There are few places on earth more romantic than the Greek islands. And from pink sand beaches to old Venetian architecture, it's hard to imagine a better Greek island to spend your honeymoon than Crete. Whether you're staying a week or a month, here are our recommendations for spending your time during your stay.
Base yourself out of the ancient town of Chania and stay in a 16th century Venetian apartment. This is the most beautiful town on Crete (in our personal opinion!) and the perfect jumping-off point to do a number of day trips.
Old town church steeple. Photo via The Printable Shop.
Chania is home to a wide variety of food options from traditional to touristy, with practically no fast food outlets. Look for the places where the older locals are eating, find a shady spot to share a gyros, or enjoy seafood by the ancient Venetian harbour.
Explore the winding laneways of the ancient town together between meals, treating her to locally made jewellery, and him to a locally made leather laptop case (or another gyros).
Boat selling sponges and trinkets in the harbour. Photo via The Printable Shop.
Between Chania and Crete's capital city Heraklio lies Rethymnon, Chania's little sister town. While most people say that Chania is the prettier of the two towns, Rethymnon has less tourists and a beachfront within walking distance, so depending on your preferences you may like to look into a day trip or even an overnight stay in Rethymnon.
There are many beaches on Crete, and ideally you'll get the chance to visit a number of them. If we only had time to visit one beach on the island, it would have the be Elafonisi. The famous pink and white sand beach are a short 75km from Chania and are easily accessed via public bus or hired car. Bring towels, sunglasses, some sunscreen, swim wear and a pair of thongs each. Consider leaving your valuables in the apartment, because it's easier to relax without worrying about your camera being robbed on the beach while you're in the water. It does get crowded in the high season, but if you make your way to the nearby Elafonisi island it's much quieter. Depending on the tide, you may be able to walk or wade over.
Rocks of Elafonisi. Photo via Round The World In 30 Days.
There are a number of hikes to do on Crete, the most famous of which is Samaria Gorge. Descending into the gorge and hiking along a cool creek, you will make your way to a small town, Agia Roumeli, where you can eat at one of the small restaurants or even stay the night. Catch the bus early in the morning to avoid crowds on your hike. It is a one-way hike and you can catch a ferry and bus from Agia Roumeli back to Chania. If you drive a rental car, it will be more difficult to get back to where it is parked than using public transport.
Samaria Gorge. Photo via Sparkle In Her Suitcase.
Ruins along the Samaria Gorge hike. Photo via Glass Pilgrim.
The island is a huge 8,336 km squared, and is home to a number of cities, towns and tourist destinations. It's a 2 hour and 45 bus ride from Chania to Heraklio. You can arrive via ferry into Chania or Heraklio, or plane to Heraklio, and get around by public buses, private bus companies, taxi or hire a rental car. Keep in mind that driving is a bit wilder than back home in Australia and they drive on the right (wrong) side of the road so only attempt to drive if you're competent. Make sure to buy a bottle of olive oil from the old Chania market or one of the local stores to take home in your checked baggage, as Crete is considered one of the best olive oil producing regions in the world.