Where to Stay in Crete with Family
Crete is a Greek island that makes for a beautiful holiday spot if you’re seeking excellent weather, unspoiled beaches and an array of delicious cuisine.
You’ll be spoiled with things to do and places to stay when visiting Crete, with plenty of unique offerings across the island. From ancient historical sites to breathtaking scenery and great hiking routes, there are plenty of things to see in Crete where you can enjoy a relaxing or active getaway.
Being the largest island in Greece means there are plenty of places to explore, with beautiful areas to discover at every twist and turn. Crete is a perfect destination for families as there are many great family resorts, large beaches and famous sightseeing spots with fascinating stories attached.
If you are planning a trip to Crete and would like to know more about the best places to stay on the island with a family, keep reading, as we have put together the top spots for a trip to this magnificent island.
The Best Regions in Crete for Families
Before you book a trip to Crete, it is first important to establish the part of the island you are most interested in visiting. There are many places to stay on Crete that cater for a range of family itineraries, but our recommendations below focus on areas where there are lots to see and do.
Rethymno is an excellent choice if you are travelling to Crete with family, and is also known as being great for a romantic break.
This lovely region offers an authentic experience of Greece. With its mediaeval villages and plethora of history, there is plenty of exploring to be done here.
The city of Rethymno’s idyllic cobbled streets, covered in vines and flora, make it a picturesque setting, heightened further when the sun is beaming down. This is a perfect place for families as there is much to do, from exploring the Port of Rethymno to seeing the Rimondi Fountain or even a stroll around Fortezza, an enormous historical fortress.
If you are looking to discover history, visit the Archaeological Museum of Rethymno, or for more active travellers, take a bike ride along one of the many beaches or wander through the ancient Arkadi Monastery.
Heraklion is a particularly popular tourist destination for those heading to Crete, especially its city which is a special attraction for many. This is due to some of its famous landmarks, such as The Palace of Knossos, Koules Fortress, the Cathedral of St. Minas and the Morosini Fountain in Lion Square.
As one of the main cities in Crete, Heraklion can get quite busy, especially in the height of summer. Heraklion’s offering of culture and history draws many from all over the world, with sights like the ancient Venetian Walls, the 10th-century Agios Titos Church and the Historical Museum of Crete all situated in Heraklion city.
The region of Chania boasts a stunning 14th-century harbour which is situated in the small town of the same name. Much like the other areas in Crete, it has an attractive offering of historic architecture, displaying authentic Greece at its finest.
With a selection of museums, churches, local shops and restaurants, you won’t be disappointed with places like the Old Port to wander around, the Seawall Lighthouse to explore and a selection of great eateries by the seashore.
Many say that Chania has an Italian feel to it, due to the strong sense of tradition and culture that lies here. The old port, Old Town, Maritime Museum and the Monasteries of Akrotiri Peninsula are great examples of this.
For those seeking a trip to Crete with the whole family, Lassithi is a great option if you want to spend your time lounging on the incredible beaches as the kids play in the sand.
The beaches on Lassithi are favoured by many tourists who head to Crete, due to the crystal clear waters and tropical feel. One of the main beaches in Lassithi is surrounded by palm trees, which provides perfect shaded spots that are great for spending the day by the sea with the little ones.
Not only does Lassithi spoil you with its incredible sandy shores, but it is also brimming with beautiful rural towns and villages, ideal for those looking to explore Crete further.
Where to Stay in Rethymnon for Families
Here’s our guide to places to stay in Rethymnon, a popular region on the north coast of the island.
On the north coast of Crete, you will find the small, tranquil town of Panormos. Nestled next to the main highway that runs across the island, it’s a great place to set up a base for those who want easy access to the rest of Crete.
Panormos has kept its scenic, atmospheric feel, as much of the scenery here is unspoilt. This is mainly down to the fact that the small fishing village of Panormos is quieter than some of the larger holiday resorts in Crete.
When looking for the best place to stay in Crete with family, Panormos is certainly a strong contender due to its great beach offering, numerous shops and cafes, and breathtaking coastal views.
Rethymnon Old Town
Old Town, Rethymnon is one of the best-preserved historic towns in Crete, displaying ancient architecture which allows visitors to peek back into traditional Greece. A day strolling through the Old Town will take you on a journey through Crete’s history and offers the opportunity to go back in time through the incredible structures and ancient streets.
Rethymnon Old Town is a great way to explore a classic Greek village in a picturesque setting. There are plenty of great hotels and places to stay in the Old Town, which puts you in the perfect location to explore the area easily. However, if you are staying with small children, you might find that there isn’t as much going on here, so it’s better suited for families with older kids.
There is a stronger mix of modern and traditional architecture throughout Adelianos Kampos, which is great for families who want variety whilst on their holiday in Crete.
Mainly known for being a beach resort, Adelianos Kampos has a great offering for those looking to spend their days on the stunning sandy shores. The mix of restaurants, beaches, bars and hotels means that there are plenty of places to choose from when it comes to deciding where to stay and what to do during your visit, which is particularly useful if you have younger children and don’t want to travel too far once you arrive.
If you’re seeking other attractions whilst staying in Adelianos Kampos, there are plenty nearby. Great options for families include visiting the waterfalls nearby at Argyroupoli, trying one of the many water activities on the beach or perhaps exploring Rethymno city, which is just 3 miles away.
Where to Stay in Heraklion for Families
Being one of the busier regions in Crete means that there are plenty of places to stay in Heraklion to suit families of all ages.
Stalida is one of the most popular tourist spots for those heading to Crete, mainly due to its central location which makes it easy to access other attractions around the island. It is situated on Crete’s northern coast and is one of the smaller resort towns on the island.
One of the best things about Stalida is its huge long stretch of sandy beach, ideal for families who want to lounge, swim and play in the sand whilst visiting Crete. Whether you are looking to spend your days exploring nature or just relaxing under the beaming sun, there is something for everyone in Stalida.
Situated close to the city of Heraklion, Ammoudara is perfect for families who want to explore the attractions of the city, with the option to step away from the hustle and bustle of the busy capital of the region.
With plenty of restaurants, bars and great sightseeing spots, Ammoudara is fantastic for those choosing Crete for their family holiday, as you will never be left feeling bored. However, being so close to the city does mean that Ammoudara lacks a quiet beach, so if you are hoping to relax on one of the calmer shores, Ammoudara might not be the place for you.
Kamilari is the perfect place to relax and unwind, sitting atop the hills of Ovgora, Alevrota and Goulas and providing stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. This small town is great for those seeking an authentic Greek place to stay that is full of charm and perfect for a more relaxing holiday on the island.
Kamilari is also the perfect location for those looking to stroll through its old streets after climbing the hills where the village sits. The town is situated close to a secluded beach, perfect for families who want to feel safe and relaxed whilst enjoying the island’s coast.
Where to Stay in Chania for Families
There are many great places to stay in Chania which are perfect for families. Our top three suggestions have been listed below, with a little more information on each.
Chania Old Town
Situated on the northwest side of Crete is Chania Old Town. What makes this town so great for families is its lively atmosphere and hidden alleys, which will leave you uncovering shops, history and stunning views at every turn.
It takes around 30 minutes by bus to get to the Old Town from Chania airport, which means that staying here is a great option for those travelling with small children who want to reduce travelling time as much as possible. There are a number of boutique hotels and suites situated in Chania Old Town, which are in a great location for accessing the town easily.
Whether you are seeking an old authentic market to stroll through, a chance to explore the Turkish District or shop the many boutiques and local crafts, you will find that there is a great selection of things to do in Chania Old Town.
Situated on the east of Chania is the Akrotiri Peninsula. Encompassed by hills and brimming with stunning beaches and top sightseeing places, it’s one of the best places to stay in Crete with family.
Akrotiri’s main attractions are the monasteries that allow tourists to wander through the historical buildings that appear golden under the sun. Some of the best monasteries to visit include the Agia Triada, which dates back to the 17th century and was a religious school until around 60 years ago.
Moni Gouverneto which was built in the 16th century and displays stunning Venetian architecture, and the monastery of Katholiko is the oldest on the island, said to date back to the 11th century.
The coast tends to be relatively quiet during the week, but gets busier on weekends when many head here to enjoy the stunning scenery and bask in the atmosphere. If you are seeking a relaxing family getaway, with beaches to explore, towns to stroll through and plenty of history to unveil, then Akrotiri is a great option.
The small seaside village of Frangokastello has one of the most famous beaches on Crete with an impressive backdrop of a Venetian castle. It’s well known for being great for those visiting with families, due to the shallow waters and soft sand. During the summer season the beach can get quite busy, so be sure to factor this in and maybe arrive early if you’re hoping to secure a good spot on the sand.
You can spend your time in Frangokastello strolling through the town which offers a plethora of excellent bars and restaurants or perhaps explore the historic castle, which comes with many spooky ghost stories.
Where to Stay in Lassithi for Families
Lassithi also has a great offering of some of the best places to stay in Crete with family. Below are some of our top picks for the perfect Greek holiday for the whole clan.
The small fishing village of Plaka offers visitors the perfect opportunity to explore the stunning nearby Elounda Bay. With Elounda village situated close by, there is also the option to hop along to this area and explore Crete further during your stay.
Plaka has a truly tranquil feel, which creates the perfect atmosphere for those looking to spend some quality time with their family.
There are great beaches in Plaka, particularly great for those who prefer pebbly shores to the typical sandy stretches. On the northern side of the village, there is a large beach which is perfect to visit in busy periods, as there is plenty of space for everyone.
Located in the southeast part of Crete is the gorgeous village of Myrtos. Here, visitors can discover a plethora of nature alongside stunning coastal vistas.
This small town attracts many tourists each year and has everything you could need for the perfect family break. With an array of hotels, bars, restaurants and shops, if you choose to stay in Myrtos your whole holiday, you will find more than enough to do.
Myrtos also boasts a wonderful sandy beach, with a pebbly shoreline and crystal clear waters that provide the perfect environment for a family day at the beach.
The village of Myrtos is brimming with beautiful gardens that bloom brightly during the summer months. Within the town, you can browse the many souvenir shops or perhaps stop off for a refreshing drink at one of the numerous cafes.
If you are hoping to explore some of Myrtos’s history, the small church of Agios Antonios, which is also home to the Myrtos museum, is a great way to do this.
We hope that after reading our top recommendations of where to stay in Crete with your family, you can now go away with all the information you need to make the most out of your holiday. No matter where you choose to stay on the island, you will be sure to find a trip full of beautiful scenery, and lots of things to do, which will all help create great memories.