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5 Most Picturesque Places to See in Crete

Hazel Hammond

An island filled with colour and striking landscapes, there are many places to see in Crete for that perfect picture opportunity. The largest island in Greece, Crete is blessed with a diverse range of landscapes. Nowadays its all about getting that perfect picture to post on social media to strike envy and wanderlust in all those who see it, so here are some of the most photogenic places to see in Crete...

Weather in Crete

The summer season in Crete really begins in Spring. Warm weather can be enjoyed as early as April and late in to October. Average summer temperatures (depending on where you are on the island) vary from 25°C to 30°C with July and August being the hottest months. Even temperatures in the winter months don't dip below 12°C.

1. The best beach in Crete, Balos lagoon

No beach in Crete is as visually stunning and unique as Balos lagoon. Probably the most famous and most photographed beach in Crete! The stunning lagoon has a striking contrast of turquoise shallows backed by azure blue waters. The white sand is patterned with pinkish tones due to crushed up coral that washes up here. Postcard pictures are made even more colourful by the numerous rare species of flaura and fauna which surround the lagoon. As always the early bird catches the worm, and here that rings true, arrive early to beat the crowds and snap that perfect picture.

Balos Lagoon, places to see in CreteBalos Lagoon, Crete

2. One of the best places to see in Crete, Samaria Gorge

Would you ever believe that this dramatic landscape is floating on a Greek Island? Located south of Chania, Samaria Gorge is filled with large pine covered rock formations jutting out in unusual shapes. Walks through this beautiful landscape take in streams, unusual wildlife (such as the Kri-Kri) and some much needed shaded spots. Vertical walls soar up to 500m high all carved by the river that flows between Mount Avlimaniko and Volakias. Located in national park Samaria, the gorge is one of the top things to do in Crete. Keep your camera close to hand as there will be plenty of pictures to take. The Gorge is open to the public May - October but can be closed on rainy days.

Places to see in Crete, Samaria GorgeSamaria Gorge, Crete

3. The must-see sight of Spinalonga

Ever read Victoria Hislop's ‘The Island’? If yes, you may have heard of the island Spinalonga. Located near Elounda this island was famously a leper colony where lepers where quarantined from Greece up until 1957. Not only does this island have interesting and haunting stories to tell, but also the beautiful ruins and fortified walls are a picture opportunity not to miss. Clear blue waters surround the island making it stand out so perfectly from the sea, great for a photo on the approach. You can visit Spinalonga by boat from Agios Nikolaos, Elounda or Plaka.

Spinalonga, Places to see in CreteView of the Island of Spinalonga, Crete

4. The best beach in eastern Crete, Voulisma

What wonderful shades of blue to stumble upon! Perfect for that envious holiday snap. The colours of Voulisma beach are so visually striking, a gradual gradient of colours start from pale white sands, to pale blue shallows, to a deep blue horizon. The beach is perfect for snorkelling so those with an underwater camera will find some underwater treats.

Voulisma beach, places to see in CreteView of Voulisma, Crete

5. The best place to visit in Crete, Agios Nikolaos

A sleepy fishing village, yet delightfully vibrant, the town of Agios Nikolaos is easy on the eyes. The distinct waterfront is lined with charming buildings and colourful fishing boats bobbing lightly in the water. The lake type inlet known as Lake Voulismeni connects to the sea via a narrow inlet. According to legend the lakes depths are bottomless. The town is packed with good tavernas, excellent shops and an ambiance that can only be experienced not seen. Catch the town at the right time and see a low lying sun basking the town in its glow and illuminating its colourful charm. For some top tips on visiting Agios Nikolaos see our post Discover Agios Nikolaos.

Agios Nikolaos, places to see in CreteAgios Nikolaos, Crete

Where to Stay in Crete

Relaxing, peaceful, perfect. Where better to stay to enjoy the delights Crete has to offer than St Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas. Every small corner and every tiny detail of this hotel is luxury in every way. Here you will find an ambiance that is ultimately tranquil, yet delightfully vibrant. For a limitless luxury the Thalassa villas are nestled gracefully on a private waterfront. Each villa comes with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen and a large private swimming pool. These villas will feel like your own private corner of the world.

Thalassa Villa, St Nicolas Bay, where to stay in CreteThalassa Villa, St Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas

What our travel experts say about the hotel

“First impression was, this place is stunning. I could not fault the food, every meal was delicious. We loved the sunbeds on the jetty where the sun shone all morning and afternoon (we love the sun), so a perfect spot for us. Overall we had a lovely relaxing week in a stunning hotel, would definitely recommend to couples and older families” Tya Allum, Sales team leader
“We got married here in the first week of September and St Nicolas Bay made all our dreams come true. Our room was upgraded on arrival and the whole day ran perfectly. We could tell the hotel really cared, I felt completely at ease and trusted the hotel with our special day” Rebecca, Yield and product executive, commercial.
“A beautiful relaxing setting. We loved visiting the local tavernas just 10 minutes away and perusing the choice of shops along the way. I really loved that none of the buildings are high rise and the welcome you get from staff was amazing, they love their hotel.” Melanie Lee, Sales Executive
“Perfect size, not to big, not to small and a lovely bungalow style. The staff were really warm and personal and everywhere in the hotel the views were stunning. We loved visiting Agios Nicolaos where there is a lovely Marina, plenty of tavernas and some excellent bars and shops.” Simona Kopczynski, Sales Executive

Want to know more about St Nicolas Bay hotel? Call our travel experts on 0800 047 1066 to learn more about their experiences at the hotel or book you next Cretan adventure. Have you been to Crete? We would love to see your holiday snaps, share with us on Facebook and Twitter.