Cruise ID
Cruises: 2342

Crete, Greece Cruise Port

The past and the present collide on the Greek island of Crete, home to centuries-old towns and thriving modern resorts. Visitors flock here for a taste of both, all set against a magnificent backdrop of vivid turquoise waters, white sandy beaches and beautiful, brightly-coloured homes on the seafront. Further inland you'll find green valleys, age-old ruins and secluded villas, where the lifestyle is very much centred on good food and a leisurely pace.

Sightseeing on Crete

Greece's largest island was once home to the Minoan people, the oldest recorded European civilisation who inhabited the city of Knossos. Crete is also home to some incredible natural beauty and a rich tradition that bridges the gap between the ancient and the modern day, from charming old windmills and a thirteenth-century monastery to modern resorts and town centres.

Palace of Knossos and Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Ancient even when the Romans colonised it, Knossos was the site of civilisation long before its historic palace was constructed. The hill was first occupied around 7,000 BC by a Neolithic settlement, and is thought to have become an administrative centre for the island in the millennia to follow. The palace itself was first built in around 1900 BC, and is thought to have been redecorated ever since in many artistic styles. A wander around the museum in nearby Heraklion can give you an in-depth look at the art, religion and everyday objects of this remarkable historic site – as well as information about the mythical king Minos, the father of the Minotaur.

Arolithos

The beautiful village of Arolithos is a living cultural museum, where visitors will discover peaceful stone houses on small cobbled streets, and shows of traditional dance alongside old Cretan food, drink, crafts and customs. The village itself is deceptively young – having been built from scratch on a hilltop pasture in the late 1980s – but uses stone and timber reclaimed from old villages nearby to represent a proud vision of Crete that its creator, Michalis Saloustros, wanted to project to visitors from all over the world.

Elounda Bay

If the village of Arolithos gathers together traditional Cretan customs in one place, gorgeous Elounda represents the far ends of Crete's cultural spectrum – where bright, modern homes and resorts share the incredible views and surrounding countryside with the ancient ruins of Olous city. This is ultra-luxury cruising at its finest; step off your ship here and enjoy all the convenience of a modern resort and the fascinating presence of ancient stone foundations, combined with remarkable views across Mirabello Bay.

Shopping on Crete

Crete is something of a shopper's paradise, where handmade crafts, books and local music make ideal mementos of your time on the island. Foodies too will find themselves spoiled for choice – pick up local wines and spirits, native honey and olive oil, or sit down with a coffee and open a box of something that helps to give Greece its sweet-tooth reputation.

Eating out on Crete

Juicy tomatoes, fresh seafood, succulent stuffed vine leaves... hungry visitors stepping ashore on Crete will find all manner of restaurants serving Greek classics. Meals often include grilled meats, fresh artichokes and excellent octopus and squid, all taken straight from the seas and surrounding fields. Take to the countryside for secluded fine dining, or take a seat in a restaurant by the harbour for a spectacular Cretan sunset.

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