Crete is a complete destination that has everything. Believe me when I tell you that you will have so much to visit and explore that you will not get bored even if you cannot bathe in its waters.
My first advice is that if you have enough days, divide your tour between the two halves of the island.
Another tip I would give you is that make sure of a car rental service. It will give you great freedom to explore the island at your own pace and enjoy it to the fullest.
The best areas to travel in Crete:
The island of Crete is divided into four administrative regions: Lassithi, Heraklion, Rethymno, and Chania, to the west.
In turn, this last region is divided into four other provinces with capital in the city also called Chania, an old Venetian port and located at the entrance to a peninsula where its international airport is located.
Due to its long history and its large number of monuments, Chania is a very touristic city, especially around the port. An area where you will also find a huge concentration of all types of accommodation.
Rethymnon would be a small Chania, and I would especially recommend it to families and couples alike.
Like Chania, it has a large port and fortress also from the Venetian era, although the origin of the population is from the Minoan era.
The area to the west of the port has a medieval style, with narrow streets. It is also the most touristic area and has a good range of hotels and hostels.
To the south, beyond Kountouriotou Avenue, you will find a newer and not-so-touristy city.
In 1971, Chania ceased to be the capital of Crete to cede that capital to Heraklion. For many historians, this city was the port-like extension of the mythical Knossos, the capital of the Minoan civilization and which gives Heraklion more than 4,000 years of history.
Today it is the city with the largest population on the island and the most cosmopolitan. It has the most important airport in Crete and a great old town with a good number of places to visit.
To start visiting it, you have to go to its port, one of the most interesting places in the city. Its large pier is more than a kilometer long and, at the end of it, there is a lighthouse that guides the nautical mastodons that dock in the port.
4. Agios Nikolaos
The city has two ports: the Marina, to the south, and the old port, today expanded to receive cruise ships and ferries and connected to the inland lake of Vromolimi.
Precisely one of the first places that I recommend you visit is Lake Vromolimi, surrounded by gardens and where the Fisherman’s Crypt Museum is located, an old hermitage open to the public. The surroundings of the lake itself also have a nice, crowded promenade.
In short, if you are looking for an area with very good beaches and that offers both daytime and nighttime entertainment, Agios Nikolaos is an excellent option to stay in Crete.
Hersonissos located on the north coast is the largest sun and beach resort on the island. It is entirely aimed at tourism and offers everything for everyone. It is popular with families with children as well as with young people looking to have fun at night.
There are excellent beaches in the area, but to enjoy them you will have to travel a bit by car. The beaches in the town itself are not particularly pleasant, as they are quite narrow and always crowded.