Where to Stay in Crete, Greece’s Most Popular Isle

Fora Author Fora

The Modern Travel Agency


Icon Share


One of the best places to stay in Greece, the picture-perfect island of Crete has something for every type of traveler. But with such a great variety of things to do — like exploring Chania’s rich and diverse culture or kicking back on the beaches of Rethymno — deciding where to stay in Crete can be tough.

That’s where a Fora Advisor comes in. When you plan your trip with Fora, we can answer all your travel questions while providing you with insider tips and recommendations. We’ll help you figure out the best places to stay in Crete, and even better, your Fora Advisor will score you awesome hotel and travel perks — at no extra cost. 

Ready to travel? Connect with Fora to get started.

The 4 best places to stay in Crete

Looking for a romantic escape with gorgeous beaches and fabulous food? How about an excitement-filled, kid-friendly adventure? Maybe you want to check out one of the most unique places to visit in Greece?

Crete makes a case for being the best Greek island for families, the best Greek island for couples and more — but that same diversity can make determining where to stay in Crete a little difficult. From Elounda to Chania, here are a few of Fora’s favorite places to stay in Crete.

1. Elounda / Agios Nikolaos: where to stay in Crete for the relaxation-seeking traveler 

Nestled in a scenic bay with crystal-clear turquoise waters and surrounded by rugged hills and dramatic landscapes, Elounda is a small town in the beautiful Agios Nikolaos region of Crete. The area is well known for its upscale resorts and tranquil vibe, making it an excellent choice for travelers who simply want to relax amidst breathtaking scenery.

Many of our favorite places to stay in Crete — like Blue Palace and Elounda Gulf Villas — are found in this small, coastal town. And while the resorts here mostly cater to adults, many are still family friendly. Plan your stay with Fora and your advisor can give you the full lowdown on where to stay in Elounda (this goes for any of the best hotels in Greece, too).

Fora Perks at Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort:

  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Fora Perks at Elounda Gulf Villas:

  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

2. Chania: where to stay in Crete for culture junkies & foodies

The influences of past civilizations are evident almost everywhere you look in Chania, whether it’s the ancient Aptera of the Minoans, the grandiose churches of the Byzantine Empire or the architectural remnants of the Venetians or Ottomans — all of which have had a profound impact on modern Cretan culture.

Chania isn’t just for culture junkies, though. The city is well known for its distinct Cretan gastronomy, which blends a variety of contemporary and traditional influences. The flavors are bold, unique and most importantly, delicious. Cretan dakos is particularly worth trying.

And the beaches surrounding Chania are among some of the best on the island. Overall, Chania is where you should stay in Crete for the most enriching cultural experience, but the city also offers a great snapshot of everything the island has to offer.

3. Heraklion: where to stay in Crete for excellent nightlife

Heraklion is Crete’s largest and oldest city, and once served as the center of the ancient Minoan civilization. Like Chania, evidence of past civilizations is pervasive. But Heraklion has more of a modern, cosmopolitan feel to it. In fact, the city is known today for its vibrant nightlife (check out our Greece nightlife guide).

The areas surrounding Lion Square (aka Plateia Eleftherias) and the waterfront promenade are almost always lively at night, with tons of pubs, clubs, trendy venues and bustling streets — especially in summer, when various festivals are often held. That said, quiet, scenic places to relax are never too far away.

Wondering where to stay in Crete near Heraklion? We recommend Amirandes, one of the best resorts in Greece for couples and families alike. Connect with Fora to plan and book your stay today.

Fora Perks at Amirandes, Grecotel Boutique Resort:

  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

4. Rethymno: where to stay in Crete for convenience, sightseeing & variety

Rethymno itself is fairly quiet compared to Crete’s other major cities, but it has the advantage of being located near the center of the island. If you’re planning on seeing as much of the island as possible, this town makes for a great base camp — it’s only about an hour’s drive from Chania to the east, or Heraklion to the west, which is why many Fora Advisors find it to be one of the best places to stay in Crete bar-none. 

Rethymno itself is a charming town featuring well-preserved Venetian architecture and a rich historical heritage. The sandy beaches surrounding Rethymno are also among the island’s best for snorkeling and other laid-back, sea-bound experiences.

Still wondering where to stay in Crete? Let Fora help

Still can’t decide where to stay in Crete that fits your travel preferences? Book your vacation with Fora and your travel advisor will make planning a trip to Greece a breeze. Fill out the form below to get started.

Not sure Crete is the best place to stay in Greece for your vacation? Perhaps deciding where to stay in Paros makes more sense. Curious about how many days in Athens are needed for the best experience? Your Fora Advisor can help with all of the above and more.

Need more travel inspo? Check out these Fora guides, too!

    Book with Fora

    Tell us more about yourself to get matched with a Fora Advisor and start planning your dream trip today.

    Furnished room behind open barn style doors