Elounda Crystalline Waters Shady Beaches And Archaeological Sites
Elounda is a charming seaside fishing village situated on beautiful Mirabello Bay. Those individuals seeking a seafront holiday that is not too isolated or too overrun with tourists will find this beautiful coastline with its crystalline waters, shady beaches, and archaeological sites an ideal place to stay in Crete.
You can swim and walk the Kolokitha Peninsula, enjoy tiny uncrowded beaches, make a visit to Spinalonga Island, and walk the charming nearby villages that are inland and still provide a realistic view into a timeline since gone, namely Plaka, Skisma, Mavrikiano, and Epano Elounda.
This town is not for you if you are looking for non-stop nightlife or the other extreme of an isolated beach on the south of Crete. The harbor called the Gulf of Korfos provides a beautiful and natural lagoon along the Gulf of Mirabellos blue waters. This is not the town of big package hotels, but for people satisfied with rental apartments and smaller hotels, it suits admirably.
Best Places to Stay in Elounda
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Nea Hora Where To Stay In Chania On A Budget
Nea Hora offers Chania accommodation thats a little cheaper than the city center but is still close enough to everything to be convenient. This area is right along the beach, so you can enjoy the sun and sand, and its also within walking distance of the city center and all its sites.
Basically, this is the best in Chania to stay in if you want the best of both worlds!
As a beach destination, Nea Hora has a lot to offer in terms of restaurants, cafes, and boutiques. Tourists love the offerings here, which means that it can get fairly crowded, particularly in the peak season.
Nea Hora is also close to several interesting and popular tourist sites as well as some great hotels at every budget point.
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Heraklion Where To Stay In Crete With Family
The capital of Crete is usually a point of entry for travelers to Crete, but most continue on to smaller towns when choosing where to stay in Crete. However, Heraklion makes a good family-friendly destination, especially if you would like a lot of activities outside of enjoying a sandy beach for days on end.
The Crete Aquarium is not far away, and Knossos Palace is a great place to discover some of the archeology of Greece. The fishing port is still very active and at the other end of the spectrum, Heraklion offers high-end shopping and designer goods. Being in the center of the North Coast, Heraklion is a prime location for day trips and the size of the city means that its also possible to find budget-friendly accommodations.
Heraklion Or Chania In A Nutshell
I personally love both cities, although in a different way.
In this video, I go through the pros and cons of both cities with some footage of Chania, Heraklion and the area around
I have more videos on Crete in this dedicated YouTube playlist.
Here below I list a few quick points which I will expand with more details after this section.
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Things To See And Do In Elounda
- Enjoy stunning views as you dig your toes in the sands of Kolokithia Beach. This beach is the perfect place to take an afternoon break.
- See what goes on beneath the waves by taking a voyage on a glass bottom boat.
- Grab a coffee and spend some time watching the fashionable and fabulous people stroll through Eloundas main square.
- Visit Spinalonga, a small island fortress off the coast of Elounda that plays an important role in Cretan history.
- See the ancient ruins of the Sunken City of Olous,
- Enjoy a romantic evening with an amazing view at Lotus Eaters Restaurant.
- See ancient stone windmills dotting the seashore at the Windmills Poros Elounda.
- Sip on a glass of wine as you watch the sunset from hilltop BEERaki Cretan Pub, one of the areas best wine bars.
- Enjoy delicious food and stunning views of Elounda Bay from Ergospasio Restaurant.
Best Hotel In Hersonissos: Creta Blue Suites
Located nearly two kilometres outside of the city, you wont find a better family hotel in Hersonissos. This four-star hotel features a playground, miniature golf and a kids pool, perfect for entertaining little ones on holiday. Enjoy spacious rooms and contemporary amenities at this family-oriented hotel.
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Rethymno Where To Stay In Crete On A Budget
Rethymno is one of Cretes most delightful cities. The third largest town on the island, Rethymno seamlessly combines old world charm and historic landmarks with trendy restaurants and faultless beaches.
Featuring stunning natural scenery and interesting ancient sights, this city is a wonderful stop on any Cretan itinerary.
Rethymno is also a great destination for travellers on a budget. Thanks to its gorgeous location and its sizeable student population, this town boasts a number of affordable accommodation options and styles. Enjoy all the perks of paradise at a fraction of the price in this enchanting Cretan city.
Travel Plans For Cretemore Resources To Organize Your Trip
Start by heading right to my tips to plan a trip to Crete for in-depth details you need to know about Greece. You can also check my post to better know what to pack for a trip to the island or read this info to visit Crete with children!
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Where To Stay In Kato Daratso
Golden Bay It isnt the utmost in luxury, but the 3-star Golden Bay is well located and that location makes it utterly perfect for beach bums: Glaros Beach is quite literally a stones throw from this place. You can choose from studios or, for extra space there are apartments too. The restaurant and bar here are open air and offer up some lovely views of the bay nearby. There are gardens to stroll around in here, as well as an onsite grocery shop, which is great if you plan to keep costs low by cooking some of your own meals.
Best Hotel In Nea Hora: Danaos Hotel
This is one of the coolest places to stay in Chania because it combines beach access with the city sites. Its surrounded by popular restaurants, boutiques, and cafes and offers a Jacuzzi, bicycle rental, and tour desk.
The rooms are comfortable and include all the modern amenities as well as air conditioning. Theres also a bar and restaurant on-site for when you dont feel like heading out to eat.
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Where To Stay In Agia Marina
Eleftheria Hotel Eleftheria Hotel features chilled out, relaxed rooms that boast balconies, flat screen TVs, and comfy beds the perfect combination for a nice base to come back to when youve had a day of exploring Crete. There are also family suites which, of course, offer up extra space. The breakfast buffet here is complimentary, which is a great start to a day of playing in the pool, the playground or seeing what the surrounding area has to offer .
Best Places To Stay In Rethymno
Rimondi Boutique Hotel The high-end hotel comes with all of the added comfort and convenience that you might expect from a 5-star hotel. Choose from either the more contemporary rooms with more polished interiors or from the older heritage style suites for a touch of old-world charm. Guests are welcomed into the calm of the hotel by professional and polished staff, wholl serve wine and cheese upon arrival! Breakfast is served up on the outdoor terrace alongside the outdoor pool. Plus, the Venetian Harbour and the Old Town is just a five-minute stroll away.
Achillion Palace If youre arriving by ferry, checking in at Achillion Palace is a great idea since its just a convenient 10 minutes on foot from the Rethymno Ferry Terminal. The rooms at this 4-star hotel are modern and contemporary in their decor and facilities and come complete with balconies that boast either sea or garden views. This hotel also features a restaurant, a bar, an outdoor pool, and a rooftop garden as well as the all-important free breakfast. You can get into the history of this area at the Archaeological Museum of Rethymno, just 15 minutes walk away.
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Best Hostel In Rethymno: Rethymno Youth Hostel
This youth hostel is the perfect base from which to explore the island and the village of Rethymno. A short walk from an authentic Greek market, this hostel is also well situated near gorgeous beaches, delicious restaurants, and some of the islands most interesting nightlife.
Enjoy a fun and vibrant atmosphere and welcoming accommodations at this Rethymno village hostel.
Chania Or Heraklion For Cafes
Chania has several cafes most of which have very modern vibes and youthful energies.
One of the most popular includes Monogram known for their artisanal brews and modern twists on traditional café favourites.
The Blockchain Cafe Bar is also worth checking out for this same modern vibe.
If you want something more authentic to the region, the Kormaranos Bakery Cafe could be a nice escape in Chania.
Heraklion also has its fair share of picturesque cafes that are ideal for a quick bite as you explore the rest of the town.
Crop Cafe in the area is known for roasting their own coffee and for the fabulous snack menu.
You could also check out Estrella Heraklion with its modern vibes and make sure to try the tasty and colourful pancakes.
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Domus Renier Boutique Hotel Historic Hotels Worldwide
One of the most exclusive hotels in town is the unique Domus Renier, facing the magnificent Venetian harbor. After my first visit, I was crazy about the views and the style of the rooms and the decoration, so I wrote a whole review devoted only to this hotel which you can read here.
Some of the key features include a TV with satellite channels, sitting lounges, and a wonderful patio. Pies and other Cretan delicacies are freshly baked every morning for breakfast too.
The hotel couldnt be in a more strategic location, dominating the whole waterfront, the Lighthouse, and the small but picturesque Küçük Hasan Mosque.
Things To See And Do In Splantzia:
- Spend some time in Splantzia Square, the heart of the city.
- Check out whats on at the performance arts theater Theatro Anatolikis Tafrou.
- If youre a football fan, then learn more about the Greek version of it at the Greek National Football Team Museum.
- Head down to the market at Miden Agan for some of the best wine in Chania or just wander and see what catches your eye.
- Pick up some souvenirs or just sample the local food at the Old Chania Market.
- Check out the Agios Nikolaos, the church with a minaret that was imposed on it during the Ottoman occupation.
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Splantzia Where To Stay In Chania First Time
Splantzia is part of the old city and one of Chanias best neighborhoods if you want to be close to everything. Its filled with restaurants, boutiques, and historic buildings and has a peaceful, calm vibe even with all the tourists who tend to gather there.
But it wasnt always this way. Splantzia was once a poor area of the city that saw a lot of turmoil. During the Ottoman occupation, Greek Christians were tortured and executed on the tree of Splantzia in the center of town.
But a recent makeover has turned this into a popular, bohemian area loved by tourists and locals alike.
This is the best neighborhood in Chania to stay in if you love to wander and discover hidden corners of a city. Its filled with tranquil cafes and hidden spots that only the locals and the intrepid discover.
This area is a melting pot of all the cultures that have passed through Chania, and thats reflected in the food, the local culture, and the feel of its peaceful streets.
Things To See And Do In Chania
- Browse the stalls at the Chania Municipal Agora, a stunning farmers market that dates back to 1913.
- Dive deep into history at the Archaeological Museum of Hania where you can see findings from ancient Kydoniai and Aptera.
- Watch the sunset as you stroll along the Old Venetian Harbour.
- Visit the Chania Venetian Lighthouse. Standing at the end of the harbour, this lighthouse is one of the oldest of its kind in the world.
- Sample traditional Greek fare at Mpourakis.
- Learn all about Cretes maritime history and nautical traditions at the Maritime Museum of Crete.
- Take a short day trip outside of the city to hike the stunning Samaria Gorge, home to the gorgeous Agia Roumeli beach and a protected species of goat.
- View the Venetian and Turkish architectural designs as you wander through Chania Old Town.
- Relax on the peaceful and pristine beaches of Chania bay.
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Casa Delfino Hotel Spa
Another favorite of mine is Casa Delfino. Located in a traditional mansion that has become a landmark in town, the hotel excels for its elegant environment. Personal touches that make any stay a memorable one. The staff is knowledgeable and able to arrange any kind of excursion or day trip with extreme detail.
It has a remarkably beautiful patio to have breakfast every morning. The rooftop bar is an inviting area to enjoy a drink during sunset admiring the views of Chania as the sun goes down.
Casa Delfino also features a renowned spa which you can access for an extra fee.
Stylish Elegance Between Sandy Beach And Dreamy Old Town
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Best Areas To Stay In Crete
Itâs important to know that the four areas of Crete have access to beautiful beaches and that all of them have impressive mountain ranges that youâll need to cross to move from the more developed northern coast to the lonely but heavenly south.
Therefore, this guide is divided not only by regions but also between northern and southern coasts, that way youâll be able to know where youâre going and what you can do in the area.
Where To Stay In Georgioupolis
I bet youve seen that famous picture of a small chapel that looks like floating on the sea! Of course, you have! If youre willing to get a close-up view of the tiny Agios Nikolaos, such is the name of the church, staying in Georgioupolis can be a good idea. Obviously, theres much more to do in the area. Not far from the village you can visit the wonderful Lake Kournas or explore the ancient settlement of Argyroupolis and its mountain springs.
So, there you go, a list of the best hotels you can choose to spend a magnificent time in Chania. No matter whether its the old town, the city center, or the most remote villages the region is an awesome holiday destination.
And again, it doesnt really matter whether you choose a 5-star resort, a small boutique accommodation, or a family hotel, Chania is , the best place in Crete for an unforgettable vacation.
Have you decided where to stay in Chania?Let me know in the comments below!
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What Not To Miss
- In addition to the beautiful Old Town, Chania also has an impressive Archaeological Museum, a Naval Museum and several other museums. And loads of interesting churches. And an olive press.
- The Venetian port is one of the local highlights and one of the most picturesque ports in the country. These days the main activity here is people frequenting the little cafes, bars and restaurants, but don’t be too worried this is a tourist trap, it’s also a popular spot for locals, and it’s a lovely place to stroll around in the evening.
- Chania has a lively artisans quarter – get your Cretan rugs and blankets, jewellery, art and ceramics at Carmela, your leather on the Leather Street: Odhós Skrídhlof, and your food from the Public Market. And Chania is also known for having some of the best restaurants on Crete.
- Chania is the ideal base if you want to visit Polyrinia, one of the most fortified towns in ancient Greece. It’s also home to a historic market and impressive Archaeological Museum.
- Chania is also a popular destination for trekkers and walkers because it’s the closest large town to Samaria Gorge.
- If you’re here for the beaches make sure you include Golden Beach on your list, it’s often been voted one of the best in Chania, with the golden sands and clear, shallow waters that make for great family beaches
Our pick of the best places to stay in Chania are a charming collection of boutique style properties, mainly in the Old Town and most of which won’t break the bank.