Top 5 Experiences of Western Crete
Crete is an incredible island that offers something special for every type of traveler. Whether you are into active sports, you love exploring different cultures and local history, you here for fun and late-nights out, or simply seeking a safe & relaxing place for a family vacation… You will find all of this on our beautiful Mediterranean island!
In this article, we define the top 5 experiences you can not miss when visiting the Chania region of Crete!
1. Check out some of the best beaches in Europe
The advantage of staying in the region of Chania is the fact that most of the beaches Crete is so famous for are located in the Western
part of the island. Here you will find organized beach bars and remote tranquil spots, exotic lagoons and isolated village beaches, places with white, golden, or even pink sand – you name it! Some of the best options: Falassarna, Elafonisi, Balos, Seitan Limani, Stavros, Ravoucha, and many more.
2. Explore the divine gastronomy of Western Crete
In Greece, everything revolves around food! And since this is one of the central parts of the local lifestyle, there is no better way to get to know Western Crete than through its gastronomy! Apart from visiting some of the best local dining establishments (and we are sure you will execute this task :)), we advise you to take on one of the tours to learn about the production of local goods.
We love: Manousakis Winery with their wine tours & the stylish atmosphere of the place, the family-run olive oil factory Biolea and their fascinating free lectures on organic olive oil production, the cosmetics shop Fisika that tell you about the secrets of pure olive oil goodies production… These are just a few examples of the gastronomic & local product tours currently provided in the region of Chania, the trend that is currently on the rise together with the growing enthusiasm for all sustainable and local.
And hey, if you are a foodie, just like us, here you can also read on our list of the must-try local dishes!
3. Walk through Samaria Gorge
Many people say that if you haven’t hiked through Samaria, you have not really seen Crete. While this is a slight exaggeration and this activity might be a bit too intense for some of the travellers, Samaria Gorge is definitely one of the highlights of the island.
Let’s put it that way: Samaria uncovers an entirely different perspective on Crete. The landscapes are wild and unique, together with hovering hawks and gracious mountain goats it represents the beauty of another, raw kind.
The Gorge stretches for 16 km and allows you to walk through the island from North to Southern coast, where you will plunge into the cold waters of the Lybian sea.
Learn more about Samaria Gorge in our article here.
4. Travel like locals and visit South Crete
If you enjoy all things authentic and local, South Crete is for you! You can choose between one of the villages to explore this part of the island – Sougia, Paliochora, Loutro & Chora Sfakion.
This side of the island is in many ways the same as the Northern coast but also very different. The very laid back lifestyle of the local villagers attracts the same kind of tourists. Here you will find tranquillity, raw Cretan nature, incredibly clean sea, and the best of simple traditional cooking.
Some of the more adventurous can visit the island of Gavdos – the Southmost point of Europe! This small island has quite a limited tourism infrastructure but is a true heaven for hippies and fishermen.
5. Enjoy the hospitality and local culture & local villages
After all, if it was not for the fascinating Cretan culture and warm hospitality, it would not be the same! Take every opportunity to engage with the locals and you will enjoy some of the most unique interactions and hear incredible stories.
If you rent a car, which we highly advise, try to visit mountain villages to get a sense of the real authentic Cretan world, untouched by tourism.