Crete is one of the most popular destinations in Greece, thanks to its fabulous scenery, breathtaking beaches, and picturesque villages. However, not all of the resorts on the island are equal, and some of them may disappoint you. In this article, we will take a closer look at the ugly truth about Crete’s most disappointing resorts and suggest some tourist attractions that might still make your trip worthwhile.
The Ugly Truth About Crete’s Most Disappointing Resorts
Malia is one of the most famous resorts in Crete, primarily because of its lively nightlife. However, it is also infamous for its wild party atmosphere, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Moreover, the place is often overcrowded, noisy, and rowdy, which can be overwhelming for families or those looking for a peaceful vacation.
Hersonissos is another tourist magnet on Crete, known for its sandy beaches and restaurants. However, with its fast-food chains, pumping music, and neon-lit streets, it can feel too generic and artificial for some travelers. Also, the traffic can be hectic, and the town center is often crowded with tourists, making it difficult to find a peaceful spot.
3. Agia Marina
Agia Marina is a coastal town that has attracted many visitors over the years, thanks to its long sandy beach and excellent water sports. However, the town has become very built-up and commercialized, with concrete apartment blocks and low-quality restaurants. It can be challenging to find a local touch in the resort, making it feel like you are not in Greece at all.
Rethymno is a beautiful and historic city on Crete, with charming streets, handsome architecture, and a Venetian Fortress. However, the city is often crowded with tourists; the old town can feel like an open-air museum, with souvenir shops and tavernas lining the streets. Moreover, the beach close to Rethymno is often overcrowded and can be challenging to navigate through.
5. Balos Beach
Balos Beach is a stunning beach located in the northwest of Crete, with turquoise waters and a lagoon. However, the beach is notoriously overcrowded, and the access road is challenging to navigate. Also, the beach is often littered with trash and debris, ruining its natural charm.
1. Which resort in Crete is the best for families?
The town of Elounda, located on the eastern coast of Crete, is an excellent option for families. It has fantastic beaches, lovely restaurants, and a family-friendly atmosphere that caters to kids and adults alike.
2. Which resort in Crete has the best nightlife?
Malia and Hersonissos are the two most famous resorts on the island for those looking to party the night away. However, other resorts, such as Chania, also offer a buzzing nightlife scene, with trendy cocktail bars and clubs.
3. What’s the cheapest way to get around Crete?
Public transportation in Crete is affordable and convenient. The island has an excellent bus network that covers most of the major towns and resorts. Additionally, renting a car is also an affordable option, as car rental prices are very competitive in Crete.
Top 10 Tourist Attractions in The Ugly Truth About Crete’s Most Disappointing Resorts
1. Knossos Palace
The ancient ruins of Knossos Palace, located near Heraklion, are one of the most significant archaeological sites in Greece. It is the largest Bronze Age site on Crete and has been excavated and restored over the years, providing visitors with a glimpse of Minoan civilization.
2. Samaria Gorge
The Samaria Gorge is a must-visit attraction for hikers and nature enthusiasts. It is a long and challenging hike, but the stunning scenery and wildlife make it worth the effort. It is one of the longest gorges in Europe and is home to a rare breed of wild goats called Kri-Kri.
3. Chania Old Town
Chania’s old town is a jewel on Crete, with charming narrow streets, mosques, and churches. It is a picturesque place, lined with souvenir shops and traditional restaurants, making for a perfect day of strolling around.
4. Spinalonga Island
The island of Spinalonga has a rich history, serving as a Venetian fortress, a leper colony, and a World War II military base. Today, it is a popular tourist attraction, where visitors can explore the ruins and marvel at the stunning views of the island.
5. Balos Beach
Despite its crowded reputation, Balos Beach remains one of the most stunning beaches on Crete. Visitors can take a boat tour to the lagoon and enjoy the turquoise waters, sunbathe on the white sand, and take some fantastic pictures.
6. Heraklion Archaeological Museum
The Heraklion Archaeological Museum is the largest museum on Crete, showcasing artifacts from ancient Minoan culture. It is a must-visit place for history buffs, who can see the famous Bull Leaper fresco, religious statues, and other treasures.
7. Meteora Monasteries
Although not located on Crete, the Meteora Monasteries in the north of Greece are a must-visit attraction for those interested in history and architecture. The monasteries are built on top of immense rock formations, providing a breath-taking view of the surrounding landscape.
8. Frangokastello Castle
The Frangokastello Castle is a picturesque Venetian fortress that dates back to the 14th century. It is located near Chora Sfakion and has a rich history of battles with the Ottoman Empire, making it one of the most impressive castles on Crete.
9. Lake Kournas
Lake Kournas is the only freshwater lake on Crete, located in the west of the island. It is surrounded by lush greenery and impressive mountains, making it an ideal spot for a peaceful walk, a picnic, or a boat ride.
10. Arkadi Monastery
The Arkadi Monastery, located near Rethymnon, is a significant historical and religious site on Crete. It has a tragic past, serving as a refuge for Cretan rebels during the Ottoman rule of the island, leading to a heroic battle that lifted the spirits of the Cretans. The monastery remains one of the most peaceful and serene places on the island.
In conclusion, not all of Crete’s resorts live up to their expectations, but the island has so much more to offer in terms of history, culture, and scenery. By visiting the tourist attractions mentioned above, you are sure to get a truly authentic taste of what Crete has to offer.