12 days in Crete Itinerary

12 days in Crete Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Crete visit planner
Make it your trip
— 4 nights
— 2 nights
Chania Town
— 4 nights
— 1 night


Heraklion — 4 nights

Crete's largest city, Heraklion remains best known for its proximity to a sprawling Bronze Age archaeological site, once the center of a vanished Minoan civilization.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Heraklion: Museum of El Greco (in Fodele), Reptisland (in Melidoni) and Snail Farm and Fun (in Tylissos). And it doesn't end there: get engrossed in the history at Heraklion Archaeological Museum, tour the pleasant surroundings at Matala Beach, observe the fascinating underwater world at CRETAquarium, and do a tasting at Winery Stilianou.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, use the Heraklion trip maker app.

Porto, Portugal to Heraklion is an approximately 8.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Porto to Heraklion, you'll lose 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Porto in August, expect Heraklion to be somewhat warmer, temps between 34°C and 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Fri) so you can drive to Elounda.
Museums · Parks · Historic Sites · Outdoors
Side Trips

Elounda — 2 nights

Long a sleepy fishing settlement on Crete's northern coastline, Elounda today serves as a major travel destination, drawing vacationers with a blend of unspoiled natural scenery and luxury resorts.
On the 13th (Sat), browse the exhibits of Christin P. Glass and Ceramics Workshop, then contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Voulismeni, and then head off the coast to Spinalonga (Kalydon). On the 14th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: don't miss a visit to Panagias Keras Church, take a memorable tour with Christina Boat, and then explore the ancient world of Archaia Poli Tis Lato.

For where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Elounda road trip tool.

Drive from Heraklion to Elounda in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In August in Elounda, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 29°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Chania Town.
Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Historic Sites
Side Trips

Chania Town — 4 nights

The place where Cretan and Venetian cultures merged in the 13th century, Chania Town attracts throngs of tourists with its well-preserved medieval harbor.
Get out of town with these interesting Chania Town side-trips: Royal Octopus DIVE CENTER (in Kolymbari), Fisika (in Gerani) and Balos Lagoon (in Kissamos). Spend the 18th (Thu) exploring nature at Samaria Gorge National Park. Next up on the itinerary: go for a stroll along the water at Old Venetian Harbor, learn about all things military at Maritime Museum of Crete, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Kournas, and stroll the grounds of Souda Bay War Cemetery.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Chania Town trip planner.

Traveling by car from Elounda to Chania Town takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. Traveling from Elounda in August, expect nights in Chania Town to be slightly colder, around 26°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 36°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Thu) early enough to drive to Elafonissi.
Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Museums
Side Trips

Elafonissi — 1 night

Located just off Crete's southwestern corner, Elafonissi offers an alternative vacation idea for those looking to avoid the larger, more crowded Greek islands.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Fri): enjoy the sand and surf at Elafonissi Beach and then trek along Elafonisi Viewpoint.

For traveler tips, photos, maps, and tourist information, go to the Elafonissi journey maker app.

Traveling by car from Chania Town to Elafonissi takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In August in Elafonissi, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 26°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Fri) early enough to fly back home.
Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Trails

Crete travel guide

Beaches · Ruins · Nightlife
Great Island
The largest of the Greek islands, Crete offers travelers more than just sun, sea, and sand. Famed for its warm hospitality, outstanding infrastructure, and contrasting landscapes, the island represents one of the world's richest areas in terms of history and culture. Crete burst onto the world scene over 4,000 years ago, when it served as the center of the Minoan civilization, one of Europe's earliest organized societies. Despite the island's wealth of developed beaches, the traces of the mysterious and enchanting Minoan empire remain Crete's top attraction, drawing visitors from all over the world. The island capital Heraklion provides an ideal base for exploring a renowned Minoan palace complex, the site of Europe's oldest city.