Where to stay in Crete
Where to stay in Crete? Chania and Rethymnon are my favourite towns, but this is the biggest Greek island and one of the largest in Europe. There are other destinations that may actually be better, based on your type of holiday
Crete is a unique, and outstanding island. I explored most of it during my Greek time, I worked in Greece for a while too, but I never found any place in the country offering so much.
You can find great places to stay in Crete with the best beaches in Greece, for families, couples, nightlife, secluded or busy spots, and so much more.
Following my last trip to Crete, I have organised a comparative table with all the best areas to stay in Crete for a quick understanding of the island.
Without further ado let’s get into it.
Table of Contents
- 1 Where to stay in Crete for beaches, families and couples – in a nutshell
- 2 Where to stay in Crete for the best beaches
- 3 Where to stay in Crete for couples
- 4 Best places to stay in Crete for families and kids
- 5 Best places to stay in Crete for Nightlife
- 6 Best areas to stay in Crete for history
- 7 Best town to stay in Crete for a luxury holiday – Elounda
- 8 Public transportation or rent a car in Crete
- 8.1 What is the best part of Crete to stay?
- 8.2 Where should I base myself in Crete?
- 8.3 Is it better to stay in Chania or Heraklion?
- 8.4 Which is the prettiest town in Crete?
- 8.5 Where to stay in Crete for hiking?
- 8.6 Which is more beautiful Crete or Santorini?
- 8.7 Which part of Crete has the best beaches?
Where to stay in Crete for beaches, families and couples – in a nutshell
The best towns and areas to stay in Crete are compared in the table below based on the average cost, bars/restaurants, nature/beach and other factors (1-5 with 1 being the lowest score). I added also links to suggested hotels in the area.
Click on the town name to read much more information about it, with an extended list of pros and cons of booking there, besides tips on hotels, cafes, restaurants etc.
|Where to Stay in Crete for Beaches, Nightlife and Food||Chania||Moderate||Old Town + Harbour||Excellent||Excellent||Good||– Casa Delfino|
– Kasteli Studios
|Where to Stay in Crete for Beaches and Seclusion||Sitia||Low-Mod.||Old Town + Harbour||Good||Good||Quiet||Sitia Beach|
|Where to Stay in Crete for Luxury||Elounda||Expensive||Not much||Excellent||Good||Good||Blue Palace|
|Where to Stay in Crete for Families with big kids||Agios Nikolaos||Moderate||Historical Town||Good||OK||Moderate||Candia Park Village|
|Where to Stay in Crete for Families with small kids||Almyrida||Moderate||Small village||Good||Good||Quiet||Almyrida Bay|
|Where to Stay in Crete for Families (Package Holiday)||Gouves||Mod.-Expen.||Not much||OK||OK||Quiet||– Mama’s|
|Where to Stay in Crete for Nightlife and Party (Intl)||Hersonissos||Low-Moder.||Not much||Good||Excellent||Excellent||Elalia Apartment|
|Where to Stay in Crete for Nightlife and Clubs (Brit)||Malia||Low-Moder.||Not much||OK||Good||Excellent||Mirage Studios|
|Where to Stay in Crete for History (practical base)||Heraklion||Low-Moder.||Historical Old Town||Good||OK||Good||Lato Boutique|
|Where to Stay in Crete for young Couples and Foodies||Rethymno||Moderate||Old Town + Harbour||Good||Excellent||Good||– Caramel Grecotel|
|Where to Stay in Crete for Couples on a Budget||Maleme||Inexpensive||Not much||Good||Good||Moderate||Mythos Beach|
|Where to Stay in Crete for Romantic Couples||Sissi||Moderate||Lovely harbour||Good||Good||Moderate||– Castello |
– Angela Suites
|Where to Stay in Crete for Couples Relaxing||Paleochora||Low-Mod.||Old Town||Good||Excellent||Poor||Aris Hotel|
Here are a few points that may become handy for your next trip to Chania
- Where to stay in Crete without a car: the best town is Chania if you do not have a car. It has a nice old town with a local beach and access to 2 of the most spectacular beaches in Crete. The bar and restaurant scene is also great. Take a tour or a bus to visit the Samaria Gorge or Knossos, both full-day trips. Plenty of opportunities from Chania
- Where to stay in Crete, just one town: very hard to give a tip here. It all depends on what you are looking for. Rethymno and Chania have a bit of everything and they may be the place you are looking for.
- Best resort in Crete for couples: Castello Boutique Resort & Spa. Adult-only with a fabulous swimming pool in the beautiful small town of Sissi.
- Best resort for families: Candia Park Village. Kids club, kids and adult swimming pool (to have some quiet time when without kids), beachfront. Built with a local Cretan design in the lovely town of Agios Nikolaos. Another amazing resort is the Iberostar Creta Panorama., with a great pool and a kids club too, besides a fabulous boutique beach
- Top 5-star hotel in Crete: Domes of Elounda. Luxury at its best in the most luxurious area of Crete, Elounda.
- Best beach hotel in Crete: Caramel Grecotel Boutique Resort. Private white beach with a turquoise sea, do you need more? It’s just outside Rethymno, the food capital of Crete
- Best Airbnb in Chania and Rethymno: Kasteli (Chania) and Loggia (Rethymno)
- My top restaurants: Avli tou Defkaliona in Heraklion, To Rakodikeio in Rethymno and check out the Minares Achmet Aga area in Chania
- Local transportation: public buses (good service, though not very quick) or rent a car through DiscoverCars.com
- Chania or Heraklion: I love both cities, in their own way. You should read my full post about the best, and the worst, of Chania and Heraklion.
- Best organised experiences: trekking in the Samaria Gorge is a must (cheap too), and a guided tour of the Knossos Palace skipping the queue is another experience that should be on the bucket list. A trip to Elafonissi Beach will introduce you to one the best beaches in Crete
- Do you want to go straight to your hotel? Pre-order an airport transfer in Heraklion or Chania that will wait for you directly at the airport. So easy.
If you are planning a trip to Crete you should download this Travel Guide to Crete with over 100 pages and 28 possible itineraries to suit any type of holiday. I am just launching it and I made it totally free to download for now, however, you can leave a small donation for my morning coffee 😉
In this video, you can see the areas with my commentary on the pros and cons.
I have more videos on Crete in this dedicated YouTube playlist.
Where to stay in Crete for the best beaches
Crete is one of the best, if not the best, of the Greek islands for beaches
Interestingly enough, there is no town next to these 4 spectacular beaches.
You can, however, access them on a local trip from either Chania or Sitia.
It has to be said that Chania is very well organised with day tours and operators. Sitia is less so and I suggest renting a car in this case.
Best place to stay in Crete for a beach holiday & Food – Chania
- 🏩 Casa Delfino is the recommended accommodation in the area.
- 👍 Pros: Spectacular old town, great bar and restaurant scene, local beach, access to Elafonisi Beach and Balos Beach via day tours.
- 👎 Cons: Can be busy, not as quiet as some other areas.
Chania, in the west of the island, has one of the most spectacular old town centres in Crete, with plenty of bars and restaurants, amazing old/ancient buildings, and so charming.
It has a nice local beach too, on a short walk from the town centre. It has really all you need for a long stay.
They are both really unique and unmissable. You can also think to rent your own vehicle, in fact, the trip is an adventure by itself.
Balos Beach is also reachable by boat trips, however, you will not get the awesome view from the bumpy top road.
From Chania, you can also venture to the Samaria Gorge, an easy trek through a fantastic canyon that will take you to an isolated beach in Agia Roumeli. From there the tour operator will take you back to Chania.
Chania has also some spectacular restaurants. The whole area around the Minares Achmet Aga has some amazing nice eateries, popular with the local young generation, just one restaurant after the other one, difficult to select one or the other, just taste them all.
From Chania, you can also take the public bus to many other nearby beaches and towns. You can check the KTEL timetable here.
If unsure about where to stay in Chania, you should check out my ultimate guide to the best areas and hotels in Chania. Here below is a small selection of my recommended options
Best hotels to stay in Chania for a beach holiday
It’s located straight in the heart of Chania but in a quiet area. And the amazing view from the rooftop will leave you open mouth.
Another great accommodation in Chania is the Kasteli Studios & Apartments. This is an exceptional place with a local character. Alex, the owner, will do everything to please you.
The location is right in the old town, steps from the action but in a quiet spot, great for a relaxed time and nice quiet sleep.
Best place to stay in Crete for a secluded beach holiday – Sitia
- 🏩 Sitia Beach Resort is the recommended accommodation in the area.
- 👍 Pros: Sleepy town with a lovely promenade, local beach, and access to Vai Beach and Chrissi Beach.
- 👎 Cons: Can be hot in summer, less organized for tours than other areas.
Sitia is a 3 hours bus drive east of Heraklion. It is indeed a long trip however you will be rewarded by a lovely sleepy town with an awesome promenade, where you can have an amazing dinner at one of the many local restaurants.
There is a local beach, on the right side, quite a long one actually, with few organised spots connected to the cafes and/or restaurants.
This side of Crete can be quite hot in summer which explains the landscape around the town, very desertic.
Chrissi Beach is another unique beach accessible from Sitia, just off the town of Ierapetra.
The name of the beach is actually Golden Beach, however, it is known by most as just Chrissi Beach.
Just a small update on Chrissi Island. Access was closed in the last 2 summers and it is now under a yearly review. Trips to the island are still possible, but you will have to swim the last 20 metres because the boats cannot dock on the island
Best hotel for a beach stay in Sitia
I personally suggest going for just Bed & Breakfast instead of the full board. In this way, you can explore other restaurants in this tiny town. The location is just in front of the beach
Where to stay in Crete for couples
When you are looking for where to stay in Crete for couples, you may think that Chania has it all. And in some respects, it does, except if you are planning a quiet, romantic and possibly on a budget holiday.
For this reason, I have listed below these 3 lovely towns/villages that should not be missed.
Best place to stay in Crete for a romantic getaway – Sissi
- 🏩 Castello Boutique Resort & Spa is the recommended accommodation in the area.
- 👍 Pros: Unpretentious, romantic, small port, peaceful village, local restaurants and bars.
- 👎 Cons: Not as lively as other areas, might be too quiet for some.
How lovely is the unpretentious Sissi? You can always miss it out when you drive from Heraklion, direction east…..but you shouldn’t.
This is one of the most romantic towns to stay in Crete with a natural inlet covered by palm trees.
The small port is so charming, picture perfect, and a great spot to have lunch or dinner with your partner.
This was the port used during the Cretan revolution to unload the weapons but long gone is the fight time.
Now Sissi is really a small peaceful village that comes alive at night with just a few local restaurants and bars.
For a swim, you can visit Boufos Beach, probably not the most popular beach in Crete, however great for some relaxing time
The most amazing restaurant is not actually at the small harbour.
It’s an easy 15-minute walk to the hidden Neromilos Taverna. Not to be missed!
The many taverns at the pier are all very popular with the locals from Heraklion that drive here for the best fish on the island.
Accommodations are all around in Sissi, there are a few options, from budget to boutique hotels.
Sissi is certainly one of the most picturesque towns to stay in Crete and if you are after a bit of nightlife you can always take a taxi to Malia, so close, just 10 minutes by car, however so distant with the many night bars open till late.
Best romantic hotel in Sissi
For a great experience when you travel as a couple, I suggest the Castello Boutique Resort & Spa. It is an adult-only accommodation which means you can be sure you will have a tranquil time, especially in the pool area.
The great service and the spectacular breakfast buffet make this place a must-stay in Sissi.
Best place to stay in Crete for a relaxing beach vacation – Paleochora
- 🏩 Aris Hotel is the recommended accommodation in the area.
- 👍 Pros: Quiet town, slow pace, great long beach in the small bay, town comes alive at night with characteristic restaurants and bars.
- 👎 Cons: Town is quite small and may not offer as many activities or attractions, no nighlife
Paleochora, on the southern coast, used to be the hippy town of Crete many years ago, in the 70s. It’s not anymore, however, it still keeps that slow pace.
I arrived there late in the morning on the bus (an easy trip from Chania) and the main streets were deserted.
I had a little nap and I was ready for the “party”, a Nescafe at the main beach, a very quiet and relaxing one.
Not much happening really but still a very romantic town, especially after sunset with all the characteristic restaurants and bars around the end of the main street (closed to traffic at night).
There is a great long beach in the small bay with the wind coming up after lunch. Relaxation is really the word that comes to my mind when describing Paleochora.
One of my favourite restaurants here is the Oyzepi Restaurant. The Oyzeri is usually a place where you drink Oyzo (a Greek aperitif) and eat some sort of Greek tapas, however here they have added also some typical mains. I love it.
Remember to have a walk to the castle for the beautiful view.
From Paleochora you can take the ferry to the villages on the south coast, mostly isolated and with no land access. It has been the highlight of my romantic trip through Crete.
Best hotel to stay in Paleochora for a relaxing beach time
The location is a stone away from the restaurant area but still secluded enough to have a quiet time.
Best place to stay in Crete for couples on a budget – Maleme
- 🏩 Mythos Beach is the recommended accommodation in the area.
- 👍 Pros: Relaxed time, close to the beach, very quiet, a great base to visit nearby tourist destinations.
- 👎 Cons: Not as lively as other areas.
Maleme is the perfect spot if you want to have a relaxed time, close to the beach, and very quiet but still a great base to visit the nearby tourist destinations.
The town is only 16km from Chania, which makes it great for a late afternoon followed by dinner there
And if you are after an active day you can always take a detour at the Samaras Gorge, around 1 hour away.
This is the experience I would suggest to everyone, however, take some good shoes with you, not flip-flops as I did!! I know I am a bit of an idiot.
The local beach is long and nice, with a few organised spots usually connected to either a cafe or a restaurant
Accommodations in this part of Crete tend also to be cheaper than the average, which is great if you are travelling on a budget.
Best places to stay in Crete for families and kids
Best place to stay in Crete for a family with bigger kids – Agios Nikolaos
- 🏩 Candia Park Village is the recommended accommodation in the area.
- 👍 Pros: Lovely town on the water, natural inlet, a small square with Greek performances, two small beaches.
- 👎 Cons: Bus station is a long walk from the town centre.
This is a lovely town on the water with a natural inlet, that creates a small lake, and a small square where Greek performances are usually organised at night, mostly during the high season.
There is a nice family vibe with plenty of grown-up kids around.
The bus station is a long walk from the town centre. I would suggest a taxi for the last leg to the hotel, especially if you are travelling with kids.
It’s a great town to have your dinner and go for a walk along the 2 pedestrian streets interconnected by another square.
There are two small beaches, the first one called Kitroplateia Beach, right in the heart of Agios Nikolaos, and Ammos Beach on the southern side of town.
They are both nice enough to spend the whole day swimming and playing in the sand.
If staying for a week or more, I would probably suggest renting a car and exploring the surrounding.
This should include a visit to the Fortress Spinalonga, a small island with a long history, as a Venetian fortress, a refuge for the rebels and, more recently, a place of exile for lepers.
It is now one of the major attractions of Crete.
If driving your own car, head to the town of Plaka and catch a local boat there. They run quite frequently, very easily and inexpensively.
Alternatively, if you prefer an all-organised local excursion ask your hotel/resort, there are a few around.
Best hotel in Agios Nikolaos for a family trip with older kids
The Candia Park Village is one of the best hotels to stay when travelling with children. It has a kid’s pool, a kids club and a playground beside the adult’s swimming pool so that you can switch between some busy times and relaxed moments (see photos here).
The architecture of the units is very Cretan style and the location is both quiet and close to the main happening areas. Sometimes you can find amazing deals in this place, just try to book well in advance if you can 😉
From Agios Nikolaos, I suggest a visit to the uninhabited small island of Chrissi, with the best crystal clear water I have ever seen. This is one of the top 10 sandy beaches in Greece, absolutely spectacular
Just a small update on Chrissi Island. Access was closed in the last two summers and it is now under a yearly review. Check out the status before planning your trip there. At the moment the boats cannot dock there and you can visit it only with a short swim from the boat itself.
Best place to stay in Crete for a family holiday with smaller kids – Almyrida
- 🏩 Almyrida Bay is the recommended accommodation in the area.
- 👍 Pros: Quiet area, ideal for family holidays, two nice beaches.
- 👎 Cons: Might be too quiet for some.
Almyrida is another small village that has expanded in the late few years, thanks to the tourism influx.
In saying that, it is still a quiet area, ideal for family holidays, travelling with small kids and looking for a relaxed stay.
There are 2 nice beaches, both facing north. It may get wavy in the afternoon, however, you can still find calm water on the east side, a part of the beach covered by a small pier.
It’s a nice family town with all you need at walking distance and a few local trips that you can organise with one of the agencies around.
The beaches are all organised, with sunbeds and umbrellas for a relaxing time.
Best place to stay in Crete for all-inclusive – Gouves
- 🏩 Amirandes Grecotel Exclusive Resort is the recommended accommodation in the area.
- 👍 Pros: all-inclusive package, ideal for families, relaxing holiday, close to the beach, proximity to the Crete Aquarium and Aquaworld Aquarium & Reptile Rescue Centre
- 👎 Cons: The beaches can get a bit wavy in the afternoon, no character or local attractions.
Gouves has some of the best all-inclusive beach holidays for families in Crete. Seat, relax, it’s all organised.
There are so many resorts around to choose from. Just keep in mind that they mostly face the north and they can get a bit wavy in the afternoon. There are a few beaches covered by the breakwater that keep the area as a natural pool, Marina Beach and the ones around the port are the most popular ones.
Gouves is not actually the name of a town, in fact, if you search it on Google Maps you will be redirected to an inland area. It’s the name of a district made of Kato and Pano Gouves, Lower and Upper Gouves.
It’s one of the easiest places to stay in Crete with families and kids. You will have all you need within walking distance.
For a cultural day, you can drive from there to Knossos to visit both the archaeological sites and the archaeological museum too.
For more fun, you can take your kids to the nearby water parks, the Anopolis or the Aquaworld Aquarium & Reptile Rescue Centre in Hersonissos.
You can also plan to visit to the local Crete Aquarium, for a great display of the Mediterranean sea life. Plenty of options for a unique day.
Best all-inclusive resorts in Crete
Mama’s Beachfront Home offers great value accommodations for money meters from the sea. The 2-BR accommodations are really spacious, hosting up to 6 people, again with a lovely view.
A great alternative rated as one of the most beautiful accommodations in Crete is the Amirandes Grecotel Exclusive Resort.
They have a beautiful infinity pool with a view to the sea, a private beach with lots of gazebos for the guests, food to die for and lots of attention for anything you need.
Best places to stay in Crete for Nightlife
Best place to stay in Crete for nightlife and clubbing – Malia
- 🏩 Mirage Studios is the recommended accommodation in the area.
- 👍 Pros: Late nights, extreme nightlife, popular with young British crowd, Irish and English pubs.
- 👎 Cons: Can be too loud and busy for some, the beach tends to be empty until mid-afternoon.
Malia is all you about late nights, it is synonymous with extreme nightlife in Crete.
Explore this area in the morning and you think that there is no tourism at all and all the hotels around are struggling to find customers.
Stay till the evening and suddenly it gets populated with a young crowd that leaves the hotel rooms to start the night.
It’s one of the most popular places to stay in Crete for the British young crowd, with many Irish and English pubs along Beach Road (which is not the real name, however, everyone knows it that way).
The beach is fine, but not spectacular, and it tends to be empty until mid-afternoon.
For more peace, head to the old town, inland, still with lots of character packed in the small lanes and typical restaurants.
Best place to stay in Crete for nightlife & party – Hersonissos
- 🏩 Elalia Apartments is the recommended accommodation in the area.
- 👍 Pros: vibrant nightlife, good selection of restaurants and bars, international crowd, nice beach
- 👎 Cons: not be the best choice for those seeking a quiet, relaxing holiday. Not really suitable for families with young children.
Hersonissos is now the biggest resort area in Crete, very popular with youngsters looking for nightlife.
Like Malia, also Hersonissos has plenty of bars and a long nightlife till the early hours of the morning. However, if in Malia tourism is mostly British, in Hersonissos you will find more of an international crowd.
Best areas to stay in Crete for history
The best town to stay in Crete for history is undoubtedly Heraklion. It offers the easiest access to Knossos, the main attraction for history lovers in Crete.
I personally love Rethymno, with its amazing old town and the fabulous food, unique in Crete
Both destinations are on the North Coast of the island.
Best place to stay in Crete for history – Heraklion
- 🏩 Lato Boutique Hotel is the recommended accommodation in the area.
- 👍 Pros: University city, great for bars and nightlife, easy access to Knossos, the most famous of all the attractions in Crete.
- 👎 Cons: No good beaches in or around the city.
Heraklion is where you should stay in Crete to easily access Knossos, the Bronze Age archaeological site, and Europe’s oldest city, a must for any trip to Crete.
There are public buses leaving Heraklion for Knossos, very easy to organise. It takes around 15 minutes by car, it’s only 6km from the city centre and around 30 minutes by public transportation.
Heraklion is a university city with a great young generation around which makes it great for bars and nightlife too.
There are 2 main streets with lots of shopping possibilities, you can easily spend a few days in Heraklion without getting bored.
I wrote extensively about where to stay in Heraklion, with a city map and the 4 areas I suggest booking your hotel, based on the type of trip and your budget too. Plenty of information about the city, a great reference for your time there.
My favourite hotel in Heraklion, so handy too
So far, the best hotel I have experienced in Heraklion is the Lato Boutique Hotel. The location is just perfect, close to the action of the old town, next to the water and the pier, and metres away from the bus station.
The view is just amazing (see more photos here). I was really impressed by the service too. They kept my bags and they gave me a complimentary room to have a shower when I went back in the late afternoon to pick up my luggage.
There are plenty of nice restaurants in Heraklion.
My favourite is still Avli tou Defkaliona, within walking distance from the city centre. My only problem here is that I eat too much!
Not to be missed is also the CROP – Roastery • Brewery, the best coffee in the city and great beer too in a lovely square, popular with students.
It has to be said that there are basically no beaches in or around the city and this is the limit of Heraklion I believe. You would need to take the bus to Paleokastrou Beach, a great spot well worth the 15km trip.
Best place to stay in Crete for a superb old town – Rethymno
- 🏩 Caramel Grecotel Boutique Resort is the recommended accommodation in the area.
- 👍 Pros: Magnificent old town, long stretch of sand on the east side of town, fabulous food, romantic and perfect for couples
- 👎 Cons: Modern part of town is not inspiring, beach is very narrow.
Rethymno has one of the most beautiful old towns to stay in Crete, mostly pedestrian, which makes it a really nice place to have a walk around both during the day and at night.
It actually offers everything you want, for either a family vacation, a romantic holiday with your partner or some nightlife.
The beach is a long stretch of sand on the east side of town. It is not my favourite spot for swimming as it tends to be quite busy and the beach itself is very narrow, just the space for a few sunbeds from the promenade, but it’s good for a relaxing day after a long night out
The modern part of town is not really inspiring and is mostly based on 70s and 80s buildings.
Best hotel for a unique stay in Rethymnon
The location is just perfect, right in the heart of town, but still in a nice quiet street.
For unique and exclusive accommodation, you should also check out the Caramel Grecotel Boutique Resort. It’s just a 5 minutes taxi ride to Rethymno.
It has been built with the Greek feeling in mind. Small white villas with a beautiful green garden around, some with a view to the Mediterranean sea, gazebos placed randomly on the private beach for a freedom feeling, and great interior design with lovely Greek tiles. Gym, pool and breakfast are to die for.
From Rethymno, you can easily visit the Samaria Gorge, the most spectacular and easy-to-access trekking in Crete
The Greek cuisine in Rethymno is just spectacular. Many restaurants have added that little twist that takes the usually expected dishes to the next level with the addition of honey and spices.
Rethymno is my favourite place in Crete for food. Restaurants are mostly located in the old town.
I love To Rakodikeio. It’s all so amazing that is hard to suggest any dish. It’s also in a nice spot, facing the Neratze Mosque and next to Mikrasiaton Square.
Nightlife is big in town. You can start for a few drinks and mezedes (small tapas version food) in one of the few bars at the Arkadiu and from there move to the Old Harbour for dinner.
Walk around the corner to Venizelou Road (Eleytheriou Venizelou) for one of the many bars to start your night.
Best town to stay in Crete for a luxury holiday – Elounda
- 🏩 Blue Palace is the recommended accommodation in the area.
- 👍 Pros: Luxury area, offers everything for a family vacation, a holiday with your partner or some nightlife.
- 👎 Cons: More expensive than other areas.
Elounda is the luxury destination of Crete with the highest concentration of 5-stars hotels on the island.
It has been a long favourite of many Greek politicians, music stars and Russian tycoons. And this is no wonder, being the area so beautiful. Elounda is situated in a natural bay with amazing water and limited wind.
A must attraction close to Elounda is Spinalonga, the island where the Venetians built a fortress that lately was used as an exile for lepers.
There are two small beaches, on the north and south end of town. But not really the reason to come here. It’s more about the beauty of the area and the resort where you will stay.
Best luxury resort in Crete and Elounda
The Blue Palace Elounda is one of the best-rated hotels in Crete with a private infinity pool next to your bedroom. The interior design is inspired by the history of the island with an amazing view of the bay (see photos here)
Public transportation or rent a car in Crete
I wrote a more comprehensive post about the size of Crete and bus vs car vs ferry transportation.
You can read there all the pros and cons of public transportation vs private cars.
I personally prefer the car to experience Crete and its secret spots.
On a few occasions, I used the bus to move between cities/towns and then a car to visit beaches and hidden corners of the island.
To rent my cars, I personally use DiscoverCars.com, an aggregator that compares over 30 global and local agencies giving the best price for quality cars (read cheapest)
What is the best part of Crete to stay?
The best part of Crete to stay depends on your preferences. For a balance of a beautiful small town, excellent food, affordable and a central location, Rethymno is a great choice. If you want a traditional town with the convenience of a small city, Chania could be a great place to stay. For nightlife, Heraklion is a good option.
Where should I base myself in Crete?
If you’re planning to explore various attractions in Crete, basing yourself in Rethymno could be a good idea due to its central location. It’s just a one-hour drive from the airport in Heraklion and is close to many of the best spots in Western Crete.
Is it better to stay in Chania or Heraklion?
Both Chania and Heraklion have their own charms. Chania has a stunning Venetian harbour and a small-town vibe, while Heraklion offers urban vibes, nightlife, and is close to the famous Knossos Palace. Your choice would depend on your preferences and the kind of experience you’re looking for.
Which is the prettiest town in Crete?
Many consider Rethymno as one of the prettiest towns in Crete. It has a gorgeous, maze-like Venetian-Ottoman quarter and is on the sea, so it has a harbour and beaches.
Where to stay in Crete for hiking?
For hiking, Amari Valley or Chania are good options. Amari Valley is in the shadow of Mount Ida, the highest mountain in Crete, making it a popular region for hiking.
Which is more beautiful Crete or Santorini?
Both are beautiful. Santorini has unique landscapes, and Crete offers varied experiences. Crete is also much bigger in size than Santorini
Which part of Crete has the best beaches?
Chania region in Crete is known for having the best beaches