CATEGORY:Cafes | Chania | Crete | Travel | Uncategorized

What to pack for Crete

February 23, 2023

In the popular imagination, Crete has been inexorably linked with sea, sun and fun – but it is much more than that. Greece’s largest island is a kaleidoscope of scents, colours and experiences; with beach and mountain delights, world-famous historical attractions, rich cultural offerings, emblematic museums, scenic towns and quaint traditional villages.


Fuelled your wanderlust? Before you zip your suitcases, here is all you need to know about what to pack for Crete.


Swimwear, hat & sunglasses

Let’s start with the basics. The sun (almost) always shines on Europe’s southernmost corner. Though Crete experiences four seasons, the weather is year-round milder here than in most parts of the continent. This means that even in April or November, chances are that you’ll be hitting the beach or the pool, at least once during your visit – while it goes without saying that any summer day involves a cooling dip in crystalline waters. With some of the most photogenic shores on the planet, you’ll want to look as good as the background in those Instagram pics. Make sure to bring a couple of extra-cute beach outfits and get ready to do some serious flaunting with your flowy pants, sarongs and bikinis.


Sunglasses are, of course, non-negotiable as the sun in Crete is very intense. Opt for quality rather than a nice price to give your eyes real protection against both UVA and UVB rays. You’ll also need a hat – sports or straw – to keep your head and face protected.



If you are visiting in the summer (or late spring and early autumn), beach wear aside, bring along 2-3 basic T-shirts or tank tops in neutral colours, and a couple of pairs of shorts. Choose breathable fabrics and loose-fitting lines – as you’ll be doing a fair amount of walking, whether you are touring the sites, hiking in the countryside or discovering the charms of the old town of Chania. Note however that the latter features a vibrant cafe, dining and drinking scene that you’ll be tempted to explore on most evenings. Chaniots are renowned for their style and flair, so to keep up you’ll need to be quite the glass of fashion. If you don’t own any boho dresses and sandals (think Grecian chic, a timeless look that works well on the island), you are sure to find some exceedingly lovely pieces in the boutiques of Chania. The same goes with sandals: boasting an age-old tradition in leather craftmanship, this town sports a selection of great shops with leather goods – take your pick between casual everyday items, or up the ante by buying stivania: Cretans’ characteristic and very elegant riding boots. If shopping and fashion are your passion, you’ll also find incredible jewellery and handbags in Chania.


On a more practical level, make sure to pack a pair of leggings – if you go hiking, it’s good to have them in your bag in case it gets chilly. You’ll also need a long-sleeved shirt, a pair of long pants and a light jacket or raincoat – especially if you are travelling in May or October.


Walking Shoes

We can’t stress enough the importance of a good pair of sneakers. With so many things to see and do, you’ll be out and about most of your time. Make sure to pack comfortable yet stylish footgear! If you’re planning on crossing Crete’s famous gorges, you’ll also need hiking sandals or boots – depending on the season. Flip-flops are another must – but you can buy them in Crete.

Water Shoes

Crete’s beaches are incredible – but some of the best of them require walking or even hiking to approach. There are also a lot of rocky beaches on the island, while the seabed is not always sandy. In those instances, a comfortable pair of water shoes is a game-changer!

Canvas Tote

A hefty percentage of the waste found in Greece’s seas comes from plastic bottles and bags. It’s incredibly easy to eliminate plastic bags entirely (and save on plastic bag fees) by keeping a canvas tote in your backpack or purse in case you need it. Choose a stylish, oversized one which can double as a carry-all beach bag.

Power Bank

Whether you need it for the maps or to capture the moment on camera, a phone with a dead battery is a damper when you are exploring Crete’s many wonders. Make sure to have a charged power bank in your day bag – you’ll be thankful for the memories saved on the pics and videos!

Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot

As abovementioned, you’ll want your smartphone to be operational at all times while travelling around Crete. Buy an MI-FI (portable hotspot) and a SIM card from any internet provider – you’ll find Vodafone, Cosmote and NOVA stores in Chania – and share the mobile data with your travel partners.


Bonus packing tip:

Make sure you have a photocopy of your identity documents, in case you lose the originals. This’ll save you time and trouble!

Did you like this post? stay tuned to our blog for more insights, tips and advice on what to shop, eat, drink and do in Chania and the island of Crete!

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