Crete villages and the lovely larger towns of the Greek Island of Crete provide a huge array of places to visit and to stay to suit all tastes. From quaint mountain villages, laid back coastal fishing resorts, seaside beach towns to vibrant, bustling cities.
We love Crete and we hope to give you a flavour of the variety of Crete villages and towns to visit and stay in, and we have included an A – Z Guide of the best places we’ve discovered.
From the fishing village resort of Almyrida in the Chania region to the mountain village of Zaros, famed for its natural spring water, in Heraklion.
From Anogia, an authentic Cretan mountain village in the prefecture of Rethymnon, to the Minoan village of Zakros in the Lassithi region.
We've split the villages in Crete into their regions or prefectures of Chania, Rethymnon, Heraklion and Lassithi.
If you want to book flights, or learn about flights to Crete, including destination airports, transfer times and distances to resorts, etc., then go to our Flights to Crete page.
The prefecture of Chania (Hania) is the westernmost of the regions of the Greek Island of Crete.
Its capital is the attractive town of Chania where modern, Venetian and Turkish traditional architecture are blended together creating a distinctive and enchanting location. The Venetian harbour of Chania is reminiscent of Venice, itself.
Other breathtaking Cretan villages and small towns around the Chania area are, in the far west, Kissamos Kastelli, the popular Platanias and Agia Marina.
In the district of Apokoronos there are lovely seaside villages including Kalyves and Almyrida. Both of these fishing villages of Crete are exceptional examples of the perfect holiday location.
Beautiful scenic inland Cretan villages like Douliana, Gavalohori and Stylos tempt you to take some time away from the beach and reveal the real Crete to you. The food offered in the tavernas in these Crete villages is fantastic and such good value.
Close to the border with neighbouring prefecture of Rethymnon you'll find the ever popular and charming village of Georgioupolis.
On the south coast of the Chania prefecture you’ll find beautiful beach resorts like Sougia, Loutro and Paleochora.
All are quiet, quaint and irresistible.
Rethymnon (Rethymno or Rethimno) lies in central Crete, in the prefecture of the same name. The town is a brilliant mix of old and new. It has a young and vibrant nightlife blended with ancient monuments from bygone days and differing cultures. Rethymnon is a great place for shopping. From the marina harbour market held on Thursdays to the high class chic boutiques in the old town of Rethymnon, you're sure to find a bargain.
The Rethymnon area basks in a plethora of truly picture postcard perfect towns and Crete villages.
You'll find some of the best beaches in Crete amongst the seaside villages of Panormos, Bali and Gerani. There's more information about these and other beaches throughout Crete in our Best Beaches Guide.
On the south coast the lovely beach resorts of Agia Galini and Plakias can be found.
Further inland you can discover the hidden beauties of the village of Anogia close to Mountain Idi (Psiloritis), which is the highest mountain on Crete. It is truly one of the most scenic and traditional villages of Rethymno.
The prefecture of Heraklion (Iraklion) and its capital of the same name are located centrally on the island of Crete. The town of Heraklion is close to the ruins of the Minoan Palace of Knossos and houses many of the finds in its brilliant Archaeological Museum.
There are countless other beautiful Cretan villages and small towns around the Heraklion area. Gouves is a small scenic village close to the well-known coastal tourist resort of Kato Gouves.
Quiet resorts on the south coast of Heraklion region are Matala and Tsoutsouros.
Some of the most vibrant beach resorts are Hani Kokkini, Agia Pelagia, Ammoudara, Hersonissos and Stalis (Stalida).
Malia stands out as the liveliest of all the beach resorts on Crete and is also home to the Minoan Palace of Malia.
By contrast the hillside and mountain villages reveal to the visitor a laid-back charm characteristic of the Cretan way of life. One of these Crete villages is ancient Archanes which was one of the most important areas in Minoan Crete.
Another inland village is Peza village, which is renowned for its wine making and olive oil production. Visit there if you want to try tasting some of the most delicious Cretan wines.
Agios Nikolaos (Aghios Nikolaos) is the capital town of the prefecture of Lassithi on the Greek island of Crete. It’s picturesque beauty and Cosmopolitan atmosphere makes it a ‘must see’ for thousands of international tourists each year.
Other fabulous Cretan villages and towns around the Lassithi area include lovely beach resorts like Sitia, Elounda, Plaka, Istron, Kalo Horio and Sissi.
And on the south coast of Crete there are further seaside resorts of Ierapetra, Makrigialos, Myrtos and Zakros.
Picturesque inland villages where you can experience the traditional Cretan way of life can be found in Lassithi. Kritsa is the perfect example.
So which are the Crete villages and towns that you want to visit?
Whether you dig archaeology, are young and lively, are older and wiser, have kids in tow, are a flora and fauna freak or like us, are completely crazy about Crete, then we are certain that you’ll find the perfect place for you.
And if you, like us, are sometimes confused by some of the different spellings of the Crete village, town and place names you may come across on maps or road signs see our dedicated Spelling Page
Click on the picture links below for details of the towns and villages in Crete we and our family have discovered.
The small maps show the approximate location on the Island (the red dot). Hover over the link to see which Prefecture the town or village is.
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