Let’s be honest. Crete is a highly touristic island with thousands of tourists every summer. That means it is hard to find some truly untouched places to go, especially if you visit the island in the high-season. Even remoted places, such as Balos Lagoon and Elafonissi, are full of travellers. What we recommend is to come in the middle-season, for example in May or September, and get ready to explore the last hidden gems on the island. In order to do so, it is wise to rent a car in Crete and have the flexibility to make some amazing routes through impressive gorges and mountains. Thus, you will have the opportunity to discover these truly unspoiled places around the island.
Triopetra is a remoted beach on the southern side of Crete, 52 km from Rethymnon town. Three rocks at the end of the beach protect the bay from the strong winds, but the greatest asset of Triopetra is the magnificent sunset, when the sun is lost in the horizon of the Libyan Sea.
Another untouched beach is Xerokampos, about one-hour drive from Sitia and Ierapetra in Lassithi prefecture. It is a lovely sandy cove with deep blue waters and only a few tourists, but the best thing with it, is that you drive through a stunning gorge while going down to the beach. This is the best part of car rental in Crete, that you see places you would not even have the chance to see by public transportation.
In a close distance from the village of Melidoni in the prefecture of Rethymnon, is located the Melidoni Cave, a heroic place that combines history with geology. During the Cretan Revolution against the Ottoman Empire, 400 people, including women and children, found refugee inside this cave, which in 1824 was blew up by the Ottoman soldiers burning all the innocent people. Although it is a significant historical site, it is not full of tourists, as most people prefer going in more famous caves, such as Diktaion or Ideon Cave.
Most monasteries in Crete are crowded during the high-season, but this monastery is totally peaceful and tranquil due to its location, which has nothing else around. You have to drive about one hour from Heraklion to the northern coast. An old building surrounded by an impressive garden in a very calm and mystical atmosphere is what you should expect.
The most impressive thing with Therisso Gorge near Chania is that you can drive through the whole gorge to the bottom. Thus, you only have to rent a car, and you are not obliged to hike for several hours as with other gorges in Crete, for example Samaria Gorge. This is why most lovers of hiking prefer to go to other gorges, and Therisso has remained untouched.