9 days in Crete & Santorini Itinerary

9 days in Crete & Santorini Itinerary

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Route & dates

9 days in Crete & Santorini Itinerary

Heraklion
Heraklion
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
Chania Town
— 3 nights
bus:  2​h 15​min
Elafonissi
— Few hours
bus + Fly + bus:  9​h 45​min
Agios Nikolaos
— 2 nights
taxi + ferry:  4​h 30​min
Fira
— 2 nights
ferry:  2​h
Heraklion

1
day
Heraklion

Crete's largest city, Heraklion remains best known for its proximity to a sprawling Bronze Age archaeological site, once the center of a vanished Minoan civilization.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Sat): delve into the distant past at The Palace of Knossos, then get engrossed in the history at Heraklion Archaeological Museum, and then take an in-depth tour of Historical Museum of Crete.

To find ratings, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, read Heraklion trip builder.

If you are flying in from United States, the closest major airports are Heraklion International Nikos Kazantzakis Airport, Chania International Airport and Santorini Airport. In May, plan for daily highs up to 75°F, and evening lows to 60°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sun) so you can drive to Chania Town.

Things to do in Heraklion

Museums Sightseeing Historic Sites
Accommodations
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Highlights from your plan
Heraklion Archaeological Museum
The Palace of Knossos
Historical Museum of Crete

3
days
Chania Town

The place where Cretan and Venetian cultures merged in the 13th century, Chania Town attracts throngs of tourists with its well-preserved medieval harbor.
You'll get in some beach time at Balos Beach and Lagoon and Kalathas Beach. Get some historical perspective at Kastro Gramvoussas and German War Cemetery. When in Chania Town, make a side trip to see Olive Tree Museum of Vouves in Vouves, approximately 42 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: learn about winemaking at Manousakis Winery, enjoy the sand and surf at Chrissi Akti Beach, pause for some serene contemplation at Holy Trinity Monastery (Agia Triada), and explore the different monuments and memorials at Souda Bay War Cemetery.

To find maps, photos, ratings, and tourist information, read our Chania Town itinerary maker.

Traveling by car from Heraklion to Chania Town takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. May in Chania Town sees daily highs of 76°F and lows of 60°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Wed) to allow enough time to take a bus to Elafonissi.

Things to do in Chania Town

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Manousakis Winery, Kalathas Beach, Ancient Olive Tree, Balos Lagoon, German War Cemetery
Accommodations
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Highlights from your plan
Old Venetian Harbor
Balos Lagoon
Manousakis Winery

1
day
Elafonissi

Located just off Crete's southwestern corner, Elafonissi offers an alternative vacation idea for those looking to avoid the larger, more crowded Greek islands.
On the 10th (Wed), don't miss a visit to Chryssoskalitissa Monastery and then enjoy the sand and surf at Elafonissi Beach.

For reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Elafonissi trip itinerary planner.

You can take a bus from Chania Town to Elafonissi in 2.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 76°F in May, and nighttime lows around 60°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Wed) early enough to travel to Agios Nikolaos.

Things to do in Elafonissi

Beaches Parks Outdoors
Accommodations
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Highlights from your plan
Elafonissi Beach
Chryssoskalitissa Monastery

1
day
Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaos or Aghios Nikolaos is a coastal town on the Greek island of Crete, lying east of the island's capital Heraklion, north of the town of Ierapetra and west of the town of Sitia. Kick off your visit on the 11th (Thu): see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, then examine the collection at Folk Art Museum of Agios Nikolaos, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

To see maps, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Agios Nikolaos trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by combination of bus and flight from Elafonissi to Agios Nikolaos takes 10 hours. In May in Agios Nikolaos, expect temperatures between 74°F during the day and 60°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Fri) so you can travel to Fira.

Things to do in Agios Nikolaos

Adventure Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Spas & Wellness, Scuba & Snorkeling
Accommodations
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Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Spas & Wellness
Folk Art Museum of Agios Nikolaos

2
days
Fira

Fira, the busy capital of Santorini, sits on the very edge of a volcanic caldera.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Fri): take in the architecture and atmosphere at Cathedral Church Of Candlemas Of The Lord and then enjoy the sand and surf at KAMARA BEACH. Keep things going the next day: take in the exciting artwork at Ernesto Workshop & Gallery, then kick back and relax at Perissa Black Sand Beach, then delve into the distant past at Akrotiri, and finally stroll through Red Beach.

To see photos and more tourist information, read our Fira trip itinerary builder.

Traveling by combination of bus and ferry from Agios Nikolaos to Fira takes 4.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 74°F in May, and nighttime lows around 63°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Sun) early enough to ride a ferry back home.

Things to do in Fira

Beaches Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Akrotiri, KAMARA BEACH, Perissa Black Sand Beach
Accommodations
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Highlights from your plan
KAMARA BEACH
Akrotiri
Akrotiri LightHouse

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