Two Weeks In Crete: How To Visit East and West Crete in 14 days – The Full Itinerary

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a collage of best beaches, waterfalls and hikes to do in two weeks in crete
Discover the best beaches, waterfalls and hikes in 2 weeks in Crete, Greece!

Planning an epic vacation in Crete? Skip all the guesswork and follow this Two Weeks in Crete itinerary! Explore jaw-dropping waterfalls, hike magnificent gorges and discover the best beaches in Crete over 14 days.

Are you excited to visit Crete for the first time, but dreading the research and planning? 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.

Needless to say, we had a pretty kick-ass time during our two weeks in Crete! So why let all those hours go to waste? Sharing is caring, right?

Skip all the guesswork on what to do and see in Crete for 2 weeks and follow this Two Weeks in Crete itinerary! This is the EXACT travel itinerary we followed on our two week vacation in Crete.

We rented a car in Crete for 12 days, exploring both the east and west coasts of Crete. But don’t worry – we’ve also included alternative options if you plan to explore Crete without a car.

Make sure to bookmark, share or pin this Two Weeks in Crete Itinerary so you can refer back to it later.

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Related Post: Want to spend less than two weeks in Crete? Then make sure you read our Crete Itinerary Travel Guide! We’ve put together 8 different itineraries for what to see and do in Crete in 3, 4, 5, 7 or 10 days!

Two Weeks in Crete Itinerary Map

Here’s a free map to find all the best places to visit in Crete mentioned in this 2 week itinerary.

Click on the map to see how far you are from these unforgettable attractions in Crete.

a custom map created on google for what to do and see in crete in two weeks
Click on the map to get the exact location of the Crete destinations mentioned in this post

Week 1 in Crete: Eastern Crete Itinerary

The first 7 days of this Two Weeks in Crete Itinerary will take you to see some of the best beaches on the north and south coast of east Crete.

Like Kolokitha and Vayu beach off the uninhabited island of Kalydon, Matala beach, famous nudist beach, Red Beach, and Agiofaraggo – the most beautiful pebble beach in Crete.

You’ll also hike Richtis Gorge and get to explore the gorgeous coastal towns of Elounda, Agios Nikolaos, and Matala before we head west to start week two in Crete.

collage of best places to visit in east crete like malia, matala beach, richtis gorge and preveli beach
See the best beaches, waterfalls and historic towns in eastern Crete

Day 1 of Two Weeks in Crete Itinerary

Arrive in Heraklion, Crete

Day 1 of this Crete itinerary kicks off with arriving on the island and heading to the town of Stalida (also known as Stalis). This is where you’ll base yourself for the next 7 days.

We picked Stalis as the base town so you could easily do this eastern Crete itinerary with or without renting a car.

The town of Stalida is within walking distance of public transport (i.e. buses). And the town itself is small enough to get around on foot.

Stalis is also easy to get to whether you’re flying into Heraklion Airport or arriving by ferry at Heraklion Port.

How To Get From Heraklion To Stalis

The cheapest way to get to Stalis is by public transport. But be prepared for the long drive though.

There are many stops along the way so the usual 20 to 30-minute drive becomes a 1.5 to 2-hour trip from Heraklion airport or the harbor to Stalida on the public bus.

For the fastest option, we’d recommend taking a taxi transfer instead. We booked our taxi (i.e. airport transfer) with Crete Cab and paid €34 for a quick and relaxing trip to our hotel in Stalis.

If you’re traveling as a bigger group (5 people or more), we’d recommend booking a private transfer from Heraklion airport. This airport transfer can take you to any destination of your choice in Crete, not just Stalida.

Where To Stay in Stalis

Stalida is not a big town in Crete. So you can technically stay wherever you want in Stalis and still be within walking distance of everything you’ll need.

But if you’re visiting Crete for the beach, then we’d recommend staying in a beachfront hotel, of course!

Here are some recommendations of where to stay in Stalis:

Check out our Stalis (Stalida) Crete guide for a full list of budget, mid-range or luxury beachfront hotels to stay at. Otherwise, click on the map below to compare hotel prices or check out Stalis hotel reviews on TripAdvisor before deciding.

a map to compare different hotel prices in stalida or stalis crete
Click on the map to compare hotel prices in Stalis (Stalida), Crete

Sundowners and Dinner in Stalis

This Two Weeks in Crete Itinerary is a marathon, not a sprint. So we’d recommend taking it easy on your first day in Crete.

Check in to your hotel or vacation apartment, and enjoy a couple of sundowners on the beach before heading out for a traditional Cretan meal at a local taverna.

We recommend sundowners and pre-dinner drinks at Baya Restaurant and Bar. Followed by a scrumptious supper at Four Brothers Restaurant.

Day 2 of Two Weeks in Crete

Stalis Beach

After breakfast, we’d recommend spending a few hours enjoying Stalis beach. The gentle gradient of this long, sandy beach makes it great for both swimming and watersports.

what stalis beach is like on crete island
Relax on Stalis beach on day 2

If you’re traveling with kids, Stalis has one of the best beaches for families. Particularly the main beach of Stalida as there are lifeguards on duty.

After a couple of hours of sun, sea and sand, it’s time to head to Malia. Make a stop at The Neighborhood Bakery Cafe to try some local Cretan pastries and Greek coffee. It’s a 40-minute walk (3km) from Stalis to Malia so you’ll need the energy.

Explore The Old and New Town of Malia

Malia is another popular coastal town to visit on the northeast coast of Crete. The beach at Malia is not as long and extensive as Stalis. But Malia has the incredible nightlife scene that you won’t find in Stalida.

The famous party strip in Malia only comes to life at night (of course). During the day, we’d recommend exploring the wandering streets of Old Town Malia.

collage of old building in old town malia, nightclubs in malia and cute alleyways in crete greece
Explore new and old town Malia and see its famous party strip

If you love archaeological sites, we’d recommend renting a scooter or buggy and visiting the Minoan town ruins just 3km outside of Malia.

When you’re ready for a bite to eat, we’d recommend heading to Stone House for a mouth-watering late lunch. And for those who need their caffeine fix, Coffee Island brews some delicious hot and cold coffees.

Experience Malia Party Strip

In the evening, you can either head back to Stalis for dinner and an early night. Or stay longer in Malia and experience its famous nightlife.

Take it easy and chill at one of Malia’s many trendy bars and cafes. Or go all out and dance the night away at an epic nightclub.

To get back to Stalis, you can either walk back, catch a taxi or take public transport.

The local bus stop is on El Venizelou road near Coffee Island. Just wait for the turquoise bus that comes every 30 minutes.

Bonus Tip: The public bus from Malia to Stalis costs around €1.60 per person. There’s a cashier on the bus. Just make sure you have cash to pay because they don’t take card.

What To Do in Crete: Day 3 Itinerary

The real adventure kicks off on day 3 of this Crete itinerary! We rented a car to get around Crete for the next two weeks. But you can also visit these beautiful Crete beaches without a car too.

Skip the drive and take this day trip from Agios Nikolaos to Kolokitha beach and see Spinalonga Island whilst you’re at it!

If you plan to drive, we’d recommend booking a car before your trip for lower car rental prices. You can compare prices for renting a car in Crete on Auto Europe Car Rentals or RentalCars.com.

Related Post: Planning to rent a car in Crete? Make sure to read our Driving in Crete guide! Find out what driving license you’ll need, whether car insurance is necessary, and how much it costs to rent a car, to important road rules to follow to have a safe road trip in Crete.

Explore Coastal Town of Elounda

Our first stop is the charming fishing village of Elounda. It’s an easy 45-minute drive from Stalis on paved roads.

scenes from the fishing village elounda on east crete and best things to do in 2 weeks
A relaxed stroll around the cute fishing village of Elounda

Once you arrive, we recommend parking your car and taking a stroll in this quaint village. Walk along Elounda Harbour and admire the local restaurants and tavernas lined right against the edge of the ocean.

Then explore the colorful streets of Elounda on your way back to the town center. Grab some food and drinks at the supermarket or try some local spanakopita at Elounda’s Bakery.

The next stop on this Crete itinerary goes off the beaten track. There won’t be any restaurants, cafes or shops so it’s best to bring food and water with you.

Kolokitha Beach

Our next destination in Crete is Kolokitha beach – an untouched, wild beach on the uninhabited island of Kalydon.

kolokitha beach in east crete with turquoise blue crystal clear waters
Untouched, wild beach – Kolokitha beach in east Crete

Hundreds of years ago, this remote beach was renowned as a pirate bay. But today, it’s better known as a gorgeous wild beach with that signature crystal clear, turquoise blue water that Greece is known for.

You can enjoy swimming and lunch here at Kolokitha beach. Or hike around Kalydon Island and soak up the magnificent ocean views.

You’ll be able to see the famous leper island, Spinalonga, if you hike towards the north of Kalydon.

Bonus Tip: Find out how to get to Kolokitha beach and what the short hike is like in our Best Beaches in East Crete guide.

Vayu Beach

If you’re looking for a more off the beaten track option to Kolokitha beach, then Vayu beach is the answer.

Vayu beach is also located off the east coast of Kalydon Island. But it’s much quieter compared to Kolokitha beach. We pretty much had Vayu beach all to ourselves when we visited Crete in September 2021.

This remote beach may not have the crystal clear, turquoise waters of Kolokitha beach. But the half pebble, half sandy beach makes it a pretty unique beach to visit in Crete.

Sunset and Dinner at Agios Nikolaos

The last stop on Day 3 of this Two Weeks in Crete Itinerary is the picturesque coastal town of Agios Nikolaos. It’s a 40-minute drive from Kolokitha beach.

We’d recommend arriving just before sunset so you can admire Agios Nikolaos at golden hour from this famous viewpoint.

harbor view of agios nikolaos in crete
Walk up to the Agios Nikolaos viewpoint for sunset

Then end a fun-filled day with a stroll around Agios Nikolaos, some shopping, and a traditional Greek dinner under the stars at Avli restaurant.

Day 4 of Two Weeks in Crete Itinerary

Richtis Gorge Hike

One of the most popular gorges to hike in east Crete is Richtis Gorge. 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.

a man sitting in turquoise blue waters at the bottom of richtis gorge waterfall
Richtis Waterfall – the highlight of Richtis Gorge

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.

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How To Get To Richtis Gorge With A Car

For the short hike, you’ll need to drive down to the Richtis Gorge parking closest to the beach. The drive starts off easy but gets brutal when you turn off the main road.

Google Maps is only reliable up until the turnoff. Once you’re on the unpaved roads, follow the ‘Beach of Richtis’ sign until you reach the parking at the bottom of the mountain.

The unpaved road is very narrow and windy. So take it slow and don’t attempt this after heavy rain, bad weather, or in the dark.

Once you arrive, walk away from Richtis beach towards the hut to start hiking Richtis Gorge to see the waterfall. There is a €3 entrance fee per person so make sure you have cash on you.

Bonus Tip: Richtis Gorge is a 1 hour and 30-minute drive (86km) from Stalis. So make sure to start your day early (before 10 AM latest).

How To Get To Richtis Gorge Without A Car in Crete

You can also hike Richtis Gorge without renting a car in Crete. Simply take a full-day tour to Richtis Gorge. It includes pick-up and drop-off from your hotel in Elounda, Malia, Gouves, Ierapetra, and its surrounding areas.

The Richtis Gorge and Waterfall Hiking Tour is a full-day activity that includes a traditional Cretan lunch at a local tavern with wine.

This guided tour takes you to do the short version of the Richtis Gorge hike. So if you’re not so keen on the challenging drive, we’d recommend taking this tour instead.

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 Two Weeks in Crete itinerary takes us to Voulisma beach. One of the most popular beaches on the north eastern coast of Crete.

voulisma is one of the best beaches in crete for families
The long, white sandy beach of Voulisma Beach

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: Make a stop at Tholos Beach on your way to Voulisma Beach. It’s on the way from Richtis Gorge to Stalis and it’s a nice off the beaten track beach to visit in Crete.

What to do in Crete Day 5

Hike to Agiofarago Beach (Pebble 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!

Just look at this magical beach tucked away at the southernmost tip of Crete island and tell us you don’t want to go there. We dare you!

the most beautiful pebble beach in crete agiofarrago beach
Magical Agiofarago beach tucked at the southernmost tip of Crete island

It’s certainly not an easy beach to get to. Not only is the drive brutal. But you’ll need to hike another 35 to 45 minutes to get to Agiofaraggo beach. And then do it in reverse to get back to the car and head back to Stalis.

But those who dare will be rewarded with some of the clearest water you can find in Crete! A heavenly paradise away from the crowds.

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.

You can also get to Agiofarago beach without a car. Simply book this guided 8-hour Land Rover Safari tour to Agiofarago and Matala to skip the tough drive.

Day 6 of Two Weeks in Crete Itinerary

Matala Beach

Another day, another beach! We’re heading to the south coast of Crete again. But this time to the artsy and hippy town of Matala.

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.

family-friendly beach next to archaelogical site matala caves in crete
The unique landscape surrounding Matala beach

Needless to say, Matala beach can get pretty crowded at the best of times but still worth visiting in our opinion.

Bonus Tip: Matala beach is a 1 hour and 30 minute drive from Stalida. So make sure you get an early start to the day (before 10AM latest).

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 to Matala beach. It’s an 8-hour tour that includes pick-up and drop-off from your hotel in the Heraklion area (including Malia and Stalis).

Visit both Matala beach and Red beach without a car for double the fun and none of the stress of driving.

Red Beach in Crete (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!

nudist red beach near matala with reddish orange sand and turquoise blue waters
Otherworldly landscape of Red Beach – a beach fit for the planet Mars

As the name suggests, the sand at Red Beach is… well, red. Or rather reddish, orange if you want to be exact.

The warm hue of the sand in contrast with the cool, turquoise blue waters of the ocean and white, stark cliffs in the backdrop, makes Red beach one of the most beautiful and unique beaches we’ve ever seen on our travels (let alone Crete)!

Tips For Visiting Red Beach

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.

Related Post: You’ll only be able to visit 16 beaches in this Two Weeks in Crete Itinerary. Make sure to read our 21 Best Beaches in Crete guide if you want to add more beaches to your travel itinerary.

What to do in Crete Day 7

Day 7 of this Two Weeks in Crete Itinerary marks the end of exploring the eastern coast of the island. On the way to west Crete, we’ll tour a local olive oil factory, visit a honey museum and see the enchanting historic town of Rethymno.

visiting a local olive oil factory, honey museum and historic city of rethymno on two weeks in crete itinerary
Visit a local olive oil farm, honey museum and historic town of Rethymno

If you’re not renting a car, you can book this private taxi transfer to get from east to west Crete.

Visit The Paraschakis Family Olive Oil Factory

Our first stop is the Paraschakis Family Olive Factory. You’ll be able to do a free tour here to learn how olive oil is made in Crete. Plus, you’ll also get a free tasting and learn how to tell the difference between high and low quality olive oil.

We thoroughly enjoyed this olive oil tour. It was fascinating to learn the history of how olive oil was made back in the day vs how it’s made now.

Check out the Paraschakis Olive Factory website before going to find out when the next olive oil tour is taking place.

Visit Apithano Honey Museum

The Apithano Honey Museum is just a hop and a skip from the Paraschakis Family Olive Factory. Here you can also take a free tour to learn how locals follow nomadic beekeeping techniques to produce unique Cretan honey.

They also offer a free tasting and you can buy a big variety of locally produced honey here too.

Bonus Tip: Ready for lunch? Head to Carob n Olive in the small village of Melidoni for a bite.

Visit Rethymno (Rethimno)

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.

The best thing to do in Rethymno is to meander through its many picturesque alleyways. There are plenty of cute cafes and mouth-water restaurants to choose from and it’s especially romantic after sunset.

collage of the colorful streets in old town rethymno, the harbour at sunset and cute alleyways whilst visiting crete for two weeks
Rethymno – one of the most beautiful towns in Greece

If you want to see the main attractions in Rethymno, make sure to visit the Venetian Fortezza Castle, Rimondi Venetian Fountain, and take a walk around the Port of Rethymno.

And if you’re looking for some unique things to do in Rethymno, then you should add these to your Two Weeks in Crete Itinerary:

Arrive in Platanias

Our last stop is arriving in the town of Platanias where we’ll base ourselves for the next 7 days in Crete.

We recommend staying in Platanias because it’s a shorter drive to visit the best beaches in west Crete. And hotels, restaurants and vacation rentals tend to be cheaper in Platanias compared to both Chania and Rethymno.

There are plenty of hotels and vacation rentals in Platanias. Here are some options to get you started:

Looking for more? Compare the price of hotels in Platanias or check out Platanias hotel reviews on TripAdvisor before deciding.

Related Post: 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.

Visiting West Crete Without A Car

If you plan to spend the entire two weeks in Crete without a car, then we’d recommend you to stay in Chania or Rethymno.

Hotels and vacation rentals are more expensive in Chania and Rethimno. But most guided bus tours will only include hotel pick-up and drop-off from these towns. So it’s best to stay in these towns if you want to visit the best west Crete beaches without renting a car.

Compare hotel prices in Rethymno or Chania and book as early as possible to get the best deals.

Or check out our Where To Stay in Crete guide for a list of budget, mid-range, and luxury hotels and resorts that we’d recommend.

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Week 2 in Crete: Western Crete Itinerary

The last 7 days of this Two Weeks in Crete Itinerary will take you to see some of the best beaches in west Crete.

From the most famous beaches in Crete like Balos, Seitan Limania, and Elafonissi beach, to off the beaten track gems like Kedrodasos and Voulolimni beach.

You’ll also hike the most famous gorge in Crete (Samaria Gorge), see Kourtaliotiko Gorge Waterfall, and visit the renowned historic town of Chania.

collection of best places to visit in crete on two weeks vacation
The best places to visit in Crete on part 2 of this Two Weeks in Crete Itinerary

Day 8 of Two Weeks in Crete Itinerary

Elafonissi Beach

Elafonissi – Crete’s signature pink sand beach, is probably THE most famous beach on the Greek island. And as you can imagine, it’s visited by tons of travelers every year.

But for good reason though. This pink sand is unique to Crete, which means that you won’t find it anywhere else in Greece!

a woman lying on famous pink sand beach in crete called elafonissi beach
Elafonissi Beach – a famous Instagram photo spot

It’s free to visit Elafonissi beach and it’s a surprisingly easy drive to get there too. If you’re planning to drive, we’ve shared the road conditions, where to park, and driving tips to get to Elafonisi beach.

How To Get To Elafonissi Beach Without A Car

Here are some guided bus tours to visit famous pink sand Elafonissi beach in Crete without a car:

Bonus Tip: Enjoy a mouth-watering dinner at Avrofiliton Restaurant in Platanias to end a beautiful day spent at Elafonissi beach.

What to do in Crete Day 9

Kourtaliotiko Gorge

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.

If swimming in freezing water is a hard ‘no’ for you, then you may want to skip this. But take a look at this breathtaking magical place before you say no.

the waterfall at kourtaliotiko gorge in crete is an off the beaten track hidden gem you must see on this two weeks in crete itinerary
Braving frigid water to see the magical waterfall of Kourtaliotiko Gorge

How To Get To Kourtaliotiko Gorge

We plan to write a detailed guide on visiting Kourtaliotiko Gorge in Crete. It’s not an easy place to find and the directions on Google Map are not accurate.

We only found the beautiful waterfall at Kourtaliotiko Gorge because a local gave us detailed directions and a map to find this hidden gem.

Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on InstagramTikTok, or Facebook so you don’t miss our future Crete Travel Guides.

How To Get to Kourtaliotiko Gorge Without A Car

The only guided tour to see Kourtaliotiko Gorge is this day trip to Sfakia, Plakias, and Kourtaliotiko Gorge.

We’re not sure if the guide will get wet and swim with to you see the waterfall at Kourtaliotiko Gorge. But it’s an optional activity that you can do on your own on the tour.

Preveli Beach

Next on this Two Weeks in Crete Itinerary is visiting Preveli Beach. This 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.

a view of preveli beach from the top to see where the ocean meets the sea
The one-of-a-kind landscape of Preveli Beach

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.

How To Get To Preveli Beach Without A Car

Not comfortable driving on the roads of Crete? Take a jeep safari guided tour to Preveli Beach from Rethymno.

Day 10 of Two Weeks in Crete Itinerary

Balos Beach

Another incredibly famous beach to visit in Crete is Balos beach. It’s considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece.

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.

view of balos beach from the famous viewpoint
Balos beach – one of the most famous beaches in Crete

The only challenge? It’s a brutal drive to get to Balos Beach. But the good news is that you can get to Balos beach without a car or the steep hike.

How To Get To Balos Beach Without A Car

That’s exactly what we did so that our private driver (the husband) could take a day off from driving in Crete. If you plan to do the same, here are the options to take the ferry to Balos beach and Gramvousa Island:

Bonus Tip: If you plan to drive to Balos beach, make sure you read our insider tips on how to get to Balos beach so you’re prepared!

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Gramvousa Island

Gramvousa is a remote beach located on an uninhabited island off the west coast of Crete. A couple of hundred years ago, it was famous for being a pirate island.

But today, Gramvousa beach is famous for looking like a movie set from the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’. Complete with a 14th century Venetian Fort on the highest point of the island and even a shipwreck too!

famous beach gramvousa with crystal clear turquoise blue waters and yachts floating on the surface
The Venetian Fort perched on the highest point on Gramvousa Island

If you’re adding Gramvousa beach to your Crete travel itinerary. We’d suggest skipping the challenging drive to Balos altogether and just take a ferry to both places instead.

What to do in Crete Day 11

Platanias Beach

If you’ve made it to day 11 of this Two Weeks in Crete Itinerary, you’re probably feeling like you could take a vacation, from your vacation. We don’t blame you – this travel itinerary is action-packed!

That’s why we’ve planned a more relaxed itinerary for day 11. You’ll need the rest for day 12, where we’ll be hiking Samaria Gorge.

So enjoy the extra hour in bed, and head out for a lazy breakfast before spending a couple of hours on Platanias beach.

Falasarna Beach

If you prefer a sandy beach to the pebble beach at Platanias, then we recommend going to Falarsarna beach in west Crete.

Not only will you find the Greek island’s signature pink sand at Falarssarna beach too. But it’s also one of the best sunset beaches in Crete!

pink sand beach in crete falasarna is one of the best beaches for families
You’ll find Crete’s signature pink sand at Falassarna beach too!

If you want to see Falarsarna beach without a car, then take this private sunset tour from Chania to Falarssarna beach.

Bonus Tip: Enjoy a fresh and tasty seafood dinner at Kapetan Nikolas restaurant before heading back to Platanias.

Day 12 of Two Weeks in Crete Itinerary

Samaria Gorge Hike

Hiking the famous Samaria Gorge is another highlight you should not miss on this Two Weeks in Crete Itinerary. But we’re going to be honest – it’s not for the faint of heart!

We’ve done some pretty epic hikes around the world. From jungle trekking in the rainforests of Indonesia, hiking in pitch black water caves in Khao Sok (Thailand), to summitting the peaks of Drakensberg Mountain in South Africa.

Yet nothing prepared us for the mindblowing 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.

collage of photos taken on the samaria gorge hiking trail in crete
Hike the most famous gorge in Crete – Samaria Gorge

How To Get To Samaria Gorge

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.

We plan to write a detailed guide on Samaria Gorge. But for now, trust us and take the guided tour. Here are some options:

What to do in Crete Day 13

Voulolimni Beach

If you braved the Samaria Gorge hike, then you’ll want to visit Voulolimni beach. Soaking in the extra salty water of this natural rock pool will help ease the muscle pain away.

Voulolimni Beach is an off the beaten track hidden gem nestled on the west coast of Crete. It’s actually a giant, natural rock pool, rather than the traditional sandy or pebble beach you’ll find on the island.

the best off the beaten track beach in crete voulolimni beach
The most unique beach we found in Crete – Voulolimni natural rock pool

Voulolimni is probably one of the most unique beaches we found in Crete. So unique that we were surprised that none of the travel guides we read mentioned this place.

There are no guided tours to Voulolimni beach (it’s that hidden). But it’s a pretty easy drive there if you’ve rented a car in Crete. Find out how to get to Voulolimni beach in our West Crete Travel guide.

Kedrodasos beach

End day 13 of this Two Weeks in Crete Itinerary watching the sunset at Kedrodasos beach. It’s a short 15-minute drive from Voulolimni beach.

Kedrodasos is a vast, sandy beach on the southwest coast of Crete. Like Voulolimni, it’s a hidden gem and an off the beaten track alternative to Elafonissi beach.

It’s quiet, secluded and one of the best sunset beaches in Crete.

kedrodasos beach is quiet and off the beaten track
Gorgeous Kedrodasos beach – an off the beaten track option to Elafonissi beach

Day 14 of Two Weeks in Crete Itinerary

Seitan Limania Beach

We’re ending off our two weeks in Crete on a high! Day 14 kicks off with visiting one of the most famous beaches on west Crete – Seitan Limania Beach.

seitan limania is one of the most beautiful beaches in crete
Seitan Limania beach – made famous on Instagram

Believe it or not – but Seitan Limania used to be a remote, sandy beach that only a lucky few knew about. But now it’s become one of the most popular beaches on Crete island thanks to Instagram.

Seitan Limania 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 in Crete

Seitan Limania is not the easiest beach to get to though. But for those adventurous souls who are up for the challenge, you can find out how to get to Seitan Limania beach here.

Otherwise, take this private boat tour from Chania To Seitan Limania beach and enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

Visit 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.

view of the harbor of chania at sunset
The dreamy harbor of Chania at sunset

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.

Now that was one LONG post, so here’s a quick summary:

Two Weeks in Crete: Full Itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive at Heraklion Airport and get to Stalis Town
  • Day 2: Stalis Beach and explore old town Malia
  • Day 3: Elounda, Kolokitha Beach, Vayu Beach and Agios Nikolaos
  • Day 4: Hike Richtis Gorge and sunset swim at Voulisma Beach
  • Day 5: Hike to Agiofarago Beach
  • Day 6: Matala Beach and Red Beach
  • Day 7: Tour a local olive oil factory and honey museum, see Rethymno
  • Day 8: Visit Elafonissi – the famous pink sand beach in Crete
  • Day 9: Kourtaliotiko Gorge Waterfall and Preveli Beach
  • Day 10: Balos Beach and Gramvousa Island
  • Day 11: Platanias Beach and watch the sunset at Falassarna beach
  • Day 12: Full day hike at Samaria Gorge
  • Day 13: Voulolimni Beach and sunset swim at Kedrodasos Beach
  • Day 14: Seitan Limania Beach and see the historic town of Chania

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