Natural Landmarks of Crete

Looking for a place filled with beauty to relax your mind and give you peace? Crete – A place that simply has it all that you are looking for. Located in Greece, Crete is a largest island ranging from White Mountains to fine beaches to spend your vacations. The place itself has a lot of significance as being a part of Greece, from its cultural heritage, Minoan Civilization and its natural beauty landmarks. Let’s have a look at the Natural Landmarks of Crete to spend a peaceful vacation that are a soothing sight for your eyes.

Key Takeaways

  • Crete is known for its natural beauty, cultural heritage, and Minoan Civilization.
  • The Lake of Preveli, Dikteon Cave, White Mountains or Lefka Ori, Vai Palm Beach, and Rouvas Forest are some of the top natural landmarks to visit in Crete.
  • The Lake of Preveli is a sandy beach and lagoon surrounded by the Theophrastus Palm Forest.
  • Dikteon Cave, which is believed to be where Rhea hid the newborn Zeus, is a religious site dating back to the Minoan period that can be accessed through a treacherous 15-minute path.
  • The White Mountains or Lefka Ori, made of limestone, are unique to Crete and are known for their snow-capped peaks in winter and bright white appearance in summer.
  • Vai Palm Beach is known for its palm trees and basic water sports facilities.
  • Rouvas Forest is known for its oak trees and other species like pear, pine, and cypress. The forest also lodges the inner valley of Psiloritis and has a homonymous chapel.

Top 10 Natural Landmarks of Crete

Here are the following top 10 natural landmarks that you must visit in Crete giving you the breathtaking views that you have never seen before.

The Lake of Preveli

Beach, Lagoon or Lake, whatever name you want to give to this place brings no difference to the bewildering beauty of it. This lake is not really a true lake but a part of a rivers bay which is sandy and that’s what makes it a lake. The Theophrastus Palm Forest is also located on the shores of the Preveli Beach and something about this forest makes you want to visit Preveli even more is that the forest was burnt majorly years back but since nature plays its role, the forest is back with its beauty.

Preveli Lake & Beach

Dikteon Cave

Just like the mysterious Greek myth, the Dikteon Cave is also forbidden. According to the history, heard by the legend, Rhea hid the newborn Zeus. This cave was use in the Minoan period for cult worship until the 1st century AD, the religious remains were found here. To enter the cave you have to cross the breathless 15 minute entrance to the cave. There are two paths to get to the cave but both can be dangerous and slippery as it rains a lot there.

Dikteon Cave

The White Mountains or Lefka Ori

The very famous White Mountains of Crete are nowhere else to be found but Crete. One who loves nature and knows the beauty of it will surely be mesmerized by these mountains. They are one of the important features of Crete. One fact about these mountains is that they are made of Limestone and are called as the White Mountains because they are seen white throughout the year. From winters till the late spring, they are covered in snow and in summers the reflection of the sun on the limestone makes them appear white – hence known as the White Mountains. The White Mountains are also known as “Lefka Ori”, they make Crete Island look bigger because of the continuous chain of mountains from one end to the other end of the island.

Lefka Ori

Vai Palm Beach

The beach is known as the Vai Palm Beach because it is backed by a lot of Palm trees in its surrounding. It is a fun place for a swim as the beach has cool blue water and straw umbrellas with blue sun beds to relax on the beach. It is just like any other beach but tourists come here because of its beauty. The beach also has basic water sports facilities set up and a café to munch with seasonal drinks to enjoy on the beach. There also is a shore on the south end of the beach. You can take photos there and upload it on your instagram to share the remarkable beauty of Crete’s Vai Palm Beach with your friends!

Vai Palm Beach

Rouvas Forest

Just as the Pine Forest of Zaros has a specialty of its trees of Pine, Rouvas forest has its own specialty, the oak trees. It is one of the famous forests with oldest trees. The thickness of the trunk of the trees are usually exceeded by more than 1 meter with heights reaching up to 15 meters (trust me, that is a lot). Other specialties of Rouvas Forest are pear trees, pine, cypress and others. Two things that make this forest special are that the forest also lodges the inner valley of Psiloritis and also has homonymous chapel and St. Johns resting area at the south central part of the forest.

Rouvas Forest

Vorizia – Pine Forest of Zaros

The Pine Forest of Zaros is located at an astonishing geological location with splendid cliffs with wide climbing areas. Vorizia’s vegetation is similar to that of Rouvas but the leading species here is the Trachea Pine. It is a huge forest starting from the Psiloritis’s southern slopeup to the west of canyon Vorizia. This pine forest is one of the beautiful scenery of Crete.

Zaros Lake & Forest

Anopolis Plateau

The birthplace of the famous fighter, Ioannis Daskalogiannis – Anopolis, still has the statue of him in the center of the village. The plateau has a mountainous landscape beauty. On this plateau, the Anopolis village has been made, which is not only made for its natural beauty but to explore the famous White Mountains that are surrounded by the plateau. This place still has a village life and strong traditions. It is mainly known for its beauty that is surrounded by it. You can walk and explore the place and see lots of ancient chapels and abandoned villages.


Crete has a number of Gorges. Tourists from all over the world come and enjoy the gorges especially in summers where people come for a hike here. Proper hiking is organized by the hiking clubs for the Cretan Gorges. One of the main reasons why people come here to the Gorges is that most of them end up with beaches where the tourists come and enjoy swimming after the hike to relax them after a tiring hike. So start building your stamina to get on the track for hiking in the Gorges of Crete to have a breathtaking experience, make sure you have the required equipment with you. The most famous of Crete’s Gorges is the Samaria Gorge.

Kournas Lake

The only lake with sweet water may not be very striking for the foreign visitors but the local Cretans. Kournas Lake is located at the foot of the famous White Mountains of Crete with the atmosphere like that of any hill station. The water is crystal clear here and is great for a swim. One cool fact about this lake is that the water in the lake changes color according to the time and weather of the day so get here and check the magical beauty of Kournas Lake yourself.

Kournas Lake

Almiros Wetland River

The Almiros Wetland consists of the river, spring and the lagoon that runs off the highest quantity of water in Crete directly to the sea. The water of Almiros Wetland is fresh but salty because at some point it is mixed with the sea water. The water comes from two areas, the hills that are near Almiros and the surrounding plateaus and Psilitoris mountains. The river not only gets the water from the rain but also from the melting of snow from the mountains. You can also find a big range of fauna and flora here. Other than the water plants you can find rushes, tamarisks wild bamboos and endemic. The species found in the water are eels and fishes and other than that you can find six species of reptiles and 3 species of amphibians.