Planning an unforgettable vacation in Greece? Skip the guesswork and follow this ridiculously detailed Crete Itinerary. Find out what to see and do in Crete in 3, 4, 5, 7, 10 or 14 days!
Excited to visit Crete for the first time, but dreading the research and planning required to put an epic Crete itinerary together? Don’t worry! You’ve come to the right place!
We’ve spent hours researching the best way to travel Crete. From whether to rent a car, where to stay on the Greek island, which gorges are worth hiking, to where you can see the best waterfalls and beaches on Crete with or without a car.
So why let all those hours go to waste? Sharing is caring, right?
Skip all the guesswork and use this epic travel guide to plan your vacation in Crete. Whether you’re spending 3, 4, 5, 7, 10 days or 2 weeks in Crete (14 days) – we’ve got you covered!
We’ve custom designed 8 different Crete itineraries in this guide to help you get the most out of your Greece vacation!
Make sure you bookmark, share or pin this Crete Itinerary so you can refer back to it later.
How Many Days to Spend in Crete
Before we jump straight into the best Crete itinerary for you. Let us answer one of the most frequently asked questions travelers ask when visiting Crete for the first time. And that question is: ‘How many days should you spend in Crete?’
This is a really important question to ask yourself before planning your travel itinerary in Crete. Not only will it determine what things you can do and see on the Greek island. But it will also help you narrow down where to stay in Crete and whether you should rent a car or not.
So instead of answering the question: ‘how many days to spend in Crete?’ It would be more useful if we answered the question: ‘how many days do you NEED in Crete?’ instead.
How Many Days Do You Need in Crete?
This is how many days we think you need in Crete after exploring and traveling the island ourselves.
If you plan to see the entire island of Crete, then you’ll need 4 weeks.
You’ll need to spend at least 7 days EACH in north, south, east and west Crete to explore the whole island. Yes – it’s that big!
Most of us don’t have the luxury of spending 4 weeks in Crete (unless you work remotely or you’re a digital nomad). This is why we say the ideal (and realistic) number of days to spend in Crete is 14 days.
Two weeks will allow you to see the best beaches in the east, west and a few beaches in south Crete (famous and off the beaten track), hike some of the best gorges on the island and explore the historic towns in Crete like Rethymno and Chania.
It’s also possible to explore both east and west Crete in 10 days. But your itinerary in Crete will be rushed and it would be best to rent a car to maximize sightseeing.
The minimum days we’d recommend you spend in Crete is 7 days. A week in Crete will allow you to explore either the west or east part of the island.
And if you’re really strapped for time and can only spend 3, 4 or 5 days in Crete. You’d only have enough time to see a few of the most famous beaches in Crete and explore a historic town or two.
Still unsure how many days to spend in Crete? Don’t worry! We’ve created a Crete Itinerary for 3, 4, 5, 7, 10 or 14 days to help you pick the right vacation for you.
3 days in Crete Itinerary: Without A Car
Day 1: Arrive in Chania, Crete
There’s no time to waste when you’ve only got 3 days in Crete! On day 1, we’d recommend flying into Chania International Airport and staying in the historic town of Chania.
Chania will be the best town to base yourself in without renting a car when you’ve only got 3 days in Crete.
If possible, book a flight that arrives by the latest lunchtime. That way you’ll still have the rest of the day to explore old town Chania.
Bonus Tip: It’s possible to take public transport from Chania International Airport to its town center. But it takes time with all the stops in between. With only 3 days in Crete, we’d recommend taking an airport transfer to shorten the trip.
What To Do in Chania
Chania is one of the oldest towns in Crete. The city is most famous for its rich history, culture and distinct old town, new town atmosphere.
History and architecture lovers will enjoy spending hours wandering down the narrow streets of old town Chania. Admiring how the city’s facades capture all the different civilizations that have flourished here throughout the centuries.
And if history isn’t your forte (like us), Chania offers some of the best nightlife in Crete and is a haven for foodies.
Wander the streets of Chania at your own leisure. Or join this small guided bike tour to see the best attractions and hidden gems in old town Chania.
Where To Stay in Chania
We’d recommend staying in the old town of Chania. Not only is this the best part of Chania to stay in without a car. But it’s also the best way to soak up the old town vibes of Crete on a short 3-day itinerary.
You’ll be within walking distance of museums, and archaeological sites, as well as the best shopping, restaurants, and nightlife in Chania.
Hotels may be cheaper in the new town of Chania. But it’s very busy and lacks the charismatic vibe that old town Chania is known for.
Save Me For Later
Best Places to Stay in Chania, Crete
- Budget: Boho City Hostel (mixed dorm)
- Budget: Alegria Pension
- Budget: Earini Rooms and Apartments
- Mid-range: Villa Margot
- Mid-range: Metropolis House
- Mid-range: Madonna Studios
- Luxury: Venetian Palace
- Luxury: Malmo Historic Hotel
- Luxury: Castello Luxury Residence (with private jacuzzi)
- Luxury: Estia Residence
Looking for more? Click on the map below to compare hotel prices in Chania or check out Chania hotel reviews on TripAdvisor before deciding.
Related Guide: Looking for other places to stay in Crete besides Chania? Read our Where To Stay in Crete guide. It shares insider tips on where to stay in Crete with kids, for a romantic couples getaway, to the best hotels for beautiful beaches and epic nightlife, with or without renting a car.
Day 2: Balos Beach and Gramvousa Island
If it’s your first time visiting Crete, then you must add Balos Beach and Gramvousa Island to your Crete Itinerary!
They’re some of the most famous beaches in Crete for good reason. Both are considered to be some of the most beautiful and iconic beaches on the Greek island.
Balos beach is known for its exquisite natural surroundings with a lagoon on the one side and the sea on the other. And the rugged mountains in the backdrop create the ultimate nature lovers’ paradise.
Gramvousa, on the other hand, is a remote beach located on an uninhabited island off the west coast of Crete. It used to be a famous pirate island back in the day. But today, Gramvousa Island is known for looking like a movie set from the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’.
How To Get To Balos Beach and Gramvousa Island Without A Car
It’s possible to get to Balos Beach by car. But if you plan to see Gramvousa Island too, then we’d suggest taking a ferry to both places instead.
Skip the long queues and book this full-day trip from Chania to Balos and Gramvousa. It includes pick-up and drop-off from your hotel in Chania so you won’t need to rent a car.
Day 3: Elafonissi Beach
Day 3 of this Crete itinerary takes us to another famous beach on the Greek island. Elafonissi – Crete’s signature pink sand beach!
The pink sand found on Elafonissi beach is renowned because it’s unique to Crete. And you won’t find it anywhere else in Greece!
As you can imagine, Elafonissi beach is visited by tons of travelers every year. So if you want to avoid the crowds and find a less crowded spot. Make sure to walk further away from the main beach towards Elafonissi South beach.
How To Get To Elafonissi Beach Without A Car
It’s free to visit Elafonissi beach and it’s a surprisingly easy drive to get there too. But since 3 days in Crete is so short, we’d recommend taking a guided tour from Chania to Elafonisi beach instead.
Experience Nightlife in Chania
You got to party it up in style on your last day of this 3 Days in Crete Itinerary. Dance the night away with locals at Senso Club, Barraki and DNA Night Club.
What To See in Crete 4 Days
If you’re spending 4 days in Crete, then we’d do the 3 days in Crete Itinerary and add one of these options:
- Seitan Limania Beach and Rethymno
- Kourtaliotiko Gorge (and waterfall) and Preveli Beach
- Samaria Gorge Hike
- Day Trip from Crete to Santorini Island
Day 4 in Crete: Seitan Limania Beach and Old Town Rethymno
This option is for the beach lover. Explore yet another famous beach in Crete – Seitan Limania beach.
Seitan Limania is not only one of the most famous beaches on west Crete. But also one of the most beautiful beaches near Chania.
Seitan Limania beach literally looks like some magical beach conjured from an epic fantasy novel. It may be missing a dragon or two. But the wild goats and breathtaking scenery kinda make up for it.
How To Get To Seitan Limania Beach
If you want to add Rethymno to your 4 days in Crete itinerary, then we’d highly suggest you rent a car in Crete.
That way you can visit Seitan Limania in the morning, spend the early afternoon there and visit Rethymno in the late afternoon and evening.
Renting a car in Crete doesn’t have to be expensive as long as you book early. Compare car rental prices for Crete on Auto Europe Car Rentals or RentalCars.com and find the best deal for your budget.
Otherwise, you can also get to Seitan Limania beach without a car. You may not have enough time to visit Rethymno with this option though.
Take this guided boat tour from Chania To Seitan Limania beach and enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
Bonus Tip: Seitan Limania is not the easiest beach to get to. But for those adventurous souls who are up for the challenge, you can find out how to get to Seitan Limania beach here.
Visit Rethymno (or Rethimno)
If you love wandering down picturesque alleyways and exploring old European towns. Then you need to add Rethymno to your Crete itinerary!
Rethymno is not only one of the most beautiful cities in Crete. But also one of the best preserved medieval cities in Greece.
Like Chania, Rethymno is famous for its old town charm and rich, cultural history. But Rethymno is different in that the old town felt smaller, cozier, and less commercial compared to Chania.
How To Get to Rethymno From Chania (Without A Car)
The fastest way to get from Chania to Rethymno is by car. It’s an easy 65-minute drive on the main west-east highway in Crete.
You can also get to Rethymno from Chania without a car by taking public transport (KTEL).
The public buses take slightly longer (1 hour and 20 minutes). Just make sure to plan ahead so you know what time the buses depart.
Here are the directions to get from the main bus station in Chania to Rethymno.
Day 4 Crete Itinerary: Kourtaliotiko Gorge Waterfall and Preveli Beach
Add this option to your Crete itinerary if you’re an adventure lover! Visit off-the-beaten-track Kourtaliotiko Gorge, find its enchanting waterfall, and explore one of the most unique beaches in Crete – Preveli beach.
Visiting Kourtaliotiko Gorge and swimming under Kourtaliotiko Waterfall was one of our absolute highlights during our two weeks in Crete! And it will be yours too if you love adventure and are willing to brave swimming in frigid water.
Just take a look at this view and tell us you don’t want to go there, we dare you!
How To Get To Kourtaliotiko Gorge
The best way to get to Kourtaliotiko Gorge is by car. It’s possible to get there by public bus as well but it will take a lot longer.
Finding Kourtaliotiko Gorge isn’t difficult. But finding the entrance to the waterfall is tricky without some insider tips. But don’t worry! We’ve written a detailed guide on How To Find Kourtaliotiko Gorge so you can find this unforgettable hidden gem in Crete.
Bonus Tip: You can also get to Kourtaliotiko Gorge without a car by taking this day trip to Sfakia, Plakias, and Kourtaliotiko Gorge. But you won’t have enough time to visit Preveli beach on the same day if you take the guided tour option.
Preveli beach may no longer be an off the beaten track hidden gem. But it’s definitely one of the most beautiful and unique beaches you’ll find in Crete.
The landscape at Preveli beach is simply one-of-a-kind. The beach itself has been carved out by the ocean on one side, and a river and palm tree forest on the other. It’s a magical beach that you have to see to believe.
Unfortunately, you can’t reach the enchanted beach of Preveli on flying broomsticks or teleportation. And it’s not an easy drive there either.
But don’t worry, we explain in detail how to get to Preveli Beach in our South Crete Beaches guide. We’ve included road conditions, where to park for a long vs short hike, and also share how hard the hike down to Preveli Beach is.
Bonus Tip: You can also get to Preveli beach without a car by taking this day trip from Chania or Rethymno to Preveli beach. But you’ll have to skip visiting Kourtaliotiko Gorge Waterfall with this option.
Day 4 Crete Itinerary: Hike Samaria Gorge
Add Samaria Gorge to your 4 days in Crete itinerary if you love hiking! But we’re going to be honest – it’s not for the faint-hearted.
We are hiking lovers ourselves and have done some pretty epic hikes around the world. But nothing prepared us for the mind-blowing landscapes and grueling 16km hike that is Samaria Gorge.
The distance was not the problem. It’s the downhill hike from the mountains at an altitude of 1,230m down to sea level, that’s the challenge!
It’s totally worth all the joint pain and bruises though! The Samaria Gorge hike in Crete is probably one of the most memorable hikes we’ve ever done in our lives. So if you love hiking and you’re up for the challenge, make sure to not miss this.
How To Get To Samaria Gorge (Without A Car)
The best way to get to the Samaria Gorge hike is by guided tour. It’s possible to get to Samaria Gorge by car too, but it’s not easy. We would even go as far as to say that it was dangerous.
We know – because that’s exactly what we did and we don’t recommend it.
Take this guided tour from Chania to Samaria Gorge and skip all the stress and risk of driving.
Bonus Travel Tip
With the ongoing COVID-pandemic, airport chaos, and who knows what else, it’s better to be safe than sorry! Travel insurance will protect you against cancellations, illness, injury and even theft. Get a travel insurance quote for a stress-free vacation and enjoy the adventure without worries. Here are some recommendations:
- SafetyWing Nomad Insurance (from any country)
- AXA Travel Insurance (if you’re from the US)
- Outbacker Travel Insurance (if you’re from the UK)
- Allianz Travel Insurance (if you live in Germany)
Day 4: Day Trip From Chania to Santorini
If visiting the famous Santorini island is on your Greece travel bucket list, then you need to add this to your Crete itinerary!
Take a full day trip from Chania to Santorini island. Not only is this a great way to visit Santorini island without all the stress of planning. But it’s also a cheaper way to visit one of the most famous islands of Greece.
This day trip includes a round trip on a luxury, high-speed catamaran from Crete to Santorini island. As well as bus transfers and a Santorini island guided bus tour.
Marvel at the magnificent (and Instagram famous) views of the blue and white houses scattered on the hillside of Oia. Take a volcano boat tour and enjoy wandering the cute streets of Fira before heading back to Chania in Crete.
Related Guide: How much does a trip to Greece cost? Get a detailed cost breakdown for flights, hotels, car rental, eating out, and more, in our How Expensive Is Crete guide.
5 Days in Crete: East vs West
If you have only 5 days in Crete, then we’d suggest exploring either the western or eastern coast of Crete.
You’ll be able to see more if you rent a car in Crete. But we’ll also share options if you plan to travel Crete without a car.
We’d recommend visiting west Crete if you want to see the most famous beaches in Crete. Like Balos, Elafonissi beach or Seitan Limania beach.
But be prepared for the crowds though. These Crete destinations are very popular, especially during the summer months of June, July and August.
If you prefer going more off the beaten track, then we’d suggest visiting east Crete instead. The beaches on east Crete may not be as famous, but they’re just as magnificent (if not more!).
Visit a palm forest beach that will make you feel like you’re in an African oasis. Explore the ‘Caribbean Island of Europe’ and a red sand beach that feels like it belongs to the planet Mars.
Crete Itinerary 5 days: Western Crete Itinerary
Stay in Chania and follow our 3 days in Crete Itinerary. Then add these destinations to your Crete vacation based on your travel style:
5 days in Crete for Beach Lovers
Day 4: Paralia Menies & Falasarna Beach
Take a break from the tourist crowds and visit one of the few off the beaten track beaches in west Crete. Say ‘hello’ to Paralia Menies beach!
Not only is Menies beach a hidden gem. But it’s also one of the most beautiful pebbles beaches on the western coast of Crete.
There’s a small price to pay for the seclusion though – it’s quite an adventure and challenge to get to Paralia Menies beach. It’s like the last 1.3km drive to Seitan Limania beach, but on steroids!
It’s so hidden, that the only way to get there is by car. For those who want to enjoy this quiet paradise, make sure to read our tips on how to get to Paralia Menies beach before visiting.
Related Guide: Driving in Crete is not easy. Especially if you want to avoid the crowds and explore Crete off the beaten track. Make sure to read our Driving in Crete guide for the essential road rules to know.
In the late afternoon, we’d recommend heading to Falasarna beach.
Not only will you find Crete’s signature pink sand at Falassarna beach too. But it’s also one of the best sunset beaches in Crete!
You can easily spend the entire day here if you want to skip Paralia Menies beach.
At Falasarna beach, you can relax on a comfortable sunbed and enjoy a cocktail or two. Or if you’re looking for a bit more action. You could do watersports and rent a jet ski or kayak and explore the coastline.
Whatever you do, make sure you stay and watch the sunset at Falassarna beach. It’s absolutely breathtaking and you won’t want to miss it.
After watching the sunset, we’d recommend heading over to Kapetan Nikolas for a delicious seafood dinner on the beach.
Bonus Tip: Don’t want to rent a car on your 5 days in Crete Itinerary? Take this private sunset tour from Chania to Falasarna beach instead.
Day 5: Seitan Limania Beach & Nightlife in Chania
Start day 5 early and take a drive to magical Seitan Limania beach. We’d recommend leaving Chania by 9 AM latest so you can get there before the crowds.
On the evening of your last day in Crete, get dressed and head out to experience the incredible nightlife in Chania.
5 days Crete Itinerary for Adventure Lovers
Day 4: Kourtaliko Gorge and Preveli Beach
Kick-off day 4 with a road trip from Chania to Kourtaliko Gorge. After the short hike and refreshing swim to see the otherworldly Kourtaliko Waterfall. Head to Preveli beach and enjoy the rest of the afternoon on this palm tree forest beach.
Day 5: Hike Samaria Gorge
End your 5 days in Crete Itinerary with an exhilarating hike on the most famous hiking trail in Crete – Samaria Gorge.
5 days in Crete for Photography Lovers
Day 4: Day Trip from Crete to Santorini
Why visit only one Greek island when you can visit two? Take a day trip from, Crete, the biggest island in Greece, and see the most famous Greek island!
Make sure to bring your camera (plus spare batteries) because if you love photography, you’re in for a treat! Book your full day trip from Chania to Santorini island early to skip the queue.
Day 5: Explore Rethymno
Spent an entire day in one of the most beautiful cities in Greece! Meander through its many charismatic alleyways capturing beautiful photography. Or try some of these unique things to do in Rethymno:
- Rethymno Old Town Walking Tour with Meal and Phyllo Pastry Workshop
- Wine and olive oil tasting tour in Rethymno (includes lunch)
- Half Day Quad Bike Safari from Rethymno
Crete Itinerary 5 days: Eastern Crete Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Rethymno, Crete
On day 1, we’d recommend flying into Chania International Airport and taking an airport transfer to Rethymno.
Rethymno will be the best town to base yourself in (without renting a car) when you’ve only got 5 days in Crete.
If possible, book a flight that arrives by the latest lunchtime. That way you’ll still have the rest of the day to explore old town Rethymno.
For dinner, we’d recommend going to Sofra for dinner. It’s rated as one of the best restaurants in Rethymno. Make sure to make a booking to avoid disappointment.
Where to Stay in Rethymno
We’d recommend staying in the old town of Rethymno. Not only is this the best part of Rethymno to stay in without a car. But it’s also the best way to soak up the old town vibes of Crete on a 5-day itinerary.
You’ll be within walking distance of museums, and archaeological sites, as well as the best shopping, restaurants, and nightlife in Rethymno.
Best Places To Stay in Rethymno, Crete
- Budget: Preveli Apartments
- Budget: Seeblick
- Budget: Rethymno House
- Mid-range: Argyro House
- Mid-range: Queen Stella Luxury Home
- Mid-range: Pal Calma Suites
- Luxury: The Downtown Pent (with roof garden)
- Luxury: Smaragdi Boutique Hotel
- Luxury: Veneto Boutique Hotel
- Luxury: Rimondi Boutique Hotel
For more options, click on the map below to compare hotel prices in Rethymno or check out Rethymno hotel reviews on TripAdvisor before booking.
Day 2: Matala beach and Red Beach
Day 2 of this 5 Days Eastern Crete Itinerary takes us to the southeast coast of Crete. We’re exploring the hippy town of Matala, taking a dip at Matala Beach, and for those who dare, hiking across to Crete’s most famous nudist beach – Red Beach.
Matala is one of the most loved beaches in south Crete for good reason. It’s one of the best all-around beaches for families with kids, a group of friends, and even couples.
Not only is this beach stunning. But it’s easy to get to by car and there’s no hiking involved. Plus, Matala beach is pretty unique since it’s located right next to the archaeological site, Matala Caves.
How To Get To Matala Beach Without A Car
Not planning on renting a car and driving in Crete? No problem! Take this small guided day tour from Rethymno to Matala beach. It’s a 10-hour tour that includes pick-up and drop-off from your hotel in Rethymno.
This guided tour will also take you to visit Agia Galini and the village of Spili to see the famous lion-head fountains.
Red Beach, Crete (also called Kokkini Ammos Beach)
If you’re looking for a quieter, less popular AND even more spectacular beach than Matala – this is it! Kokkini Ammos, or otherwise better known as Red Beach.
If there was a beach on Mars, we’d imagine it to look like this!
There are two things you should know before visiting Red Beach though. Firstly, you’ll need to hike 45 to 50 minutes to get there (each way). And secondly (but more importantly) you need to be comfortable with public nudity.
Yes, Red Beach is a popular nudist beach in Crete. You don’t need to be nude yourself to visit. But you need to be okay that others will be nude and respect that.
Find out how to get to Red beach and what the hiking trail is like in our Best South Crete Beaches guide.
Day 3: Richtis Gorge Hike and Voulisma Beach
Richtis Gorge is one of the most popular gorges to hike in east Crete. The natural landscape of this UNESCO Global Geopark is beautiful, of course. But the main attraction on the Richtis Gorge hike is to see Richtis Waterfall.
The hiking trail at Richtis Gorge is 5km long (1 hour and 45 minutes). You’ll need to walk back to the starting point so make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes for the full 10km hike (3.5 hours).
If you’re short on time and want to see Richtis Waterfall without doing the full hike, we’d recommend following our route.
The drive is not easy. But it will cut the total hiking time to 60 minutes (return) to see the waterfall at Richtis Gorge and get back to the car.
Get detailed directions on how to get to Richtis Gorge by car (our short hiking route). Or take this guided Richtis Gorge and Waterfall Hiking Tour if you want to get there without a car.
Sunset Swim at Voulisma Beach
After the relaxing hike (but tough drive), it’s time to hit the beach again.
The next destination on our 5 Days in Crete Itinerary takes us to Voulisma beach. One of the most popular beaches on the north eastern coast of Crete.
Voulisma beach is famous for its long, white, sandy beach with crystal clear, turquoise blue waters. Head to the right side of the beach for a drink at the beach bar. Or head left to avoid the crowds and enjoy a swim at sunset.
Bonus Tip: The best way to hike Richtis Gorge and visit Voulisma beach in one day is to rent a car. Compare car rental prices for Crete on Auto Europe Car Rentals or RentalCars.com before your trip to get the best price.
Day 4: Visit Lake Kournas
Visit the ONLY freshwater lake in Crete – Lake Kournas. And yes – it’s all natural! The water is so clear you can often see fish and turtles swimming.
Join them for a swim or rent a paddle boat and admire them from above.
Lake Kournas is a fairly easy 35-minute drive from Rethymno. If you don’t plan to rent a car in Crete, we’d recommend taking this guided tour from Rethymno to Lake Kournas.
It’s a 6-hour guided tour that will take you to see how olive oil is locally made, the famous landmark – Saint Nicholas Chapel, as well as the waterfalls of Argyroupolis before enjoying 2 hours of free time at Lake Kournas.
Day 5: Agiofarago Beach
Another day, another beach! If you love going off the beaten track, then you’ll love Agiofarago beach in Crete!
Not only is Agiofarago (which means ‘Gorge of Saints’) a hidden gem. But it’s also one of the most beautiful pebble beaches on the Greek island. And our personal favorite after spending two weeks in Crete!
This magical beach is located on the southernmost tip of Crete island. Tucked away at the end of the island with two dramatic cliffs guarding it on either side.
It’s certainly not an easy beach to get to. But those who dare will be rewarded with some of the clearest water you can find in Crete!
And the cherry on top? It’s probably THE quietest beach we visited on Crete. So if you’re looking to share a slice of paradise with as few people as possible – THIS IS IT!
How To Get To Agiofarago Beach
If you’re driving in Crete, we’ve explained in detail how to get to Agiofarago beach in our Best South Crete Beaches guide.
Unfortunately, there are no guided tours from Rethymno to Agiofaraggo (it’s that off the beaten track). But here are alternative things to do on the last day of your 5 days in Crete Itinerary without a car:
- Take a 5-hour boat cruise on a wooden pirate boat from Rethymno. Sail the bay of Kefalas before enjoying a swim in the crystal clear waters directly from the boat
- Hike gorgeous Imbros Gorge and see its exquisite rock formations. This gorge runs parallel to the famous Samaria Gorge. The hiking trail is much shorter (8.5km) and easier too.
- Take a full day tour from Rethymno to Chania and immerse yourself in one of the oldest cities in Europe. The perfect day for those that love history, architecture and photography.
Crete Itinerary 7 days: Western Crete Itinerary
This is what we’d add to our itinerary if we had 7 days in west Crete:
Day 1: Arrive in Chania and explore the old city
Day 2: Take a ferry to see famous Balos beach and Gramvousa Island
Day 3: Visit the famous pink sand beach of Crete – Elafonissi Beach
Day 4: Explore Kourtaliotiko Gorge Waterfall and palm tree forest beach, Preveli Beach
Day 5: Visit Paralia Menies and watch the sunset at Falasarna beach
Day 6: Hike Samaria Gorge
Day 7: See Instagram-famous Seitan Limania beach and experience nightlife in Chania
Bonus Tip: Click on ‘Day X’ for a detailed itinerary for each day in Crete. We’ve included tips on where to stay as well as how to get to these Crete destinations with or without a car.
Crete Itinerary 7 days: Eastern Crete Itinerary
If you’re exploring more off the beaten track east Crete, this is what we’d add to our 7 days itinerary:
Day 1: Arrive and stay in Rethymno and explore one of the best preserved medieval cities in Greece
Day 2: Visit Matala Beach, see the ancient Roman caves and hike to Red Beach
Day 3: Hike Richtis Gorge, see Richtis Waterfall and go for a sunset swim at Voulisma beach
Day 4: Explore the only freshwater lake in Crete – Lake Kournas, and swim in its crystal clear turquoise blue waters
Day 5: See the most beautiful pebble beach in Crete, Agiofarago beach
Day 6: Hike and see the magnificent rock formations of Imbros Gorge
Day 7: Visit the charming fishing village of Elounda, swim at the untouched, wild beach – Kolokitha beach, and enjoy sunset and dinner at the beautiful coastal town of Agios Nikolaos
Crete Itinerary 10 days
You can see the best of west and east Crete in 10 days but it will be rushed. Only attempt this if you love having a jam-packed travel itinerary!
Bonus Tip: For a more relaxed itinerary, we’d explore either east or west Crete and stretch out the 7 Days in Crete Itinerary mentioned earlier. Or check out our 21 Best Beaches in Crete guide to find more beaches to add to your road trip itinerary.
Day 1: Arrive and stay in Chania and explore the old city
Day 2: Take a ferry to see famous Balos beach and Gramvousa Island
Day 3: Visit the famous pink sand beach of Crete – Elafonissi Beach
Day 4: Explore Kourtaliotiko Gorge Waterfall and palm tree forest beach, Preveli Beach
Day 5: Hike Samaria Gorge
Day 6: Take public transport from Chania to Rethymno (KTEL public buses) and stay in Rethymno
Day 7: Visit Matala Beach, see the ancient Roman caves and hike to Red Beach
Day 8: Explore the only freshwater lake in Crete – Lake Kournas, and swim in its crystal clear turquoise blue waters
Day 9: See the most beautiful pebble beach in Crete, Agiofarago beach.
Day 10: Visit the charming fishing village of Elounda, swim at the untouched, wild beach – Kolokitha beach, and enjoy sunset and dinner at the beautiful coastal town of Agios Nikolaos
Crete Itinerary 14 days (Two Weeks)
14 days in Crete is the perfect amount of time to explore the best of east and west Crete! And that’s exactly what we did when we planned our vacation in Greece.
Skip all the guesswork on what to do and see in Crete in 14 days and follow our Two Weeks in Crete itinerary! This is the EXACT travel itinerary we followed.
We’ve shared all the insider tips for visiting Crete. From whether to rent a car, where to stay on the Greek island, which gorges are worth hiking, to where you can see the best waterfalls and beaches on Crete with or without a car.