The 10 Best Resorts in Crete

Last Updated on November 24, 2022 by Helen E. White

Best Resorts in Crete: there are many resorts in Crete, among which a tourist of any age and preference can choose a suitable option. You can stay in a quiet village for unity with nature and walks, or choose a large city with a developed infrastructure and noisy parties.

Best Resorts in Crete

There are resorts for families with children and active tourists, connoisseurs of the culture and history of Greece.

See More: Where to Stay in Crete, Greece

The 10 Best Resorts in Crete

Heraklion

Heraklion

This city is the administrative center of Crete and is located on the northern coast of the island. There is an airport and a well-developed public transport system.

Heraklion has a mild Mediterranean climate. Winters are warm and summers are moderately hot. The beach season falls in May October when the air temperature is 20-26 degrees, and the water warms up to 22-25 degrees.

The resort has a rich flora: cypresses, acacia palms and fruit trees. The area in the central part is flat.

There are many beaches in Heraklion, but deserve special attention:

  • Ammoudara is a long sandy beach with excellent infrastructure, many taverns and bars, there are all kinds of water activities and a windsurfing school, the beach is marked with the Blue Flag;
  • Paleokastro – a small beach with large pebbles, attracts tourists with a natural staircase in the rock from which you can jump, has its own parking, taverns, and diving opportunities;
  • Karteros – fine golden sand, shallow water for children, superbly developed beach infrastructure, including lifeguards and a medical room, a lot of taverns;
  • Arena – a crowded and noisy beach with round-the-clock entertainment;
  • Leevkadia is a wild beach that can only be reached by water, a great place for fishing and snorkeling.

There are a lot of attractions in Heraklion and its environs, including:

  • Knossos palace;
  • fortress Kules;
  • Venetian loggia;
  • Aquarium of Crete;
  • monastery of St. Peter;
  • Cathedrals of St. Titus, St. Mina, St. Mark;
  • Church of St. Catherine;
  • Lviv Square with the Morosini Fountain;
  • Arsenal;
  • Museums: Archaeological, Historical, Natural History, Fine Arts, Ecclesiastical Art.

Heraklion is a multifaceted resort. It is worth coming here to get acquainted with Greek history and culture, a lot of entertainment makes the city interesting for young people, and a developed infrastructure attracts families with children.

Kokkini Hani

Kokkini Hani

This resort village is located on the northern coast, 15 km west of Heraklion. The nature here is beautiful: magnificent expanses of the sea with sandy spits, green spaces along the coast, a wide and long beach, and wonderful sunsets.

The beach season begins in May when the air warms up to 24 degrees and continues until the end of October. In July, the air temperature reaches 30 degrees, and the water – 22-24 degrees.

In Kokkini Hani, there is one beach of the same name with a sandy surface, a clean bottom and a gentle entrance to the water. There is the entire beach infrastructure, many taverns, restaurants and souvenir shops. There are various water activities on the beach, including windsurfing.

There are a few attractions in the village and its surroundings:

  • Minoan house, where utensils are well preserved;
  • large water park Water City in Annapolis;
  • Aquarium of Crete;
  • Dinosaur (dinosaur park).

For the sake of sights, it is worth going to Heraklion, the road will take only a few minutes. It takes longer to drive to Agios Nikolaos, but there are many interesting objects there.

Kokkini Hani is a great place for a relaxing holiday and for couples with small children. There is practically no nightlife here.

Malia (Malya)

Malia

The city is located in the north of Crete, 35 km east of its capital, on the coast of the Aegean Sea. The resort belongs to the Chersonese community.

Malia has warm and humid winters and hot summers. The tourist season falls in April-October. In the middle of the season, the air temperature reaches 30 degrees, and the water warms up to 25 degrees. July is the month with the least amount of precipitation, with a maximum in December and February.

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Malia itself is located in a flat area, which is perfectly set off by the mountains. The resort has dense buildings, turning to the sea into a long sandy strip with palm trees.

There are several beaches in Malia, but the best are:

  • the main city beach – large width, fine sand and shallow water, well-developed infrastructure, opportunities for water sports, many taverns and entertainment;
  • Potamos – white sand, many water activities, suitable for families, marked for cleanliness with the Blue Flag;
  • Stalida – refers more to the neighboring resort of the same name, popular for family holidays (a wide strip of sand and a gentle entry into the water), the infrastructure is well developed, and there are many bars and taverns, and water activities.

The attractions of Malia are as follows:

  • the ruins of an ancient Minoan city, 2 km from the resort, the main object is the palace, a reconstructed house is also noteworthy, where archaeological finds are exhibited;
  • local churches: St. Dimitrios, the churches of St. John and St. Nektarios;
  • the monastery of St. George Selinaris near the resort;
  • Mohos district, 5 km from Malia, olive oil is produced here, tourists are attracted by the local flavor.

Malia is a great place for youth recreation, since there are a lot of entertainment here, a festive atmosphere constantly reigns. Nightclubs and discos number in the hundreds. You can go to Malia for a more relaxing holiday if you choose to stay in the vicinity of the resort.

Stalis

Stalis

This is a resort adjacent to Malia on the northern coast of the island. It is 30 km from Heraklion.

Like Malia, it has a mild Mediterranean climate. The season is April-October. In summer, there is a minimum of precipitation, the average air temperature is 26 degrees, and the water is 25 degrees.

Stalida is surrounded by mountains where you can go for a walk. The resort has enough greenery, but the main focus is on the sea and beaches. There are two of them here, separated by a small rocky area. The cover is sandy, and the entry into the water is gentle. There is the necessary beach infrastructure, and many taverns and bars.

The resort has a magnificent walking area with many cafes, souvenir shops and mini-markets. In addition to the promenade, a local attraction is the ancient church of Agios Ioannis. There are interesting objects in other cities and towns of Crete, where you can go on an excursion. To neighboring Malia, the distance is only 3.5 km, so you can walk on foot, admiring the local views along the way.

In Stalida, couples and the elderly prefer to stay. A sufficient amount of entertainment makes the resort suitable for young people, but usually, they choose more noisy neighbors – Malia or Hersonissos.

Hersonissos (Limin Hersonissou)

Hersonissos

The city is located in the north of Crete, 25 km from Heraklion. The resort is located on the coast of the Cretan Sea.

Hersonissos has dense buildings, and the city itself is located on a hill. Green spaces are located mainly near houses, which offer a magnificent view of the sea. In the vicinity, there are olive groves, and in the city itself there are date palms and cypresses.

The holiday season is April-October. The maximum heat is in July-August when the air warms up to 28-30 degrees, and the water – up to 25 degrees.

There are beaches all over the coast. There are areas with different coverage – sand, small or large pebbles. Several beaches have been awarded the Blue Flag: Drepanos, Silva Beach, and Star Beach. The latter is notable for the water park. Fans of water activities should go to the beach near the Greta Maris hotel, and nudists should go to Cape Sarandaris.

There are several attractions in Hersonnisos:

  • Knossos palace;
  • open-air museum “Lichnostasis”;
  • fountain of the Roman period;
  • Roman port;
  • ruins of ancient theaters;
  • Star Beach Waterpark and Aqua Splash water parks.

Hersonissos is a noisy resort, so young people usually rest here. There are also many opportunities for active tourists.

Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaos

The city is located on the northern coast of Crete, 63 km east of Heraklion. Its nature deserves special attention: picturesque bays, many flowers, cypresses, plane trees, firs, chestnuts and oaks. The animal world is also rich: you can meet a wild cat, a badger, a marten, and a prickly rat.

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Agios Nikolaos is attractive with its hot summers and mild winters. The tourist season falls in May-October. The hottest month is August. The water already in May warms up to 22 degrees.

There are several beaches in the resort, and all of them are well-equipped. The following places deserve attention:

  • Almyros near Lake Voulizmeni – sand and small pebbles, a mountain river provides cool areas, eucalyptus trees grow on the shore, in the shade of which you can relax in the heat;
  • Ammos – a beach for active tourists, there is equipment for various types of water sports;
  • Kitroplatia – a smooth entry into the water, cafes and nightclubs on the territory;
  • Ammoudi – a beach in a small bay surrounded by shady trees;
  • Havania is a sparsely populated beach, a great place for a relaxing holiday.

There are many attractions on Agios Nikolaos :

  • lake Vulizmeni;
  • the island of Spinalonga;
  • Nearchou Square and its mosaic with marine motifs;
  • Citrus Square;
  • marina – a place for sailing races;
  • the hill of Agios Haralambos with the church of the same name and a pine grove;
  • Church of Eleftherios and Venizelos with Byzantine painting;
  • sculpture “Cornucopia”;
  • museums: Ethnographic, Archaeological.

Agios Nikolaos is suitable for different tourists. Families with children, young people and the elderly can relax here. The resort has enough attractions and entertainment, and opportunities for outdoor activities.

Rethymnon

Rethymnon

The city is located 78 km from Heraklion in the north of Crete in the bay of the Cretan Sea. It is located on a hill – 17 m above sea level.

The nature of the resort is magnificent: rocky terrain, winding paths and lush vegetation of the surroundings. There are few plantings in the city itself.

The climate here is temperate Mediterranean. The season starts at the end of April and continues until November. In summer, the air warms up to 29-30 degrees, and the water – up to 25-27 degrees.

The length of the beach area in Rethymno is 20 km. Its purity has been awarded the Blue Flag. The best in the city area are:

  • Rethymnon – 12 km long, crowded beach and developed infrastructure, there are playgrounds and water sports centers;
  • Episkopi – a long sandy beach with shallow and calm waters, a great option for families with small children;
  • Adelianos Kampos – pebble-sand cover, 5 km long, a great place for a family vacation;
  • Gerani – a small but very beautiful beach, excellent fishing here;
  • Panormos is the best option for water sports and sailing.

The sights of Rethymno are as follows:

  • the historical part of the city with its buildings;
  • fortress Fortezza;
  • museums: Historical and ethnographic, Archaeological;
  • the 17th-century Rimondi fountain;
  • Venetian port and loggia from the 17th century;
  • gate of Guor;
  • mosques and cathedrals;
  • the Erofili theatre;
  • monastery of Arkadi;
  • Monastery of Preveli.

Families with children, connoisseurs of Venetian architecture and lovers of secluded relaxation and walks in nature should go to Rethymnon. There are also entertainments that can pleasantly diversify your vacation. For fans of diving, there are two centers.

Georgioupolis

Georgioupolis

A province on the north coast of Crete, formerly called Almyros. This place attracts the presence of untouched corners of nature, where you can meet many animals and birds. The city is immersed in greenery.

The beach season starts in May and lasts until mid-October. The average temperature during this period is 20-26 degrees, and the water warms up to 23-25 ​​degrees.

The beach extends towards Rethymno for 10 km. There is a gentle entry into the water and shallow areas. The city beach is called Kalivaki. This is a narrow strip of sand, there are few people here, and warm and cold currents create a bizarre contrast. It is better to choose areas away from rivers, where there are a lot of mosquitoes.

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There are a few attractions in Georgioupolis:

  • chapel of St. Nicholas – located on the spit, the path is lined with stones;
  • promenade, where you can walk and enjoy seafood in one of the restaurants;
  • port with fishing boats and boat rental;
  • Lake Kournas with a cave and a protected area around;
  • islands of Gramvousa with historical buildings and an ancient Venetian fortress.

Georgioupolis is a quiet place for a measured rest. It is good to come here with small children. Lovers of fishing, walking and outdoor recreation will also appreciate this place.

Chania

Chania

Another city in the north of Crete. It is located 125 km from Heraklion on the coast of the Cretan Sea. The city is large, in terms of the area it is the second on the island.

The landscapes of Chania are magnificent and varied: the emerald sea, sandy beaches, the greenery of cozy parks, and cypresses. There are many bays and bays, grottoes and caves. In the mountains, you can find picturesque villages.

Chania has dry, moderately hot summers and warm, rainy winters. The beach season begins at the end of April and captures the whole of October. In summer, the air warms up to 25-30 degrees, and the water – up to 25 degrees.

There are many beaches in the resort, and almost all of them are sandy. The following deserve special attention:

  • New country – the most developed infrastructure, many hotels and restaurants nearby;
  • Balos Bay with shallow water is a great place to relax with kids;
  • Elafonisi is a magnificent place with pinkish sand;
  • Falasarna – red-white sand and clear water;
  • Frangokastelo – a gentle slope and trees, in the shade of which it is good to relax.

There are many attractions in Chania. The old part of the city deserves attention, where ancient Venetian fortifications have been preserved from the east and west. Things to see in Chania are:

  • monasteries of the Holy Trinity and Gouverneto;
  • Samaria Gorge – part of the Lefka Ori National Park;
  • Mosque Kyuchuk Hassan;
  • Firkas fortress;
  • bastion Schiavo;
  • Venetian Church of St. Francis;
  • Renieri Palace;
  • the city’s cathedral;
  • museums: Archaeological, Folklore, Military, Art Gallery, Maritime Museum of Crete, House of Venizelos;
  • Leather lane.

Chania is suitable for different tourists. It will be good for young people, families with children, and lovers of outdoor activities and cultural pastimes.

Paleochora

Paleochora

The city is located in the southwestern part of Crete on the coast of the Libyan Sea. Heraklion is 200 km away. This is a small peninsula between two bays.

The nature of Palaiochora is magnificent: amazing mountain landscapes, olive groves, rivers and waterfalls. The climate here is mild, so you can come here at any time of the year. The beach season starts in May and lasts until the end of October. In summer the temperature is kept at the level of 20-26 degrees.

There are more than 10 beaches in Paleochora with sandy (in the east behind the pier) and pebble (in the west) coverage, the sea is clean, and the infrastructure is developed. The sandy beaches of the resort are marked with the Blue Flag, but the water here is colder, so you can only swim during the peak season. Thanks to the waves, the western part of the cape is an excellent place for windsurfing.

The sights of Paleochora are as follows:

  • the ruins of the Venetian fortress of the 13th century;
  • Lefka Ori National Park with magnificent landscapes, mountain villages and Byzantine churches;
  • Anidri with the church of Agios Georgios from the 14th century;
  • waterfalls;
  • Pelekaniotis Gorge with the frescoed chapel of Agios Mamas.

Paleochora is more suitable for families and active tourists who prefer windsurfing, fishing and long walks. There is also nightly entertainment.

Most of the best resorts in Crete are concentrated on the northern and northwestern coast of the island. Thanks to a careful study of the information presented in the article, you can find a suitable place for any type of holiday.

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