Where to Stay in
Greece Travel Secrets suggests where to stay in Eastern Crete with our favourite hotels in Zakros, Elounds, Sitia, Agios Nikolaos, Istron Bay, Myrtos, Neapolis.
The Elounda Beach Hotel
The Elounda Beach in (of course) Elounda can make a claim to be the best hotel on Crete, a luxury resort in miniature, with rooms including deluxe suites which each have their own private little swimming pools. Needless to say, the rooms have everything including lots of space. There are numerous restaurants and bars, every indoor and outdoor facility you could wish for, and a breakfast buffet that could see you through the day.
Kato Zakros Bay View Apartments
Bay View Apartments
This wonderful set of rooms is on the left after you leave the town of Zákros to wind your way down to Káto Zákros. Easily spotted by the profusion of plants around, the aptly-named Bay View Apartments command stunning views of the surrounding area and down to the sea. The rooms have bright, white walls and are extremely simple but clean and comfortable and have TVs, fridge, ensuite facilities, and lovely verandas to relax on. A terrific bargain.
The Hotel Elysee in Sitia
The Hotel Elysée is a typical Greek mid-priced hotel, right on the waterfront in Sitia and perfectly located, a short stroll from the beach and from the town centre. Front rooms have balconies with great views over the harbour. They have lots of closet space, a fridge, TV, and phone. The rooms are clean and simple, but perfectly adequate for a few nights' stay. There is a breakfast room and a small lounge, and also ample private parking behind the hotel.
Hermes Hotel in Agios Nikolaos
The Hermes is a smart hotel in Agios Nikolaos and has a stylish lobby with a shop, flagstone floors, and one wall lined with large copies of frescoes from Knossos. Here all rooms and suites, are spacious with satellite TV, radio, phone, fridge, and hairdryers. There are two restaurants, a rooftop pool, fitness centre, and easy access to a diving club just across the road. One of the most comfortable bases on the waterfront in the centre of town.
The Istron Bay Hotel
One of the best hotels on the island, the Istron Bay overlooks its own bay some 12 km (7.5 miles) east of Ágios Nikólaos. The hotel is all-but invisible as you enter, the building backing onto a cliff so all rooms have sea views. They are also good-sized with large balconies and decorated in the bright Greek colours of blue and white. The restaurant has won awards for its gourmet cooking, and with its own pool and beach, and friendly service, it's rightly popular so book ahead.
The Itanos Hotel in Sitia
The family-run Itanos Hotel is bigger than it looks, with 72 rooms in a building overlooking the waterfront and right by Sitia’s main town square. The rooms are standard fare for a hotel in this price range, and all have phone, satellite TV, radio, bath, air-conditioning and balconies with soundproof doors. Try to get a room at the front for the sea views. Facilities include a large dining room and bar, and, right in the lobby, a rather tempting patisserie.
The Minos Beach Art Hotel
Minos Beach Art Hotel
With easy access to both Ágios Nikólaos and Eloúnda, the luxury Minos Beach Art Hotel has lush gardens whose greenery is interspersed with some striking sculptures. It’s the kind of self-contained resort that is almost a small town, with guest rooms being in bungalows dotted around the grounds. There are several restaurants and bars, pool, tennis courts, watersports, TV room, baby-sitting service, and the ability to book car hire and tours without leaving the hotel.
The Myrtos Hotel
Probably the best of a limited range of accommodation in Myrtos, the inexpensive Myrtos Hotel is right in the little town’s packed centre, with its own restaurant attached. The rooms are a decent size with basic facilities, and around the outside of the building runs a small balcony which all rooms can enjoy. Guests get a welcome glass of tsikoudia, and we can also recommend their taverna, which is right next door.
The Neapolis Hotel
The Neapolis Hotel is an eye-catching art-deco style building right in Neapolis, with rooms that are fitted out with stripped pine furniture and lemon-coloured walls. Some have air-conditioning but all have very small balconies overlooking the street (though noise is not a problem in this charming hill town). The breakfast is generous, often with fresh fruit added for good measure, and you may return at night to find old men playing cards in the lobby, or the local priest watching the TV. Charming, well-maintained, excellent value.
Where to Stay on Crete
Other Crete pages
Sir Arthur Evans is the archaeologist famous for the excavations he made at the royal palace of Knossos on Crete.
The largest of the Greek islands, Crete has four ENUESCO sites, which are Sitia, Psiloritis, Asterousia, and the Gorge of Samaria.
This Rouvas Gorge walk starts and ends in Zaros in southern Crete and should take three to four hours with a distance of eight kilometres or five miles.
Icon painting is a centuries-old tradition in Crete and the rest of Greece, and Greece Travel Secrets meets a modern-day icon painter in Elounda on Crete.
The Samaria Gorge is one the longest gorges in Europe and doing the hike is one of the best and most popular things to do on Crete.
How to make Petimezi, the sweet Cretan syrup made from wine must, is explained to Greece Travel Secrets.
Crete’s wildlife and landscape are two of the island’s attractions, including gorges for hiking, rare raptors like the lammergeier, wildcats and ancient trees.
The area east from Paleohora along the south-west coast of Crete includes resorts like Agia Galini, gorges like the Imbros Gorge and quieter towns like Sfakia.
Greece Travel Secrets discovers Sitia, the main town in eastern Crete, with its relaxing waterfront, inexpensive hotels, good food, and nearby ancient sites.
Crete (Kriti) is the largest Greek island and its main attractions include the Minoan Palace of Knossos, the Samarian Gorge, Chania and Rethymnon.
The best Crete hotels include 5-star luxury hotels, historic and romantic Venetian palaces, and several hotels in Hania and Iraklion.
Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to stay in western Crete, including both luxury and inexpensive hotels in Chania, Rethymnon, and Paleochora.
Ancient Gournia is a Minoan archaeological site between Agios Nikolaos and Sitia in Eastern Crete where the visitor can see evidence of a maze of back streets.
We visit and tour the Manousakis Winery on Crete with a wine-tasting and a chance to buy their tsikoudia, sea salt, olive oil and other goodies.
Matala Beach on Crete is a guest blog for Greece Travel Secrets from the We Love Crete website, inviting you to Awaken Your Inner Hippy in Matala, Crete.
The Stilianou Winery near Knossos on Crete uses only Cretan grape varieties, with every bottle numbered, and aims for quality rather than quantity.
Studies have shown the Cretan Diet as one of the healthiest in the world, involving lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, fresh fish, and moderate amounts of wine.
Rethymnon is the third-largest city in Crete and has a Venetian fortress, Archaeological Museum, Old Town area and Venetian harbour,
Malia on the north coast of Crete is renowned for its nightlife and beaches but also has the Minoan Palace of Malia, one of Crete's many archaeological sites.
Is someone from Crete a Greek or a Cretan? They are both, of course, but most will tell you that they are Cretan first and Greek second.
Driving on Crete is the best way to see Greece’s biggest island and here is our driving advice and some information about Greek driving regulations.
Greece Travel Secrets tours the Lyrarakis Winery on Crete and learns about Crete grape varieties such as plyto, dafni, vidiano, vilana, mandilari and kotsifali.
Greece Travel Secrets visits the Cretan Botano herbs and spices shop near Matala in southern Crete in search of the herb man of Kouses.
Crete festivals and events include Carnival Easter, Whitsun, Christmas, many other religious feast days and public holidays.
The most famous Cretan writers and artists include the painter El Greco and the author of Zorba the Greek, Nikos Kazantzakis.
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