Crete is one of those places I keep coming back to. It’s a nice place to be. I’ve visited the Chania region and the Rethymnon region.
While the difference isn’t exactly huge, I think I have to say that Chania is my favorite. That being said, I’ve seen much more of it than of Rethymnon (only spent time in the little town Platanias and Rethymnon town). BTW, there is a Platanias in Rethymnon and one in Chania.
So, what is it about Crete that makes it so likable?
A lot of things, actually. First of all, it’s so charming! In both Chania town and Rethymnon town, there are lots of narrow streets with little shops. Very cute. Also, the architecture is pretty cool in these towns. Not to mention all the cute little chapels you can find scattered around the island.
Pretty nature is another thing. While a lot of the landscape is very dry and at times dull, there are many places where it’s really wonderful. Also, the sunset can be insanely beautiful.
There are lots of great restaurants and bars. I love Greek food, so I always find something I like. Personally, I am impressed with how easy it is to find a good rock bar. Platanias (Chania) is known to be a good place for nightlife. The promenade in Rethymnon town is also pretty good.
Last, but not least: the beaches. Well, some of them. They are generally very nice. The water can be pretty shallow, so it’s kid-friendly, and they use the green/yellow/red flag system so that you know whether it’s safe to bathe or not. My favorite beach is Elafonissi – it’s gorgeous! The easiest way to get there is probably by car. It’s about a one and a half hour drive from Chania town. If you can, rent a car for a day and go. It’s so worth it, and the drive out there is pretty great too.
These are just a handful of the things that make Crete a great destination. I know I’ll go back, but probably not for a long while.
Finally, I think it’s only fair to mention a few things to keep in mind (based on my experiences. Not necessarily how it is everywhere).
– When it comes to public transport, it’s not exactly the best there is. Buses are often very late. Without help it can also be a bit difficult to know which bus to take, as most (if not all) the information is in Greek only.
-Like I said, some of the beaches are really great. However, it can be very windy at times. There is always a chance that there’s a red flag on the beach, meaning that the water is considered unsafe.
-If you’re like me, and have certain standards when it comes to hotel bathrooms: Check reviewer photos on Tripadvisor (or similar sites) if a hotel you’re considering doesn’t have pictures of their bathrooms on their website or third-party booking sites. Trust me.
-Like many other warm places, they have a “siesta” time in the afternoon, so lots of things are closed for a few hours.