Where to go by car: the best routes and attractions in Crete

When traveling to Crete, you’ll want to make sure to take in all the sights and sounds the island has to offer. While there are many great ways to explore Crete, we recommend doing so by car. In this blog post, we will outline some of the best routes and attractions for car travelers in Crete. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!
Chania
The city of Chania is a great place to start your exploration of Crete. Found on the northwest coast of the island, Chania is known for its Venetian harbor, old town, and beautiful beaches. From Chania, you can take the following routes:
This route takes you along the north coast of Crete past some of the island’s most beautiful beaches. Highlights include Balos Beach, Falasarna Beach, Elafonisi Beach, and Kedrodasos Beach. The drive from Chania to Kissamos takes about two hours.
This route takes you south from Chania through the mountains. Along the way, you’ll pass by several gorges, including the Samaria Gorge and the Imbros Gorge. The drive from Chania to Matala takes about three hours.
Heraklion
The Palace of Knossos is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete and has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The site was inhabited from the Neolithic period ( 7000-3000 BC) until the end of the Bronze Age (1100 BC). It is located approximately five kilometers south of Heraklion and was excavated by British archaeologist Arthur Evans in the early 20th century.

Agios Nikolaos
The first stop on our list is Agios Nikolaos, a beautiful town located in the eastern part of Crete. This is a great place to start your travels because it offers stunning views of the Aegean Sea. You can also find plenty of things to do in Agios Nikolaos, such as visiting the archaeological site of Knossos or taking a dip in the town’s famous lake.
Sitia
The drive from Sitia to Vai is one of the most beautiful in Crete. The road hugs the coastline, offering stunning views of the sea. Along the way, there are plenty of places to stop and explore. The beaches at Elounda and Plaka are both worth a visit. And for those interested in history, the ruins of Olous are a must-see.
Ierapetra
The route from Ierapetra to Agios Nikolaos is one of the most popular tourist routes on the island. The distance is about 65 km and the drive takes about an hour. The road is in good condition and there are many places to stop along the way. The first stop could be at the archaeological site of Gournia. This is a small Minoan town that was excavated in 1901 by the American archaeologist Harriet Boyd.