Crete is an island of contrasts and variety. It has beautiful historical towns and totally unspoilt rural villages, but there are also a bunch of tourist resorts. Its coast has beautiful beaches as well as wild rock formations, while the interior is marked by forests, gorges, mountain ranges reaching well over 2.000 metres, verdant hills, vineyards and, of course, olive groves. Cheap flights bring in tourists who tend to stay at a few resorts on the northern coast where they work on their tans during the day, while drinking and dancing during the night, but the rest of the island is a paradise for hikers, outdoor sports fans and nature-lovers alike, and also for anyone who is seeking quiet, and who is interested in the traditional Cretan way of life.
The best hotels in Crete
There are quite a few large hotels, apartment complexes and resorts on Crete, the kind I avoid, and I suggest you do the same. But there are also wonderful small places to stay. A charming bed and breakfast in the old town of Chania, an olive farm in the hills of Kissamos, fishermen houses by the sea of Makrigialos and historical cottages slightly inland, a village near Rethymno transformed into a charming luxury hotel, a beachfront totally family-friendly hotel near Chania, affordable maisonettes in an amazing location at Elounda, an eco-resort in the mountains, and the list goes on. If you want your holidays in Crete to be away from the masses, and if you want to experience the ‘real’ Crete, I have some great suggestions for you.