Where to Stay in Crete for Couples – 7 Best areas

Wondering Where to stay in Crete for couples? In this post, I will help you to find the best areas to stay in Crete for both young and older couples (include map) and the best hotels in Crete for you and your partner.

Crete is the largest and most populous island in Greece, located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The island is known for its beautiful beaches, rugged gorges, and impressive caves.

Crete has a long and storied history. It was the center of the Minoan civilization, one of the earliest civilizations in Europe. The island has also been influenced by many other cultures throughout history, including the Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, and Ottomans.

Crete is an excellent holiday destination for couples. With its stunning beaches, romantic coastal towns, delicious cuisine, and historic sites like the Palace of Knossos, Crete offers a perfect blend of relaxation, culture, and romance for couples seeking a memorable vacation.

Where to Stay in Crete for Couples?

The best areas to stay in Crete for couples are Chania, Rethymno, Heraklion, Elounda, Agios Nikolaos, Plakias, and Matala. These are the most popular towns in Crete that offer plenty of things to do and see for both young and older couples.

The best overall place to stay in Crete for young couples are Chania, Rethymno, and Heraklion due to its lively nightlife, vibrant and energetic atmosphere.

Agios Nikolaos, Elounda, and Plakias are some of the best areas for older couples who prefer a quieter and more laid-back experience with stunning views of the Gulf of Mirabello.

Where to Stay in Crete for Couples: 7 Best areas MAP
MAP of the best areas to Stay in Crete for Couples
Crete for Couples
Crete for Couples

Overviews of the best areas to stay in Crete for couples

Here is an overview of recommended areas in Crete for couples and why you should stay in each area:  

Best areas in Crete for couplesWhy should you stay in this area?
Chaniais a picturesque town on the western coast of Crete. Its old Venetian harbor, narrow streets, and charming atmosphere. You can enjoy romantic walks along the harbor, explore the old town’s alleys, and dine at waterfront restaurants.
Rethymnois a lovely town with a romantic ambiance. Its old town features well-preserved Venetian architecture, a scenic harbor, and a fortress. The narrow streets are filled with cozy cafes and taverns where you can savor local cuisine together.
Heraklionis the capital city of Crete and is home to the famous archaeological site of Knossos and Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Couples interested in history and urban exploration will find Heraklion to be a fascinating destination.
Eloundaa tranquil and upscale resort area. You can relax on beautiful beaches, indulge in spa treatments, and enjoy private boat tours to nearby Spinalonga island.
Agios Nikolaosis a charming coastal town known for its picturesque lake. You can spend romantic evenings by the lake, and visit beaches like Voulisma or Almyros.
Plakiasis a small coastal village on the southern coast, offers a peaceful and laid-back atmosphere. You can enjoy long walks on the sandy beach, hike to nearby gorges, and admire the beautiful sunsets.
Matalais a unique and bohemian village known for its stunning cliffs and caves. It has a laid-back vibe and beautiful beaches. The village also has cozy taverns and bars where you can enjoy a romantic meal or a drink.

7 Best areas to stay in Crete for couples are:

1. Chania

Chania is the second-largest city on the island, located on the northwest coast. It has a rich history that dates back thousands of years, with influences from various civilizations, including Minoan, Byzantine, Venetian, and Ottoman.

One of the main attractions in Chania is the Old Town, which features narrow, winding streets lined with colorful buildings, historical sites, and charming shops and restaurants. The Venetian Harbor is another popular spot, with its iconic lighthouse and picturesque waterfront area.

Chania’s Venetian Harbor is a lovely place to enjoy a romantic dinner while watching the sunset or take a leisurely boat ride together.

Chania offers easy access to beautiful beaches, such as Balos, Falassarna, and Elafonissi. These beaches offer a romantic setting for couples to relax, swim, and enjoy each other’s company.

Couples can visit museums such as the Chania Archaeological Museum, which houses artifacts from the Minoan, Roman, and Byzantine periods. The Maritime Museum of Crete showcases the island’s maritime history, while the Nautical Museum of Crete displays ship models and navigational instruments.

For nature enthusiasts, Samaria Gorge is a must-visit destination. It is one of the longest gorges in Europe and offers breathtaking views and hiking opportunities.

Chania also has a vibrant food scene, where you can sample traditional Cretan cuisine, including dishes like dakos (a salad with barley rusks), ntakos (a Cretan bruschetta), and local cheeses and olive oil.

Chania has an international airport, ferry port, and good transport connections, but reaching other parts of the island might require longer travel times. If couples wish to explore more of Crete, they may need to consider transportation logistics.

There are plenty of accommodation options, ranging from budget B&Bs to luxury waterfront hotels. You can choose to stay right next to the harbor or right in the heart of its Old Town.

Chania is well-suited for both young and old couples. Young couples can enjoy the vibrant nightlife, explore the local markets and shops, and enjoy water sports and outdoor activities. Older couples can appreciate the historical sites, leisurely strolls along the waterfront, and the relaxed atmosphere of the Old Town.

Best places to stay in Crete in Chania for couples:

  • Luxury ($$$): Ambassadors Residence Boutique Hotel, 5-star hotel, located at Chania Venetian Harbour, within walking distance from Chania city center, Koum Kapi district, and Nea Chora Beach.
  • Mid-range ($$):  Kydon The Heart City Hotel, 4-star hotel located in the city center of Chania, within easy reach from the main market hall, Old Town, and Venetian Harbour.
  • Budget ($): Porto Veneziano Hotel, excellent 3-star hotel, located on the waterfront of Chania’s Old Venetian harbor. Couples can choose to stay in rooms with sea views.

2. Rethymno

Rethymno is the third-largest city in Crete, located on the northern coast of Crete, between Chania and Heraklion. Similar to Chania, but less touristy, the city has a rich history dating back to ancient times and is known for its well-preserved Venetian old town.

Rethymno’s central location on the island makes it an excellent base for exploring other parts of Crete including Samaria Gorge, Knossos Palace, Heraklion, and Chania.

Rethymno’s old town is filled with narrow, picturesque streets, lined with Venetian buildings, vibrant flowers, and cozy restaurants. It creates a romantic atmosphere that many couples appreciate.

Couples can visit historical sites such as The Fortezza, a massive Venetian fortress, overlooks the town and offers panoramic views. The Neratze Mosque, the Rimondi Fountain, the Loggia, and the Archaeological Museum of Rethymno are also worth checking!

Rethymno’s harbor is a charming area with colorful buildings, fishing boats, and waterfront restaurants. It is a popular spot for leisurely walks, enjoying the views, and sampling local cuisine.

Rethymno boasts beautiful sandy beaches along its coastline. The most popular beach is Rethymno Beach, as well as Episkopi, Georgioupolis, and Preveli.

Rethymno hosts various festivals and events throughout the year. The Renaissance Festival, held during the summer months, is a cultural event featuring theatrical performances, music concerts, and art exhibitions.

Rethymno does not have its own airport, so you would need to fly into either Chania or Heraklion and then take a bus or taxi to reach the town. But , this is a minor inconvenience and shouldn’t deter you from considering Rethymno.

Rethymno is suitable for both young and older couples. Young couples will appreciate the vibrant atmosphere, beaches, and opportunities for exploration, while older couples can enjoy the historical sites, cultural attractions, and a more relaxed pace of life.

Best places to stay in Crete in Rethymno for couples:

  • Luxury ($$$): Nautilux Rethymno by Mage Hotels, 5-star hotel, located right next to Rethymno Beach. It has 3 swimming pools and free private car parking. 
  • Mid-range ($$): Palazzino Di Corina, 4-star hotel, located in a quiet street in the heart of Rethymno’s Old Town, a short walk from Venetian port, castle, and the beach.
  • Budget ($): Menta City Boutique Hotel, 3-star hotel located within walking distance from the city center, offers a spa-wellness center with a spa bath and massage service.

3. Heraklion

Heraklion is the largest city and the capital of Crete, located on the northern coast of the island and serves as the main gateway for tourists visiting Crete. It is home to both a port with connections to Santorini and Mykonos, and the island’s main international airport.

Heraklion has a rich history that dates back to ancient times. The city was known as Knossos during the Minoan civilization, one of the oldest civilizations in Europe. The ruins of the ancient palace of Knossos, located just outside the city, are a popular tourist attraction.

During the Venetian period, Heraklion was a major Venetian stronghold known as Candia. The city’s architecture and fortifications still bear the influence of this era. The Venetian Fortress, also known as Koules, is a prominent landmark on the harbor.

Couples can visit the churches and squares in the lovely Old City and harbor Heraklion, visit the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, housing artifacts from the Minoan civilization. 

Heraklion also serves as a convenient base for exploring the Palace of Phaistos and the archaeological site of Gortyna.

Heraklion’s city center is a bustling area with a mix of modern and traditional elements. The Lions Square is a central meeting point and features the iconic Venetian Lion statue.

Heraklion has a bustling city atmosphere with a wide range of shops, restaurants, cafes, and nightlife options. Couples who enjoy a vibrant urban environment will find plenty to do and experience here.

As a major city, Heraklion can be busy and crowded at times, which may not appeal to couples seeking a quieter or more secluded experience.

Heraklion is well-suited for young couples who enjoy a vibrant atmosphere, with a wide range of entertainment options, dining choices, and nightlife activities. The city’s central location is also convenient for exploring other parts of the island.

Older couples can also enjoy Heraklion, particularly if they appreciate history and culture. The archaeological sites and museums provide ample opportunities for exploration and learning. 

Best places to stay in Crete in Heraklion for couples:

  • Luxury ($$$): Galaxy Iraklio Hotel, 5-star hotel, located within walking distance from Heraklion city center, and a 10 minute drive from Knossos archaeological site.
  • Mid-range ($$): DOM Boutique Hotel, 4-star hotel, located in the center of Heraklio Town, close to attractions such as Venetian Walls, Municipal Art Gallery, and Heraklion Archaeological Museum.
  • Budget ($): Infinity City Boutique Hotel, 3-star hotel, located in Heraklio Town, within easy walk from Heraklion Archaeological Museum and Heraklion Port.

4. Elounda

Elounda is a popular tourist destination located on the northeastern coast of Crete. It is known for its picturesque setting, beautiful beaches, luxury resorts, and relaxing atmosphere.  

Elounda is situated approximately 10 km north of the town of Agios Nikolaos and about 70 km east of Heraklion, the capital of Crete. It is located on the Mirabello Bay, which offers stunning views of the Aegean Sea.

Elounda boasts several beautiful beaches with crystal-clear waters. The most famous one is the Blue Flag-awarded Elounda Beach, located in the town center. Additionally, the nearby Plaka Beach, Kolokytha and Vathi Beach in Kalydon island are also popular.

Couples can take a boat tour to visit the historic island of Spinalonga – UNESCO World Heritage Site. It served as a Venetian fortress and later became a leper colony.  

Elounda is renowned for its high-end resorts and hotels, attracting affluent travelers seeking a luxurious vacation experience. Many of these establishments offer stunning sea views, private beaches, world-class spas, and fine dining options.

There are a variety of restaurants, tavernas, and bars where visitors can enjoy both traditional Cretan cuisine and international dishes.  

Elounda is located a bit further away from Heraklion and Chania. If you are interested in exploring the cultural and historical sites of Crete, you may need to travel a bit to reach these cities or other popular destinations.

Regarding the age suitability, Elounda can be enjoyed by both young and old couples. Younger couples may appreciate the luxurious and romantic ambiance, while older couples might prefer the peaceful and relaxed atmosphere. 

Best places to stay in Crete in Elounda for couples:


5. Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaos is a charming coastal town located on the eastern side of the island, half an hour south of Elounda. It is known for its picturesque beauty, laid-back atmosphere, and romantic ambiance.  

Agios Nikolaos offers breathtaking views of the Mirabello Bay and has a lovely waterfront with a picturesque lake called Lake Voulismeni. The town is surrounded by stunning landscapes and offers a romantic setting for couples.

The area is home to several beautiful beaches, such as Almyros Beach and Ammoudi Beach. These sandy shores provide opportunities for sunbathing, swimming, and enjoying water activities together.

Agios Nikolaos has a cosmopolitan vibe with a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and bars. Couples can enjoy dining by the waterfront, sipping cocktails while watching the sunset.

The town’s central location makes it a great base for exploring other attractions in eastern Crete, including the ancient ruins of Knossos, the Elounda Peninsula, and Spinalonga.

Agios Nikolaos is suitable for both young and old couples, but it particularly appeals to couples looking for a romantic and relaxing getaway. 

Best places to stay in Crete in Agios Nikolaos for couples:

  • Luxury ($$$): NIKO Seaside Resort MGallery, 5-star hotel located within walking distance from Agios Nikolaos city center, featuring outdoor infinity pools.
  • Mid-range ($$):  Ariadne Beach – Adults Only, 4-star hotel, right next to the beach, around 20 minute walk to the town center.
  • Budget ($): Kitro Beach Hotel – Adults Only, 3-star, beachfront, couples-oriented hotel. Couples can choose to stay in rooms with a beach or sea view and private balconies.

6. Plakias

Plakias is a charming coastal village located on the southern coast of the island. It offers a relaxed and peaceful ambiance, making it ideal for couples seeking a quiet getaway. It has beautiful beaches and stunning landscapes, creating a romantic setting.

Plakias boasts several gorgeous beaches with crystal-clear waters, such as Plakias Beach and Souda Beach, great for sunbathing and swimming.

The area surrounding Plakias offers various outdoor activities that couples can enjoy, such as hiking, exploring nature trails, and even visiting the nearby Preveli Palm Forest and Beach.

Plakias itself is a charming village with traditional tavernas, local shops, and cafes. Couples can explore the village’s narrow streets, have romantic dinners in authentic Greek restaurants.

While the remote location of Plakias contributes to its tranquility, it also means that reaching other popular tourist destinations on the island may require longer travel times.

Plakias is well-suited for couples who appreciate a serene and romantic setting, beautiful beaches, and a laid-back experience. While Plakias can be enjoyed by couples of all ages, it may hold greater appeal for older couples or those seeking a quieter retreat.

Best places to stay in Crete in Plakias for couples:


7. Matala

Matala is a small village located on the southern coast  ofCrete. It gained popularity in the 1960s and 1970s as a hippie destination and was famously visited by musicians such as Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan. Matala is known for its beautiful sandy beach and the unique rock formations that surround it.

The most prominent feature of Matala is its cliffside caves. These caves were originally carved out by the Romans as tombs, but later became homes for hippies and travelers seeking an alternative lifestyle. 

The village of Matala has a laid-back and bohemian atmosphere, with narrow streets lined with tavernas, cafes, and souvenir shops. It’s a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors who are interested in its hippie history, stunning beach, and natural beauty.

Aside from relaxing on the beach and exploring the caves, there are several other activities you can enjoy in Matala. You can take a boat trip to nearby beaches and secluded coves, go hiking in the surrounding hills and gorges, or visit the archaeological site of the ancient city of Phaistos.

Best places to stay in Crete in Matala for couples:


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In conclusion, Crete offers a diverse range of areas for both young and older couples to stay. Chania is ideal for a romantic getaway with its picturesque old town, while Rethymno provides a similar atmosphere but less touristy. Heraklion caters to couples seeking a vibrant city atmosphere, while Elounda offers luxury and seclusion. 

Agios Nikolaos charms with its scenic beauty, Plakias captivates with its tranquility, and Matala is a bohemian paradise, attracting free spirits and beach lovers.

Each area has its unique charm, ensuring a delightful stay for every couple. Personally, when visiting Crete, I stayed 5 days in Chania, making it a great base to explore this beautiful island.

About Author: Linda Smith

I'm Linda Smith, the Hotel Expert, an experienced travel blogger who passionate about traveling. I'm here to share with you all my travel experiences and tips. I cover a wide range of travel topics, specializing in sharing information about the best areas, neighborhoods, and hotels in each city. I hope all these things will make your travel easier.

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