Traditional cretan village Margarites famous for handmade ceramics, Crete, Greece

Where to Stay in Crete | 5 Best Places to Stay in Crete

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Discover where to stay in Crete based on your travel needs and wants.

Crete is an island of Greece located in the Mediterranean that blends a rich history, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality into an unforgettable experience.

It is the largest island in Greece with a popular of over 600,000 people and is known as one of the most underrated travel destinations in the world!

This is also one of my favourite places in Europe for a girls trip!

From its vibrant cities to tranquil villages, pristine beaches to rugged mountains, and ancient archaeological sites to modern amenities. Crete offers a diverse range of places to visit and with this comes a diverse range of accommodation and location options to choose from!

Below you will find where to stay in Crete based on various factors.

(Disclaimer: Some links in this post may be affiliate links, meaning if you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission. This is at no extra cost; you may even receive a small discount. See disclosure for more information.)

Overall Best Places to Stay in Crete

Chania is the best place to stay in Crete due to its unique blend of history, culture, natural beauty, and vibrant atmosphere. When staying in Chania you can expect:

๐Ÿ“ Charming Old Town: The Venetian and Ottoman influences are evident in the architecture and narrow streets of the Old Town.

๐Ÿ“ Historical Significance: Chania’s history spans centuries, and its landmarks, including the Venetian Harbor, the Firka Fortress, and the Turkish Quarter, tell the story of its past.

๐Ÿ“ Venetian Harbor: The iconic Venetian Harbor is a focal point of the city.

๐Ÿ“ Stunning Beaches: While the Old Town is rich in history, Chania also offers beautiful beaches like Elafonissi and Falassarna for those seeking coastal relaxation and stunning sunsets.

Read More: Most Beautiful Beaches in Chania

๐Ÿ“ Nightlife and Entertainment: Chania offers a diverse nightlife scene with bars, cafes, and clubs.

๐Ÿ“ Cultural Experiences: From visiting the Archaeological Museum to exploring local markets, Chania provides plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in Cretan culture.


Where to Stay in Crete for Hiking

Hiking down a rocky cliff in Crete
Hiking down a rocky cliff in Crete

The best places to stay in Crete for hiking are Samaria Gorge, Loutro, and Rethymno.

Samaria Gorge (Chania Region): If you’re seeking a challenging and iconic hike, staying in the Chania region is ideal. Chania town or nearby villages like Omalos provide access to the Samaria Gorge, one of Europe’s longest gorges.

Rethymno: Rethymno’s central location in Crete offers access to diverse hiking trails, including the Psiloritis mountain range and the iconic Samaria Gorge. Combine history and nature with its Old Town and scenic beauty, creating an ideal base for hikers seeking a mix of landscapes and cultural experiences.

Read More: Best Things to do in Chania, Crete

Where to Stay in Crete for Young Couples

The best places to stay in Crete for young couples are Chania, Elounda, and Agios Nikoloas.

Chania: offers a mix of historical charm and modern amenities. Its picturesque Venetian harbor, narrow streets, and vibrant nightlife make it an ideal destination for couples. Stroll along the waterfront, explore the Old Town, and enjoy romantic dinners at waterfront restaurants.

Elounda: Situated on the northeastern coast, Elounda is known for its luxurious resorts, crystal-clear waters, and stunning views of Mirabello Bay. It’s a perfect spot for couples looking for a relaxed and romantic atmosphere.

Agios Nikolaos: This charming town also graces the northeastern coast and features a picturesque lake surrounded by shops, cafes, and restaurants. Couples can take leisurely walks around the lake, explore the town’s vibrant culture, and enjoy the nearby beaches.

Where to Stay in Crete for Families

The best places to stay in Crete for families are Agios Nikolaos, Chania, and Elounda.

Agios Nikolaos: This town in eastern Crete has a family-friendly atmosphere, a picturesque lake, and nearby beaches. It offers a range of accommodations, from resorts to apartments, and has plenty of dining options suitable for families.

Chania: With its charming Old Town, Venetian harbor, and beautiful beaches, Chania caters well to families. It has a mix of cultural attractions, water sports, and family-oriented activities.

Elounda: The luxurious resorts in Elounda offer family-friendly amenities like pools, kids’ clubs, and entertainment. The calm waters of Mirabello Bay make it a great choice for families with young children.

Where to Stay in Crete for Beaches

Beach in Crete
Water in Chania Town

Where to stay in Crete for the best beaches: Chania or Kissamos.

Chania: Its coastline showcases diverse beauty, from the pink sands of Elafonissi to the enchanting Balos Lagoon. Chania’s proximity to these iconic spots, coupled with its vibrant Old Town and amenities, ensures a perfect base for exploring Crete’s most captivating shores.

Kissamos: Its stunning shoreline features breathtaking destinations like Balos Lagoon and Falassarna Beach. Kissamos offers proximity to these paradises, along with local charm and a peaceful ambiance, making it an excellent choice for those seeking the best coastal experiences on the island.

Where to Stay in Crete for Nightlife

Where to stay in Crete for nightlife? Hersonissos, Malรญa, or Agios Nikolaos.

Hersonissos: Known for its energetic nightlife, Hersonissos offers numerous bars, clubs, and beachfront venues. It’s a popular spot for young travelers looking for party scenes and a lively atmosphere.

Agios Nikolaos: This town strikes a balance between tranquility and nightlife. It offers a mix of bars and waterfront tavernas, making it suitable for those seeking a more relaxed but still vibrant nightlife.

Where to Stay in Crete for First-Time Visitors

Chania Town in Crete Greece
Chania Town in Crete Greece

For first-time visitors to Crete, it’s ideal to choose destinations that offer a mix of cultural attractions, stunning landscapes, and various experiences. The best places to stay for first-time visitors are Heraklion, Chania, and Rethymno.

Heraklion: As the capital city, Heraklion provides a blend of history, culture, and modern amenities. Explore the historic Heraklion Archaeological Museum, visit the ancient Knossos Palace, and enjoy the city’s vibrant atmosphere.

Chania: With its charming Venetian harbor, picturesque Old Town, and beautiful beaches, Chania is a popular choice. Wander through the narrow streets, visit local markets, and savor Cretan cuisine at waterfront tavernas.

Rethymno: This town boasts a well-preserved Venetian Old Town, a scenic harbor, and a mix of cultural attractions. Rethymno offers a relaxed ambiance while still providing a taste of Cretan history and charm.

Where to Stay in Crete for Your Honeymoon

The best place to stay in Crete for a honeymoon is Chania, Elounda or Rethymno.

Chania: The picturesque Old Town, Venetian harbor, and romantic waterfront make Chania a top choice. Stay in a boutique hotel with traditional architecture for an intimate atmosphere.

Elounda: Known for its luxurious resorts and stunning views of Mirabello Bay, Elounda offers a tranquil and romantic setting. Private villas and spa retreats are popular options for honeymooners.

Rethymno: The Venetian Old Town, charming streets, and romantic harbor create a lovely ambiance. Choose boutique hotels or villas with character for an intimate stay.

Best Time to Visit Crete

The best time to visit Crete depends on your preferences for weather, activities, and crowd levels. Generally, late spring (April to June) and early autumn (September to October) offer pleasant temperatures, fewer crowds, and vibrant landscapes.

Summer (July and August) is hot and crowded but ideal for beach lovers. Winter (November to March) is quieter, with cooler temperatures and opportunities for cultural exploration. Choose a time that aligns with your desired activities and climate preferences.

Travel Insurance

Getting travel insurance before you travel is a MUST. It’s the number one thing you should always pack before travelling that can save you a lot of money, time, and stress. With how crazy travel has gotten recently you need that peace of mind that no matter what happens there is something protecting you from losing out. I always travel with travel insurance and think everyone should.

I always travel with travel insurance and think everyone should. Below is my favorite travel insurer Safety Wings, enter your details to get a free quote!

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Where to Stay in Crete
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