Things to know before traveling to Crete

Crete is simple. There’s minor you need to do to put together for your trip to this glorious Greek island beyond producing a couple advance bookings. Packing is basic – and if you overlook a thing, you can invest in it there.

The island is secure. The nearby economic climate counts on vacationers, and the Cretans – like most Greeks – are welcoming and welcoming. In any business where tourists flip up (which even features little household-run eateries substantial in the hills), an individual will discuss English. A very little prevalent feeling and politeness will go a prolonged way as you navigate the etiquette of the put.

Here’s all you need to know before you choose your excursion to Crete. (Lucky you.) 

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Reserve your rooms and rental autos (perfectly) in advance

As travelers proceed to make up for missed excursions through the pandemic, Crete is a favored vacation spot. From April to October, the finest sites to remain at all cost stages e-book up early. Really don’t wait around, expecting price ranges to slide. They will not.

This is even much more true for rental vehicles, thanks to the world wide vehicle shortage. If you are driving the whole time you’re on the island, shop all-around and reserve the best deal you can find. A person exception: if you will just be hiring a automobile for the occasional working day excursion, you can wait right until you are on the island and then organize for a day rental with a regional outfit. (Keep in mind that this might be a mate of the lodge owner with a fleet of 3 Fiats.)

A convertible on the open road by the sea in Crete, Greece
Discovering Crete by car is simple – just be absolutely sure to reserve your rental nicely in progress of your journey © Krivosheev Vitaly / Shutterstock

Know your period – and layer up

Images of sunlight-drenched beaches and balmy nights in cafes underpin Cretan tourism cliches. But outside the house of summer months, it’s not constantly warm. Wintertime can be blustery, chilly and damp. Nights outside of July and August can be brisk. Bring layers.

Provide some funds

Visa and Mastercard are broadly approved for buys huge and tiny, and ATMs are widespread on Crete. But you may come across offline equipment or cash-only distributors, so we advise carrying about €200 in income in many lesser-euro denominations. Don’t be that human being who palms the aged ex-fisherman managing the seashore ferry a €50 notice for a €5 fare.

Fill your telephone with maps prior to you get the wheel

Quite a few mapping apps let you to download information in progress that you can then use for navigation when your cellphone is offline. This can be a lifeline when you are at the junction of two unmarked roads deep in the mountains and you really do not know which way to flip.

A woman walks toward Agios Nikolaos church, carved into the rocks in Kotsifou Gorge, Crete, Greece, Mediterranean Sea
Remember to clearly show some modesty and include up prior to moving into any of Crete’s plenty of historic churches © Roberto Moiola / Sysaworld / Getty Pictures

Deal with up in church buildings

Letting it (just about) all dangle out is fantastic on numerous seashores (there are a couple fully nude kinds on the island) but when you’re stopping into Crete’s numerous historic, incense-loaded church buildings, show some respect. Deal with your shoulders, have shorts or a skirt that goes below the knees, and really do not enter barefoot.

Stay coolly trendy at evening

Balmy evenings phone for airy, floaty duds – yet really do not be expecting to get into that amazing cafe, leading restaurant or heaving club with a singlet and shorter shorts. For a longer time shorts and attire are great practically anywhere at night time a crisp designer T-shirt or some thing with a collar will perform for men.

Cretans not often go bare or topless on the seaside

Island citizens totally anticipate the outfits to drop away from their seashore-loving guests. Nevertheless you need to continue to exercise some discretion. In close proximity to city facilities and together beach front promenades, polite publicity maintains a shred of modesty. Elsewhere, ladies frequently go topless and specified nude parts abound. When in doubt, verify out the prevailing manner all over you (or absence thereof).

A wide view of diners on a seafront terrace by night in Tabakaria, Chania, Crete, Greece, Mediterranean Sea
Dinners in Crete are energetic, family-design, very long affairs © Heracles Kritikos / Shutterstock

Assume extensive and languid dinners

Crete has some of the ideal foodstuff in Mediterranean Europe. Meals are an occasion – and can prolong around two or a lot more pretty fulfilling hours. Friends share dishes substantial and little, which are served to the full table, family design and style. On a active summer season night, places to eat can get slammed and classes might meander out of the kitchen only after extensive gaps. Trying to hurry points along is terrible form and the antithesis of a attractive, relaxed night time out.

In distinction, lunch can be enjoyed rather rapidly at a cafe or savored for significantly longer, specifically at a seaside taverna, wherever a shady desk and fresh new seafood meal is the excellent antidote to the scorchingly incredibly hot midday sun.

Be guaranteed to tip – but do not overtip

As an island with a substantial tourism sector, Crete has far more of a tipping tradition than much more un-touristed components of Greece. In dining places and cafes, 5% is a very good median amount of money, with 10% really generous. Locals will round up to an even selection in a cafe (eg go away €35 for a tab of €33) or go away little alter in a cafe.

Leaving some euros for your home cleaner is often appreciated. If another person aids you with your bags, €1 to €3 for each bag is proper – except it is a taxi driver, in which situation the bag managing charge is additional to the fare. You only need to have to idea a taxi driver a few of euros at most.

Shell out the asked rate

Exterior of open-air marketplaces, bargaining in excess of costs is not the norm in Crete. Expect to pay out the marked value in stores and galleries.

Truly feel free to drink the h2o

Tap water in Crete is safe to drink. Keep in mind to refill your drinking water bottles any time you can, as it receives very sizzling in summer. You will need a lot of hydration for the seashore, hiking trails, bus and automobile rides, and far more.

Really don’t worry about criminal offense

Crete is a secure position to vacation and you shouldn’t drop slumber over the hazard of criminal offense. As any where, although, widespread perception must constantly prevail: lock your doors, really don’t depart valuables in the rental automobile and by no means depart your cellphone or other treasures unattended on the beach front or at the cafe.

Frustrate the mosquitos

Mosquitos excitement about ceaselessly at dusk. If you like anti-bug sprays or balms, provide them with you – repellants can be remarkably tricky to uncover on Crete. Mosquito coils are broadly available, as properly as electrical gizmos that plug into the wall of hotel rooms. But the efficacy of these strategies is variable at finest.