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.
One thing every visitor to Crete should do is a hike into – or through – the Samaria Gorge. Not only do you get to see the most amazing scenery. If you cross the gorge hiking, you’ve also walked the longest canyon in Greece, the second-longest in Europe, and the third-longest in the entire world. All in one go.
And although you certainly won’t walk alone, it’s still a one-of-a-kind experience – no matter if you do it the hard way or opt for the easy one.
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.
Yes, there are those paradisiac beaches lining the island of Naxos. But the true travel connoisseur makes sure to explore also Naxos’ hinterland for at least one day. Don’t wanna drive up those crazy serpentines yourself? No problem since Naxos’ 5 most beautiful mountain villages can be conveniently visited on a self-guided tour by public bus. All you need is an elaborate timetable which I put together for you in this post.
This way, not only do you save a lot of money. Travelling by bus also spares you driving the crazy serpentines and searching for a secure parking spot. Hence, let the driver do the job while you enjoy the scenery to the fullest.
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