Crete is the largest of the islands of Greece (much larger than you might think) and is often known for being the most “touristy”. Certainly in the coastal areas around Heraklion – site of the main airport on the island – there are a lot of resorts and you could be forgiven for not even knowing you are in Greece (except for the weather).

Tourist Area Near Heraklion

So far, I have only visited the north-east side of the island but I look forward to seeing more in the future.

North East Coast


The north-east coast is mountainous and very beautiful. Winding roads, small towns perched on the top of the mountains and quiet places to get away.

Gournia Ruins

There are a number of archaeological sites, many of which are free to visit such as Gournia located right on the main road.

Town in Mountains

Not very touristy, it is a good place to visit for a better feeling of the “real” Greece - Poor, simple but stunning scenery. The main road is very good indeed meaning there is no excuse not to visit when in the area.


Agios Nikolaos


“Agios Nikolaos” or “Nikolaos” is a small, busy, tourist coastal town on the north side of the island. There is a lot of accommodation here with, I am told, a rowdy night-life, but no beach .


The Lake

One feature of the town is a tiny deep lake (“Voulismeni”) in the middle of the town attached to the ocean via a small inlet, surrounded by restaurants.



Located on the north east corner of Crete, Sitia is a working town but is worth a short visit with a small but quiet seashore and a small castle, “Kazarma fortress”, located on the top of a hill overlooking the town.


This is still a functioning fishing port but there are a number of places to eat along the ocean front along with a short promenade. Walking along you may be approached by people in the restaurants to eat there (“Zorbas” was great - try their seafood or the Gyros platter).

Kazarma Fortress

Quite primitive looking, the fortress demands a wonderful view of the town.

Steps Up to the Castle

Castle Entrance

View from Castle

Note that the castle is closed on Mondays and there is a small entrance fee.

See for further details.

Slideshow from North East Crete

Here are our pictures from our trip to North-Eastern Crete:


Further Information

For further information about Crete, see: