We are staying in the Northeast part of Crete (Elounda). We are renting a car. We are looking for suggestions about how to approach seeing the highlights of the island.
I recommend you take the boat from Elounda to the island of Spinalonga - a Venetian fort which also served the Ottomans and finally as the last leper colony in Europe, closing in the 1950's. Fascinating and evocative place and worth a couple of hours. You will probably want to visit Knossos, the main Minoan site on the island which is south of Heriklion. You will need to take the main coastal road to Heriklion and then head south for about 5kms. It would be a day trip and should include a stop at the archaeological museum in Heriklion. Driving in Crete can be interesting, there are two speeds - very fast and slow through the towns and villages. Vehicles tend to overtake anywhere - including blind corners. So good luck with that! I love Crete though I am more familiar with the area around Chania. Good food, nice people, good local wine (usually made by the taverna owner). Enjoy.
There's a great novel by Victoria Hislop titled 'The Island' about Spinalonga. It's the kind of book you really can't put down once you start reading it. It will make the island and the surrounding area come alive if you read it before you visit. Extremely touching story.