Where to Stay

Broadly speaking, if you’re after sandy beaches and bustling resorts, look on the northern coast. For a quiet rural retreat, head for the hills or the remote villages and beaches along the southern and eastern coasts.

The Iraklio region has Crete's most developed resorts – Malia and nearby Hersonisos – with a 24-hour party culture. Rethymno has some quieter getaways, plus Crete’s longest sandy beach; it’s a good base if you want to immerse yourself in the island’s culture. Further west, Hania is a ravishing town and has beach resorts to the west; it is ideal if you’re looking for a wide range of outdoor pursuits, from diving to mountain climbing. Lasithi in the east is the island’s quietest area, with exclusive resorts in Elounda, north of Agios Nikolaos, and laid-back indie hotels everywhere else.