The 5 Best Crete Boat Tours [2023 Reviews]

With an incredibly rich history and culture, fascinating ruins, brilliant natural beauty, delicious food and wine, and much more, it’s no secret why Crete has become such a hot spot for tourism.

There are virtually endless activities to do on the island, but to really appreciate all that the birthplace of the king of the Olympian gods has to offer you need a proper boat tour. These tours have been carefully curated by us, taking into consideration the experiences of many other participants.

These tours are worth the time and money, with professional tour guides who know the area better than anyone else. Without further ado, we present you with the top boat trips in Crete available!

Best Boat Trips From Heraklion & Chania

Luxe Boat Trip on Sailing Catamaran From Heraklion, CreteSailing Trip to The Top Coasts of Crete with Sailing South CreteBoat Trip with Guided Snorkeling Tour & SUP From Chania
editors choice
Luxe Boat Trip on Sailing Catamaran From Heraklion, CreteSailing Trip to The Top Coasts of Crete with Sailing South CreteBoat Trip with Guided Snorkeling Tour & SUP From Chania
Departure Point:Cafe Marina, Epimenidou 19, Iraklio 712 02Sfakia Port, 730 11, or hotel pickup and drop-off availableAlmyrida 730 08
Departure Time:9:30 amVariety availableVariety available
Duration:6.5 hours6.5 hours3 hours
Includes:Breakfast, lunch, use of Snorkeling equipment, SUP-boarding, fishing, WiFiLunch, snacks, bottled water, sodaLocal guide, snorkeling gear, stand up paddling, fresh seasonal fruits & bottled water, free photos & short videos

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking

Quick Answer: The 5 Best Rated Crete Boat Tours For 2023

  1. Luxe Boat Trip on Sailing Catamaran, Heraklion, Crete
  2. Sailing Trip to The Top Coasts of Crete with Sailing South Crete
  3. Boat Trip with Guided Snorkeling Tour & SUP in Chania
  4. Sunset – Sailing Cruise on Yacht Catamaran, Rethymno, Crete
  5. Day Sea Excursion Heraklion to Dia with Full Menu

Crete Boat Trip Reviews

1. Luxe Boat Trip on Sailing Catamaran From Heraklion, Crete

Luxe Boat Trip on Sailing Catamaran From Heraklion, Crete

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 6.5 hours
  • Departure: Cafe Marina, Epimenidou 19, Iraklio 712 02
  • Departure Time: 9:30 am
  • Includes: Breakfast, lunch, fuel surcharge, use of Snorkeling equipment, SUP-boarding, fishing, WiFi, restroom on board

This tour is always known for selling out quickly, and it makes sense why it’s so popular! The Luxe Boat Trip on Sailing Catamaran From Heraklion Crete tour is an intimate experience where it feels like you’re being taken out and about by a long-time local friend who knows all the best spots.

With onboard restrooms, wi-fi, and other handy amenities, they manage to make the experience very comfortable and one you’re sure to repeat in the future!

Meet up with your guide at 9:30 am where you’ll receive a safety briefing, ask any questions you may have, and hop aboard a luxury boat.

The crew is very welcoming and does a great job at making sure everyone is safe and has everything they need. Snorkeling gear, fishing gear, stand-up paddleboards, and inflatable unicorns – what more could you need?

As you cruise to Dia Beach, enjoy the beautiful views while you partake in a tasty breakfast that’s been prepared for you.

There’s plenty of tea and coffee available as well, to really ramp up your energy levels! The boat has more than enough room to easily move around and see the area from different points of view.

You’ll soon arrive to the gorgeous uninhabited island, Dia, where you’ll be able to explore and enjoy the perfectly clear waters. If you’ve never snorkeling or paddle boarded, the crew and guides are very helpful and will show you how.

Once you’re all snorkeled out, you can board the boat and enjoy a delicious Mediterranean lunch with refreshing, cold beverages.

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience

2. Sailing Trip to The Top Coasts of Crete with Sailing South Crete

Sailing Trip to The Top Coasts of Crete with Sailing South Crete

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 6.5 hours
  • Departure: Sfakia Port, 730 11, or hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Departure Time: Variety available
  • Includes: Lunch, snacks, bottled water, soda

Perhaps you’d like your own private sailboat to explore the brilliant blue waters of southern Crete. If so, then check out the Sailing Trip to the Top Coasts of Crete with Sailing South Crete tours.

This is one of the best ways to escape the crowds, and enjoy a luxurious adventure with professional, friendly hosts!

Meet up with your guide at the meeting point or request to be picked up at your hotel. You’ll then head out where you’ll receive a tour briefing as to what to expect and you can ask any questions you may have.

Then, it’s time to board the only sailing yacht in south Crete for a sophisticated private experience with you and up to 3 other guests!

This 6.5-hour adventure will take you sailing on the crystal-clear waters on a comfortable sailing yacht. The yacht has plenty of space, and you’ll enjoy a delicious lunch based off of your specific requests and requirements, along with plenty of drinks.

In fact, just about anything you may want for a fun time on the water will be on board. You’ll get to visit Sweet Water beach and Marmara beach, which feature fantastic caves for snorkeling and exploring around.

Not only that, you’ll also see the charming Loutro village known for its peacefulness, great hikes, ancient ruins, and secluded beaches. Depending on how the wind and sea are doing, you can also choose to do a sail and simply enjoy the captivating views of Crete’s top coasts.

Whether you’re just traveling with your significant other or bringing a whole crew along, you’ll love this private tour full of world-class swimming spots and gorgeous beaches.

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience

3. Boat Trip with Guided Snorkeling Tour & SUP From Chania

Boat Trip with Guided Snorkeling Tour & SUP From Chania

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Departure: Almyrida 730 08
  • Departure Time: Variety available
  • Includes: Local guide, use of Snorkeling equipment, stand up paddling with an instructor and safety gear, fresh seasonal fruits and bottled water, free photos and short videos

Perhaps you are looking to go out and have fun out on the water, but don’t have the time for such long tours. Not to worry, because the Boat Trip with Guided Snorkeling Tour & SUP From Chania is just the answer!

The 3-hour tour includes hotel pickup to maximize your time, and the small group size means that you’ll have more attention from the guide.

After you’re picked up, you’ll head to the offices where they’ll give you a safety briefing and answer any questions you may have. If you’ve never snorkeled or paddle boarded before, it’s not a problem as they can help instruct you. Guest safety is always at the forefront, so you never have to worry about it.

You and the rest of your group will board a luxury speedboat, and the boat crew will take you to some of the best hidden gem snorkeling and swimming sites in all of Chania.

The multi-stop design maximizes the experience, ensuring you get to explore different environments and sea life.

If you’ve always wanted to learn how to snorkel but don’t know how to begin, this is the perfect opportunity. The clear water offers incomparable visibility, and PADI-certified professional divers will be there to guide the way through this Mediterranean paradise. They’ll also teach you all about these ecosystems and how important they are.

Through different action cameras, the staff will record awesome footage and photos of the experience so you can relive the experience and hopefully do it again! While onboard, enjoy some delicious fresh fruit and cold water to keep hydrated.

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience

4. Sunset – Sailing Cruise on Yacht Catamaran From Rethymno, Crete

Sunset - Sailing Cruise on Yacht Catamaran From Rethymno, Crete

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 3.5 hours
  • Departure: Marina of Rethymno
  • Departure Time: 4:30 pm
  • Includes: Coffee and/or tea, alcoholic beverages, snacks, soda, use of Snorkeling equipment, Sup board, WiFi, swimming accessories

Following that up, we have yet another fantastic choice if you have a packed schedule. The Sunset – Sailing Cruise on Yacht Catamaran From Rethymno, tour is another quicker tour that will show you some of the most beautiful spots in the area in a luxurious way.

If you’ve ever wanted to try out snorkeling or paddle-boarding, you can try it here in a stunning environment with trained professionals to guide you.

Starting at 4:30 PM, this is the perfect tour if you have plans earlier on in the day. Meet up at Marina of Rethymno and board the luxurious yacht that will be taking you along the coast.

The route does depend on wind and water conditions, but it’s always a great experience – one that highlights the breathtaking beauty but focuses more on relaxation and taking in the views than high-energy activities.

Once onboard, you’ll be treated like royalty, with Cretan white wine, fresh fruit, and delicious cheeses. We can say that all of them are of the highest quality, and absolutely delicious. If you’re on the hunt for a great romantic evening, this is one of the top options for sure.

Once you get to the perfect spot, the captain will stop the boat and you’ll have plenty of time to cruise around on a paddleboard or explore the underwater world by snorkel.

Hop back on board and just relax or continue spending time in the clear blue waters – it’s all up to you. The staff are very knowledgeable and friendly, and it’s always a great time chatting with them.

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience

5. Day Sea Excursion From Heraklion to Dia with Full Menu

Day Sea Excursion From Heraklion to Dia with Full Menu

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 5 hours
  • Departure: Cafe Marina, Epimenidou 19, Iraklio 712 02
  • Departure Time: 3:00 pm
  • Includes: Alcoholic beverages, coffee and/or tea, dinner, soda, snorkeling gear, SUP board, swimming accessories, fishing gear

Are you looking for a day of fun on the water, with everything you need and more? Then check out the Day Sea Excursion From Heraklion to Dia with Full Menu tour.

This 5-hour tour starts out in the afternoon, making it easy to schedule if you have plans in the morning and will let you see the beautiful sunset on the water!

Meet up at Café Marina with your crew, where they’ll provide you with a briefing as to what you should expect on the tour.

They’ll also ensure everyone knows about proper safety protocols. Then, it’s time to board the sailing yacht-catamaran Lagoon 450F, which is luxurious but sporty.

Once you board, you’ll see that there’s just the right amount of space for your group. It’s not tight, with plenty of space to walk around and enjoy the view or sit back and relax.

Once you set off, you’ll be served up a delicious Mediterranean dinner complete with fresh-caught grilled fish, both local and imported beverages, and accessories for having fun!

Instead of going to dinner, we recommend instead trying out this cruise. You’ll get top-notch cuisine while enjoying an unbeatable view and excursion packed all into one.

These include all necessary snorkeling gear, a SUP board, water carpet, inflatable flamingo and unicorn, life jackets, armbands, and more.

Once you arrive to the uninhabited island of Dia, you’ll stop so you can splash around in the cool, clear waters and use all of the toys. Head back on board in time to enjoy the beautiful golden sunset reflecting off of the pristine waters.

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience

Crete Tour Guide

Best Crete Boat Trips From Heraklion & Chania

Getting There

As one of the largest and in-demand Greek islands, there are various ways of getting to Crete. There are regular direct flights to Crete from major US and European cities. However, chances of getting a nonstop flight aren’t likely. You’ll almost always have to make a stop in Heraklion or Chania before Crete.

Alternatively, you can spend a day or so in Athens or Rhodes and take a flight or short flight to Crete. This is actually what we personally recommend, as these locations are amazing and definitely worth taking time to see their ruins and wonders. The ferry is a bit slower, but also a fun experience with amazing views.

Getting Around

Bus – The bus is a very budget-friendly, useful resource to have. They’re all in great condition, modern, and come with air-conditioning. The majority of routes are quite frequent, stopping at villages and major attractions more often. Just keep in mind that really small villages maybe see a bus once or twice a day, so book accommodations accordingly.

Rental Car – This is a really convenient option so you can see the more remote places without worrying if you’ll be able to grab a cab or bus back. Local rental shops are at the airport, and will be the most affordable option. Roads are generally in good condition and most foreigners find it easy to drive here.

Taxi – These are perfect for short journeys, and are found everywhere around tourist hotspots and beaches. Uber and other rideshare services do not exist here.

Bike – Biking is definitely fun, and a great way to see Crete from an up-close perspective. However, Crete is full of hills and can be quite the challenge if you’re not used to it! You’ll definitely feel the burn!

Where to Stay

The island is split into 4 major regions: Chania, Rethymnon, Heraklion, and Lasithi. The major cities are Chania, Rethymnon, Heraklion, Elounda, and Agios Nikalaos (listed from west to east).

Chania – This is the most charming, “romantic” of the bunch, known for its Venetian, Egyptian, and Ottoman influences. However, it has an overwhelming 14th-century Venetian aesthetic, with a 16th-century lighthouse and tons of taverns, cafes, museums, and more.

Rethymnon – It draws a lot of similarities to Chania, and you’ll pretty much never see cars or other vehicles here. This understandably makes it very walkable, with beautiful footpaths lined by trees, a fortress, Venetian harbor, and other beautiful sites. What sets it apart is it supscale beach resorts and generally less crowded beaches.

Heraklion – As the capital of Crete, you can expect more of a metropolitan feel with a lively nightlife, varied gastronomy, and more historic sites and museums. However, it’s not quite as romantic as the others.

Elounda – Located in Lasithi, this place also has quite a few great luxury beachfront resorts. Here, you’ll find plenty of cool ruins, including a 16th-century island fortress named Spinalonga. Make sure you check the ancient sunken city of Olous, too!

Agios Nikalaos – Located just 30 minutes from Elounda, it’s a bit more local with a beautiful seafront view, gorgeous architecture, great restaurants and bars, and more.

Restaurants and Eating Out

Lemonokipos – Meaning “lemon tree garden”, this historic spot is just as pleasing aesthetically as it is gustatory. Their patio comes covered with beautiful trees, lanterns, setting a romantic scene. The food is light in general, yet definitely doesn’t lack in taste. Make sure to wash it all down with some Greek sparkling wine.

Salis Restaurant – Offering contemporary local dishes, a huge wine list, and innovative pairings, it’s for foodies and wine connoisseurs. If you’re already near the Maritime Museum of Crete, make sure to stop over at this beautiful harbor-front spot in Chania.

Pelagos – If ever a restaurant could be picturesque, Pelagos would have the title. With waterfront views, a romantic patio, and lush palm trees around the entrance, you’ll love hanging out here. The cuisine is a bit more “homey” from slow-cooked octopus to veggie fritters with Greek yogurt.

Tholos Restaurant – Located right behind the city cathedral in Chania, the restaurant is quintessentially Greek. Beautiful plants and pottery sit everywhere over the multi-level place to make an ultra-charming spot where you can find classic Greek dishes like moussaka and stuffed peppers.

Avli – From a beautiful courtyard into a barrel-vaulted dining room, Avli really sets the scene for a gorgeous evening and traditional food in Rethymnon. It’s a great place for a date night, with a sophisticated feel and masterful cooking techniques. Seafood-stuffed zucchini flowers are a crowd favorite!

Hiona Seafood Restaurant – Located right on the edge of Chiona Beach, this family-friendly spot is located in the quiet fishing village of Palekastro. If you’d like to partake in a relaxing lunch with flavorful, fresh catch, it can’t be beat.

Meli Melo – Do you have a sweet tooth? Then just head straight to Meli Melo in Rethymnon. Their loukoumades (doughnuts) are out of this world! Combine that with some honey and cinnamon, washed down with a coffee, and your world will change.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Aside from the notoriously party-heavy Cyclades Islands, the craziest nightlife is to be found in either Malia, Stalis, or Elounda. Here, you’ll find clubs where people dance and party all night long. However, throughout the rest of Crete you’ll find calmer lounge bars with chill music and great cocktails.

Chania – Chania is lively as well, but has a more traditional atmosphere. You’ll find a couple of clubs and lots of beer bars, but nothing too outrageous.

Heraklion – There are a ton of options here, ranging from low-key taverns to raging parties.


Crete is definitely not uniform when it comes to weather. As it is a pretty big island, it has its own weather zones, mixing lowland and mountains.

In the north coast, you’ll get pretty warm-yet-heavy winds that can kick up sand and create waves. This is typically in July and August, however, so the rest of the year it’s not usually an issue. This is why it’s important to go with professional tour guides who know when and how to change routes on the water.

The southern coast can sometimes get winds up from Africa in the summertime, and can result in some crazy dust storms! July is also the hottest month with an average temperature of 79 degrees Fahrenheit. The coldest is January, with an average temperature of around 52. As you can see, there’s not a whole lot of variation and the overall climate is very mild.


The Palace of Knossos – Considered to be the most important archaeological site on the entire island, this pre-Greek Bronze Age palace is believed to have belonged to King Minos. Located near Heraklion, the enormous residential complex sits on a courtyard where the sport of “bull-leaping” used to take place. Abandoned around 1450 BC, no one really knows why, but have hypothesized earthquakes or invaders.

Lake Voulismeni – If you’re looking to take a leisurely stroll with beautiful scenery, check out the lake in Agios Nikalaos. There are plenty of waterfront cafes and restaurants, with a very friendly, charming vibe.

Diktean Cave – Also located near Agios Nikalaos, these caves feature ancient stalactites and stalagmites emerging from the ceiling and floor. However, while it’s certainly fascinating, what really ramps up interest is the fact that it’s believed to be the birthplace of Zeus.

Arkadi Monastery – This 12th-century construction looks beautiful but has a tragic history. In 1866, Cretan residents under Turkish rule revolted and almost 1000 Greeks took sanctuary here in the monastery. Unfortunately, after 3 days of the Turks attacking the building, they were able to break in and ended the lives of everyone inside.

Heraklion Archaeological Museum – Reputed as one of the most important museums in the country, it features beautiful frescoes and objects from all periods of Crete history up until the late Roman times.

The Minoan Palace of Phaistos – This is a great alternative to Knossos Palace, as there are far less tourists here. Just south of Heraklion, it’s believed that the brother of King Minos, Rhadamanthus, constructed it just for his own pleasure.


  1. Bring a good pair of walking shoes. Perhaps even hiking shoes. The mountainous terrain and uneven earth is much easier to navigate if you have a nice tread on the bottom. Make sure to break them in beforehand.
  2. Try the local wine. Crete is home to 13 of the best grape varieties. Better yet, try one of the many local wineries located around the island!
  3. Book accommodations and rental cars well in advance. There are plenty of visitors each year to the island, and many places book up early.
  4. Bring cash. While Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted, there are many places that only accept cash. Try to carry smaller euro denominations.
  5. Cover up in churches. While you can wear (or not wear) almost anything on Crete beaches, when hanging out in and around churches, you should cover your shoulders and wear bottoms that go below the knees. Never enter without footwear on.

The Luxe Boat Trip on a Sailing Catamaran from Heraklion is our Editors Choice for the best Crete boat trip

User Rating: Be the first one !

Robert Baker

Robert is a content writer and editor at World Guides to Travel where he shares his love for the great outdoors. He also writes in-depth travel blogs for other websites around the world. Robert is passionate about the environment and uses his writing to educate people about the advantages and importance of sustainable living. Robert enjoys creative writing. In 2009, his children’s novel Sally Hemings & the Good Associates won the Children’s Fiction section of the You Write On Book of the Year Award.
Back to top button