Map of Crete
Crete is known for its beautiful beaches, historical monuments, and clear blue waters.
This article lists 4 of the most popular towns on the island, as well as some of Crete’s better hotels. This recommendation is by no means an end-all list or elimination of any of the best hotels, but these are the ones that stood out from the rest.
Fira is the main tourist hub for much of the island. It is where most of the hotels, shops, banks, and restaurants are located.
It’s particularly known for its greek restaurants that have paid top dollar for famous olive groves in order to plant and harvest the freshest fruits and vegetables. Olive oil is a very expensive commodity, and the fact that the greeks are able to grow their own makes them very proud.
Chania is Greece’s third largest city and is attracting a lot of visitors because of it’s cultural heritage and natural beauty. The Chania Archaeological museum is a great place to see artifacts from the Minoan civilization and the town has a famous synagogue, which is over 2,000 years old. For a complete guide to where to stay in Chania, see our complete guide here.
This lakefront town has a personality all its own, but people often visit Glyfada to take a day trip. There are many places to stay in Glyfada and not a lot of events going on, but the beach and more than a few lakes and ponds are great for swimming. For a complete guide on hotels that are in Glyfada, see our complete guide here.
Kyklades is one of the most popular resorts on the island of Crete. It has small villages, beautiful beaches and some of the best natural beauty on Crete. There is a little bit of shopping, as well as a thriving art scene at the Souli workshops. For a complete guide to where to stay in Kyklades, see our complete guide here.
Best Places to Stay in Chania
Chania has a few good hotels and a few great ones. There are also several good places to stay inexpensively. The best hotel in Chania is possibly the Sican, but it’s expensive, especially if you don’t buy your ticket online for a great rate.
For a cheaper hotel, try Poseidon Hotel. It’s not too far from the city center and only 4 or 5 minutes from the bus station. Remember, the best hotels in town are not the cheap hotels and the most expensive hotels are not the best, so think about where you want to stay. I recommend the Poseidon Hotel if you want the best experience.
For those who want a more authentic experience, I recommend the Panorama Hotel. They are both just minutes from the center of town, so you can walk or use the bus to get wherever you need to go. For a little more money you can stay in a small single room with a private bathroom in the Sican Hotel which offers beautiful rooms with amazing views.
Negotiating can be tough in Crete, so don’t make a deal right away. First, check you price and reserve a place to stay. Sometimes, the price will go down the next day, so you should always check prices before you sign a contract.
Rethimno, also known as “the green city”, is an ancient Venetian city with narrow streets and countless small churches and cafes. It is on the south-western coast of the island and is surrounded by refreshing beaches.
The Archaeological Museum is a special place to visit, as are the ancient ruins found on the island.
A popular summertime attraction in Rethymno is the Rethymno Nightlife Festival. As the sun continues to set, there are some extremely entertaining shows and displays to take in and the famous sunset enjoys being the main attraction of many of the vacationers.
A great way to experience the nightlife is at Akrotiri, one of the many clubs that remain open until dawn. This is a favorite activity for many young travelers, as they tour the beautiful temples that dot the island, the ruins of once-great cities.
Best Places to Stay in Rethymno
The Gorgopotamia eco-resort has its own in-house restaurant and well-organized farm with stunning views of the mountains. The farm focuses on the organic production of flowers, herbs and vegetables to supply the eco-resort’s onsite restaurant with delicious salads.
Hotel Kastri is a charming hotel located in the peaceful village of Hora of Elounda. The hotel’s tranquility is reflected in its vintage decor. Disabled and natural pool facilities are available to guests.
Plaka Hotel is set in a tastefully restored building on a central square in the historical center of Rethymno. Brightly painted walls and friendly staff make this a great stopover for anyone looking to explore the city.
Best Places to Stay in Heraklion
There are several hotels clustered together in the heart of the tourist district but other property near the Gee-gree roundabout.
The Alizandros is a boutique guest house that offers double rooms and suites with a contemporary Australian flare, featuring a large balcony with spectacular views of the bay.
For location and its central location near the water, The Beniamin is a good option. Complete with an oasis-like swimming pool, Best Western The Beniamin is a tranquil hotel that was built in the Greek Revival style. The airy rooms overlook the ocean.
Heraklion is a port city on the south-eastern tip of the island with an historical architecture dating back to the Venetian occupation of the city. The city is named after the ancient Greek hero Heracles.
The city is the second largest in Crete. Visitors will find excellent Greek food, friendly people and a sunny climate, which makes for a perfect get-away.
SIZES & DELIGHTS DIFFERENT HOTELS in the CITY
The majority of the hotels in the city offer an excellent range of facilities: 24 hour reception, lifts, bars, swimming pool, gyms, conference rooms and restaurants. Visitors can also enjoy the many nightclubs in the city.
OUTSTANDING HOTELS in the HILLS
A coastal city, Heraklion has the most beautiful views, which reminded many visitors of the famous white cliffs of Dover. Inevitably, many tourists set up residence in these areas, offering a variety of tourist facilities for holiday makers. If you’re looking for both relaxation and mystery, then Heraklion Hotels on the hilltops can be just the ticket.
Best Places to Stay in Heraklion
- The best place to stay is in the village of Gaidou, which is a popular resort because of its magnificent pebbled coastline with crystal-clear water and fine clean sand. Within a few minutes’ drive, you can reach the amazing botanical garden, Sarakiniko beach with winter sun and the fishermen’ ports with restaurants. The ideal places to stay in Crete.
- The best 3 star hotel inside Heraklion gorge is the Hotel Areti. This marvelous hotel is located directly into the Heraklion gorge view in the unique sanctuary village of Gaidou.
- The best hotel outside Heraklion is the Hotel Iolos in the village Helena. For its location in the north of Crete, you can rest and please your family and friends in northern Europe (Germany, Britain, Holland and Belgium).
Best Hotels in Crete
- The best 3 star hotel in the city of Heraklion is Hotel Agios Georgios. This beautiful hotel is located at a short distance from the center of Heraklion.
- The best 2 star hotel in the city of Heraklion is the White House Hotel. This particular hotel has been renovated in 2003 and features breath-taking views of the Cretan sunset.
The largest city on the island of Crete, Agios Nikolaos has all of the amenities necessary for a vacation. It has many shops, restaurants, bars, clubs, nightlife, and a beautiful beach.
Makadara Beach: The coast and wetlands of the island spread north from Agios Nikolaos for miles. While they are not always so inviting, once you make your way inland the Makadara beach is a haven of tranquility, seclusion, and magic.
Hasmos Beach: A short distance from the ancient city of Gortyn is the exquisite Hasmos beach that has a peaceful and secluded vibe.
Kryoneri Beach: While not as crowded as other beaches on the island, the Aegean Sea at Kryoneri is calm for swimming and sunbathing.
Agios Nikolaos: The largest city on the island of Crete, Agios Nikolaos has all of the amenities necessary for a vacation. It has many shops, restaurants, bars, clubs, nightlife, and a beautiful beach. MUSEUM OF ANCIENT MATHEMATICS: The Ancient Math has a fascinating collection of 4,000 years worth of mathematical artifacts. While mostly flotsam from the shipwrecks submerged in the Aegean Sea, they also have a number of intriguing early Greek artifacts, the most famous being the Antikythera Mechanism.
Best Places to Stay in Agios Nikolaos
Hotels in this town are beautiful, with many being historical or refurbished greek mansions. Agio Ippoginis Seafront Hotel, fits into this category with a great location on the water. There are several hotels on the beach, but this is the one with 3 swimming pools.
Best Places to Stay in Ixia
Nearby to the cities of Agios Nikolaos and Heraklio is Ixia. The town has many beaches, but is a beautiful little town, with a daily boat from Heraklio coming into the harbor. The Hotel Speri, which is an ancient house with a beautiful garden, makes it the perfect spot for a holiday.
Best Places to Stay in Spinalonga
These beaches are a great place for couples. Which one do you prefer? 🙂
Best Places to Stay in Kamares and Velanio
These two villages are a good stopover point on a round trip from Athens. They are very easy to get to.
Best Hotels in Iraklio
These hotels are close to the beach and easy to get to. However one hotel looks like a cave for some reason. Also this one is the beach hotel in the area with the largest swimming pool.
Best Places to Stay in Sitia
The beach here is very nice, with lots of lounging chairs, umbrellas and even pink-tiled saunas.
If you are travelling to Crete to see the sun rise or the constellation Orion (Eagles), Crete has the perfect sunrise for it. If you are after the full Orion experience or simply want to see the sunset in the most panoramic setting of Crete, then you have to go to Kissamos.
Kissamos, as its name suggests, is located in the shadow of the mountain Kissamos. It offers great panoramic views of the Faros Mountain. It is also a good base to travel around by foot as it is about 12 minutes’ walk from the Archaeological site of Agia Triada.
The view is so spectacular that the houses around it are painted with a vivid blue panorama. For the best experience, stay the night and watch the stars under the clear night sky.
The town is a great base of accommodation. Apart from the traditional town centre, there is a wonderful Getarian restaurant – the Dahlia and a great traditional local taverna – Agema Taverna. The food in these restaurants is very healthy and tasty.
Many apartments are available on Lipadika street, which is called the Mediterranean street of Crete. These apartments are around € 100 – € 120 a night.
Where to Stay in Kissamos
When it comes to planning a trip to Crete, there’s a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration. Getting to know your options when it comes to places to stay will help you make the most of your trip.
One of the most popular cities on the island is the capital, Heraklion. Many hotels and apartments are available on Kissamos and the Heraklion area. A number of high-end hotels are clustered on the city’s west side at Asterousia.
On the east side of the city is the suburbs of Kissou, and Kissamos, a larger city on its own. Many affordable accommodation options can be found in Kissamos.
Hostels in most towns are conveniently located within a few minutes’ walk from central squares and bus lines.
For those who prefer independent living, apartments and private houses are also available.
For travelers looking for a dose of relaxation, or for those who want to make a trip of the island’s natural wonders, luxury resorts can be found throughout the island.
For those who prefer to make their own way, chartering private boats to reach the surrounding islands or planes to reach the main island’s tourist beaches, such as the Libyan beaches, will make your vacation truly unique.
This is a cute, young fishing community with a beautiful seaside view. About 5 km from the beautiful town of Chania, this small village is popular with visitors looking to be near nature. You can find many different coves, beaches, and inlets to explore in Palaiochora, but don’t forget the best part! The restaurant boats. These wooden boats offer beautiful views of the turquoise water and fish on the boats. There is plenty of boat renting to accompany your fish, and locals have claimed these boats as “their baby” due to its cuddly nature.
The best way to get around Palaiochora is on the walking path that winds through the town. As you travel from one beach to the next, you’ll find amazing views and a relaxing atmosphere. To be rough on this one, Palaiochora has the best fish in Crete!
Crete is a small island, so plan ahead if you are looking to visit Palaiochora. From Palaiochora, it is a one-hour ferry ride to Chania, which is the main city in Crete.
Where to Stay in Palaiochora
Palaiochora is a nice place to stay in Crete. It is only a 30-minute drive to Heraklion the capital city. In Palaiochora, you will find that the travel infrastructure is still developing, but there are still plenty of nice hotels. Compare the prices and local reviews on Booking, Agoda, or TripAdvisor. You can even use Google Maps, StreetView to take a look at the building before you book it on TripAdvisor.
For a good value hotel, try the Palaiochora Holiday Hotel.
For a more upscale hotel, try the Hotel Hesperia.
You can also find a good value hotel at the Kalithea Hotel or the Agia Sofia Hotel.
Outside of Palaiochora, there are some great hotels in the towns of Hopi, Mega Sioi, Kamares and other surrounding smaller towns.
With its warm shade of blue, azure-tinted waters and dazzling array of hotels, Hersonissos stands out like no other town on Crete. Headed by the unique Belle Epoque-style castle of Herson, Hersonissos is a haven for those wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of the modern world.
Yet, Hersonissos has a long and fascinating history that comes to life throughout the Ancient City of Hristos. Hersonissos is a labyrinth of old houses where, as you make your way through the maze, you can discover hidden beauties. Many of the buildings stand on the site of older buildings.
The friendly and hospitable locals will welcome you into their houses and invite you to share their food and drink and enjoy their tales of Crete’s rich history, which dates back to the age of Minos and the Minotaur.
There are boutique hotels to suites and single rooms to apartments, all of which have been located to give the best views of the surrounding landscape. Low-rise hotels, found throughout the town, are the perfect choice for those with cars.
Best Places to Stay in Hersonissos
Hersonissos has seen a surge of interest by tourists and holiday makers over the last three years, so it’s no surprise you’re able to find accommodation here and in the surrounding towns and villages.
You won’t have a problem finding where ever you want to stay whether it’s a high-end five star hotel with an amazing private pool, or a cheaper, more basic accomodation.
Hersonissos town centre is set just three kilometres from the sandy beach, and has a variety of shops, bars, restaurants, cafes and nightlife.
Some of the accommodation options include the following:
- Hotel Arenas
- Hotel Astra
- Hotel Athinasitos
- Hotel Atlantic
- Hotel Cretan Village
- Hotel Doron
- Hotel Eros Bay
- Hotel Kastelli
- Hotel Kasteli
- Hotel Miramare
- Hotel Nemesis
- Hotel Monti
- Hotel Pamino
- Hotel Palace
- Hotel Philada
- Hotel Porto Carras
- Hotel Rio
- Hotel Saron
- Hotel Scanovia
- Hotel Shandiz
- Hotel Themis
- Hotel Tiara
- Hotel Tina
He Epiva & the Hotel Plakias
Located at about 45 km from Chania central square, you will enjoy the golden ratio… about 30 minutes by car or 10 minutes by boat for a stunning and romantic day.
There, you can enjoy the beauties of nature and the level of tranquility as you can enjoy your personalized two star hotel.
The Hotel Plakias provides the essential facilities such as the aerated pool, ravishing nature and our laid back and pleasant but civilized staff.
Kalithea: The Tinya and the Hotel Nena
The Hotel Nena is located at Kalithea, a village located at the end of Chania, is close enough to the beach to make this town great for those who love the beach.
It is one of the most tranquil zones of Crete and this is a good starting point of an unforgettable holiday full of relaxing and happiness.
Keratsini: the Relaxed Club Hotel & Amalia Hotel
Located in the centre of the peninsula, Keratsini is just 5 minutes drive to the port and while still close to other conveniences it remains a relaxed, peaceful, village.
With the right combination of warmth and modernity the Amalia Hotel owns the best of the two worlds.
Where to Stay in Plakias
The village of Plakias is the largest on the island, and has a lot to offer its visitors. It’s a great place to watch sunrise over the sea and you can walk along the sand to the ruins of Ancient Plakias. As a beach town, it’s no surprise that it attracts visitors from all over the world to come and enjoy the beautiful, peaceful beaches that make up the coastline there. The view from the beach in Plakias is breathtaking and if you’re a photographer, you will not want to miss this opportunity. Being such a large, busy town, Plakias doesn’t consider itself to be a resort destination. Although there is plenty to do in Plakias, Plakias is lacking in the sense that there are not many tourist attractions. However, Plakias does have its own charm and generally, it’s not a busy resort spot. The beaches in Plakias are generally safe, and many locals swim even during bad weather and surf is popular along the coast.
Rethimno, Imerovigli, Santorini, and Plaka Madeira.
Malia is very central, making this one of the greatest places to base yourself if you want to explore all parts of Crete. The town is also easily accessible from other towns on the island, such as Rethymno and Chania, and it is linked by road to the northern towns of Rissani and Chania, as well as to Tsouderos, Chryssoupoli, and Plakias.
Due to the fact that Malia is centrally located, it has an international feel. This is easily explained by the fact that throughout its history, it saw a great deal of foreign influence due to its strategic location at the center of the island.
One of the landmarks of Malia is the old fortress, which overlooks the town. In the market square, visitors will find a large central market and food market, as well as many restaurants and delis.
This town also offers excellent shopping opportunities, whether you want to go shopping by day or shop till you drop at night.
One of the most iconic attractions in Malia is the “Horse Goddess” fountain, which is quite unique due to the fact that it was created over a thousand years ago.
Best Places to Stay in Malia
Crete is a great destination for anyone looking to spend time on the beach or in a city. That being said, the best place to stay in Crete will vary depending on your preferences and the activities you want to do.
Below is a list of the top places to stay and some ideas on what to do when guests are looking to explore or people are looking to relax.
Malia itself is generally a decent place to stay, but the water is not great and it can get pretty crowded during the summer.
Malia features the best of the island. Located on the southern coast, this beautiful harbour town is comparable to any of the most popular towns in Northern Italy. If you are looking for a town that is quieter and has a more authentic vibe than Heraklion, then Malia will be a great option.
Kouklia is a beach town located on the north coast. While there aren’t any vineyards or other tourist attractions, it is a peaceful place to relax and enjoy the beach in the shadow of the mountains that surround the town.
Elounda Crete, the one place in Greece that feels like it originally belonged to the rich, is the kind of place that attracts visitors who want to play, not work, and there is no shortage of fun things to do. The winding roads leading up to the town reflect this.
They attract not just visitors wanting an authentic Greek experience, but tourists who also want to escape the hustle and bustle of the big cities to re-charge amidst bright colours and a pretty beach.
Elounda is in the central part of the island and is capital of the regional unit of the prefecture of Lasithi. The town is considered the capital of the island of Crete and is located on a bank of the river Elounda on the eastern coast and overlooking the Libyan Sea.
It is a very green and fertile place with a breathtaking view. The Port of Elounda acts as the central axis of the town and faces the Libyan Sea. The port has always enjoyed prosperity, even though its layout was transformed as a result of WW2.
The port square is where the ferry from Athens arrives, bringing the locals and visitors to enjoy a few days. The square is also the major intersection of the town and houses a café with a view.
The local history museum, housed in a former residential house of the 19th century, is small but contains a great deal of information about the history of the town.
Where to Stay in Elounda
The very best location for people who do not like bad weather, and therefore are reluctant to go in and out of the next hotel; they prefer to stay inside the hotel as much as possible.
The next location is for people who like to be able to go out during bad weather but still want an okay room.
And finally, the last location is for people who like to be able to go out during bad weather and just want a place to stay.
The cities in Greece are divided into 3 categories regarding the weather they get.
Category 1: gets winter, summer and everything in between.
Category 2: gets beautiful warm summers then rainy winters.
Category 3: gets warm weathers most of the year with warm summers and cold winters.
The locations are from bad to good.
Location 1: Chania вЂ“ Kiotari Port.
Location 2: Mykonos вЂ“ Nikki Beach.
Location 3: Skiathos вЂ“ Old Town.
Where to Stay in Kato Daratso
Kato Daratso is located in the Northwestern corner of Crete. It’s a beautiful ancient town located in the gorges of the gorges of Zagora. Kato Daratso is where people come to enjoy the surrounding mountains.
Kato Daratso is the earthquake capital of the world. This is because the city sits on an ancient seismic fault.
The Costa Navarino, a peninsula of southern Crete is a popular destination. It’s also one of the most beautiful parts of Crete. Many people have vacations on the Costa Navarino, where they enjoy the white sandy beaches, lovely Aegean Sea, and hot spring baths.
Those looking to stay in Kato Daratso for a night on the Costa Navarino will find great lodging and places to explore and relax in the area.
The Koutsi Beach is one of the most beautiful pieces of land on the Costa Navarino. It is known for its white sand and beautiful beachside bars and cafes. This particular beach has been dredged to increase its width and depth for better coastal development.
The main beach is backed by a rocky point, which provides excellent views of the beach and inlet. The beach has been cleaned by the community.
2 Star Hotel
Agia Marina has a nice beach with a lot of opportunities for sunbathing and relaxing while you enjoy some drinks and live music. The town also has a lot of bars and restaurants. During summer a flotilla of hydrofoil boats brings tourists to the area from the airport on the island of Kythira. This town is the main gateway by air, sea, and road to the Dodecanese Archipelago, the islands just to the south of Crete.
Kamari: 3 Star Hotel
Kamari is the most popular town in Crete with great beaches all along the coast. It has a large Orthodox Church, museums and a National Archaeological Museum. There is also a nice place called Gringo Beach where you can swim and relax. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, you can take a half-day guided trek to Mount Tinos. This is not for the faint of heart as the views are breathtaking.
Fandou: 2 Star Hotel
Fandou is a small town with a castle on a hilltop overlooking the town and across the bay. The town is surrounded by a lush landscape with lots of fields, vineyards, and orchards. The air is fresh and you can see the Aegean Sea in the distance. There are lots of small restaurants serving traditional Cretan cuisine.
Where to Stay in Agia Marina
This town is well-known for its olive trees, production of wines, and Greek icon painting. Agia Marina is one of the main transportation hubs for tours around the island.
In this setting, you can find the most recommended accommodation to stay in Agia Marina.
Hotel & Guest House Cavo
This guest house is situated on the outskirts of Agios Nikolaos. It is centrally located within a stone’s throw from the main street.
Inside, you will find a wide variety of restaurant choices. Cavo is very reasonably priced, ideal for the budget-minded traveler.
El Greco Palace Hotel & Spa
This hotel is located in the eastern part of Agia Marina. Because this hotel looks out towards the hills of the island, luxury and relaxation are the core values of this hotel’s design.
Radisson Blu Hotel
This hotel is situated on the coast of Agia Marina. This hotel has a large pool area and perfect views of some of the surrounding hills.
Located deep within the city of Plagia, this resort has facilities that provide high levels of comfort, relaxation, and adjustment. There are over 3,500 square feet of meadow and a private area with a garden and a swimming pool.
There are several options when you are looking to stay in Crete, and one of the best is Platanias.
Situated in the northwestern part of Crete, the town of Platanias is a beautiful holiday destination.
It boasts idyllic beaches just waiting to be explored. It has plenty to offer the weary traveler, including a central location between the towns of Sitia and Galani and the towns of Agios Nikolaos and Elounda. Expect this to become one of your favorite destinations.
The town is surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. As a result, it has been producing some quality food and wine for centuries. If you stay in one of the many hotels in Platanias you will have access to all of this and much more.
If you are visiting Crete during the summer you should definitely visit the town of Platanias.
Where to Stay in Platanias
There is a lot of things to do in Crete, but you should definitely spend some time in the area of Platanias .
Platanias is a small town located in a quiet and peaceful environment, far from the noisy touristic zones whereas exhibiting the most charming side of Crete and its people.
Most tourists are attracted by the quietness of the town since they are afraid of the lack of night life and their boring nights, but believe me, you do not have to be an archaeology freak to have a perfect day in the town, you can visit the small villages and the sacred sites having a relaxing day off.
You can go and visit some of the small traditional shops, their handmade jewelry, tablecloths and plates, and taste local flavors, like the fresh goat cheese and all the other wonderful dishes. You will find an excellent choice of restaurants and traditional taverns with local flavors, where you can order the best fresh fish.
For those who are planning their stay in Crete, Platinias is the ideal place to spend their holidays since you have so many and such good hotel options, you will have a lot of relax, some historical places to visit, charming hotels with friendly staff and nice rooms, breathtaking landscapes, with the pure air of the Greek nature and the historical monuments.
Agios Georgios, Suda, Kalo Chorio, Heraklion and Kalo Chorio.
Matala Agios Georgios
Matala Agios Georgios is one of the largest and most popular beaches on the southern coast of Crete.
Matala Agios Georgios Beach is a beautiful beach that is only a short 90 minutes from Heraklion or Hania airport. Crete is a large island with a winding coastline that features a multitude of hidden gems.
This resort is located at the edge of the main road that connects the resort to the long stretch of white sandy beach.
This small facility has the amenities of a small hotel with the value of a beach front apartment. All-in-all, it is one of the most affordable options on the island and gives you hours of relaxation on a beautiful beach.
Suda and Kalo Chorio
Suda and Kalo Chorio are located in the north west side of Crete near the main road that connects the island to the main town, Heraklion.
These towns are located on the road that leads towards the northern city of Chania, giving you access to many of the attractions on the island of Crete.
Where to Stay in Matala
If you’re in Crete around the summer months, a great place to stay is in Matala. Matala is located on the eastern coast of the island, just south of the city of Chania. It is close enough to Chania that it is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area, but it is also large enough that you have some space to relax, relax, and relax.
A popular beach resort of Crete, Matala has long been a popular vacation spot for tourists. Matala is a good place for families because it is family-friendly and also has an affordable selection of hotel rooms and vacation rentals available.
There is also a lot to do in Matala, especially where you can enjoy the beautiful beaches. You can also visit the famous Temple of Poseidon.
The town is best suited for families with children. The town has a really nice family atmosphere, as well as great beaches to visit and a few good restaurants.
A great hotel to stay at is the Hotel Kolibriti, which is located close to the beach, right on the seafront, and offers some of the best value for money in all of Matala.