The 14 Best Tours in Crete
Food & walking tours are my favorite way to explore a new city and this is a good one. Heraklion is not as picturesque as Chania but it’s loaded with true Greek character, gritty charm, and great traditional Cretan food. This is the best Heraklion tour.
Great tour of Chania’s wonderful Old Town and its sights, culture, history, and best places to eat. Highly recommended. This is the best Chania tour.
Walking the 18 km gorge is the activity highlight of Crete. It’s a little tricky to arrange on your own but with a tour they get you from your hotel to the start of the hike – then pick you up at the other end of the gorge (after a short ferry ride) and return you back to your hotel. There’s a tour guide and a couple of other interesting stops that you wouldn’t do on your own. Free hotel pickup from these towns: Chania, Heraklion, Rethymnon, Agios Nikolaos, Elounda, Hersonissos, Georgioupolis, Sissi, Milatos, Matala, Agia Galini, Malia, and Stalida. (Click “Book Now” and then select your departure town.)
The popular Balos Beach Tour is a 7 hour round trip onboard a large boat with indoor and outdoor seating, bathrooms, and a small snack bar serving ice cream, cold drinks, and beer on tap. The ride is roughly an hour in each direction, with 4 hours at Balos Lagoon, and a one hour stop during the return, at Gramvousa Island, where you can choose between a short hike to the hilltop Venetian fort, walking out toward the large shipwreck, or swimming at the gorgeous beach. There are also luxurious private boat tours from Chania and from Kissamos.
A wonderful 6-hour tour that explores the local farms and wineries of western Crete. Lots of food, olive oil, and wine tastings (but still kid-friendly).
Make and enjoy delicious Cretan cuisine at a traditional family home. Learn firsthand about local culture and history while sampling homemade wine and enjoying beautiful views over the foothills of the White Mountains. This small, hands-on group tour is great for kids, with exceptionally welcoming family hosts. Includes free transportation from Chania.
Great tour with lunch, 15 wine tastings, several olive oil samples, and multiple vineyard tours.
Santorini is the most amazing island in Greece. This one-day tour involves a ferry trip (2 hours each way) and about 7 hours on Santorini to explore Fira, Oia, and the fantastic views of the caldera. (This is a worthwhile tour but if you can stay overnight on Santorini you’ll see much more of the island. I typically do not recommend day trips to other islands as they’re a poor use of time, but I make an exception for Santorini as it’s so unique and memorable.)
Elafonisi is the best beach on Crete (maybe the best beach in Greece). It’s pretty easy to get there on your own with local buses but the tour makes it effortless and you get to stop at some local villages along the way. There’s also an Elafonisi tour that departs from Rethymnon.
(Suspended as of March, 2022 but hoping that it returns this summer.) Rethymnon/Rethymno is a very interesting city that is often overlooked. This 4-hour tour gives a good overview of its fabulous history and interesting culture.
Excellent small-group tour of some of central Crete’s top sights. Good local insight and history.
A 10-hour tour that takes in the highlights of eastern Crete.
The Lasithi Plateau is amazingly beautiful. The tour is filled with vineyards, olive groves, and windmills.
Good tour if you’re based in Heraklion, Agios Nikolaos, Elounda, Rethymnon, or one of the nearby beach towns. Start with Knossos (one of the best historical sites in Greece and a personal favorite of mine) then tour Heraklion and learn the history of the island. 10 hours long and includes hotel pickup and drop-off. There is also an excellent private tour of Knossos from Heraklion.