17 days in Crete, Naxos & Santorini Itinerary

17 days in Crete, Naxos & Santorini Itinerary

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Chania Town
— 3 nights
— 3 nights
Naxos Town
— 3 nights
— 6 nights


Chania Town — 3 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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Botanical Park & Gardens Of Crete and Agia Marina Beach. Do some cultural sightseeing at Lighthouse of Chania and Archaeological Site of Ancient Aptera. Explore Chania Town's surroundings by going to Marathi Beach (in Marathi) and Akrotiri (Holy Trinity Monastery (Agia Triada) & Seitan Limania Beach). There's much more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Agii Apostoli Beach, stroll the grounds of German Military Cemetery, get engrossed in the history at Archaeological Museum of Chania, and brush up on your military savvy at Maritime Museum of Crete.

To see reviews, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Chania Town road trip website.

Vancouver, Canada to Chania Town is an approximately 17.5-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Vancouver to Chania Town is 10 hours. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Vancouver in July; daily highs in Chania Town reach 37°C and lows reach 25°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Rethymnon.
Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Historic Sites
Side Trips

Rethymnon — 3 nights

Rethymnon combines the old-fashioned charm of a small town with proximity to long sandy beaches with all the modern conveniences usually found in big tourist resorts.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at St. Nicholas Church and The Natural History Museum of Crete. Rethymnon Old Town and Historical Museum of Crete are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Explore Rethymnon's surroundings by going to Heraklion (Castello del Molo (Koules) & Heraklion Archaeological Museum). There's lots more to do: see Off-Road Tours, view the masterpieces at Stagakis Cretan Lyra Workshop, stop by Cloclo's Art Handmade Creations, and take in the waterfront at Old Venetian Harbour of Rethymno.

For photos, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Rethymnon journey site.

Traveling by car from Chania Town to Rethymnon takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In July, daily temperatures in Rethymnon can reach 37°C, while at night they dip to 25°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sat) so you can fly to Naxos Town.
Outdoors · Museums · Tours · Historic Sites
Side Trips

Naxos Town — 3 nights

Naxos Town tops the itinerary of most visitors exploring the Aegean islands, drawing their attention with taverns, shops, beaches, and ancient ruins.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Agios Prokopios Beach and Eggares Olive Press Museum. We've included these beaches for you: Plaka Beach and Agia Anna Beach. Step out of Naxos Town with an excursion to Kastraki Beach in Kastraki--about 32 minutes away. The adventure continues: kick back and relax at Mikri Vigla Beach, contemplate the long history of Kastro, look for gifts at Naxos Art - Techni Store, and take in the exciting artwork at Fish & Olive.

To find more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Naxos Town trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by flight from Rethymnon to Naxos Town takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. July in Naxos Town sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 26°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Tue) early enough to ride a ferry to Fira.
Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Museums
Side Trips

Fira — 6 nights

Fira, the busy capital of Santorini, sits on the very edge of a volcanic caldera.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Kamari Beach and Red Beach. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Skaros Rock and Museum of Prehistoric Thira. There's much more to do: see the interesting displays at Wine Museum Koutsogiannopoulos, explore the ancient world of Akrotiri, do a tasting at Domaine Sigalas, and indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

For where to stay, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Fira travel planner.

You can ride a ferry from Naxos Town to Fira in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. In July, daily temperatures in Fira can reach 35°C, while at night they dip to 27°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Mon) to allow enough time to fly back home.
Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Museums
Side Trips

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.

Naxos travel guide

Beaches · Ruins · Nightlife
Zeus, the master of all gods from Greek mythology, allegedly grew up in a cave on Naxos, a small but fertile island in the South Aegean Sea. Renowned for its unspoiled beaches and advantageous winds, the island offers excellent conditions for windsurfing and other watersports. Most of the island's western coastline boasts one sandy beach splashed by blue waters rich in marine life--a big draw for amateur scuba divers. The mountainous interior provides a look at the quieter side of the island, featuring a patchwork of lush valleys, quaint villages, and ancient sites. For a change of pace and a bit of modern dining and shopping, visit Hora, the island's biggest city.

Santorini travel guide

Beaches · Landmarks · Ruins
Wine Island
Known for dramatic views and romantic sunsets, the island of Santorini draws visitors with its long string of black, white, and red beaches. The largest and most significant of a small group of volcanic islands located just 200 km (120 mi) southeast of Greece's mainland, Santorini boasts just over 15,000 permanent residents. Created by a massive volcanic eruption that likely destroyed a single large island, the archipelago still features an active volcano, which saw its last eruption in the 1950s. The easiest way to explore Santorini's craggy coastline is on foot. Start by visiting the archaeological sites on the island's southwestern side, which offer a chance to discover the area's ancient past with unobstructed views of the famed volcano.