Tours in Crete.
Crete is the largest island in Greece and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean. The island is 250 km long and only 12 km wide at its narrowest point. The island is bounded by three seas – the Cretan Sea in the north, the Libyan Sea in the south and the Ionian Sea in the west.
Crete has high mountains, the longest gorge in Europe – Samaria, the famous Knossos and beautiful beaches. It is the most ancient seat of civilization in Europe and at the same time a modern tourist center in the Mediterranean. The rich history of the island, where the Turks, Arabs and Venetians crossed, has left monuments from different eras. Turkish mosques, Byzantine monasteries and Venetian fortresses add a special flavor to the Cretan landscape with its stunning blue-green sea and bright sun, golden beaches, tropical palm trees, majestic mountains and deep gorges. Legend and reality, history and modernity are intertwined in the life of Crete today.
Modern Crete has all the necessary infrastructure for a comfortable and diverse holiday. The island has two international airports, in the cities of Chania and Heraklion, which greatly reduces the transfer time to the place of rest. Along the northern coast, there are numerous holiday villages and towns with taverns, stores, great beaches, hotels and water parks. Everyone can find something to his liking on Crete.
Cities and resorts in Greece
WEDDINGS IN CRETE
A wedding in Crete is an amazing event. The romance in everything: the unusual surroundings, the unfamiliar traditions and even the local cuisine, which is loved by many Russians.
Many hotels offer a symbolic wedding ceremony in the hotel chapel or in a white tent on the beach, parting words of the hotel general manager, a wedding bouquet, champagne, a romantic candlelight dinner on the beach with live music, wedding cake, photographer services, bedroom decoration with flowers, a romantic breakfast served in the room. The newlyweds receive a certificate of marriage and a wedding gift.
TEMPERATURE, LOCATION AND CLIMATE
Crete has a mild, subtropical climate, close to the Mediterranean. Crete is one of the sunniest islands in Greece. The weather on the island is characterized by moderate rainy winters and hot, dry summers. During the summer the average temperature ranges from +20 C to +30 C, with humidity of 50%. The average temperature during the winter reaches +16 C with a humidity of 75%. From April to November, the sun shines and it rains very little. The tourist season begins in April and can last until the end of October.
The central location at the junction of maritime routes between Europe, Egypt and Asia Minor created favorable conditions for the birth here of the oldest civilization in Europe – the Minoan, which laid the foundation for the Greek and European culture. But the famous Knossos Palace is not the only attraction of the island. To visit the island will be interesting not only for historians and archaeologists, but also for nature lovers and amateur photographers. The list of attractions is long. Some of them are: Phaestos Palace, Amnissos town, Gournia settlement, Gortyna town, Rethymno and Chania, Spinaloga island, Samaria Gorge, Kournas Lake, Lassithi Plateau, Zeus Cave.
Crete is a paradise for those who can’t imagine their holidays without an interesting and noisy nightlife. On the island you can spend time at modern parties or at traditional Greek nights with live music. As for the nightlife of the western part of Crete, in the city of Chania you will find plenty of bars and clubs, some of which are well hidden in the picturesque alleys of the old town. The beautiful city of Rethymno has a variety of bars, taverns and restaurants. The most popular resorts for nightlife are considered Malia, Stalis, Hersonissos. In the rest of Crete there are lounge bars with calm music, such places are usually open until midnight.
The most popular places on the island are “Peacock Tail Bar”, “Safe As Milk Bar”, “Sinagogi Bar”, “Conor Pass Irish Bar”, “Bazaki”, “Olde 7”, “CoME Cafe Bar”.
The area of Lassithi, with the resorts of Elounda, Sitia, Ierapetra and the center of the region, Agios Nikolaos, is a favorite destination for wealthy visitors. Elounda is the most fashionable and prestigious resort of the island, located on the shores of the Gulf of Mirabello. Luxurious hotels with world famous SPA complexes are built on the beaches of Elounda.
Agios Nikolaos town is famous for its sea views, seaside cafes, fish taverns, atmosphere of lightness and romance. The city has an active nightlife.
Ierapetra is the fruit capital of Crete, with extensive plantations of citrus and olive trees, the Cretans call it the “Bride of the Libyan Sea.
Lassithi’s main attractions include: The fertile plateau of Lassithi with its numerous windmills, apple orchards and canals, the cave of Diktio Andro, where according to legend the supreme Olympian god, Zeus, was supreme, the Venetian fortress-island of Spinalonga, the ancient city of Olous, half submerged by water, the Gulf of Mirabello with its azure waters, the “tropical beach” of Vai with its snow-white sand and banana groves, surrounded by rocks, the monastery of Our Lady of Kardiotissa, the life-giving spring of Vidyani.
The port city of Rethymno is one of the most beautiful cities of Crete, located 78 km west of Heraklion, the capital of Crete and 60 km east of Chania. Near the Venetian harbor there is the Loggia of the 16th century, where all major economic and political issues were decided. One of the main attractions is the Venetian Fortress (Fortezza), which offers a magnificent view of the sea and the Ida Mountains, the tops of which are covered with snow all year round. The Fortress is one of the most visited historical sites in Rethymno. Rethymnon is also famous for its Rimondi Fountain, which was built back in 1626. The fountain has the shape of three lions’ heads, from which flows water in three ponds, above which rise four columns with cannelures. The area of Rethymno is rich in attractions. Of particular interest are the Monastery of Arkadi and the gorge of Arkadi, the region of Psilorit with its customs and traditions, the villages of Aksos and Anogia, the cave of Idea, the Monastery of Preveli and many other beautiful villages. The city of Rethymno, built by the Venetians, is considered one of the most romantic cities in Greece. On a beautiful promenade there are a large number of restaurants, cafes and stores. The preserved part of the old town is a pedestrian area.
Rethymnon is famous for its long, many kilometers of sandy beach. The beach starts right in the center of Rethymnon and runs for many kilometers along the coast of the region. The most popular resorts in the area are Panormo, Adele and Bali. The picturesque village of Panormo is located 50km from Heraklion. It is a quiet place which is ideal for those who are accustomed to a quiet and relaxing holiday. Despite this it offers plenty of stores, taverns and restaurants. Adele is a resort east of Rethymnon. All beaches of the resort are well equipped with everything you need for recreation. Along the coast there are lots of souvenir stores, fish restaurants and bars. The fishing village and resort of Bali is located 25km east of Rethymno and 45km west of Heraklion. The mountain slopes are covered with a carpet of green plants, the secluded bays with beaches and the unruffled atmosphere, making Bali the perfect place for a relaxing holiday.
Heraklion is the largest industrial and commercial center of the island. The city has been known since the Minoan era. It takes its name from Herakles, who performed one of his feats on Crete. Later, the Arabs, who conquered the island, built a fortress on the site of the settlement and named the city Rabd El Kandak, which means “fortress ditch”. It was they who made the city the capital of the island. The Venetians called the city Candia from 1204. Heraklion was the last Cretan city to surrender to the Ottoman Empire after 21 years of siege. The city has many interesting sites that must be visited: the Archaeological Museum, Daedalus Street, the pedestrian area, Venizelos Square, the Venetian Loggia, the Venetian Port, the fortress, the History Museum, the market quarter, St. Catherine Square and the tomb of Nikos Kazantzakis.
Each resort village of Heraklion is good in its own way. The picturesque village of Malia is located 34km east of Heraklion. It is a modern resort with a huge number of bars and discos, considered a favorite destination of European youth. It also boasts wonderful beaches, easy access to the sea and warm water.
Stalida village is located 32 km from Heraklion and has a beautiful bay with clear azure water. Hotels are tucked away in the green, on a sandy beach. This resort is ideal for couples and honeymooners.
Gouves village is located east of Heraklion. It has wonderful beaches, a lot of taverns and cafes along the coast and the newly built Splash water park.
The largest and most popular resort is Hersonissos, located 25km east of the capital of Crete. Crete. The resort is very popular with the British, Germans and Dutch. In recent years, this place has become popular with the Russians and Ukrainians. Hersonissos is famous for its wonderful beaches and busy nightlife. There are plenty of bars, restaurants and nightclubs, so this place is especially popular among young people. A rich infrastructure of the resort will satisfy the most sophisticated traveler.
How much does it cost to go to Crete
Find out how much money it takes to go to Crete. We have calculated the basic costs: flight, hotel accommodation, food, transportation, as well as visiting the main attractions. At the end – the calculation of the minimum cost of a trip to Crete.
Airfare prices to Crete
The cheapest tickets to Crete are from Moscow. The price of round-trip flight with a connection in low season starts from 8500 rubles (Aegean Airlines, baggage is not included in the low-cost fare). The direct flight will usually cost twice as much – from 16,000 rubles (Aeroflot flights). During the high season the direct flight with transfers costs from 13 thousand rubles, the direct one – from 19 thousand.
Round trip air tickets from North Palmyra usually cost from 15,000 rubles with connection in low season, and from 21,000 in summer. The price of direct flights from St. Petersburg starts at 22 thousand rubles.
Also for less than 30 thousand rubles you can fly to Crete from Perm, Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Krasnodar, Voronezh and Novosibirsk.
Look for cheap tickets to Crete on Aviasales.
Direct flights are 1.5-2 times more expensive than transfer tickets. Photo: alvaresss1 / unsplash.com.
The cost of visas
To travel to Crete, you must obtain a Schengen visa. The cost of a visa to Greece for Russians in 2022 is 3700 rubles. Learn more about the necessary documents for its renewal, and what to do in case of denial, you can in our separate article.
You should also make sure that you are insured. It is better to do online at the sites Compare.ru or Cherehapa. They compare and choose the best price. The cost of insurance – from 300 rubles for a week.
For transit, tourist, visitor and business trips need a Schengen visa. Photo: bhoogenboom / unsplash.com.
Hotel prices in Crete in 2022
To find a suitable price and reviews of hotels in Crete, we advise to use the service Roomguru. Before booking here you can read the photos, accommodation conditions and reviews of guests.
The price for a double room per night in Crete starts at 980 rubles. For example, for this amount you can stay at three-star hotel Real Palace. A room at a five-star hotel will cost from 1200 rubles for two people (for example, at the Classic Apartments Anissaras).
A room at the Classic Apartments (Photo: booking.com / Classic Apartments)
If you have a bigger wallet and prefer to stay in a separate house, you can rent it for about 4700 rubles per day. That’s the price of living in The Hillside Home, the terrace of which overlooks the sea and the city.
Widespread rental villas and apartments by the sea in Crete – they can also be found on the service Roomguru. It is much more comfortable and often cheaper than a hotel (especially if traveling with a group or family).
View from the balcony of The Hillside Home (Photo: booking.com / The Hillside Home)
Food Prices in Crete in 2022
A key cost item that determines the overall price of holidays in Crete in 2022 is food. The cost of food on the island, as in Greece as a whole, depends on the level of the establishment. In general, we can say that by European standards the prices of food in Crete are not high.
Prices in cafes in Crete:
- breakfast – 4 €;
- lunch – 6 €;
- Dinner – 17 €.
Prices in restaurants in Crete:
- breakfast – 5,5€;
- Lunch – 14€;
- Dinner: 25€.
Food prices in stores of Crete
If you compare the cost of food in Crete with the average prices in Greece, you’ll notice that the price tag on the island is slightly higher. At the same time, fruits and vegetables are cheaper here.
Examples of the prices of some products:
- A loaf of white bread (500 grams) – from 1 €;
- Milk (1 l) from 1,20 €
- Eggs (12 eggs) from 2,50 €;
- chicken breasts (1 kg) – from 6,60 €
- potatoes (1 kg) – from 0,50 €
- tomatoes (1 kg) from 0,75€
- cucumbers (1 kg) – 1€
- apples (1 kg) from 0,60 €;
- Oranges (1 kg) – from 0,80 €.
Cheese shop in Crete (Photo: Spiros Vathis / flickr.com)
Prices for sights in Crete
Search for interesting excursions on Tripster. Individual and group, without crowds and in Russian.
Crete is an island with a rich history and cultural heritage. One myth of Minotaur and Theseus attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. Prices for tours in Crete in 2022, as well as for visits to museums, palaces, temples and other places of interest do not vary much and rarely exceed 10 €.
Prices for the main sights of Crete:
- Knossos Palace – adult 6€, children free.
- Archaeological Museum “Heraklion” – 6 € per ticket.
- Cave of Zeus – adult 4 €, children – free of charge.
- Cretaquarium Oceanarium – 9€ per ticket.
- Water City Water Park – adults 25 €, children 17 €.
Transportation in Crete
Travel costs are also a must for the calculation of the prices of holidays in Crete in 2022. The main means of transportation on the island are buses, cabs and ferries.
You can tell which bus is approaching from afar by its color. Blue are city buses, beige or green are intercity buses. Fares in Crete buses depend on the distance. We have given examples of prices for a few of the most popular bus routes that tourists use.
- Heraklion – Knossos Palace: 1,5€;
- Heraklion – Heraklion airport: 1,5 €;
- Agios Nikolaos – Elounda: 1,7 €;
- Rethymno – Arcadi: 2,8 €.
- Heraklion – Hersonissos: 3€;
- Heraklion – Bali: 5 €;
- Heraklion-Rethymnon: 7,6 €;
- Heraklion – Chania: 13,8 €.
If you plan to actively use the buses of Crete, we advise you to visit the website of KTEL (timetable and prices). You can buy a ticket from conductors and kiosks at bus stops. We recommend the second option: the conductor may not be present, and controllers are likely to walk with a check. Children under 5 years old are free of charge.
KTEL bus at the bus station (Photo: wikimedia.org / Alf van Beem)
There are three ways to call a cab: call, give a thumbs-up, or order online. The third option is the most convenient, as it eliminates the possibility of language misunderstandings. The cost of the trip is 1,3-1,5 € per kilometer.
If you are traveling with children or just tired after a flight it is better to book in advance a cab from the airport of Heraklion or Chania. Such a decision will save you from queuing for a car and searching for it and will allow you to get to your accommodation quickly and comfortably.
Cabs in Rethymno (Photo: wikimedia.org / Benoit Prieur)
Rent a car
Every year an increasing number of free travelers prefer to travel around Crete in rental cars. The cost depends on a number of factors, such as the class of the car, the length of the rental, the type of insurance and the seasonality. It should be noted that the price of car rental in Crete in 2022 is not significantly changed compared with previous years. The cost of car rental – from 20 € per day. You can rent a car in advance at Rentalcars.com. Learn all the nuances of rental cars abroad.
Greece consists of about 2,000 islands, so the ferry service in the country, as well as in Crete itself, is very well developed. Boats, catamarans, ferries of different size and level allow you to sail between the resorts of Crete, as well as throughout Greece. The cost of the ferry is on average 8-13 € per person. For more information on specific routes and to book your ticket, visit ferries in Greece ferriesingreece.com.
Boats in Agios Nikolaos. Photo: Jack Cousin / flickr.com / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license.
Tour prices to Crete in 2022
We’ve researched tour prices to Crete in 2022 and given approximate prices, but you can find cheaper options as well. Just keep an eye out for hot deals and book in advance. We have a selection of tours of Greece in general in a separate article.
Choose the right Greek resort for you! The best vacation spots are in the article.
Beach Balos in Crete (Photo: stefanlanghp1 / pixabay.com)
The prices for a tour to Crete start from 40 thousand rubles for 7 days for two people with a flight from Moscow. A round-trip price with full board (breakfast, lunch, and dinner included) starts from 60 thousand rubles.
You can buy a seven-day tour with a flight from St. Petersburg starting from 50 thousand rubles for two people. A package with three meals a day will cost from 70 thousand rubles.
If you’re searching for the best value package tours, you must use the travel services of Travelate and Level.Travel – they compare the offers from 120 tour operators and find the best option. You can buy tours online, which is very convenient. Want to save money? Read our 7 rules for buying tours online.
Shaitan Limania (Devil’s Harbor) beach in Crete (Photo: anastosKol / flickr.com / CC BY-NC 2.0 license)
Prices and seasons on the island
The seasonality factor plays a determining role in the cost of travel to Crete. The most expensive to vacation in the high season is summer. In June, July and August, the temperature remains around +28. +30°C. The cheapest holidays in Crete are in low season (December, January, February and March). The thermometer during this time fluctuates at around +15. +17°C.
From mid April the swimming season opens again, and the price for a holiday in Crete rises. The best option is the Velvet season. All tourists wrote in their reviews that the prices of holidays in Crete in September and October are much lower, the number of tourists (especially children) is much less, and the water gets around +24C.
Beach Balos in Crete (Photo: Riccardo Romano / flickr.com)
How much does it cost to go to Crete
So, how much should you expect when going to the island? We made a calculation of a budget, but at the same time full and comfortable trip to Crete.
When calculating the trip we took the prices during the low season, which is the cheapest time to vacation in Crete. So if you want to know how much it costs to get to Crete during the high season, multiply the amount by 2.
- A round trip air ticket from Moscow with connection – 17200 rubles for two people.
- The visa to Greece – 7400 rubles for two (if you already have an open Schengen visa, then this item is deducted).
- Insurance – 600 rubles for two people. You can buy insurance →
- Budget hotel – 980 rubles for two people per night, that is 6860 rubles per week.
- Three meals a day: breakfast at a cafe – 4 €, lunch (fast food) – 3 €, dinner at a cheap cafe costs 17 €. Two per day – 48 € or 336 € a week.
- Transportation. Two bus rides per day for two people is 3 €, or 21 € per week.
- Three sights – 32 € for two people.
Thus, the cost of an independent economy trip to the island of Crete will be about 60260 rubles for two people for 7 days. The price for a 10-day vacation in Crete in 2022, respectively, is 74300 rubles. Learn how much money to take in Greece.
Photo: fotogake / flickr.com / CC BY-NC 2.0 license.