Crete or Rhodes: Which Island Is for You?

Rhodes | © xlibber / Flickr
Rhodes | © xlibber / Flickr
Photo of Ethel Dilouambaka
22 March 2017

Are you planning an island getaway? Not sure if you should choose Crete or Rhodes? Culture Trip will help you decide. Here is a list of information that might help you make your decision.

For a short trip

The length of your stay will determine where you should go. As Crete is quite vast, it requires a week to properly visit and explore the island (renting a car is highly recommended). If you are short on time, Rhodes is an ideal choice; even though it’s packed with great things to see and do, it can be explored in three or four days.

Architectural patterns of the Old Town (World Heritage City, UNESCO). Rhodes, the island of Rhodes, the Dodecanese, Greece | © Mstyslav Chernov/WikiCommons

For good food

Just like anywhere else in the world, you may stumble across a tourist trap serving food that is just okay. However, food in Greece is generally good, and Crete, being as expansive as it is with a plethora of regions and small villages, is a top destination for food lovers. On this island, you will discover that Cretan food is as diverse and delicious as you imagined it to be – whether it is sweets, savoury dishes or drinks.

Cretan food | © Kent Wang/Flickr

For must-see sites that are not ancient Greek ruins

The great thing about Rhodes and Crete is that both islands have diversified sightseeing options; it all depends on what you prefer. Crete has stunning archaeological sites such as the Minoan palaces, while Rhodes has the Acropolis of Lindos or the majestic medieval old town of Rhodes. Italians and Turks have left their marks in Rhodes, while Crete boasts natural wonders, such as the Samaria Gorge, Balos Lagoon and Elafonisi.

Valley of the Butterflies in Rhodes | © wiseguy71/Flickr

For the best beaches

This one is also a tie. Both islands have beautiful beaches which will make any beach-goer happy. While Cretan beaches may have that little something which makes them stand out, Rhodes’ beaches are lovely and boast turquoise waters. Rhodes has Kalathos, Ladiko, Glystra, Pefkos, Stegna and Anthony Queen beaches, and Crete has Balos, Lasithi, Matala, Balos or Elafonisi. You might just have to visit both islands.

Balos lagoon | © Panegyrics of Granovetter/Flickr

For family-friendly holidays

Rhodes and Crete both rank high as family-friendly Greek islands, with various all-inclusive hotels and family resorts where you can relax with your children. And if you do venture out, both islands have plenty of water activities and fun attractions suitable for your little tribe.

Swimming in Yialos | © Martin Thomas/Flickr

Fun day trips

Crete and Rhodes have a plethora of day trip destinations, whether you decide to explore a nearby island or the scenic inland dotted with Instagram-worthy villages and natural areas. The Valley of Butterflies in Rhodes is simply enchanting, while a visit to the CretAquarium is a fun and entertaining activity for the whole family.

CretAquarium tanks | © Martin Belam/Flickr

The final verdict

Rhodes and Crete both have a lot of things to offer. The main reason why you should go to one over the other has to with time constraints. Whether you’re a solo traveller, an adventurer or a family with small children, Crete and Rhodes, although sometimes considered similar, are very diverse. So, what is the final verdict? If you can, try to visit both islands. You won’t regret it.

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