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4 Days in Crete: Your Ultimate Itinerary 2024

If you’re looking for a quick getaway in Greece, Crete is a great destination to consider. The island offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. In this blog post, we’ll share a Crete 4 day itinerary for your trip. We’ll be including things to do, where to eat, where to stay, and how to get around.

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Getting Around Crete

To get around Crete, we recommend renting a car. This will allow you to explore the island at your own pace and visit the beautiful beaches and towns that Crete has to offer. You can find car rental companies at both Chania and Heraklion airports, and prices are generally reasonable.

Alternatively, you can also use public transportation, including buses and taxis. Buses are cheap and frequent, with routes that connect most of the major towns and beaches on the island.

Summary of the 4 day Crete Itinerary

  • Day 1: Exploring Chania town
  • Day 2: Hiking in Samaria Gourge
  • Day 3: Visiting Rethymnon
  • Day 4: Day trip to Elounda and Spinalonga Island

If you want to change up one of the days, here are some of the best day tours you can book in Crete:

Chania, Greece

How To Spend 4 Days in Crete

Day 1: Exploring Chania

Chania, a stunning coastal town located in the northwest, is the ideal starting point for your 4 days in Crete.

Once you arrive in Chania, make your way to the charming old town. You’ll be greeted with narrow streets, Venetian-style buildings, and an array of shops and cafes. You could take the time to visit the Chania Archaeological Museum and the Maritime Museum of Crete if you want to learn more about the history and culture of the island.

We recommend visiting the covered market, which is a mix of stalls and souvenir shops. You’ll find loads of delicious local produce including cheese and olive oil. There’s also plenty of local shops, bars and restaurants arund the area. 

For lunch, head over to Tamam. This traditional Cretan restaurant serves authentic local dishes bursting with flavors.

In the afternoon, take a stroll along the picturesque Venetian Harbor, where you’ll find stunning views of the sea and the iconic Firkas Fortress.

Wrap up the day with a cocktail at the chic Thalassino Ageri and catch the beautiful sunset over the horizon.

Samaria Gorge, Sfakia, Greece

Day 2: Hiking in Samaria Gorge

Day two promises to be an action-packed adventure as you embark on a hiking trail through the stunning Samaria Gorge. The gorge is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve located in the heart of the White Mountains National Park. Here you’ll find breathtaking views of the natural landscape.

The hike spans approximately 16 km and can take anywhere between four to seven hours, depending on your fitness level and pace. The trail begins at Xyloskalo and ends in Agia Roumeli, where you can take a refreshing dip in the Libyan Sea.

After an day of hiking, head to To Kaniski, a renowned restaurant located in the quaint village of Chora Sfakion. The restaurant offers a variety of fresh seafood and traditional Cretan dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Don’t forget to try the famous Cretan cheese, which is a must-try when visiting the island.

Réthymnon, Grèce

Day 3: Discovering Rethymnon

Make your way to Rethymnon, a charming town located on the north coast of Crete. It’s home to an array of historical and cultural attractions.

Start your day with a visit to the Fortezza, a 16th-century Venetian fortress with stunning panoramic views of the town and sea. The fortress has a rich history, having served as a strategic point during the Venetian occupation of the island.

After exploring the fortress, head to the old town. You’ll be immersing yourself in the charming atmosphere of the narrow streets and beautiful Venetian buildings. Take a stroll and visit the Rimondi Fountain, a popular landmark that dates back to the 17th century. You could choose to explore the Archaeological Museum, which features a collection of artifacts from the Minoan, Roman, and Byzantine periods.

For lunch, head to Prima Plora. This is a lovely local restaurant that specializes in Cretan meze. They offer a selection of small dishes that showcase the unique flavors of the island.

In the afternoon, head to Rethymnon Beach, where you can relax on the golden sands and soak up the sun while enjoying the crystal-clear waters of the sea.

cruise ship and boats docked beside isle with buildings
Spinalonga, Crete

Day 4: Relaxing in Elounda

On your last day in Crete, make your way to Elounda. It’s a picturesque fishing village located on the north coast of the island.

From here, visit the Spinalonga Island, a former leper colony that is now a popular tourist attraction. You’ll get a glimpse into the history of the area, and the Venetian fortress that dominates the landscape provides stunning views of the sea.

After exploring the island, head to Elounda Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. The golden sand and crystal-clear waters make it the perfect place to relax and unwind. You can also try out some water sports or rent a paddleboat for some fun on the water.

For lunch, go to Ferryman Taverna, a local restaurant that specializes in fresh seafood dishes. The restaurant is located right on the beach, offering stunning views of the sea while you dine.

In the afternoon, take a boat tour to explore the nearby bays and islands. This is an excellent opportunity to explore the stunning coastline of the island. You’ll make stops at hidden coves and secluded beaches along the way. You can also take a dip in the crystal-clear waters of the sea or try your hand at snorkeling to discover the underwater world of the island.

To make this day easier, you could also choose to book a day tour. There are a lot of benefits to this, including saving you the headache of transport, getting explanations from a tour guide, and getting to see some extra spots. 

Here are some of the best options:

Where To Stay For 4 Days In Crete

Crete has a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to hostels.

If you’re looking for a luxurious experience, there are several high-end resorts in popular tourist destinations such as Chania, Rethymnon, and Elounda. We recommend either Domes Noruz Chania, a stunning beachfront property in Chania, and the Elounda Beach Hotel & Villas, a luxurious resort that offers panoramic views of the sea.

Domes Noruz Chania – Book Now

Elounda Beach Hotel & Villas – Book Now

For those on a budget, there are plenty of affordable options available. In Chania, you should consider staying at the Talos Luxury Suites, which offers stylish rooms at a reasonable price. In Rethymnon, check out the Philikon Luxury Suites, a charming hotel with a great location in the old town.

Talos Luxury Suites – Book Now

Philikon Luxury Suites – Book Now

If you prefer a more traditional experience, you could choose to stay in a traditional guesthouse or a villa in one of the charming villages across the island. The village of Anogia offers a unique cultural experience, with several traditional guesthouses and restaurants.

No matter where you choose to stay in Crete, you’re sure to find accommodation options that suit your style and budget.

4 Days In Crete FAQs

Is 4 days in Crete enough?

We’d say 4 days in the minimum amount of time you need to enjoy Crete. You’ll have enough time to see the sights and relax, but of course, going for longer would probably be better!

Which is better Heraklion or Chania?

Chania has a more romantic vibe and has better beaches. Heraklion has great historical attractions and restaurants. Either would be a great to choice to stay for your trip to Crete.

Crete is a beautiful and diverse island that offers something for everyone, from history and culture to nature and relaxation. With our itinerary for 4 days in Crete, you’ll be exploring the best of Chania, hiking in Samaria Gorge, discovering Rethymnon, and relaxing in Elounda.

Remember to try the delicious local cuisine, visit the beautiful beaches, and soak up the island’s unique culture.

Whether you’re traveling solo, with friends, or with family, Crete is a destination that won’t disappoint. Plan your trip now and experience the magic of the Greek islands for yourself!

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