Crete

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Crete Cities and Regions

Hania

Crete’s most romantic town overlooks a sheltered harbor lined with pastel Venetian buildings and a 17th-century Ottoman mosque. Its pedestrian-only streets are packed with boutique hotels, chic eateries, and craft shops.

Rethymno

Guarded by a 16th-century Venetian fortress, Rethymno's old pastel-colored buildings house bohemian bars, hip restaurants and unique shops. Seafood tavernas ring the harbor, while big, modern hotels front the sandy, palm-fringed beach.

Heraklion

Crete's capital since 1971, Heraklion combines a brash, industrial port and a pedestrian-only, Venetian-era old town. The town’s Archaeological Museum displays finds from the Knossos Palace (just 3 miles inland from town).

Agios Nikolaos

Tavernas and cafes circle a small, deep lake in this former fishing village. Now a popular resort, big hotels overlook Mirabello Bay and Spinalonga – a fortified islet once used as a leper colony.

Elounda

Near Agios Nicholaos, Elounda's luxurious hotel complexes are set in landscaped grounds on hillsides overlooking Mirabello Bay and Spinalonga island. Wellness centers and privacy make them popular with the rich and famous.

Matala

This remote, southern village became popular in the '60s when hippies lived in the red-cliff caves above the sandy cove. Today, it’s a tranquil, low-key resort.

Samaria National Park

In southwest Crete, this dramatic 12-mile limestone gorge cuts through the Lefka Ori (White Mountains) to arrive at the Agia Roumeli village on the Libyan Sea.

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