where to stay in Crete

Crete, the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, is renowned for its diverse landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality. With its idyllic beaches, charming villages, and ancient ruins, it is no wonder that Crete attracts millions of visitors each year. When it comes to choosing where to stay on this enchanting island, there are numerous options to suit every traveler’s taste and preference.

The history of where to stay in Crete dates back thousands of years. The island has been inhabited since the Neolithic period, and it has seen the rise and fall of several ancient civilizations, including the Minoans, Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. This historical significance is still reflected in the architecture, culture, and traditions of the island today. From the ancient palace of Knossos to the picturesque old town of Chania, each region in Crete has its own unique story to tell.

One of the most popular areas to stay in Crete is the city of Heraklion, the island’s capital. This bustling metropolis offers a blend of modern amenities and ancient landmarks, such as the famous Heraklion Archaeological Museum, which houses artifacts from the Minoan civilization. With its vibrant nightlife, diverse dining scene, and proximity to stunning beaches, Heraklion offers a perfect balance between history and entertainment for visitors.

If you seek a more serene and picturesque setting, the charming village of Elounda is an excellent choice. Nestled on the northeast coast of Crete, near the cosmopolitan town of Agios Nikolaos, Elounda is famous for its luxurious resorts and breathtaking views of the Mirabello Bay. Offering tranquility and privacy, it is a haven for relaxation, with crystal-clear waters and pristine beaches ideal for swimming and sunbathing.

For those who relish in the exploration of ancient ruins, the region of Rethymno is a must-visit. Steeped in history, Rethymno is home to the well-preserved Venetian Old Town, an architectural marvel with narrow alleys, vibrant Venetian mansions, and stunning medieval fortifications. With its inviting ambiance, traditional tavernas, and a beautiful sandy beach stretching along its coast, Rethymno is a captivating destination that seamlessly blends the past and present.

When it comes to accommodation, Crete offers a wide range of choices, from luxury resorts to cozy guesthouses and budget-friendly apartments. With over 650 miles of coastline, many hotels and villas offer stunning sea views and direct access to the beach. From family-friendly resorts with kids’ clubs to adults-only boutique hotels, there is something to cater to every traveler’s needs and preferences.

In conclusion, Crete’s diverse landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality make it a captivating destination for travelers. Whether you choose to stay in the vibrant city of Heraklion, the serene village of Elounda, or the historic region of Rethymno, each location offers its unique blend of culture, nature, and relaxation. With a multitude of accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences, Crete truly is a dream destination for anyone seeking an unforgettable experience.

Looking for the Best Accommodation in Crete? Discover Where to Stay in This Stunning Greek Island!

Planning a getaway to Crete but unsure about where to stay? We’ve got you covered! In this guide, we’ll walk you through all the top-notch accommodation options available in this mesmerizing Greek island. Whether you seek luxurious beach resorts, cozy family-run guesthouses, or budget-friendly hotels, we’ll help you find the perfect place that suits your needs and preferences. So, let’s dive in and explore the diverse and captivating choices for your stay in Crete.

Where to Stay in Crete

When planning a trip to the beautiful Greek island of Crete, one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is where to stay. With its diverse landscapes, picturesque villages, and stunning beaches, Crete offers a wide range of options for accommodations. Whether you’re looking for a luxury resort, a charming boutique hotel, or a cozy guesthouse, there’s something for every type of traveler. Here are some of the top places to consider:

1. Heraklion

As the largest city and capital of Crete, Heraklion is a popular choice for many visitors. It offers a vibrant atmosphere, historical sites, and excellent shopping and dining options. Here, you can explore the famous Heraklion Archaeological Museum, visit the historic Palace of Knossos, or enjoy the bustling streets of the city center. There are numerous hotels and accommodations available in Heraklion, ranging from budget-friendly options to luxurious resorts.

2. Chania

Located on the western side of Crete, Chania is a charming and romantic city with a rich Venetian and Ottoman history. Its old town is a must-visit, featuring narrow streets, beautiful architecture, and a picturesque harbor. Chania also offers stunning beaches and is a great base for exploring the stunning Samaria Gorge. In terms of accommodations, you’ll find a variety of boutique hotels, apartments, and guesthouses in the city center.

3. Rethymno

Located between Heraklion and Chania, Rethymno is a historic town known for its well-preserved Venetian architecture and medieval fortress. The old town of Rethymno is a delight to explore, with its quaint streets, charming shops, and cozy tavernas. The town also boasts a long sandy beach and offers a quieter and more laid-back atmosphere compared to Heraklion and Chania. Rethymno offers a range of accommodations, including traditional guesthouses and beachfront resorts.

4. Agios Nikolaos

Situated on the eastern side of Crete, Agios Nikolaos is a charming coastal town with a beautiful harbor and a relaxed atmosphere. It’s a great choice for those seeking a peaceful and picturesque setting, with breathtaking views of the Mirabello Bay. Agios Nikolaos offers a variety of accommodations, including waterfront hotels, cozy villas, and family-friendly resorts.

5. Elounda

If you’re looking for luxury and exclusivity, Elounda is the place to be. Located near Agios Nikolaos, this upscale resort area offers stunning views, private sandy beaches, and some of the finest hotels in Crete. It’s a popular destination for honeymooners and those who appreciate top-notch amenities and personalized service.

Overall, Crete has something to offer for everyone when it comes to accommodations. With its diverse regions and unique towns, you can choose between bustling cities, historic towns, or peaceful coastal areas. No matter where you decide to stay, you’ll be sure to create unforgettable memories on this captivating Greek island.

According to recent data, Crete welcomed over 5 million tourists in 2019, showcasing its popularity as a travel destination for visitors worldwide.

FAQs for Where to Stay in Crete

1. Where is the best place to stay in Crete?

There are several great places to stay in Crete, but some popular options are Chania, Heraklion, and Rethymno. Chania offers a charming old town with a beautiful harbor, while Heraklion is the island’s capital with archaeological treasures. Rethymno combines picturesque beaches with historical sites.

2. What are the best areas for beach resorts in Crete?

If you’re looking for beach resorts, consider staying in Elounda, Agios Nikolaos, or Platanias. Elounda offers luxury resorts and stunning views, Agios Nikolaos boasts a picturesque lake, and Platanias is known for its lively atmosphere and beautiful sandy beaches.

3. Are there family-friendly accommodations in Crete?

Absolutely! Crete offers various family-friendly accommodations. Check out resorts in Hersonissos with water parks and entertainment for kids, or family-friendly hotels in Agia Marina with easy beach access. You can also consider renting a villa or apartment with multiple bedrooms for added space and convenience.

4. What are some budget-friendly accommodations in Crete?

If you’re on a budget, there are options available. Look for affordable hotels or guesthouses in Malia, which offers a vibrant nightlife and beautiful beaches. Agia Galini and Paleochora are also affordable options with a relaxed atmosphere and stunning natural surroundings.

5. Is it better to stay in a hotel or rent a villa in Crete?

This depends on your preferences and needs. Hotels offer amenities like daily housekeeping and on-site restaurants, while villas provide more privacy and often have kitchen facilities. If you prefer a more independent stay with the convenience of cooking your own meals, renting a villa could be a great choice.

6. Can I find accommodations with sea views?

Absolutely! Many hotels and villas in Crete offer stunning sea views. Look for hotels along the coast in areas like Plakias, Bali, or Agios Ioannis. When booking, make sure to specify the preference for a sea-view room or check the property’s description for availability.

7. Are there accommodations with swimming pools in Crete?

Yes, there are numerous accommodations in Crete that offer swimming pools. Whether you’re looking for a hotel, resort, or villa, you can find options with private or shared pools. Check the amenities section or contact the property directly to confirm the availability of swimming facilities.

8. Can I find accommodations with easy access to historical sites?

Absolutely! Crete is rich in history, and there are accommodations available near many historical sites. Consider staying in Heraklion to be close to the Palace of Knossos or in Chania to explore the Venetian fortifications. You can also find options near ancient ruins like Phaistos or Gortyna.

9. Are there all-inclusive resorts in Crete?

Yes, there are several all-inclusive resorts in Crete. These resorts typically offer accommodations, meals, drinks, and sometimes even entertainment and activities within a single package. Some popular all-inclusive options are found in Hersonissos, Georgioupolis, and Elounda.

10. How do I choose the right accommodation in Crete?

Choosing the right accommodation depends on your preferences, budget, and planned activities. Consider factors such as location, amenities, and nearby attractions. Read reviews from previous guests to get an idea of the property’s quality and services. It’s also helpful to make a list of your priorities and compare them with the options available to find the perfect accommodation for your stay in Crete.


After considering various factors such as location, amenities, and budget, it is evident that both Chania and Heraklion are excellent choices for accommodation in Crete.

In Chania, visitors can immerse themselves in the charm of a picturesque harbor town. The city offers a wide range of accommodations, from luxury resorts to boutique hotels, ensuring that every traveler can find something suitable. With its narrow streets, vibrant marketplaces, and Venetian architecture, Chania provides a unique cultural experience. Moreover, its proximity to stunning beaches and the Samaria Gorge make it an ideal base for exploring the natural beauty of the island.

On the other hand, Heraklion offers a more modern and cosmopolitan atmosphere. As the capital of Crete, it boasts a range of accommodation options, including budget-friendly hotels and luxury resorts. Visitors can explore the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, discover the Minoan Palace of Knossos, and stroll along the bustling streets of the city. Additionally, its central location makes it convenient for day trips to other attractions in Crete.

Ultimately, the choice between Chania and Heraklion depends on personal preferences and priorities. Whether travelers seek relaxation by the sea, cultural immersion, or a mix of both, both cities offer a memorable stay in Crete.