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Desert beaches, mountain offroad, paths perched on the sea: a wild approach to a spectacular Greek Island
Travel itineraries, hiking, kayaking and sailing in Italy and around the world


"We picked up the 4x4 from the rental car agency. They strongly advised us against driving to Balos. It was the first thing we did: the scenic route along the sea was irresistible. Anyhow, the dirt road was not so bad... The roads through the mountains along the southern coast would prove to be far more destructive for the poor Suzuki Jimny."

Beach near Matala, Crete
Matala, on the southern coast of Crete


Why go? Crete is a Greek island in every aspect, but it differs from the other Aegean islands because of its size and wide spaces. Therefore, the variety of landscapes and endless beaches, which are deserted even in the heat of summer, is an excellent reason to visit Crete. Moreover, this island is easily accessible from Italy.
When to go? July and August are the busiest tourist months, but it is easy to escape the crowds. Indeed, in this season you can enjoy both the nightlife of the northern coast and the nature and peace of the southern coast and of the interior (if you plan your travel itinerary smartly). Sure, if you prefer having the whole landscapes for yourself, the other months are even better. Obviously in autumn and winter days are shorter and the sky is more gray, and in spring the sea water is not that warm... but you can follow an interesting travel itinerary anwyay.

How? A rental car is the obvious solution for those who want to explore the island without settling in one place. Also, you can (and you should, following "Wildtrips" spirit) travel without booking anything in advance, even in August, choosing a different hotel night by night. A 4x4 such as the Jimny is relatively cheap: it may not be always necessary (the Greeks would drive even a Ferrari on the worst dirt-road), but a jeep gives more freedom and opportunities for adventure.
How much? Prices are relatively low: with 10-15 Euros you can have dinner in a good restaurant and a double room in high season runs from 40 to 50 euros per night. To reach the island you can fly with Ryanair.
To have an idea of the prices of the hotels in Crete click here to find the best offers for accomodation.
Where? The whole island is to be explored: the famous Balos and Elafonisi are fantastic and mandatory in every itinerary, but the less popular beaches in the south of Crete are just as beautiful and often deserted. So try to follow the coast, by 4x4, passing through Palekastro, Plakias and Matala. Among the cities, Chania is probably the most fascinating.
More destinations? There are always other dirt roads where to get lost in the wilderness of Crete. In addition, you could take a ferry to Santorini and other Greek islands.
Check out the travel itinerary:

Crete travel itinerary map
Crete travel itinerary map

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