Boutique Crete

Mark and David's verdict
Crete is one of our favourite islands. Away from the package resorts, it has some stunning villas, boutique hotels and hideaways - as well as mountain villages, hiking trails, archaeological treasures, wild flowers and unspoilt coastlines. The season is long: you can get a tan in March and swim in the sea as late as November.

Recommended accommodation website: i-escape

i-escape says

Greece’s largest island has a bit of everything: glorious sandy beaches, idyllic villages perched among olive groves, bustling coastal towns with Venetian harbours, immense snow-capped mountains with deep gorges, riots of spring flowers and 300+ days of sunshine per year.

  • Fascinating island
  • Lovely places to stay
  • Unspoilt locations

Add to that the famous Cretan hospitality which starts with a raki on the house and ends with an evening of impromptu folk music under the stars. But, if we’re honest (and that’s our style), it also has some pretty grim resorts – making it vital to choose your accommodation carefully.

Over the last 10 years, we’ve cherry-picked our very favourite boutique hotels and stylish houses for rent, visiting each one in person and writing the most detailed, trustworthy reviews you’ll find on the web.

Our range includes a gorgeous rural hideaway with 19 boutique rooms and suites and stunning sea views; a charming adults-only haven with four chic studios and a villa for six, all with sea-facing pools; a trio of gorgeous family-sized houses, each with their own pool, tucked away on the north coast; and these eight spectacular villas set on a panoramic hilltop above beautiful beaches (plus three seafront villas near Kissamos).

For affordable tranquility, it’s hard to beat this five-room villa rental above the Chania coast which offers relaxing spa treatments, stupendous horizons and superb value for money.

You can also book them at guaranteed best rates, ask us for impartial advice, read our detailed guide to Crete or check the latest special offers available exclusively to i-escape guests.

With lots of direct flights into Chania and Heraklion from various UK airports, it’s a doddle to arrange – just make a no-obligation enquiry at your chosen property on i-escape (you can hold rooms for five+ days), then book your flight and hire car independently, and away you go.

Note: All the travel companies featured on this site are personally recommended by our editors. Companies pay us a flat annual fee, which funds the upkeep of our site, so we can keep it current and reliable. See more about how we work.

Before you book

Travel restrictions have been lifted by the UK, but some other countries still have measures in place. Check the latest government travel advice.