Are you planning to go to Crete on vacation? A driving route through Greece is a great way to learn the secrets and small places of this beautiful country. The best way to start this adventure is from the Heraklion airport, where you can rent a car from Centauro to start your journey through this beautiful Greek island.
Driving route through Crete
Crete is a large island. If you are going to spend three days in this tourist destination, you may not be able to see everything but only the most important. Also, remember that the roads are only one lane wide, although they are in very good condition. Start the engine and enjoy the road:
Heraklion and the Palace of Knossos
Heraklion is one of the capital’s most modern cities and one of the main access points to the island of Crete. Minoan culture is present in this city, where you can discover ancient Greece’s millenary art.
During your first day driving through Crete we recommend you to visit the Castello a Mare, also called the Koules; this ancient fortress located on the seafront was built by the Republic of Venice in the 16th century and today is a venue for cultural activities and art exhibitions. Stroll through the streets of Heraklion until you reach the Cathedral of Agios Minas, where we recommend you to stop and visit this 19th century Greek Orthodox cathedral, one of Greece’s largest cathedrals. If you are a lover of classical art and culture, take note, the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion is not only one of the largest museums in Greece, but it also contains the best collection of Minoan Art in the world.
Just five kilometers away from the city you will find the palace of Knossos; this ancient Minoan palace, which was built around 2,000 BC, had more than 1,500 rooms and is one of your must-see landmarks in the city. No wonder it is associated with the legend of the Minotaur and the myth that revolves around him, in which Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos, helped Theseus to escape the labyrinth using a ball of thread. Today its famous columns continue to flawlessly stand the test of time, having become today the best example of Minoan architecture.
Make a good use of your first day in the city and get ready for the second day of, which we anticipate will be varied and intense.
Get your car ready and drive 85 kilometers from Heraklion up to Rethymno. With just over 30,000 inhabitants, this city is so old that it was mentioned by Ptolemy and Pliny the Elder. Stroll through the neighborhood closest to the coastline, which dates back to the 19th century and is full of charm. Its streets still keep their Venetian style, inviting you to forget about time and enjoy a day at your leisure. Walk through the neighborhood and try some of the typical dishes that can be found in any of its typical restaurants. After lunch you will be ready to finish your second day at the next stop: one of the most interesting cities on the island, Chania.
Just 60 kilometers from Rethymno we find Chania, also called Canea, a coastal city of great tourist interest. It is divided into the old city and the new city. The heterogeneous mixture of architectural styles will allow you to see a Venetian mansion and a church on the same street. It is, without doubt, one of the island’s most beautiful cities. Visit the old Venetian port, The Fortress of Firkas, the Ottoman Mosque of the Janissaries or the Etz Hayyim Jewish Synagogue. Do not leave the city without having visited Oasis Beach and Kalamaki, one of the city’s most beautiful. Spend the night there and enjoy its undeniable beauty as well as its splendid gastronomy before setting off on our third and last day of driving route through the island of Crete .
Matala - Heraklion
After waking up very early on the third day, go to Matala, which is 136 kilometers away. Its paradisiacal, undeveloped beaches, will remain in your memory as landscapes that perfectly represent the essence of Crete, even after returning to Heraklion, only an hour’s drive from there. This charming city was a favorite area for hippies because of its abundant nature and pleasant climate, and the caves that they used as houses. Return to the Heraklion airport and enjoy up to the last second of an island that will always leave you wanting more and that seems to be designed to have every visitor fall for its innumerable secrets.
Car hire in Greece
Crete is one of those places that we recommend you to visit at your leisure. Sit in any bar, talk to the locals, mingle with them and you will soon discover that you are visiting a place that is different from any other you have seen before. Rent your car in Heraklion to gain access to a varied fleet of vehicles which are perfect to go on a driving route through the best places in Crete, at your own leisure.