Ten perfect by-owner vacation rentals on Crete, for around $100 a night
And, check out some of these houses!! Stone and wood cottages with your own little garden and terrace?! Paradise.
The traditional architectural style on Crete utilizes stone and wood to blend in with the natural landscape. The thick stone also keeps the homes warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Verandas covered with bamboo or grape vines offer protection from the Cretan sun. In the cities, you’ll find Ottoman and Venetian architectural influences.
Choosing Your Base
Crete is a big island, the biggest Greek Island actually, both geographically and in terms of population. The great thing about Crete is that you can either hang out in a metropolitan city with over 300,000 people, or get some solitude in a rural setting.
The main city is Heraklion, and the other transportation hubs are Chania and Rethymno. The latter are mid-size cities with around 60,000 population. The smaller cities are Lerapetra, Agios Nikolas, and Sitia. And then there are many many smaller, super charming villages like Chora Skafion, Loutro, Matala, Paleochora, and Spili. There’s also Gavdos Island, about an hour south of Crete via ferry. This relatively unpopulated island balloons in the summer, and although it’s traditionally been a camper’s destination, there are some small traditional vacation rentals.
If you could care less about whether you’re staying in a village or city and just want to lay on the beach (and I don’t blame you), here’s a list of some of the best beaches on Crete: Balos, Elafonissi, Erimopoulos, Istro, Marmara, Preveli, and Skinaria.
For more travel info on Crete + a full image gallery, read here
Check out the map below with the main cities, villages and beaches to orient yourself. The vacation rental listings have red markers.
I want to live here. How ridiculous is this place? A former stone windmill a few hundred meters from the sea. It’s beautifully decorated and has a giant kitchen and stone terrace. Read the full listing on HomeAway here
This stylish seaside studio is on the southern coast, in between the villages of Karakas and Palakias. I love the simplicity of this design. There’s nothing to distract you from the beautiful natural landscape of Crete, and with those giant glass doors, you can feel like you’re outside even when you’re inside trying to beat the midday heat.
This two bedroom house is 350m from the sea, has a stone terrace, and is surrounded by an olive grove. It’s on the northeast coast, 5km from the mid-sized city of Sitia. I would love to have breakfast on that terrace every morning! It sleeps four and the nightly rate varies from $68 in the shoulder season to $102 in high season. Check out the listing on HomeAway here
This is a great house for groups and families. It sleeps seven, is on a large piece of land, and is a 15 minute drive from the mid-sized village of Lentas. The local beach is just a 10-minute walk down the hill. The Airbnb reviews all say that the house is impeccably clean and that the photos don’t do it justice.
This two bedroom traditional stone home is in the small village of Mirsini and is surrounded by gardens. The interior is eclectic and colorful. This would be a great place to get away from it all and experience Crete’s rustic interior. Read the full listing on HomeAway here
This is an ancient cave house that’s been remodeled into a luxury studio. Kaliviani village is above Kissamos Bay on the northwest side of the island and is about 20km (12 mi) from Balos Lagoon.
A beautiful two bedroom home with a full-size kitchen. What a great place for a family vacation. There’s a garden, a fireplace, and a TUB! Plaka is conveniently located in between Chania and Rethymno.
The owners of this sunny and stylish home tried to make it as eco-friendly as possible, with solar panels and pesticide-free paint. It’s near Sougia village on the south coast, next to some of the best beaches on Crete. Read the full listing on HomeAway here
A beautifully renovated stone home in central Crete, close to the very charming village of Spili. It sleeps six, has an outdoor hot tub and orange trees. The beaches are a 15 minute drive away. I can’t think of a better way to escape and experience authentic Crete! Read the full listing on HomeAway here
This stylish but comfortable loft in Chania’s old harbor has exposed beams and a brand new kitchen. I love the charming balcony overlooking the tiny Venetian era alleyway.
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