Greece - Crete: Trip Preparation & Destination Information

About Crete, Greece


Crete is the largest of the Greek islands, located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. It is an island steeped in history, mythology, and natural beauty. Crete boasts a diverse natural landscape with the Samaria Gorge, the White Mountains, and the Lasithi Plateau among its highlights. With beautiful beaches, both sandy and rocky, it is the perfect place for an island getaway.


Disclaimer: Space is a precious commodity in Europe, especially in its most dense cities, so be prepared for smaller hotel rooms. The same goes for bathrooms and elevators, don’t be surprised if they feel cozier than those in the US.



Capital City: Heraklion

Population: 624,408 (2023 est.)

Currency: Euro

Time Zone: Eastern European Time (EET)

Emergency Number: 112

Outlet: Type C/F

Knossos palace in Crete.
Outdoor tables and chairs overlooking the water in Chania, Greece.

Packing List

Speak the Language

Hello/Hi: Γειά σας (yia sas) - A common way to say hello, which is a bit more formal.

Hi (informal): Γειά σου (yia sou) - A casual way to greet someone.

Good morning: Καλημέρα (kaliméra)

Good afternoon: Καλησπέρα (kalispéra)

Good evening: Καληνύχτα (kaliníkhta)

Goodbye: Αντίο (andío)

Please: Παρακαλώ (parakaló)

Thank you: Ευχαριστώ (efcharistó)


How much is this? Πόσο κοστίζει αυτό; (Póso kostízei aftó?)

Where is...? Πού είναι...; (Pou íne...?)

What is your name? Πώς σε λένε; (Pós se léne?)

My name is... Με λένε... (Me léne...)

A waterfront view of Chania on the island of Crete in Greece.

Fun Facts

  • There are over 650 miles (1,046 kilometers) of coastline on the island.

  • Crete has a distinct musical tradition with unique instruments like the "lyra" and "laouto." The lyra is a small, bowed instrument with three strings, while the laouto is a type of lute. Traditional Cretan music often features these instruments and is characterized by its lively and emotional melodies.

  • Crete has a strong connection to Greek mythology. According to legend, it was the birthplace of Zeus, the king of the Greek gods, who was said to be born in a cave on Mount Ida.

  • Crete is home to one of the oldest olive trees in the world, known as the "Elia Kanitziana." It is estimated to be over 2,000 years old and still produces olives today.

  • Crete is dotted with charming traditional villages, many of which have maintained their unique architecture and way of life. Exploring these villages offers a glimpse into the island's rural culture.


Tipping Suggestions: Tips for Guides, Drivers, and restaurants are not included. Tips provide supplemental income, and, while not mandatory, are greatly appreciated. If the local teams have added to the experience, please reward them.

Guides  EUR €5 per person/per day
Drivers  EUR €2 per person/per day
Restaurants (full service)   EUR 5-10% of total bill



Where can I find information on travel safety? Check out the US Department of State's website for the most up-to-date information on safety while traveling. Crete has a very low rate of serious crime but please be wary of pickpockets. Your hotel has safety deposit boxes free of charge, and it is strongly recommended that you make use of them.


Is the water safe to drink? Filtered and mineral water is recommended for drinking. There will be water jugs at the hotels to refill your bottles.


Do I need a Visa? For Visa information, click here. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after you return home and has two or more blank pages. Otherwise, some countries may not let you enter.


What about vaccines? For vaccination information, click here.


Do you recommend travel insurance? While not required, we highly recommend that all Travelers get travel insurance for their trip to protect themselves from the unknown! Check out travel insurance options from our partner,, or from a provider of your choice.


How much should I pack? As we will be using shared transfers and spaces throughout our tour, we recommend all Travelers pack as lightly as possible. Please review our luggage restrictions below.


What does public transportation look like? There are bus systems and taxis throughout Greece, even in the small towns and on the islands. Official taxis are yellow and run on a meter. They can be hailed on the side of the street by sticking out an arm, and there are also taxi ranks around the city in busy areas. 


Is Uber or Lyft available? There are no Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare programs in Crete. 


What about Wifi? Most hotels, restaurants, and cafes offer free Wi-Fi.

Luggage Restrictions

Luggage Restrictions purple
Luggage restrictions purple – mobile – 1

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