Top things to do

Top Choice Museum in Iraklio

Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Reopened in 2014 after a long renovation, the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion is Crete’s outstanding jewel. The two floors of the restored 1930s Bauhaus building make a gleaming showcase for the exhibits that spa…
Top Choice Archaeological Site in Malia

Palace of Malia

The Palace of Malia, 3km east of Malia, was built at about the same time as the great Minoan palaces of Phaestos and Knossos. The First Palace dates back to around 1900 BC and was rebuilt after the earthquake of 170…
Top Choice Archaeological Site in Phaestos

Phaestos

The site of Phaestos, 63km from Iraklio, was the second-most important Minoan palatial city after Knossos and also enjoys the most awe-inspiring location, with panoramic views of the Messara Plain and Mt Psiloritis.…
Top Choice Archaeological Site in Agia Triada

Agia Triada

Pronounced ah-yee-ah trih-ah-dha, Agia Triada, 3km west of Phaestos, was most likely a smaller palace or a royal summer villa and enjoys an enchanting setting on the tree-covered hillside looking out to the Gulf of …
Top Choice Historic Site in The Hinterland & Mt Psiloritis

Moni Arkadiou

The Arkadi Monastery, in the hills some 23km southeast of Rethymno, has deep significance for Cretans. As the site where hundreds of cornered locals massacred both themselves and invading Turks, it’s a stark and pot…
Top Choice Monastery in North Coast

Moni Toplou

The imposing Moni Toplou, 18km east of Sitia, looks more like a fortress than a monastery – a necessity imposed by the dangers it faced at the time of its construction. It is one of the most historically significant…
Top Choice Beach in Gramvousa Peninsula

Balos

The idyllic Balos beach and looping lagoons of shallow, shimmering turquoise waters are overlooked by islets Agria (wild) and Imeri (tame). It’s a heavenly remote stretch of Crete that merits its inclusions on broch…
Top Choice Ruins in Northwest Coast

Polyrrinia

The wonderful mountain-top ruins of the ancient city of Polyrrinia (pol-ee-ren-ee-a) lie about 7km south of Kissamos, above the village of Ano Paleokastro (also called Polyrrinia). Sea, mountain and valley views fro…
Top Choice Ruins in East of Hania

Aptera

The ruins of the ancient city of Aptera, about 13.5km east of Hania, spread over two hills that lord grandly over Souda Bay. Founded in the 7th century BC, Aptera was one of the most important city-states of western…
Top Choice Archaeological Site in North Coast

Gournia

The compelling Late Minoan site of Gournia (pronounced goor-nyah) lies just off the coast road, 19km southeast of Agios Nikolaos. The ruins, which date from 1550 to 1450 BC, are made up of a town overlooked by a pal…