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Where to Stay in Crete

May 26, 2020 | Guest Post

Crete is a beautiful and fascinating slice of paradise to find idyllic tropical-style waters, epic historic sites, heavenly local food, and rustic hideaways not far by air from most European countries. Charter flights to Chania, Heraklion, and Sitia are available from early March to late October.

The island is divided into four prefectures - Chania, Rethymnon, Heraklion, and Agios Nikolaos. The northern coastline between the capitals of these provinces is the busiest and most developed part of the island. The whole low key south coast is ideal for a more leisurely and romantic holiday.

In Crete, you have myriad accommodation options in sophisticated 5 -star hotels, family-owned hotels & apartments, downtown hostels or prestigious boutique hotels, and noble villas. Note that, whether you’re looking for self-catering accommodation or a package-holiday, reserving in advance is best, as prices vary depending on the season, location, and standards as well as the length of rental. Here’s a complete rundown on how to find accommodation in Crete.

White house with pool in Crete

Hotels and B&Bs

From a luxury beach resort or an off the beaten track seaside treat, Crete covers all accommodation options for an island.

Réthymno boasts the island's longest sandy beach with plenty of family beach resorts and lots of activities for children, while places like Elounda and Agios Nikolaos have grown into sophisticated resorts boasting sumptuous suites with dreamy views and top-notched amenities.

An amazing amount of package vacation options can be found a few kilometers outside of Chania's and Heraklion's resorts, the two emblematic cities of Crete to experience enchanting beach life. Boutique hotels in Rethymno and Chania are a good chance to stay in suites of character in faithfully restored Venetian buildings and to immerse yourself in history and culture.

If you look carefully you can also discover some hidden gems on the lesser know South Coast, in the heart of a sleepy village like Plakias and Palaiochora with remnants of a hippie and laid-back vibe. Numerous small family-run hotels and apartments are often used as long term lodgings by dedicated visitors. 


Beautiful stone dining room overlooking pool and ocean in Crete

Holiday Houses & Vacation Villas

Villa holiday rentals are tempting travelers with more relaxed vacations where personalization, independence, and privacy are prioritized. Luxury homes are scattered all over Crete offering limitless views in stunning locations, private ultramodern facilities, as well as culinary and cultural journeys if you pick to stay in Elouda, Agia Pelagia, or Akrotiri.

Without giving up on luxury or superb locations, the South Coast is a source of adventure and inspiration attracting nature lovers and yoga retreat enthusiasts. The East Coast villas are considered to be a well-kept secret to those who avoid the general busyness that a hotel atmosphere brings, while the West Coast villas offer great views above turquoise waters that bring to mind the Caribbean.

Booking from local villa specialist operators like cretevillas4u, you can find from simple to luxurious villa at a very reasonable cost, compared to foreign villa agencies. Between October and March, or late April and May you are able to find the best Crete deals, both for flights and accommodation in splendid sights and scenery, especially for long term stays of a month or more.

It is quite easy to book a holiday home or individual apartment on the spot via Airbnb and other platforms ( and HomeAway), except in the summer months, especially the first half of August when you may face unpredicted problems.


Pool with swings underneath wooden pergola overlooking the ocean in Crete

Hostels & Camping

For young and budget travelers, hostels and organized camping sites are hot, offering inviting and social communal spaces.  Lately, a new generation of hostels in Chania has emerged to offer affordable style in a popular summer destination. Keep in mind that camping is officially only allowed in campsites, available all over the island.


If you are stopping in Athens on your way to your Crete vacation, then check out our list of Top 5 Things to do in Athens.

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Hi there! 

We are Jacob and Taylor. Travel is our passion and we love sharing our experiences here at The Travelling Souk. Our hope is that you would be inspired by this little blog to try something new, embrace an adventure, and live life to the fullest. 

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