8 Best Things to Do in Crete with a Private Driver: Tours & Taxi Transfers

Published by Cretan Bay Transfer
8 Best Things to Do in Crete with a Private Driver: Tours & Taxi Transfers

Crete has the title of the largest Greek island and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean Sea. It is an island filled with admirable and brilliant places to explore, like beautiful beaches, magnificent palaces, delicious food, steep gorges, impressive mountainscapes, and lush vegetation. A visit to Crete will allow you to become one with nature. The deeply rooted culture of Crete will also help you look into all the struggles the island has gone through to gain the freedom it has today. Crete is a small universe of beauty and treasure in itself that will give you an experience of a lifetime.

But to explore this beautiful land, you will need a ride that will take you around. There are many means of transportation, but hiring a private driver is the best option if you want to explore the island at your own pace. A private driver will take you to the place of your choice, and you can also ask them for suggestions on where to go. So, if you plan to visit Crete, here is a list of places that you must visit to make the most of your time.


1. Visit Heraklion and Knossos Palace

A private tour is a great option when it comes to exploring islands like Crete. Heraklion is the capital of Crete, and it receives most international flights. It gives you the comfort to travel and explore the island at your own pace and visit places.

Knossos Palace

When in Heraklion, we would suggest that you must visit the Knossos palace. It is located 5km southeast of Heraklion. It will take your driver just 10 minutes to get you there there from Heraklion..

Knossos palace was built in 2,000 BC but was destroyed by an earthquake in 1700 BC. It is built over 20,000 square feet and is the largest Minoan palace. It has some of the most well-preserved artifacts and ruins, such as the grand staircase, the throne room, the storerooms, and the royal apartment. There are several gardens, temples, and courtyards as well.

2. Explore Lassithi Plateau and Zeus Cave

You can always explore other places near the palace, like the village of Archanes, the ancient city of Gortyn, the seaside town of Hersonissos, etc. You can also head to Lassithi Plateau and enjoy the beautiful view from the top. It is the largest plain in the eastern part of Crete. The Plateau is at a distance of 40km from Heraklion City, which will take about an 1-hour drive for your driver to get you there. Its altitude is 800 meters above sea level, and it covers approximately 25 sq. kilometers. It is also surrounded by several mountain ranges, such as Thrypti Mountains and Dikti Mountains, and some historical landmarks like the Zeus Cave. Zeus Cave, also known as Diktean Cave, is located in eastern Crete. It is said to be one of the most important and impressive natural landmarks of the island. It was used as a place of worship and to offer sacrifices to the gods in the Minoan times. The cave is also said to be the birthplace of Zeus, the lightning god. It is at a distance of 20km from the Lassithi Plateau, and it will take approximately 30 minutes to get there.

3. Hike the Samaria Gorge

Samaria Gorge is one of the most popular outdoor spaces in Crete. People visiting Crete come to Samaria Gorge and embark on the adventure of hiking to the top. It is located in the southwestern part of Crete and is 43km away from Chania, and is a 40-minute drive. The Gorge is 6 to 7 km long and takes about 5 to 7 hours to finish the hike. The hike requires a good fitness level as it has steep and rocky sections. You have to walk downhill at some points, which can be hard on weak knees.

The hike is only open from May to October as there is a risk of flash floods and rockslides during winter months. However, the temperature during summer can go to 30°C, so if you are going for a hike during these months, it would be best to take a lot of water with you and wear sun protection. You have to pay a small fee to enter the gorge. The money is used to fund and maintain the area.

By taking a private drive and tour to Samaria Gorge is ideal and relaxing because of two reasons. First, you do not need to walk the gorge twice, as you would have parked your car to the start of the gorge. So, you need to go hike back to the start in order to get the car and drive back to your base. With a private driver, while you walk the gorge, the driver will drive to the gorge end and pick up from there. That saves you half the time and tiredness. Second reason is the tiredness itself. You do not need to drive that long road back to your hotel after an exhausting hike of 6-7 hours. The driver will take care of that.

4. Visit the Amazonas Park Crete

Amazonas Park is a wildlife shelter park which is located near Neapolis village. The park has provided shelter to a lot of different animals like Lemurs, monkeys, birds, reptiles and other interesting creatures. Visitors can either roam around o their own or take a guided tour, which includes animal encounters, educational programs about the animals and their habitat, and more. The park also has different activities for children, such as a playground and a petting zoo. You can also find good Cretan food at the restaurant in the park and also grab gifts for your friends and family from the gift shop. The park is at a distance of 53km from Heraklion, and you can take route E75 to get there. It will take around 45 minutes to reach the park by car. You can book a custom tour with a driver with Cretan Bay Transfer.

5. Join the Crete Wineries Tour

Joining a wine tour is a good way to explore the island’s rich wine culture, as Crete is said to produce the finest wines in all of Greece. So, if you are in Crete and want to plan a Crete winery tour, here are a few tips that you might find helpful. First, you have to pick the region, as each has unique wines and characteristics. Some of the most popular regions where you can find good wine are Heraklion, Chania, And Rethymno.

Next, you have to book a tour. There are several companies that offer Crete wine tours, which include visits to wineries, vineyards, and tasting rooms. You even get to see the whole process of making good wine, and it ends with you tasting the most exquisite wine. You should plan your stop accordingly while planning the tour, which means including some famous wineries and some lesser-known ones as well. You can also get a more private tour with us, which includes a customized itinerary, and you get the complete attention of your guide.

6. Explore South Crete with stops in Matala and Plakias

Southern Crete is the most beautiful part of the island. It stores some of the best natural landscapes and historic places. Plakias and Matala are two of the most popular destinations in the region. If you want to explore the areas, then here is a list of places where you can go:

You can take the National road towards Rethymno and then stay on the same road until you see the sign towards Plakias and Matala. You will arrive at Matala first, which is a small village on the southern Crete coast, and it is an hour away from Heraklion. It is best known for its beautiful beaches and historical caves. You can spend some time exploring the area and sunbathing on the beach. You can also explore the caves of Matala. They are famous for having a unique structure. The village is also famous for its ancient architecture carved in rocks. There are some good seaside tavernas as well, where you can indulge yourself in the local Cretan cuisine.

From there, you can leave for Plakias. You will cross some beautiful scenic views and beaches on the way. Preveli Beach is one of the most beautiful and secluded beaches of all in Crete. It is surrounded by a lush palm forest, and it also offers a beautiful view of the Libyan Sea. Plakias itself is a charming coastal village that is 2 hours away from Heraklion by taxi. There are some traditional tavernas and small shops where you can stroll and try different dishes with a glass of locally produced wine.

7. Visit Lake Kournas and Rethymnon Old Town

Lake Kournas is a beautiful spot in Chania. So, if you are planning to visit Crete by any chance, then you must visit the Lake.  The lake is at a distance of 103 km, and it takes around one and a half hours to reach there from Heraklion. The lake is the only place with fresh water in Crete, and it is surrounded by lush greenery and tall mountains. You can also swim, kayak, or simply relax by the lake. There are some local tavernas nearby as well, where you can have some of the local street food.

You can also plan a visit to Lake Kournas. Then you must make a stop at Rethymnon Old Town. It is at a distance of 85.7km, so it will take you around 1 hour and 20 minutes to reach the old town from Heraklion. Rethymnon Old Town is a historic area with narrow streets, colorful buildings, and cultural habitat. You can wander around the old town and observe beautiful architecture like Rimondi Fountain and Fortezza Castle.

8. Visit Crete’s best restaurants

If you are a food person and you like tasting different cuisines, then you are in for a treat at Crete. The island is known for having the best restaurants, which use fresh ingredients and traditional recipes passed down through generations. So, if you are visiting Crete and you have a private driver in Crete to take you to different places, then here is a list of restaurants in Crete that you must try.

  • Peskesi: Peskesi is located in the capital city of Crete, and it has a menu that is mainly focused on traditional Cretan cuisines. The chef uses locally grown organic ingredients. Also, the restaurant has a beautiful aesthetic seating area.
  • Avli: Avli restaurant in Rethymno is a beautiful place to have a date night with your loved one. The restaurant serves traditional food which is produced with locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant is basically a house from the 16th century which was later rebuilt and turned into a beautiful café with a courtyard.
  • To Palio Hamam: Located in Chania, the restaurant is a house based in a restored Turkish Hamam from the 17th century. They also serve some of the traditional Cretan dishes like Souvlaki and more, and it has a beautiful outdoor seating area perfect for a romantic evening.
  • Mesostrati: Mesostrati is built in a picturesque village called Archanes. It is a restaurant that serves food cooked in old Greek style, with a modern touch to them. They use freshly grown ingredients picked from their own garden and serve them with the finest wines.
  • Petrino: Petrino is located in a small village named Anogia. They serve some of the best Souvlaki and other traditional Cretan dishes. The stunning seating with a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains is perfect for an evening brunch.
  • Salis: Salis is also located in Rethymno. The restaurant is known for its traditionally served cuisine with a modern twist.

These restaurants are easily accessible with a private driver, and you can try all of them at different times.

Why is it best to hire a private car and driver?

Booking a taxi with Cretan Bay Transfer offers a unique experience for those who want to explore the beautiful island of Crete. While every country has its own distinct driving rules, our professional drivers know them well, ensuring a safe and smooth journey around Crete. Hiring a private car and driver from Crete taxi offers numerous advantages over driving on your own. One of the primary benefits of choosing Crete taxi is the convenience it provides. By hiring a private car and driver, you can avoid the hassle of navigating unfamiliar roads, interacting with the public, and searching for transportation. Our drivers know the island well and can guide you effortlessly to your desired destinations. Moreover, Crete taxi gives you the flexibility and freedom to make as many stops as you desire, wherever you like. You can spend as much time as you want at each location without feeling rushed or confined to a strict schedule. This personalized experience allows you to truly immerse yourself in the island's beauty at your own pace. In addition, hiring a tour with a private driver and car from Cretan Bay Transfer guarantees comfort. As you relax in the passenger seat, our professionally trained drivers will take you around the island, ensuring a pleasant and stress-free experience. With a private car and driver, you can focus on creating lasting memories and enjoying the incredible sights of Crete. In summary, choosing Crete taxi for your transportation needs on the island is the best way to ensure a convenient, flexible, and comfortable experience. By hiring a private car and driver, you can explore Crete without the stress and constraints of driving on your own.

Book your tours and activities with Cretan Bay Transfer

Cretan Bay Transfer are here to ensure that you have a great time in Crete. We organize private local tours for families, friends, and single people as well. You can customize your trip, and we will ensure that it falls within your budget. Cretan Bay Transfer makes sure that our guests are well-taken care of. To provide you with the best transfer service, we hire the best local drivers in Crete who will gladly take you around the island, making sure that you have a safe and comfortable trip. These local drivers are well-trained, and we run a criminal record check before hiring them, so you do not have to worry about anything.

#Also interesting to read
Best Ways to Get from Heraklion to Chania and Vice Versa
ᐅ Transportation Guide for Chania
ᐅ Transportation Guide for Heraklion