Cosmopolitan Cretan Towns

Our exciting Cretan towns! 

Whilst dreaming of her beaches, olive groves and mountains, don't forget Kriti's thriving towns.

With a total population over 620,000 Crete welcomes well over 2 million tourist visitors every year.

Many Cretans live in the four capitals; or share their time between the capital and the village.

Each has a different character and pulse for the traveller to discover.

Map icon - Map of Crete with towns marked

A map with Cretan towns marked...

Cretan Towns - Town by Town


Chania with its picturesque Venetian harbour is a fascinating blend of the modern and historic patchwork of Cretan life. Built on an ancient site, the old town with its narrow twisting streets, art galleries and cafés is characteristic of Kriti's wealth of culture.

Ferries arrive into Souda port near Chania and flights arrive into Chania Airport, both just 15 km from town.

Tip - use Chania Airport Code CHQ


Rethymnon surrounded by beaches and crowned by the ruins of a Venetian fortezza, Rethymnon also has a contrast of historic and modern architecture, with excellent restaurants and cafés. The University of Crete is based just outside of town.


Heraklion - (pictured above) is the capital of the island and one of the most wealthy cities in Greece. It is modern, upbeat and diverse. We are happy to share our knowledge of the town to those who might think to overlook it, there is plenty to see and do in Heraklion.

Ferries arrive into Heraklion Port just 1 km from town and flights arrive into Heraklion Airport just 4.5 km from the centre of town.

Tip - Use Heraklion Airport Code HER

Agios Nikolaos

Lake Voulismeni in Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaos (pictured above) is a hilly town surrounding the beautiful Lake Voulismeni. Agios Nikolaos has its own charm and pulse. Come and have a peek at one of the Mediterranean's prettiest harbours. Info on tavernas, cafes and ancient sites...

Kastelli-Kissamos on the north-west coast of Crete, is a small coastal town with an interesting history. Pirate Barbarossa was active here. Some of the most beautiful wild beaches of the island are nearby.

More information about Kissamos here...accommodation, nearby beaches and gorges, cooking classes...

Paleochora on the south-west coast of Crete, is where the mountains meet the sea. From here you can beach hop, hike in the Lefka Ori, or sail to Gavdos Island. Whales and dolphins can be seen in these clean turquoise waters.

Míres in the Messara of Iraklion, in the centre of the island, is a busy market town. The Messara is a huge central valley rolling north to south in the middle of the island. It has been written about, fought over and appeared in mythology. Today Mires is a vibrant agricultural community, with a huge market every Saturday. It is close to the ancient sites of Phaistos and Gortys, and the village of Zaros.

Sitia in the east of Crete is not often visited by tourists, however travellers will find plenty of interest here in this solidly Greek town. As Lasithi has a vibrant agricultural activity, especially with the olive harvest, Sitia is wealthy town, over-looking beautiful Sitia Bay and surrounded by the wide open landscapes of Kriti.

Ierapetra is a large town in the south east of Crete, surrounded by beautiful beaches and rugged mountains. Access the remote and uninhabited Chrissi Island from here by boat.

Map with Towns of Crete Marked

There is so much to enjoy in our beautiful Cretan towns:

Check some itineraries here...

Heraklion travel planning...

Chania travel Q&A...

5 Days in the West of Crete ebook...

5 Days in the East of Crete ebook...

Dish Bar is next to Agios Titos Church in the centre of HeraklionDish Bar is next to Agios Titos Church in the centre of Heraklion

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