Best Things to do in Crete if you are an Adventure Seeker!
The varied and impressively rich terrain of the island, distinguished by the measureless canyons, mountain massifs, caves, countless miles of coastline, rare and unusual ecosystems, diverse countryside, and different microclimates, makes Crete one of the most favored tourist destinations year round. While being here, you have a wide array of options, depending on the experience you want to live. From a relaxing and totally rejuvenating holiday by the crystal blue waters and under the bright sun to adrenaline-pumping moments and extreme sports, you get to choose. Today, we will be sharing some great ideas to explore the Megalonisos (meaning Big Island – a nickname for Crete) and feel your blood boiling along the way!
1. Jeep Tours
Rent a 4X4 jeep and drive it through mountain ranges and forest roads. If you are daring enough, we suggest trying your driving skills on off the road experiences. There are many itineraries you could consider; all offering scenic views and excitement. You will come across deserted villages and mountainous areas with breathtaking panoramas while you may also get a taste of the Cretan traditional lifestyle and the world-famous hospitality of the locals. The coastline is washed by crystal clear, blue waters, creating a loving contrast with the rugged terrain and the lush plantation.
Tip: Look for an agency that offers tailor-made programs that suit your needs so that you save yourself the headache of deciding how to best benefit from the experience!
Gorges and canyons are not hard to find in Crete. Some are very easy to walk through while others are much more difficult to cross, so you choose the difficulty level you desire. If you are well aware of canyoning techniques and have the necessary rappelling gear (you may book gear too), then this is the perfect place to get a taste of what extreme canyoning is all about. You will find plenty of canyons that look as if a giant ax was blown on them, giving birth to high vertical rocks and steep waterfalls. You may plan your adventure yourself, but better have an experienced guide with you to teach you all the ropes (and show you treasures you won't find on a map). Some canyons you could consider are Kalami, Kavousi, Ha, Rodakino, Arvi, and Tsoutsouros.
Explore the heart of inland by ascending the highest summits (there are more than 65 peaks over 2000m – i.e. the path that goes through the mountains and crosses all Crete or trails that get you to the peaks of White Mountains, Dikti, and Mt. Psiloritis), walking on coastal (off the beaten) paths, and crossing bewildering gorges while admiring the fantastic burst of the rich flora. Meet with villagers that have chosen to live away from what the western world calls “civilization” and enjoy a perfectly happy and healthy life, and learn more about their traditions.
Start your sailing adventure from Heraklion, either with or without a skipper, depending on how experienced you are at sailing, as well as the comfort level you desire and the demands you have. You will come across scenic Greek islands spread in the gorgeous Aegean blue and treat yourself with some sea-action autonomy, romantic sailing as the sun sets, and private partied for your eyes only. You may opt for an independent sailing vacation in 3-cabin, fully-equipped boats (can fit up to 8 people) and anchor anywhere you wish while approaching unknown beaches on islands away from Crete (see Santorini and Milos islands). Or, you could have some fun by participating as a crew member in summer regattas (i.e. Aegean Regatta – takes place August) and events! Race sailing is perfect for fans of sports and action.
Other activities to Feed your Soul with:
• Mountain Biking – Cycle on dirt roads, isolated asphalt roads, and old trails to visit mountainous areas and traditional villages and take in as just of the beauty of the Cretan countryside as possible.
• Rock Climbing – There are plenty of beach cliffs, mountain crags, and traverses right above the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, waiting for you to conquer them. If you prefer organized rock climbing, you will find both bolt-protected or naturally-protected routes. Or you could make your own plans and just go ahead!
• Sea Kayaking – You may explore the historic island of Spinaloga, discover and swim the turquoise waters of isolated coves, and paddle the peaceful and inviting Lagoon of Mermaids.
• Rappelling – Grab your ropes, harness, and figure of eight and descent from low or high rocks quite effortlessly, regardless of your physical shape. It is an exhilarating, fun activity, cut for those that wish to see more of the most heart-stopping (technical) canyons spread across the Cretan land or return from their climbs on the vertical rocks or mountains.
• Food Tasting & Producing Goods – You can ask for a guided tour on the traditional Cretan cuisine, and know all about the production or virgin olive oil from local olive trees, as well as the production of wine from local vines, the making of bread, the milking of sheep and the cooking of traditional dishes with the addition of comestible plants, veggies, and herbs found in impressive plethora all around!
Crete has a LOT to offer, and it is definitely worth to plan for longer vacation when you are here so you can see as much of the beautiful islands as possible. Who knows? You might discover a cove, beach, cave or path to put on the map yourself! So, make sure you book a luxurious villa on the island to have all modern comforts and amenities and wake up every morning feeling ready to seize the day!