Now that you have narrowed down your Mediterranean destination to the Greek island of Crete, you still have to decide which town in Crete to stay. How you choose where to stay in Crete Greece will depend on your travel tastes, goals for the trip and your travel budget. Not to worry, though, there is something for everyone on Greece’s largest island.
From the spa resorts at Elounda to the Minoan ruins at Kato Zakros, Crete has the best of Greece all on one island. Using our guide on the best places to stay in Crete, you can choose the best city or resort town and then choose the best Crete hotel for your needs.
We will cover off all types of Crete accommodation options from Hostels to luxury Crete hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Crete, the best Crete hotels, best places in Crete to visit, the best places to stay in Crete, hotels near Crete attractions, Crete neighborhood guide and many more. Airbnb is also a great option for short or long stays.
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Chania – Where to stay in Crete for tourists
Crete’s second-largest city, Chania, has 160,000 residents, so it’s quite large compared to other towns on this list. This is the best area for tourists who want a nice mix of culture and outdoor activity because Chania has a little bit of everything to offer. Chania Old Town is best known for the old Venetian Harbour, as well as the narrow streets, shops, and restaurants.
Several museums including the archaeological museum, tell the story of Greek history and local customs, while Chania also has several swimming beaches in or near town. If you plan to hike the famous Samaria Gorge, Chania is the nearest town to stay in for the hike. If you only have a short time to spend in Crete, then Chania is a great choice as many flights and ferries arrive here daily, making it an easy choice and a good home base for exploring western Crete.
Best places to stay in Chania
Rethymno – Where to stay in Crete for for first timers
Halfway between Chania and the capital city of Heraklion lies the university town of Rethymno. Originally a fortress town, Rethymno has a Venetian harbor and old town area that is fun to explore. If you stay in the old town area, most hotels and restaurants will be within walking distance of the major sites. Tourist attractions include a hop-on-hop-off bus, daytime and evening cruises from the port and a few museums. If you have a car, you will have plenty of day trip destinations along the North Coast of Crete.
Best places to stay in Rethymno
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Rethymno
Rethymno Youth Hostel
Heraklion – Where to stay in Crete with Family
The capital of Crete is usually a point of entry for travelers to Crete, but most continue on to smaller towns when choosing where to stay in Crete. However, Heraklion makes a good family-friendly destination, especially if you would like a lot of activities outside of enjoying a sandy beach for days on end.
The Crete Aquarium is not far away, and Knossos Palace is a great place to discover some of the archeology of Greece. The fishing port is still very active and at the other end of the spectrum, Heraklion offers high-end shopping and designer goods. Being in the center of the North Coast, Heraklion is a prime location for day trips and the size of the city means that it’s also possible to find budget-friendly accommodations.
Best places to stay in Heraklion
Elounda – Where to stay in Crete for honeymooners
At the eastern end of Crete lies the Gulf of Elounda. Luxury travelers flock to Elounda for the posh resorts and villas. This former fishing village is the premier Crete destination for the rich and famous, with the yachts proudly perched in the harbor.
Scuba divers also choose Elounda, or nearby Plaka, for the offshore dive sites. Several Elounda resorts claim to be the best resort to stay in Crete, with many boasting access to a private beach for guests only. For a smaller, more “authentic” Greek town, the fishing village of Plaka is just ten minutes away.
Best places to stay in Elounda
Family Friendly Hotels in Elounda
Elounda Water Park Residence Hotel
Elounda Ilion Hotel
Candia Park Village
Tui Sensimar Elounda Village Resort & Spa by Aquila
Affordable Luxury Hotels in Elounda
Elounda Bay Palace
Elounda Beach Hotel & Villas
Elounda Mare Relais & Chateaux hotel
Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort
Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel
Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Crete
Agios Nikolaos – Where to stay in Crete for relaxation
The East Coast town of Agios Nikolaos is at the same time a port town and a lake town. Backed by mountains and built on hills, it’s a highly picturesque town that is popular for all kinds of travelers. The lake is a saltwater lake connected to the sea by a small river, and the city also has a port and a marina, offering several waterfront districts for visitors to explore.
Kitroplatia is a beach right in town, offering cafes and tavernas along the beach. Many nearby areas offer sandy beaches and a few pebble beaches. Agios Nikolaos is also a great spot to shop for authentic souvenirs and crafts.
Best places to stay in Agios Nikolaos
Affordable Luxury Hotels in Agios Nikolaos
Minos Beach Art hotel
St. Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel & Villas
Tui Sensimar Elounda Village Resort & Spa by Aquila
Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas
Malia & Hersonissos – Where to stay in Crete for nightlife
If you are looking for the best place to stay in Crete for nightlife, then Malia & Hersonissos is your spot. These two towns along the North Coast draw a young crowd due to the nightlife scene in each town. With a plethora of Irish and English pubs, budget-friendly accommodation, this is the spot for backpackers passing through Crete. As with the other towns of Crete, there are beaches, restaurants, and outdoor activities in addition to the well-renowned party scene happening here.