would cast out any kind of dreaminess even from paradise.
The glorious city of Chania is located rather in the west of the island of Crete and unites all the best features every visitor is looking for: There is the everchanging history that’s reflected in magnificent structures from different epochs and cultures and showcased in grand museums. There is the joy of life that you feel even in the smallest alley, that you taste in Crete’s delicious cuisine and enjoy with every sip of Retsina’n’Raki. However, one of the best features of Chania are the beautiful beaches which are just a short walk away from the city center.
Hence, if you are looking for the perfect base to explore’n’enjoy the island of Crete, look no further, you’ve found it in Chania.
The secluded cape of Alyko in the southwest of Naxos island is surrounded by the most beautiful coves and beaches. But Alyko is not only famous for its idyllic secluded bays. It has actually a real landmark. Pretty much in the center of the peninsula is a long-abandoned and uncompleted resort. Today, these hotel ruins of Alyko are decorated with murals by street artists from all over the world.
There is this grand history. There are those picturesque mountain villages. You can hike for hours alongside those Mediterranean olive groves and climb mountains from where you’ll have majestic views of the Aegean sea. All this is fine and dandy. But Naxos’ strongest suits are undeniably the beautiful long golden beaches hemming turquoise crystal clear waters. In this guide, I show you how to get to the best beaches of Naxos comfortably by public bus.
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