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    The island of Crete has become increasingly popular for travelling couples and honeymooners in recent years. Often featured on social media as one of Greece’s most picturesque islands, it has plenty of things to do for couples looking to escape the bustling city life.

    Crete’s prime location of being surrounded by both the Mediterranean Sea and the Aegean Sea also plays a part in making it a popular holiday destination in Greece. From pristine beaches and vineyards to medieval towns and historical monuments, we’ve compiled a list of Crete’s most romantic places and activities to enjoy throughout your holiday.

    1

    Watch the sunset

    End your day on a special note

    When visiting Crete, be sure not to miss the opportunity to watch the sunset with your significant other. From unique lookout points to romantic beach excursions, you’ll be spoiled for sunset vantage points when you’re holidaying on the island.

    One of the best picks is at Balos Beach, a popular sunset spot most tourists tend to avoid due to its off-the-beaten-track location. However, this means you'll have an almost private beach with your partner so you can share the golden moment with little disturbance. For more sunset watching spots, check out our article on the 10 Best Sunset Viewpoints in Crete.

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    foto door Pavel Špindler (CC BY 3.0) bewerkt

    2

    Go beach hopping

    Visit all the beaches around Crete

    There are plenty of beaches spread out across Crete for you to pick from, each with a character of its own for your beach holiday needs. Party enthusiasts might enjoy the popular Falassarna Beach located on the west coast of the island especially in the summer when beach parties run till late at night.

    Couples looking for a romantic escape can consider the unique Elafonissi Beach on Crete’s southwest coast, where the sand is naturally pink. To make the most of your visit, you could also book a stay in a beach resort, so you'll have ample time to enjoy all the readily available beach activities.

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    3

    Asteria Open Air Cinema

    Watch a movie under the stars

    One of the island’s most popular outdoor cinemas is the Asteria Open Air Cinema in Rethymnon, where English movies with Greek subtitles are screened. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to catch a local Greek film.

    Visiting an outdoor cinema in the summer makes for an interesting movie-watching experience in Crete. Tickets are inexpensive, and refreshments like local beers and chips are available. As it’s an open-air experience, you may face less-than-great sound quality and disturbances from your surroundings, but this is all part of the charm of an outdoor cinema.

    Locatie: Ioannou Melissinou, Rethimno 741 00, Greece

    Telefoonnummer: +30 2831 022830

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    4

    The Real Cretan Cooking Experience

    Cook your way to their hearts

    The Real Cretan Cooking Experience is a unique cooking workshop held in the White Mountains or Lefka Ori. It's a workshop that cooks only with fresh and organic seasonal produce, as well as provides you with a recipe book to take home. Wear comfortable shoes as you'll need to hike up the mountains to reach your kitchen.

    Bring a part of Crete with you back home by signing up for a cooking class. These sessions are often run by locals and paired with a visit to a market to buy fresh seasonal produce. At the end of the class, you’ll be enjoying your homemade dishes, along with the knowledge to recreate some Cretan food.

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    5

    Wine tasting at Manousakis Winery

    Taste the best wines from a local Cretan vineyard

    Manousakis Winery offers vineyard tours and food pairing sessions at rather affordable prices. This family-run business that was opened in 1994 also produces olive oil and tsikoudia, a local spirit made of grapes, and helps local school for children with disabilities by donating a part of the winery’s proceeds to them.

    Most wine experts will know that Crete has one of the oldest wine traditions in Europe. Heraklion, the capital of Crete, is the 2nd largest wine-producing area in Greece. You’ll probably notice that meals are often paired with wines in Crete, but there’s no better place to enjoy a glass than at a local winery.

    Locatie: Vatolakkos 730 05, Greece

    Telefoonnummer: +30 2821 078787

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    6

    Agia Triada Monastery

    Roam the historical grounds of the 17th century

    The Agia Triada Monastery, or Monastery of Agia Triada Tsanagarolon, is located in the Akrotiri peninsula of Chania. Built in the 17th century, the monastery has an open library and museum housing rare books and artefacts. Resident monks are happy to provide you with samples of olive oils and local wines, which you can later purchase to support the upkeep of the monastery.

    For cat lovers, you may even spot some furry friends roaming the Agia Triada Monastery. There's a small entrance fee, though children below 12 can get in for free.

    Locatie: Akrotiri, Crete 731 00 Greece

    Open: Daily from 5 am to 6 pm

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    foto door aconcagua (CC BY-SA 4.0) bewerkt

    7

    The Bronze by Kelesis Yannis

    Work on a personal masterpiece to bring home

    One of the most popular handicraft workshops on the island is The Bronze by Kelesis Yannis, where you can make metal jewellery and ancient Greek displays for a small fee. Forget souvenirs that you can get from the shops around Crete – handicraft workshops by the locals are a great way to work on something with your other half while you’re visiting the island, and the handmade intricacy makes your masterpiece something even more memorable to bring home.

    The workshops at The Bronze, often paired with complimentary refreshments, usually take between 1 and 4 hours to complete, so keep at least a day free to enjoy it to the fullest.

    Locatie: Handicraft park of Anopolis, Heraklion, Kokkini Hani 700 08, Greece

    Open: Monday–Friday from 9 am to 5 pm (closed on weekends)

    Telefoonnummer: +30 697 754 3383

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    8

    Horse riding

    Gallop through the beauty of Crete

    Horse riding is one of the best ways to explore Crete’s rugged landscape. Suitable for aspiring and experienced equestrians, a horse-riding excursion in Crete would take you through various locations such as hillsides and sandy beaches.

    Animal lovers can feel at ease as these privately-owned stables are clean, with professional caretakers tending to their horses. Selected venues even provide petting zoos for younger visitors, which would make for an interesting activity if your little ones are a bit nervous about riding a horse.

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    9

    Chania Old Town

    Explore the cobbled steps of Crete's historic town

    Chania is a historic town on the northwest coast of Crete Island. Within the Old Town, you’ll notice many cobblestone paths leading to locally run shops and restaurants, as well as historical museums and churches.

    Architecture in Chania is heavily influenced by Venetian and Turkish characteristics, much of it untouched since medieval times. The old Venetian Harbour, which dates back to 1356, is the biggest talk of the town, while the iconic Venetian lighthouse by the harbour’s entrance is a prime spot for couples looking to pop the question.

    Locatie: Theotokopoulou 57, Chania 731 31, Greece

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    10

    Couple’s massage

    Indulge in a de-stressing massage together

    Spas offering couple’s massage treatments can be found all around Crete, most of which are run by the locals. A must-try is the relaxing “Spa for Two” experience at Thalassa Beach Resort – an exclusive couples-only resort located on the northwest coast of Crete. You’ll be treated to a massage right on Agia Marina Beach – relax to the sounds of crashing waves while a professional masseuse kneads away all the tension on your body.

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    Elie Lam | Schrijver

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