This page may contain affiliate links, see our disclaimer here.

Plakias or Chania?

by Cally

Hello, I came across your site recently and saw the wonderful information you provide and hope you may be able to help my sister and me with our upcoming plans in Crete.

We have four nights in Crete, arriving from Santorini at 7pm in Heraklion on August 30th. We have been trying to decide between staying in Chania or Plakias but aren't sure which one would be better.

The beaches of Falassarna, Elafonisi and Balos look amazing and we are worried that we might feel as though we're missing out if we don't see them? However we have heard there may be a lot of tourists and this is slightly off putting as we are looking for something a bit more authentic.

Plakias on the other hand seems lovely and we would be able to see some nice beaches too. If we stayed here would it be possible to take an excursion to Elafonisi or Falassarna etc. from here or is it too far? We won’t have access to a car. We want to get a small apartment and would like to be close to a nice beach as well as market where we can buy food to cook. It would be nice also to have the option to go out at night to a nice restaurant.

We are both in our early 30's and love great food and beautiful beaches and nothing too touristy - what do you think might be the better option for us? Is it likely to be very touristy at this period of time? Would it be easy for us to get to either place by bus after 7pm when we arrive? I read it is possible to get a direct shuttle bus instead, is this true and are you able to provide any information on company and cost?

Another option is that we stay overnight in Heraklion and then travel the next day after seeing Knossos. I heard that Knossos may be closed but not sure if this is true? Can you recommend anywhere nice to stay in Heraklion?

We are leaving early morning on the 3rd September (have to be at the Heraklion airport at 10am) so would it be a problem for us to get a bus in the morning from either Chania or Plakias and arrive in time? Otherwise we would travel back the night before and stay overnight in Heraklion.

Finally, if you have any recommendations on where to stay or what to visit in either of these places it would be much appreciated.

Thank you so much and sorry for the long mail!!

Wild Beaches in Crete

Yiasas Cally,

Thanks for your lovely long question with all your questions for your upcoming holiday. We love answering all these questions and helping you to plan a great trip to Crete.

The only really 'touristy' part of Crete is the 40 km or so to the east of Heraklion. The rest of Crete you will find refreshingly simple, although the beaches on the north coast are more populated and have more hotels and visitors and are more organised than many in the south.

Elafonisi, Falassarna and Balos are totally undeveloped natural beaches with wide open spaces and the wind in your hair. There is nothing more authentic in Crete. In fact, in comparison, Plakias is busier, but still not very much at all, and the physical beauty there is stunning.

It is not really possible to take the tours you suggested from Plakias, definitely not without a car, except a private tour with a personal driver and guide.

From Chania you can take the bus or organised tour to Elafonisi, and a bus to Kissamos and a boat trip to Balos Lagoon.

To visit Balos, Falassarna and Elafonisi a good base would be Kissamos, there are nice places to stay near the beach. Or you could stay near or in Chania.

To get to Chania or Kissamos from Heraklion after 7pm on the first night would not be ideal but possible.

Pre-booked taxis and transfers are available on this page.

In Heraklion stay at the Lato Hotel.

In Chania we suggest the Pension Eva

In Plakias we suggest the Plakias Suites

Chania or Heraklion?

by Julie

Fly into Chania if possible. I'm having to fly into Heraklion this time as there are no more flights from uk to Chania in September.

Stayed near Rethymnon in June & I can't wait to get back in a few weeks. Having debated whether to spend some time in Heraklion, I dont want to waste any of my 2 weeks in a less pleasing place.

Shall I or shall I not linger a while around Heraklion. We have wheels. Need to make a decision.

All Chania area or a bit in Heraklion (if so where)???

Choose Chania!

Hello, from Zaros Crete,

Definitely stay to Chania..!!!!!

I don't discuss this...

Love, Vivi

Comments for Plakias or Chania?

Click here to add your own comments

Tips for Both Chania and Plakias
by: Anonymous

Chania is much bigger more choice, more variety of bars and restaurants etc. Plakias is more of a chill vibe. If budget is an issue eating out in Plakias is maybe 30% less than Chania (or Rethymno) and personally I felt the food was better, more authentic and less touristy in Plakias.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Crete Travel Advice.


We trust you have enjoyed these tips from the We Love Crete team. Evíva!

The We Love Crete team - Anastasi, Katia & Apostoli

Anastasi, Apostoli & Katia are the We Love Crete team
We just love sharing our passion for Crete, Greece and travel
About us  Contact Us  Kaló taxídi!

About the Team

WLC Team Circular

Anastasi, Apostoli & Katia are the
We Love Crete team
We just love sharing our passion for Crete, Greece and travel
About us

Crete Travel Guide
Travel to the Greek Islands
Travel to Athens
Crete to Santorini
Crete to Mykonos

We Love Crete Agapame tin Kriti Logo

Sea Turtles are our major charity in Crete