Best Traditional Villages to Stay in Crete for a Relaxing Holiday!

Archanes, village in Crete

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Many of those who visit Crete enjoy spending time in the old town of Chania and Rethymnon as well as in the capital city to explore its Venetian fortress as well as the Knossos Palace. But many others, prefer to stay in Crete’s lesser-known villages to experience authentic traditions and a more relaxed vibe. In this article, I show you some beautiful traditional villages to stay in Crete and the top accommodation choice in each of them.

And if you want to learn more about Crete’s magic mountain villages, head to this article for more places to visit!


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Get Ready for Crete!

RESOURCES TO BOOK YOUR TRIP:

Book your flight: I use Skyscanner to compare prices before booking a plane ticket.

Book your ferry: When ferries are more convenient than air travel, I use Ferryhopper.

Book your accommodation: I’ve tried many different platforms for accommodation, but none of them beats the advantages of Booking.com.

Book your car: The best way to find an affordable car to rent is to use a powerful search engine that compares all the rental companies in the market. I use Discover Cars.

Book your tours: Live unforgettable adventures and cultural experiences with Get Your Guide. For instance, you can Visit Elafonisi, discover Balos Beach, hike Samaria, or explore Knossos.

Don’t forget travel insurance: Things can go wrong at times, but travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. I recommend Safety Wing for peace of mind.

Best Traditional Villages to Stay in Crete

Cretan mountain villages offer relaxation far from the cities, the noise, and the crowds.

Villages to Stay in Crete

Besides, the mountains are a haven to get away from high temperatures in summer as well as fantastic destinations in winter, especially if you enjoy hikes, mountain landscapes, and… why not? Some snow too!

In no particular order, these are some of my favorite villages to stay in Crete to avoid crowds in summer or to spend a completely different winter, read on!

Kritsa, in the Lasithi Region

Villages to Stay in Crete

One of the most delightful villages on the island has to be the small mountain settlement of Kritsa, which is located about ten kilometers inland from Agios Nikolaos, the capital of the Lasithi region in the East of Crete.

In this charming little village, time seems to have stopped, the atmosphere is relaxed and quiet most of the year, even when hundreds of tourists head here after visiting the nearby Panagia Kera church, one of the most important Byzantine churches on the island.

This is a picturesque mountain hamlet that features beautiful little houses and traditional shops and tavernas and among other places to visit nearby, are the magnificent Katharo Plateau and the small village of Krousta (where I’ve eaten some of the best goat dishes in Crete!)

Where to Stay in Kritsa

Check out these traditional properties in Kritsa:

Xobli House 

Are you spending some time in Kritsa on your own or with your partner? Xobli House is an eighteenth-century house in Kritsa which has been recently renovated and might be your piece of heaven.

Villages to Stay in Crete
(Courtesy of the property)

This micro house has just the right comfort for those who spend tons of time in the open but want to have a comfy place to relax at night after walking, hiking, and discovering Lasithi.
Click here for more information and to get the latest prices.

Tsiboulas Cretan Cottage

This Cretan cottage is a place to stay in Kritsa that I have already recommended in other articles. It represents the essence of old family homes in the mountain villages of our island.

The gorgeous place includes an authentic Cretan kitchen with a dining area, one bedroom, and a living room, and a washing machine.
Click here for more information and to get the latest prices.

>>> If none of those properties fit your needs, then click here to find the right place to stay in Kritsa.

Mochlos, in the Lasithi Region

Villages to Stay in Crete

For a traditional village, this time by the sea, check Mochlos — but don’t confuse it with Mochos, another gorgeous village, this time in Heraklion.

This little fishing village has a beautiful beach and tranquil tavernas by the small shore.

On the islet opposite the village, there is an ancient Minoan site worth exploring. The atmosphere is relaxed and it combines the views of the mountains with the turquoise waters of the Mirabello Gulf.

Where to Stay in Mochlos

Check out these traditional properties in the village of Mochos:

Chez Cécile Home

Villages to Stay in Crete
(Courtesy of the property)

A ravishing property in Cycladic colors and pink bougainvillea, Chez Cécile offers stunning little homes where to spend your time in Mochlos.

The house is just a few steps from Mochlos Beach. It has a gorgeous terrace and views of the tiny settlement. Each room comes with a patio with views of the garden.
Click here for more information and to get the latest prices.

Nuez Villas

Excellent sea views, tranquil surroundings, and Cretan decor for Nuez Villas also in Mochlos. On the premises, you will find also a swimming pool, free bikes, and a garden.

To mitigate the hot summers on the island, the units are air-conditioned and offer every comfort you need, including a kitchen with a dishwasher and a microwave, a washing machine, and even an à la carte breakfast.
Click here for more information and to get the latest prices.

>>> If none of those properties fit your needs, then click here to find the right place to stay in Mochlos.

Archanes, in the Region of Heraklion

Villages to Stay in Crete

In the heart of the wine region of Heraklion, the pretty village of Archanes is great to spend a few days in Crete. It’s conveniently close to the capital of the island but far enough to experience a completely different vibe.

If you want inspiring landscapes, check out the upper village of Epano Archanes. It has been restored with an initiative that improved the village, retaining its traditional features. Rent a house here to experience traditional alleys, blooming gardens, and fantastic mountain scenes.

Where to Stay in Archanes

Check out these traditional properties in the village of Archanes:

Villa Kazantzakis

Villages to Stay in Crete
(Courtesy of the property)

Located in Kato Archanes, this Cretan villa is a great vacation home featuring a garden with an outdoor pool.

The property is 10 km from the city of Heraklio and boasts views of the mountains. It has a well-equipped kitchen which includes also a dishwasher. Private parking is also available at the property.
Click here for more information and to get the latest prices.

Galini Traditional House

Top reviews for this home in Archanes. Galini is an authentic Cretan property with a beautiful panoramic terrace around 9.4 kilometers from The Palace of Knossos. This holiday home has a garden, barbecue facilities, and free private parking.

It features two bedrooms, a dining area, a fully equipped kitchen, and a balcony with garden views.
Click here for more information and to get the latest prices.

>>> If none of those properties fit your needs, then click here to find the right place for you in Archanes.

Mochos, Heraklion Region

Mochos, Crete
The church that is dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin, Mochos.

Another village that I love is Mochos (Heraklion) close to Stalida, Malia, and Hersonissos. I visit often as I really enjoy spending time there. There’s not much to do, and for me, that’s the beauty of Mochos.

You can have fantastic dinners in the main square and tour the small but interesting Folklore Museum of Mochos. Not far, I’ve recently discovered the little village of Krasi, also worth a visit (there’s more information about Krasi in this article).

Where to Stay in Mochos

These are some of the places I suggest checking out in the village:

Elenia’s House in Mochos

Villages to Stay in Crete
(Courtesy of the property)

Perfect place for a long stay (or a short one too, why not?), this villa is equipped with three bedrooms, a dining area, a fully equipped kitchen, and a balcony with mountain views of the surrounding area.

It is a short drive from the beach while the Airport of Heraklion is no more than 30 minutes from the villa.
Click here for more information and to get the latest prices.

2a Villa

Looking for a luxurious villa in Mochos, then nothing beats the 2a Villa. It features a private pool, a garden, and free private parking.

The three bedrooms come with air conditioning, and there is also a dining area and a kitchen with a dishwasher and a microwave. Towels and bed linen are available in the villa.
Click here for more information and to get the latest prices.

>>> If you haven’t yet found the right place to stay, click here for more homes to rent in Mochos.

Anogeia, in the Region of Rethymnon

Villages to Stay in Crete

Anogeia (also written Anogia) is one of Crete’s most historic villages, not only worth a visit, but even more of a stay!

Here, you can enjoy the tunes of Crete’s famous Lyra players, taste the Cretan Antixristo (lamb on the spit) or buy local crafts from the women of the village. The views of Mount Psiloritis are fantastic.

Where to Stay in Anogeia

These are the places I suggest checking out if you want to spend time in Anogeia:

Delina Mountain Resort

Villages to Stay in Crete
(Courtesy of the property)

Open all year round, this is the most spectacular place to stay in Crete during winter. Delina is a favorite resort among locals, who often choose it as the place to go and relax when the summer crowds have left the island.

The complex is set in an area of 28 acres, this resort combines the fine facilities of a luxurious hotel with the authenticity of Cretan tradition and the wild beauty of the island.
Click here for more information and to get the latest prices.

Petra Maisonette

Nothing is more Cretan than the setting and atmosphere you will find in this maisonette located a few kilometers from the coast. The property comes with a terrace and amazing garden views.

Inside the chalet, you will find a 1 bedroom, a living room, flat-screen TV, and an equipped kitchen.
Click here for more information and to get the latest prices.

>>> If you didn’t find the right place in Anogeia, click here to find other accommodations in the area.

Spili, in the Region of Rethymnon

GREECE - CRETE - RETHYMNON - SPILI - FOUNTAIN LION HEADS

Spili liest at the foot of Mount Voriza, 45 minutes from Rethymnon, on the way to the southern Triopetra Beach. In this village, there is every comfort for tourists (banks, pharmacies, a bus station, and a health center), remaining very calm.

The village is known for the Kefalovryisi (or head springs), a line with 25 Venetian lion heads that are in fact fountains, from which mouths there is a constant flow of water rich in minerals.

Where to stay in Spili

These are some of the best properties in the area:

Domus Polymnia

Villages to Stay in Crete
(Courtesy of the property)

Check out this restored, traditional stone-built house that ticks all the boxes when it comes to authentic accommodation on the island.

The property features mountain views and lies 15 minutes from the closest beach. It comes with a cozy living room and a fully equipped kitchen and all the spaces are a blend of traditional style and modern comforts.
Click here for more information and to get the latest prices.

The Bridge House

The Bridge House offers accommodation with air conditioning, barbecue facilities, and a terrace. The property features mountain views and is 33 km from Psiloritis National Park and 25 km from Arkadi Monastery.

The villa comes with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, a dining area, a fully equipped kitchen, and a balcony with views of the village.

Click here for more information and to get the latest prices.

>>> If these properties do not suit your needs, click here to find other places to stay in Spili.

Vamos Village, Chania Region

Villages to Stay in Crete

Vamos is the main village in the Apokoronas region, not far from the city of Chania.

This is one of Chania’s main traditional villages, and it’s a perfect example of the authentic Cretan atmosphere of the years gone.

It’s located at the foothills of the White Mountains, and it’s great for a stay in complete relaxation. Life in Vamos is very tranquil, the alleys, and the whole scene well represent the spirit of the island.

Where to Stay in Vamos

These are the places I suggest you check out in the region:

Fabrica

Villages to Stay in Crete
(Courtesy of the property)

Set in a renovated, nineteenth-century complex of traditional buildings, Fabrica offers self-catered country houses overlooking the scenic Vamos countryside featuring a dining area with a fireplace.

The stone-built homes at the Fabrica are charmingly decorated with traditional, wooden furniture. There is also a spacious, furnished veranda decorated with plants, ideal for relaxing with a cold drink.
Click here for more information and to get the latest prices.

Villa Alexandrou

Only steps from Vamos and Vryses, another gorgeous Chania village, Villa Alexandrou is another nineteenth-century, 2-story stone complex with self-catering accommodations surrounding an interior courtyard. It features a shared garden with a seasonal outdoor swimming pool.

The villas come with comfy bedrooms, a kitchen with kitchenware, a refrigerator, and a seating and dining area.

There is also heating and air conditioning throughout the units as well as laundry facilities:
Click here for more information and to get the latest prices.

>>> If none of those properties is the right one for you, click this link to find a place in Vamos that suits your needs.

Fres, Chania Region

Villages to Stay in Crete
Fres, the main square.

Finally, not far from Chania, another quiet village to stay in is Fres. The village is quite close to Vamos, but it’s much smaller and even more relaxed.

This location is perfect for total disconnection and is great to explore the traditional villages of Apokoronas, such as Gavalochori and Tzitzifes.

Where to Stay in Fres

This is the place I suggest you check out if you want to stay in the area:

Traditional Luxury Villa in Fres

This villa is located only twelve kilometers from the popular Folklore Museum of Gavalochori and a few minutes from the ancient site of Aptera, one of Chania’s most important archaeological sites.

Traditional Luxury Villa in Fres provides accommodation with two comfortable rooms, a well-equipped kitchen, and free private parking.
Click here for more information and to get the latest prices.

>>> If none of these Fres properties is the place you’re looking for, click here to find alternative accommodation in Fres.

As you could see, there are some unique villages to spend a relaxing time in Crete, no matter which region you choose, they will all offer an original approach to the local traditions as well as an authentic view of Crete off the beaten track!


Did you find the right village to stay in when in Crete?
Let me know in the comments below!

You might also want to read these related articles to plan your trip to Crete:

Pin this Guide to the Best Villages to Stay in on Crete Island!

Villages to Stay in Crete

About the author of this blog:

Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

Gabi Ancarola

Gabi has been living in Crete for the last five years. On the island, she juggles being a solo mom, hosting culinary tours in summer, translating, and freelance writing.
She’s written for Greek Reporter, published several travel guides about Greece, and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person would be able to handle.

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