Make a reservation well in advance to tour Boutari Wineries, known for its sprawling vineyards and modern glass-walled facility. After walking through the estate, head to the tasting room to sample Cretan wines such as Kotsifali and Mantilari—both reds—and snack on Cretan plates such as ntakos, bread with tomato, feta, and olive oil.
Uncovering authentic local finds and having experiences that make you feel like you’ve really connected with a place are important elements in ensuring an extraordinary vacation. We’re taking advantage of our partnership with Travel + Leisure to get their editors’ recommendations and insider tips on the places you will want to visit. Here are their picks for just one of the 150 destinations they covered.
To learn more about this exciting port, please refer to our Port Explorer guide.
More than 5,000 years of Cretan history is on display in this 20-room museum, one of Greece’s most important thanks to its extensive collection of Minoan art and artifacts. Many exhibit pieces you might recognize from your history books: there’s the delicate Minoan snake goddess figurine, a relief figure of the Prince of the Lilies, and the Phaistos Disk, which dates back to 1600 B.C. and is carved with hieroglyphics.
Located in central Iráklion, Empolo delivers when it comes to genuine Cretan cuisine. Decorated like a traditional house, the restaurant excels at rich peasant soups, omelettes, and macaronia, a thin pasta cooked in potent goat broth and scattered with a ricotta-like cheese called anthotiro. If you’ve overdosed on raki, try zigouri vrasto, a long-simmered garlicky goat brew that’s known locally as a hangover cure.
Some 700,000 people visit this Bronze Age archaeological site, one of the largest Minoan palaces on Crete, every year. Experts believe it fell into ruin as a consequence of the massive eruption of the volcano on the island of Santorini around 1500 B.C. Nonetheless, it still has well-preserved structures such as the Palace of Minos, where detailed frescoes of fish, dolphins, and griffins cover the walls and ceilings.
Be sure to visit our Shore Excursions page or speak with our onboard Destination Concierge for arrangements to any of these must-sees.