Villa Ippocampi Adult-only garden retreat near Hersoninos with stylish studios and charming hosts.

Elounda Heights Superb views of Gulf of Mirabello from breezy hilltop apartments.

Thalori Retreat Resuscitated ancient stone cottages in Crete's rock-climbing hub.

Dalabelos Estate Fireplaces, hot tubs and hands-on activities in rolling hills near Panormo.

Best on a Budget

Atelier Frosso Bora Artist-run retreat with Venetian-style elements in central Rethymno.

Cocoon City Hostel Modern and hip hostel close to Hania's bus station.

Katerina Apartments Characterful and comfortable pit stop steps from Zakros Gorge and Zakros Beach.

Plakias Youth Hostel Convivial, eco-conscious and laid-back lair in an olive grove.

Best Rural Escapes

Milia Tranquil eco-retreat with solar heating and organic restaurant.

Aspros Potamos Restored stone cottages with plenty of mod-cons but no electricity.

Enagron Ecotourism Village Working farm offers guests insights into traditional country life.

Eleonas Country Village Serene stone villas with easy access to hiking trails.

Best for Beach Lovers

Minos Beach Art Hotel Exclusive resort with waterfront bungalows and eccentric sculptures in garden-like grounds.

Karavostassi Apartments Stylish seafront refuge with patios for plunging right into the water.

Pavlos' Place Simple outpost on isolated Triopetra Beach for soul-restoring stays.

Sunrise Apartments Roomy digs on sandy crescent with patio for sunrise coffee (or sunset beers).

Best Boutique Hotels

Hammam Oriental Suites Superbly restored Venetian-Ottomann bathhouse in Rethymno's old quarter.

Serenissima Luxe converted Venetian manor in Hania exudes an air of calm and has a good restaurant.

Casa Delfino Romantic townhouse in Hania's old town sports a rooftop terrace and a Turkish bath.

Kapsaliana Vilage Revived country houses with gorgeous views, a pool and organic restaurant.