The Best Airbnbs and Holiday Rentals in Crete, Greece

Take a look at the best Airbnbs on the magnificent island of Crete
Take a look at the best Airbnbs on the magnificent island of Crete | © New Millenium Stock / Alamy Stock Photo

From picture-postcard beaches and precipitous hiking trails to awe-inspiring archaeological sites and convivial raki bars, Crete is famously multifaceted. The accommodation options are just as varied, from sumptuous spa resorts to homey studio apartments. Book into one of Culture Trip’s top picks.

Katakis Villas in Chania

Villa, Apartment
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Courtesy of Katakis Family / Airbnb

Just a 16-minute drive from Chania airport, Katakis Villas is a modern oasis in the middle of a wild, mountainous setting. Each of the property’s two villas sleeps five, and comes fully equipped with a living room, a private kitchen and two bathrooms. Relax on the furnished patio or the outdoor pool, and, just a 15-minute walk away, Agios Onoufrios beach is an unspoilt slice of paradise. For the freshest, crispiest whitebait you’ll ever have, visit the quaint seafood tavern Thalassino Ageri, a 10-minute drive away.

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Istron Villas in Agios Nikolaos

Villa, Apartment
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Courtesy of Istron Villas / Expedia

This dream-like complex of nine villas in Agios Nikolaos is crying out for a lavish family get-together. Each of the villas (accommodating 2-12 people) comes with its own kitchen and an elegant private pool trimmed with the local lead-grey stone. Teetering dramatically on a cliff edge, some of the villas overlook the sea, while others have views of lush, shimmering greenery. Play tennis at the outdoor tennis court, and don’t miss the nearby archaeological site of Gournia, where you’ll find the remains of a fully-preserved Middle Minoan (2000-1600 BCE) settlement.

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Sunset Luxury Maisonettes in Agios Vasileios

Apartment
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Courtesy of Evagelia / Airbnb

Another stylish accommodation surrounded by rocky peaks is the Sunset Luxury Maisonettes in Agios Vasileios ― 27km (17mi) south of Rethymno city. Rent a car to access this two-bedroom property, which is ideal for couples looking for a secluded, romantic spot to unwind. It may be an hour from the lovely Frangokastello beach, but with its playful interiors and dramatic panoramic views from your private balcony, you won’t miss it. Besides, you’ve got your own pool for when you need to cool off.

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Lavris City Suites in Heraklion

Apartment
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Courtesy of Lavris City Suites / Booking.com

For a luxurious experience with a twist of history, opt for Lavris City Suites. Located a few metres from Heraklion’s ancient centre, this apartment building, containing four large, hotel-like suites, is perfect for explorers and culture buffs looking to make the most of the area. The nearby archaeological sites of Phaistos and Knossos are among the best-preserved Minoan ruins you’ll find anywhere, with the latter thought to be the oldest city in Europe.

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Irini Stalos Apartments in Chania

Apartment
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Courtesy of Irini Stalos Apartments / Booking.com

The department of Chania, in western Crete, boasts a wealth of must-visit beaches and important archaeological sites. Conveniently, Irini Stalos Apartments is close to all the highlights; go for a swim at the Golden Beach, discover the medieval Frangokastello Fortress during the day, and take a romantic stroll by the Venetian Lighthouse at night. In between, enjoy some downtime at Irini Stalos’s peaceful pool area or in the living room and private veranda of your studio (which sleeps two to four). If you’re into hiking, the staff will let you in on the best trails in the region. A bus service to and from Chania airport is available.

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  • Despina Studios in Chania

    Apartment
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    Courtesy of Despina Studios / Booking.com

    Finding inviting, kid-friendly accommodation in Crete is no easy feat. Which is why Despina Studios in Chania is such a gem, and should be a no-brainer for families in need of a break together. The rooms sleep two to four, the pool is perfect for silly splashing about, and Agia Marina beach is only a three-minute walk away – really convenient when the kids are agitating for lunch. If you don’t feel like cooking, the nearby Pirgos restaurant has got you covered. Despina also has a special area for picnicking and an outdoor play area, complete with little houses and magic castles.

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    Ethereal Apartments Chania

    Apartment

    As its name suggests, this luxurious modern apartment building is almost too good to be true. Easily accessible by foot from Chania’s port, this ultra-modern property straddling three levels boasts a huge outdoor pool, which is beautifully lit up at night, and five spacious apartments that feel more like having your own house; they feature one to three bedrooms, accommodating four to seven people. There’s also a separate apartment complex, the ‘Ethereal Villa’, which features three bedrooms, a large sofa, a balcony and a hot tub. Honestly, why would you want to go anywhere else?

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    Sleek villa in Epavli

    Guesthouse, Luxury
    Map View

    Like something out of a Bond film, this sleek, whitewashed villa appears to sit on the edge of the Earth, thanks to the uninterrupted ocean views from its infinity pool. Sleeping 12 guests in six bedrooms, this villa is luxury personified – five of the bedrooms are in the main house, and the sixth has its own self-contained apartment, so even large groups will have plenty of breathing room. An in-house gym means you can keep on top of your fitness routine, while a stone pathway leads to a private beach where you can dive into the ocean in peace.

    Pebble, an idyllic boho suite at the seaside

    Suite Hotel, Luxury
    Map View

    All clean lines, brushed concrete and earthy tones, this suite is exactly what you’d expect to find on a Greek island. The open-plan space sleeps two and has everything you need for an easy stay, including a coffee machine, hair dryer, wifi and clean linens and towels. The real drawcard, however, is the location. Situated directly on the beach, you’re just steps from the ocean, and there is a private al fresco shower to wash off the salt and sand at the end of a long day sunbathing.

    Ethel Dilouambaka contributed additional reporting to this article.

    These recommendations were updated on April 21, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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