Summer Holidays for Couples on Crete Island
Crete is a family-friendly destination with plenty to see and do for visitors of all ages. But couples and adults seeking tranquility and intimacy will find the island more than appealing: Crete is as romantic as it is mysterious, fascinating, rich in history and traditions, and full of congenial people. It has secluded beaches and coves, undulating hilltops fragrant with citrus and herbs, verdant gorges, and mountains that carry some of the Mediterranean Sea’s most beautiful sunsets on their shoulders.
Cretan Sunsets You Will Never Forget
Visit Crete for sunsets that will take your breath away. Nothing spells romance like the sun dipped in an amber sea, mirroring the sleepy glimmer of the sky at dusk. Some of the best spots to watch the celestial spectacle on the island are on the western coast. Invite your other half to an evening stroll on the promenade in Chania Old Town and watch the sunset from the harbor. The lighthouse – the symbol of the city and its true jewel – makes for a dreamy sight.
On the west coast, Falasarna is a romantic destination and a pleasant spot for sunset chasers.
You’ll find the legendary Elafonisi Beach overlooking the small Elafonisi island on the southwestern side of Crete. Sunsets here have the stuff of fairytales: pink sands caressed by crystal-clear waters reflect the sun’s colors in spectacular honey and golden hues.
Nothing compares to the Asteroúsia (Kófinas) Mountains in southern Crete if you want to watch the sunset from a mountaintop. The range is the southernmost mountainous area of Europe. Find your way to the Kofinas Peak Sanctuary – some 1231 meters above sea level – and enjoy the stunning views of the Libyan Sea as the sun sets at the horizon.
Sense of Sacred
Crete’s churches and monasteries are more than guardians of Orthodox faith: they are temples of peace and tranquility, witnesses of sacrifice, time, and history. Many of them safeguard treasures beyond compare. Visit a Cretan monastery to take in the sense of sacred that will restore your inner balance and understand a bit more about the lifestyle and cultural and moral values of the locals.
The witness of the Holocaust of Arkadi, the Arkadi Monastery (Μονή Αρκαδίου) is one of the top attractions of the island. It stands secluded on a large plateau surrounded by vineyards and olive groves some twenty kilometers southeast of Rethymno. Enter the Venetian baroque church of the monastery and admire its cypress iconostasis decorated with Orthodox icons from the early 1900s. There’s also a museum at the monastery, best seen at a slow pace to appreciate the exhibits’ beauty and significance fully. The powder magazine that witnessed the sacrifice of 943 Greeks on November 8, 1866, during the Great Cretan Revolution, is a place of meditation and pious reverie. It may not be romantic, but it inspires a deep appreciation of life and its value. The yard of the monastery, on the other hand, is an oasis of bliss, with fragrant herbs and colorful flowers creating a postcard-pretty ambiance perfect for wedding photos or even romantic mementos.
Saint Nicholas Church in Georgioupolis (Chania regional unit) is probably the most romantic spot on the island. It emerges from the waves of the sea on a rocky islet – a small, whitewashed gem and the symbol of the village. Grab your camera and good walking shoes and adventure on the rocky, slippery causeway that leads to the temple. Sea waves will kiss your feet from both sides, so walk carefully and don’t adventure to the chapel under poor weather conditions. A landmark of Crete too, this small Orthodox temple is a popular wedding destination: don’t be surprised to see a bride and groom tying the knot here.
Escape the Summer Heat in the Mountains
When you drive on the Greek National Road 90 (VOAK), Crete doesn’t look as green as it is. The mountains hide more than four hundred verdant gorges, fertile plateaus, and natural springs with precious mineral water. You can hike the Samaria Gorge – always a popular pastime – for legendary landscapes, or you can find your way to a less-traveled destination to escape both the tourist crowds and the summer heat.
Hike the Gorge of Kato Zakros (Gorge of the Dead) in the Lasithi regional unit in eastern Crete. From Ano Zakros to Kato Zakros beach, you will witness natural splendors hard to describe. Many caves in the ravine’s rocky walls were tombs in Minoan times, hence the gorge’s name. There’s plenty of greenery to keep you company. The walk is easy and pleasant. From Kato Zakros, you can take a bus back to Ano Zakros if you don’t want to make your way back through the gorge.
In Heraklion’s regional unit, you will find the Rouvas Gorge, an oasis of green that starts at Zaros Lake and runs four kilometers through the forest of Rouvas. Also known as the Gorge of Saint Nicholas from the Agios Nikolaos Monastery at Zaros, this gorge is ideal for hiking, mountaineering, and rock climbing. The forest’s holly trees are ancient, some with trunks with a diameter larger than one meter – do capture them with your camera as they are rare. Take in the views of Zaros and Messara plane from Samari, and you will leave Crete with memories for a lifetime.
Besides nature and monuments that inspire peace and tranquility, Crete has much more for couples: luxury resorts, relaxing spas, organic dining options, delightful museums, and lively entertainment by the beach. You don’t always have to plan your visit: Crete will surprise you every time.