Firstly, Crete is the biggest island in Greece. You may find many places to stay and most people asking where to stay in Crete? We have been Crete almost 4 or 5 times, this Greek island is amazing. As all other islands, the most beautiful hotels are in large settlements such as Chania, Heraklion, Rethymno and Sitia. Discover all hotels of Crete.
Other places are Agia Pelagia, Agios Nikolaos, Archanes, Hersonissos, Kissamos, Ierapetra, Istron, Lassithi, Malia, Milatos, Sitia, Sfakia, Sissi, Stalis/Stalida, Vrysses. So what is the best area to stay in Crete?
Crete is simply paradise. Think charming villages and people, amazing food, beautiful sandy beaches and turquoise oceans. With a history and culture so rich (and different) from traditional Greece, this large island could be its own country. There’s definitely enough to see and do here to keep you occupied for weeks.
Where to stay in Crete
Should you stay in the convenient port town near the most popular historical sites? How about in the center of Crete’s best nightlife?
Do you want to base yourself next to the best beaches on Crete? No matter what you prefer, our break down on the best areas in Crete will help you figure out where to stay on this beautiful island.
Best place to stay in Crete
What area would you stay in Crete, or what town? What are the great places or beaches to be around?
We have tried to organise the places based on the type of holiday:
- the two cities: Chania and Heraklion, if you still love to stay in a big centre with all the facilities and a great nightlife
- couples romantic time: Sissi, Paleochora, Maleme and Sitia for a more intimate time but still with some bars and picturesque local tavernas
- families and kids: Agios Nikolaos, Almyrida and Gouves for an easy time and walking distance attractions
- nightlife: Hersonissos and Malia, till the early hours of the day
- the lot: Rethymnon, Elounda and Georgioupolis for a bit of everything but no extreme
Where to stay in Chania and Heraklion
The largest city and capital of the Chania Prefecture, Chania (also known as Hania) is the perfect base for first-timers in Crete. This is where you’ll find one of the most intact Old Towns on the island.
- Watch the sunset as you stroll along the Old Venetian Harbour
- Learn all about Crete’s maritime history and nautical traditions at the Maritime Museum of Crete
- View the Venetian and Turkish architectural designs as you wander through Chania Old Town
Casa Delfino Hotel
In Chania you will probably find the highest concentration of accommodation in Crete of which the Casa Delfino Hotel & Spa is so well known for not only its rooms but also for the own spa and relaxation area. It’s located straight in the heart of Chania but in the quiet area. And what an amazing view.
Another great accommodation in Heraklion is the Atrion Hotel. Besides the amazing price, a great value for money, this hotel has again a fantastic location, meters from the old city and facing the sea. It’s also a stone away from my favourite restaurant in Heraklion, the Avli tou Defkaliona. The breakfast is also to die for. Fantastic experience.
Kasteli Studios & Apartments
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, in the middle of the action, in a quiet spot just around the corner bars and restaurants, great for a relaxed time and a long sleep.
Lato Boutique Hotel
So far the best hotel in Heraklion where I stayed is the Lato Boutique Hotel. Location is just perfect, close to the action of the old town, next to the water and the pier, meters away from the bus station. The view is just amazing. I was really impressed by the service too. They kept my bags and they gave me a room to have a shower when I came back in the late afternoon to pick up my luggage (yes all for free). Just fantastic. Very accommodating.
Infinity City Boutique Hotel
Located in Heraklio Town, 200 m from Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Infinity City Boutique Hotel features air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi throughout the property. The hotel has a terrace and views of the sea, and guests can enjoy a drink at the bar. Heraklion International Airport is 3 km from the property.
Crete for couples – towns and resorts
Crete is certainly no slouch when it comes to cultural attractions and astounding scenery. (Just ask those who’ve hiked the famous Samaria Gorge — one of the longest gorges in Europe — to the isolated beach of Agia Roumelli.) For couples wanting to escape to Crete’s charming towns and dramatic beaches, these are the island’s most romantic hotels — from a three-room boutique near Chania’s Venetian Harbor to a luxurious beach resort in Malia.
Chania is a beautiful and busy place to stay for couples. However, it may be not Crete’s best if you after a quiet time. If you prefer to be more isolated, have more of a romantic escape, then these 4 lovely towns/villages should not be missed.
Accommodation in Sissi, Crete
How lovely is the unpretentious Sissi. You can always miss it out when you drive from Heraklion, direction east…..but you shouldn’t. Indeed, because this is one of the most romantic spots on the island with a natural inlet covered by palm trees. The small port is what you probably expect, or look for, in Greece on a trip with your partner.
Castello Boutique Resort & Spa
For a great experience when travelling 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. Great service and a wide choice at the buffet breakfast make this place a must stay in Sissi.
Sentido Vasia Resort & Spa
Boasting a 1500 m2 spa centre, outdoor swimming pool and 6 bars, Sentido Vasia Resort & Spa is peacefully set in the picturesque fishing village of Sissi. All stylish suites and room at Sentido Vasia Resort & Spa open to a furnished veranda or balcony. Some suites boast a private swimming pool. Each comes with a private bathroom, while some are also fitted with hydromassage facilities. The scenic village of Agios Nikolaos is 25 km, while Heraklion is 45 km away. Heraklion International Airport is a 30-minute drive away.
Grecotel Meli Palace
Situated on a private, sandy beach, 2 km from Sissi village, the all-inclusive Grecotel Meli Palace features 2 restaurants, 2 tennis courts and a pool. The elegant rooms have furnished balconies overlooking the Cretan Sea or the gardens. The multilingual staff at the 24-hour front desk can arrange tours to the Minoan Palace of Knossos or to the nearby ancient Palace of Malia. Crete Golf Club is a 15-minute drive. Free private parking is provided on site.
Accommodation in Paleochora, Crete
Paleochora 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 with the bus (easy trip from Chania). The station and the main street were like a desert late in the morning.
The Aris Hotel in Paleochora is one of the best options in town. The first thing to impress you will be the luscious garden, then the interior design and finally the great service. The location is a stone away from the restaurant area but still secluded enough to have a quiet time.
The boutique hotel Libyan Princess is situated in Paleochora, also known as the Nymph of the Libyan Sea. It offers superior guest rooms, an outdoor pool, a gym and on-site parking. Libyan Princess is located 75 km from Chania, on the southwest coast of Crete, in a small peninsula between two scenic gulfs. In a few minutes guests can reach the long sandy beach Pachia Ammos or the pebbled beach Chalikia.
Located in the mountainous Anidri Village, Christos Place offers luxury self catering cottages with panoramic views over the Libyan Sea, the mountain and the surrounding area. It provides free WiFi throughout and lies within 5 km of the beach. Guests will find a traditional tavern within 400 m from the property. Paleochora Town and Paleochora Port, connecting to Gavdos, Elafonissi and Hora Sfakion, are located 5.5 km away. Chania Town is at a distance of 72 km.
Accommodation in Maleme, Crete
Maleme is the perfect spot if you want to have a relaxed time, close to the beach, 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 visit followed by a dinner there. A tour to Elafonisi beach and Balos beach, probably two of the best beaches of Crete, is around 50km one way, or about one and half hour.
Electra Pension is situated 17 km west of the city of Chania in the historical Maleme. The hotel has an external courtyard with lawns, a large swimming pool and ample parking. The beach is 200 m away, where you can find a selection of taverns serving Cretan cooking. A supermarket is only 100 m from the hotel.
Enjoying a beautiful location only 100 m from the beach of Maleme, Bella Pais offers free internet access. At the hotel’s restaurant, offering fantastic views of the sea, guests can sample authentic Cretan flavours. At the tastefully decorated Bella Pais bar guests can try cocktails and enjoy fun evenings.
Mythos Beach Hotel Apartments
Just 20 m from the sandy beach of Maleme, Mythos Beach Hotel offers self-catering accommodation with private balcony. Guests are offered free access to the swimming pool of the sister property. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout. Within proximity, guests can find seaside cafes and taverns, while free sun beds and umbrellas are offered on the beach. Chania Airport is 35 km away from the hotel. The lively village of Platanias is at 6 km. Free on-site parking is available.
Where to stay in Sitia, Crete
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 that wakes up when the ferry arrives in town. Sitia has, in fact, a port where ferries connect to Athens or other islands, so if you are into an island hopping experience you will probably end up here, which is great.
Hotel El Greco
In the centre of Sitia, family-run El Greco Hotel is situated within 300 m from the Blue Flag beach. On the ground floor you will find a breakfast hall. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property. Traditional taverns and local shops can be found within 50 m. The El Greco is near free public parking for cars. The airport is just 1 km away and the port is at 600 m.
The exotic, sandy beach of Vai with the palm-tree forest is 20 km away. Staff at the 24-hour front desk can arrange car rental and free, private parking is possible on site. Situated on the quiet promenade of Sitia in Crete, Elysee Hotel is 50 m from the beach. It offers air-conditioned rooms with free Wi-Fi and furnished balcony overlooking the Cretan Sea and the town. Facilities include a restaurant.
Oceanides Luxury Apartments
Within 400 m from the property, you can find taverns serving traditional Cretan cuisine. The nearest beach is 900 m away. Private parking is available on site free of charge. Just 100 m from the sea, in Siteia, Oceanides offers air-conditioned apartments with a private balcony overlooking the Cretan Sea. Set amidst a palm-tree garden, it includes a swimming pool with sun beds and a shaded seating area.
Crete for families and kids
Crete, much like the rest of Greece, is a very family friendly destination. As such, you can’t really go wrong when choosing somewhere to stay with your family and kids in Crete. We’ve come up with a few suggestions below that we believe covers the vast majority of visitors planning a trip to there. If you want to venture off the beaten path a little, contact with us!
Heraklion is probably not one of the great places to stay in Crete for families. There are no beaches and consistent city traffic. Chania is instead much better, with a nice beach too. In saying that there are other towns and villages that are probably more suitable for a family-oriented holiday.
Accommodation in Agios Nikolaos, Crete
Situated in Agios Nikolaos, just steps from a pebbled beach, Ariadne Beach boasts a seasonal outdoor pool and a sun terrace with sun loungers. Facilities also include an on-site restaurant with sea view, a bar and a poolside bar. Free private parking is available on site. The front desk operates 24/7, while car and bike rental services can also be provided. Agios Nikolaos Port is 2 km from Ariadne Beach, while the centre of Agios Nikolaos offering a variety of restaurants and shops is 2.5 km away. Heraklion International Airport is at a distance of 61 km.
Wyndham Grand Crete Mirabello Bay
Wyndham Grand Crete Mirabello Bay enjoys a tranquil beachfront location in Agios Nikolaos. This 5-star hotel features an outdoor pool, full-service spa and 9 restaurants. Heraklion International Airport is 65 km from the property. All guest rooms, bungalows and maisonettes at Wyndham Grand Crete Mirabello Bay are thoughtfully appointed with a private balcony, bright décor, and modern amenities. Some maisonettes offer access to a shared pool. Free WiFi is available throughout.
Candia Park Village
Boasting a waterfront location, Candia Park Village features 4-star accommodation overlooking the Mirabello Bay. It has 3 pools, 2 private beaches with sun beds and umbrellas, and a children’s club. The hotel is a 5-minute drive from the neighbouring towns of Agios Nikolaos and Elounda. Free private parking is available on site.
Where to stay in Gouves, Crete
Gouves Waterpark Holiday Resort
Gouves Waterpark Holiday Resort is located in Gouves, only 300 m from the sandy beach. It features 3 sweet-water pools, a multipurpose court, a beauty centre and air-conditioned rooms with balcony. The main restaurant serves varied buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Gouves Park bar offers 2 terraces with panoramic view. There is a poolside snack bar serving hot and cold dishes, a pizza restaurant, a self-service pool bar, and a sports café bar with billiards. Children can enjoy delightful children menus. Gouves Park is located 12 km east of Heraklion Airport. Hersonissos, with its numerous restaurants, shops, bars and night clubs, is only a short drive away.
Gouves Bay Hotel
Located in Gouves, 2.8 km from Cretaquarium Thalassocosmos, Gouves Bay Hotel provides accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a fitness centre and a seasonal outdoor swimming pool. Among the various facilities are a bar, a shared lounge, as well as a garden. The accommodation features a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, room service and free WiFi. Dinosauria Park is 2.9 km from the hotel. The nearest airport is Heraklion International Airport, 16 km from Gouves Bay Hotel.
SunConnect Marina Beach
Set right on the sandy beach in Gouves, SunConnect Marina Beach offers 2 seawater swimming pools and 1 indoor pool. Free WiFi is provided. Heraklio Town is 19 km from the hotel, while Hersonissos is just a short drive away. The nearest airport is Heraklion International Airport, 15 km from SunConnect Marina Beach.
Accommodation in Almyrida, Crete
Centrally located in Almyrida Town and by the beach, Almyrida Resort features 3 outdoor pools, fitness centre and spa. Its accommodation offers a balcony with side or full Cretan Sea views. Certified Greek breakfast is served in the morning. Various restaurants, cafés and a beach are close to the Almyrida. It is 25 km from Chania city and 30 km from Chania Airport.
Niriides Hotel, at the entrance to Suda Bay, about 2 km after Κalyves and 22 km from Chania, offers accommodation 150 m from 2 sandy beaches. Besides its 2 sandy beaches, fully organised with umbrellas, loungers and a lifeguard, Almyrida is also known for its taverns’ fresh fish and local delicacies as well as its quality nightlife.
Aloe Boutique & Suites
Aloe Boutique & Suites in Almirida provides adults-only accommodation with a fitness centre, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and a bar. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, room service and a 24-hour front desk, along with free WiFi throughout the property. There is a sauna, evening entertainment and a concierge service. Almirida Beach is a few steps from Aloe Boutique & Suites, while Kalives Beach is 2.2 km away. The nearest airport is Chania International, 31 km from the hotel, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.
Nightlife in Crete – towns to stay
The wildest scenes for nightlife in Crete is the region from Hersonissos, Malia and Stalis to Elounda. There are many clubs in Malia and Stalis, the two places that are mostly frequented by British tourists. In the rest of the tourist places of Crete, there are lounge bars with soft music and exotic cocktails.
Whether it’s wild Cretan glendis (parties) with lyra and lauto music – where people sit at long trestle tables eating a tasty fixed menu and raki flows freely– or hip nightclubs and stylish bars, age is just a number in Crete and you’ll find as many teenagers at the glendis as you’ll find parents in the nightclubs. Live music events generally don’t start early, so take it ‘siga siga’ (slowly slowly) as locals do: head for a tsipouradiko (taverna) for raki with meze, then head out at around 10pm for live music or anywhere after midnight to go clubbing.
Where to stay in Malia, Crete
Malia is all you about late night, it is synonymous with extreme nightlife in Crete. It’s party till the early part of the morning in the many nightclubs. So where to stay in Crete to discover nightlife.
Offering an outdoor pool and sun terrace, Sunshine is peacefully set in Malia. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Several bars and restaurants can be found nearby. The hotel also offers bike hire and car hire. Heraklio Town is 30 km from Sunshine, while Hersonissos is 8 km away. The nearest airport is Heraklion International Airport, 27 km from Sunshine.
Ammos Boutique Apartments & Suites
Offering a seasonal outdoor pool and terrace, Ammos Apartments and Suites are located in Mália, just 30 m from an organised, sandy beach. The property has a sun terrace and views of the sea, and guests can enjoy a drink at the bar. Free private parking is available on site. The hotel also offers bike hire and car hire. Hersonissos is 7 km from Ammos Apartments, while Ágios Nikólaos is 26 km away. The nearest airport is Nikos Kazantzakis Airport, 26 km from Ammos Apartments. The archaeological site of Malia is approximately 2 km away.
High Beach White – Adults Only
Located in Malia, a few steps from Central Malia Beach, High Beach White – Adults Only provides accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a fitness centre and a garden. Among the facilities at this property are room service and a 24-hour front desk, along with free WiFi throughout the property. The property is allergy-free and is situated 650 m from Ikaros and Kernos Beach.
Accommodation in Hersonissos, Crete
Hersonissos is the biggest resort area in Crete. The old part of town is really small and till the 60s it was just few houses around the harbour. The town is more dedicated to a young crowd with lots of bars and a long nightlife till the early hours of the morning and this respect it is probably Crete’s best.
Crete Golf Club Hotel
Crete Golf Club Hotel is situated at The Crete Golf Club, an 18-hole Championship course in Hersonissos, 1.8 km from Aquaworld Aquarium and features a seasonal outdoor swimming pool. 2 km from Labyrinth Park, the hotel features a fitness centre and a garden. The restaurant serves European cuisine. Water City is 2.2 km from the accommodation. The nearest airport is Heraklion International Airport.
Village Heights Golf Resort
Village Heights Golf Resort is situated in Hersonissos, just a step away from the Crete Golf club. It’s a relaxing getaway that features a spa centre with fitness area, sauna, hot tub, hammam, 2 outdoor pools, an indoor heated pool and 2 kids’ pools. Free WiFi access is available throughout the property. The property can make arrangements for car hire, while daily shuttle from/to Hersonissos is also provided. The nearest airport is Nikos Kazantzakis Airport, 17 km from Diamond Resorts at Village Heights Golf.
Esperides Resort & Spa
Featuring 4 pools, Esperides Resort & Spa offers suites built and decorated in traditional style. They are located in the centre of the traditional Koutouloufari Village, near the popular resort of Hersonissos in Heraklion. The hotel complex is situated on the lower slopes of a picturesque mountain range. Esperides overlooks the deep-blue Gulf of Malia and the old Roman fishing port of Hersonissos.
Accommodation in Stalis, Crete
Stalis, or “Stalida” as the locals call it, sits on Crete’s northern coastline and attracts mostly sun-starved tourists from Europe’s colder climates. For most of its history, the town remained a sleepy coastal settlement almost exclusively dependent on farming and agriculture and also nightlife in Stalis is amazing.
Byron’s Home is situated in Stalida. The accommodation is 29 km from Agios Nikolaos. Heraklio Town is 27 km from the apartment, while Hersonissos is 4.4 km from the property. The nearest airport is Heraklion International Airport, 24 km from Byron’s Home.
Skalidis Apartments Stalis
Set 100 m from Stalida Beach, Skalidis Apartments Stalis offers a terrace, and accommodation with a balcony and free WiFi. Alexander Beach is less than 1 km from the apartment, while Ikaros and Kernos Beach is a 19-minute walk away. The nearest airport is Heraklion International Airport, 28 km from Skalidis Apartments Stalis.
Featuring air conditioning, Kostas Apartments offers accommodation in Stalida. Heraklio Town is 28 km away. Free WiFi is offered in public areas. Hersonissos is 5 km from Kostas Apartments. The nearest airport is Heraklion International Airport, 24 km from the property.
Crete seaside holiday places
These are other towns that I would suggest, with Rethymno probably my favourite, especially for the amazing food, unique in Crete.
Where to stay in Rethymno, Crete
Rethymnon is more of a city town than a village. It actually offers everything you want, for either a family vacation, a couple stay or more of a nightlife experience.
Set less than 1 km from Rethymno Beach, Pallazzo Fortezza offers air-conditioned accommodation with a balcony and free WiFi. Popular points of interest near the apartment include Koumbes Beach, Archaeological Museum of Rethymno and Venetian Fortress. The nearest airport is Chania International, 68 km from Pallazzo Fortezza, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.
Casa Del Mare
Situated within 450 m of Rethymno Beach and 1.8 km of Koumbes Beach in the centre of Rethymno Town, Casa Del Mare features accommodation with free WiFi and seating area. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Archaeological Museum of Rethymno, Venetian Harbour and Centre of Byzantine Art. The nearest airport is Chania International, 69 km from Casa Del Mare, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.
Casa Maistra Residence
Featuring spacious suites with a fully equipped kitchen and flat-screen TVs in every room, the restored 19th-century residence Casa Maistra is ideally set on Rethymnon’s promenade. Wi-Fi is free throughout. Within minutes of walking distance from the Residence Casa Maistra you can visit historic monuments, wander around the stone-paved alleys in the Old Town and discover romantic cafes, gift shops, and fish taverns.
Accommodation in Elounda, Crete
Elounda is the luxury destination of Crete with the highest concentration of 5-stars hotel in the island. This is where you will find Crete’s best resorts. 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 Casa Elia
Set in Elounda, within 4.2 km of Spinalonga, Elounda Casa Elia offers accommodation with free WiFi, air conditioning and a garden. Guests staying at this apartment have access to a fully equipped kitchen and a balcony. Heraklion International Airport is 51 km from the property while Sitia Public Airport is 77 km away.
Elounda George Studios
Boasting a balcony with sea views, a garden and a terrace, Elounda George Studios can be found in Elounda, close to Skisma Beach and 2.2 km from Kolokithia Beach. The air-conditioned accommodation is 800 m from Elounda Beach, and guests benefit from private parking available on site and free WiFi. Spinalonga is 6 km from Elounda George Studios. The nearest airport is Heraklion International, 69 km from the accommodation, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.
Sofia Sea View Studio
Situated in Elounda, 550 m from Elounda Beach and 750 m from Skisma Beach, Sofia Sea View Studio features air-conditioned accommodation with a patio and free WiFi. With sea views, this accommodation offers a balcony. Kolokithia Beach is 2.3 km from Sofia Sea View Studio, while Spinalonga is 5 km from the property. The nearest airport is Heraklion International Airport, 69 km from the accommodation.
Accommodation in Georgioupolis, Crete
Georgioupolis is a bit of a sleepy town, however with few options also for the nightlife that would make happy the young crowd a well. The village is organised around the antique square that gives a lot of Greek character to the town, with some nice tavernas and bars/cafes.
Situated in Georgioupolis, Villa Amfimala features accommodation with a private pool, private parking and free WiFi. This villa offers barbecue facilities, as well as a garden. Chania Town is 37 km from Villa Amfimala. Chania International Airport is 47 km away, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.
Georgioupolis Plaza Suites
Located 250 m from Georgioupolis Beach in Georgioupolis, Georgioupolis Plaza Suites provides accommodation with air conditioning and free WiFi. Kalivaki Beach is 400 m from Georgioupolis Plaza Suites, while Kavros Beach is 2.9 km away. The nearest airport is Chania International Airport, 46 km from the accommodation.
Ekosuites is located in Georgioupolis and offers self-catering accommodation. Free WiFi access is available. Apartments at Ekosuites feature a TV, air conditioning and a balcony. There is a full a kitchenette with a refrigerator and kitchenware. Featuring a shower, private bathroom also comes with a bath or shower and bathrobes. You can enjoy garden view from the room. Heraklion International Airport is located 115 km from the accommodation, while Chania International Airport is 48 km away.
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