Lonely Planet Crete

Lonely Planet Crete is an excellent and thorough guide of almost 300 pages to the largest of the Greek islands.

We recently reviewed Lonely Planet Greek Islands and highly recommend it as an overall guide to all the Greek islands (and Athens). That guidebook has 56 pages on Crete but if it's just Crete you're interested in you need to take a look at Lonely Planet Crete. This has almost 300 pages dedicated to this very special Greek island.

The book begins with a brief overview of what to expect from Crete, then goes on to list its Top 15 Attractions and Experiences. We don't want to repeat their list in full, but the first few are:

  • The Old Town of Chania
  • The Beach at Elafonisi
  • Knossos
  • Heraklion Archaeological Museum
  • Touring Southern Crete by Boat (a great suggestion!)
  • The Samaria Gorge

We've no arguments there, nor with the rest of the list which includes the wine country in the Iraklion region and, another excellent choice: Village Tavernas. Eating at one of these places is definitely a highlight of any visit. They single out one place which we were lucky enough to eat at on our last visit, To Skolio in Anidri near Paleohora, and while we wouldn't say it was a typical village taverna, it did serve amazingly inventive and inexpensive food, all prepared fresh every morning.

The Menu at To Skolio

Plan Your Trip

There are then several suggested itineraries for different ways of getting the most out of your visit to Crete. The first is a 2-week Essential Crete trip, starting in Iraklio and then heading south, then west, taking in many of the island's main attractions such as Knossos, Chania, Rethymnon, the Samaria Gorge, Phaistos and the Arkadi Monastery.

A suggested 1-week tour limits itself to places reachable from Iraklio, and the Eastern Crete itinerary restricts itself to one week, as there are fewer sights to see in the eastern half of the island. Our advice, though, would be to take two weeks anyway and take it slow.

The Cretan Diet

The next section provides sections on different themes, such as Outdoor Activities (of which there are plenty), Travel with Children and Eat and Drink Like a Local. We were delighted to see that this runs to eight pages, as there's a lot to say about Crete's distinctive and outstanding food and drink. There are sub-sections on important topics like olive oil, wine and raki. We'll drink to that.

Where Is Gavdos?

The guide rightly says that the island of Gavdos, off the southern coast of Crete, is the most southerly point of Europe. But what it also says is that Gavdos is closer to Africa than to Greece. Er, excuse us? Gavdos is part of Greece. We think what they meant to say is that Gavdos is closer to Africa than to Athens!

Top Crete Guide

We only spotted that one small mistake as we read quite thoroughly through the sections on places in Crete that we know ourselves. It was the only mistake that we found, and even then it was more of a slip of the brain than a genuine factual error.

On the places that we checked we found Lonely Planet Crete to be thorough, accurate and well-organised. It's also very good on the nitty-gritty practical details, including local transport. How many buses a day are there from Rethymnon to the Arkadi Monastery, what does it cost and how long does it take? (The answers are - or were when this book was researched - three, €2.80 and 40 minutes.)

Buying Lonely Planet Crete

You might like these

  • Diktean Cave, the Birthplace of Zeus near Psychro on Crete

    The Diktean or Diktaean Cave, also known as the Psychro Cave, near the village of Psychro in eastern Crete, is said to be the birthplace of Zeus.

  • Culture Trails

    Greece Travel Secrets reviews the book Culture Trails by Lonely Planet, which has a section on Artistic Athens and 51 other perfect weekends for culture lovers.

  • Crete

    Crete (Kriti) is the largest Greek island and its main attractions include the Minoan Palace of Knossos, the Samarian Gorge, Chania and Rethymnon.

Latest Posts

  1. Air France Launches Paris-Thessaloniki Summer Route

    Air France has launched a direct route connecting the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki with Paris in France with three flights per week. Part of Air France’s 2020 summer program, the route began on…

    Read More

  2. Greece Inaugurates New Peloponnese Rail Line

    Greek Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis inaugurated this week the 71km Kiato – Diakofto – Aigio suburban railway (Proastiakos) serving the Northern Peloponnese. The new double line includes station…

    Read More

  3. Lufthansa Group: 152 Weekly Flights to Greek Destinations

    The Lufthansa Group has enhanced its schedule for Greece and is now offering a great number of weekly flights to popular destinations in the country including Athens, Thessaloniki and the Greek island…

    Read More

  4. Greece Mulls Plan B in View of Rising Covid-19 Cases

    Greek authorities said they were examining the possible implementation of an alternative action plan should “imported” coronavirus cases continue to rise. The government’s Plan B may include stricter…

    Read More

  5. Greece Now Allows Direct Flights from the UK

    Greece on Wednesday, July 15, opened its skies to the United Kingdom and is now allowing direct flights from the country, following the lifting of a travel ban taken to limit the further spread of the…

    Read More

  6. Best Beaches on Skiathos

    The best beaches on Skiathos are the best in the Sporades, and some of the best in the Greek islands, ranging from busy and crowded to quiet and remote beaches.

    Read More

  7. 8 Best Museums in Greece to Visit

    Greece is one of those countries that people flock to year after year from all over the world. They come with the basic idea that they want to experience some of the magic that makes this country so g…

    Read More

  8. Greece Bans Local ‘Panigyria’ Festivals Until End of July

    All local village festivals in Greece, known as “panigyria”, have been officially canceled until the end of July. Following a spike of coronavirus cases in the country, the government on Monday reques…

    Read More

  9. Hotel Grande Bretagne in Athens Announces Reopening

    Hotel Grande Bretagne, a historic hotel in Athens, has announced that it will reopen its doors on July 15, after remaining closed for four months due to the Covid-19 health crisis.

    Read More

  10. What You Need to Know About Greek Ouzo

    Ouzo is an apéritif that is consumed extensively throughout Greece. This anise-flavored drink tastes like raki, pastis, arak, and sambuca. If you’re looking for a drink that will give you a taste of G…

    Read More