Crete is the biggest island of Greece and it is divided into 4 main areas: Chania, Rethymnon, Heraklion and Lasithi.
Crete is best known for being the cradle of the Mionian civilization, the oldest of Europe so, besides the wonderful beaches you can also visit some ancient monuments and picturesque villages.
We’ve visited Crete in the end of September which enable us to enjoy the sunny weather and beaches but with less tourists around.
Since the island is really big and we only had 4 days to explore it, we decided to focus on the oriental coast of Crete, Lasithi.
Image by tourist-destinations.com
AGIOS NIKOLAOS: Our Starting Point
In the first day we arrived at Chania Airport and picked a bus to Heraklion for 15,10€. We didn’t spend any time in Heraklion, although it is the biggest city of the island, because our destination was Agios Nikolaos, so we picked another bus for 7,70€.
Agios Nikolaos is a beautiful village with plenty to do along the Mirabello bay. Here you will find many restaurants and a relaxed nightlife, with an older crowd.
To better explore the island it is really important to have your own transport.
Important: In Crete it is not possible to rent a motorbike without a proper licence. It is not like in Southeast Asia where you can rent a motorbike just using your car license.
So we’ve decided to rent a car. We got a nice deal and rented it for 4 days which costed us a total of 88€. But if you search around you’ll probably get an even better deal.
Although you have plenty of accommodation options in Agios Nikolaos, we booked a small but really cute and traditional house in Kristas, a small village near by, through AirBnB, for only 18 euros/night.
With accommodation set and our own transport to get around we were more than ready to start exploring the surroundings during for the next 3 days and that was what we did the next morning.
We found a map for a Land Rover Tour which helped us choose some places to visit on our own and by car. Although it is a 4×4 Tour, you can visit most places by car if you drive carefully. We followed this itinerary and we weren’t disappointed.
Since we used the Safari Cretan Drive map, if you prefer to do the tour with them you can find something about it here!
Here are some of the places we’ve visited on the 3 days we’ve spent on Lasithi region!
Panagia Faneromeni monastery – Crete is full of monasteries. This one was really beautiful and had a wonderful view over the sea.
Marikataus village – This is a really picturesque village. It seems to be touristic but when we got there is was a ghost town, probably because of the time of the year. Everything was closed and we didn’t saw a living soul which enable us to spend as much time as we wanted exploring it and taking pictures.
Myrtos beach – This beach is nice but if you keep following the road you will find nicer spots ahead and with less or no people at all!
Tertsa village – This is a relaxed village with a cool vibe and it seems to be more authentic and less touristic. There is a camping site here if you don’t want to book a house or a hotel.
Photo by Hoerderjunge
Vai Beach – This is probably the most known beach of northeast Crete. It is really crowded in Summer. It’s nice but not so nice as it seems on the internet.
Itanos Beach – Just after Vai Beach you can find Itanos beach which has fewer or no tourists and it’s a little bit smaller, but it is also pretty nice.
Mochlos Village – This is another really cute village. It is really picturesque and it is full of restaurants by the sea.
“Goudouras Secret Beaches” – Near Goudouras we found a beautiful, deserted beach. The access is really awful. We had to leave the car before reaching the beach because the road was really bad. But it was totally worth it! If you explore this area you can find beautiful places with no one around!
We were sorry for not having more time to explore Crete. If you have to chance to spend more time there, we totally recommend it!
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