Best self catering apartments and villas on Crete

If you want to keep costs down and/or you prefer more flexibility on holiday, a self-catering apartment or villa is often the best option. Despite appearances to the contrary - all those luxury, all-inclusive resorts - Crete offers a good choice and our selection of the best self catering apartments and villas on Crete has something to suit all budgets and tastes.

Rethymno Harbour

Often the self catering options are tucked away in the quieter seaside villages or are in the heart of the island’s historical towns. Chania, for example, with its Venetian harbour and old port, or Réthymno with its medieval old town, Venetian fortress and mix of beautiful architecture, are good places to look. The latter is also close to Crete's longest sandy beach.

Very often, the best self-catering apartments and villas on Crete are in wonderfully restored buildings full of charm and real Cretan character.

The best self-catering apartments and villas on Crete

For a traditional cottage

Vamos Traditionnal Village

  • The cottages at Vamos Traditional Village are all owned by the locals so you can expect lovely personal touches such as fresh flowers or a carafe of the local raki as well as authentic rustic furnishings - although kitchens are bang up-to-date and some cottages have private pools. Peaceful situation but close enough to larger villages with tavernas.
  • Tucked away in a quiet valley yet near the pretty village of Makriyialos on the south-east coast, White River Cottages are beautifully but simply converted shepherds' cottages with whitewashed interiors, stone-flagged floors and timbered ceilings. Surrounded by olive and citrus trees, and close to lovely walks, this makes for a peaceful base with the added bonus of a pretty pool.

In Chania

Pandora Suites

  • In the heart of Chania, with views over the old town and harbour, Pandora Suites has a boutique-hotel feel. The suites are light, white and airy with modest but adequate kitchens. There’s also a courtyard and rooftop terrace for drinks and sunset views.
  • Also in the heart of Chania - and also with a rooftop terrace for drinks and views - Nostos Hotel is a brightly painted townhouse with simple but comfortable apartments and a very friendly atmosphere.
  • For style and seclusion, take a look at Metohi Kindelis, a 17th-century farmhouse just outside Chania converted into three airy apartments. Interiors are large, high-ceilinged and elegantly furnished, often with antiques, while outside each has a private pool nestled in lush gardens. Fridges are stocked with produce from the farm’s orchards, local bread and cheeses.

In Rethymno

Mythos Suites

  • Two venerable Ottoman-Venetian buildings hide a charming inner courtyard with a tiny, refreshing pool, one of the charms of Mythos Suites in the heart of Réthymno. Apartments are light and elegant, some with private terraces and all with mini-kitchens - though lovely breakfasts are also provided.

For a chc villa

Paradise Island Villas

  • If a smart villa with private pool is more your thing then look no further than Paradise Island Villas. They have twelve beautifully chic options. All beautifully designed and able to sleep between 2 and 6 guests. Add to this private pools and jacuzzi bath tubs, plus pool bar and a couple of dining options - you won't want to leave!

If you want to get to the heart of the island - shop at local markets, chat with the locals - choosing to stay in one of the best self-catering apartments or villas on Crete can be an easy introduction. Still not found your perfect match? Check out our full selection of Crete recommendations.

  • Vamos Traditional Village


    A shining example of how to do low-impact tourism. Vamos is a collection of locally owned self-catering accommodation in and around a sleepy village. Interiors are comfortable and rustic and many feature private pools. Stunning views of the White Mountains are thrown in too. Ideal for families.

    51 rooms from $87
    Families  -  Private villa accommodation, perfect for families
    Value chic  -  Charming villas available at an inviting price
    Cooking classes  -  Traditional cooking courses housed in an old olive mill are a popular activity
    Local markets  -  Pop into nearby Chania (just 30 minutes drive)
  • White River Cottages

    Lasithi, Crete

    A charming hamlet of 13 former shepherds cottages surrounded by olive groves and citrus trees. The self catering studios are rustic and quaint and with stunning views of the local area and sea. This authentic and secluded spot is a 15-minute walk from the beaches and local town.

    13 rooms from $96
    Romantic Break  -  The charmingly rustic self contained studios and apartments are ideal for couples looking for a bit of privacy and romance.
    Hideaway  -  Off the tourist track, this peaceful retreat is set in stunning natural landscape and only a 15 min walk to the beach.
    Great walks  -  Explore this stunnig landscape on foot, full of olive groves, citrus trees and stunning landscapes.
    Sights nearby  -  Walk down through the olive groves to Makriyialos, the prettiest town on this stretch of coast.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
  • Pandora Suites

    Chania (Crete)

    This townhouse turned boutique self-catering option has fabulous harbour views from the pretty roof terrace. The rooms are light and breezy, and generous with two or four beds. Enjoy the luxury of a mini kitchen for self-catering. Great spot for local exploring, beach and nightlife. Family friendly!

    14 rooms from $101
    Local exploring  -  Situated right in the old town, within easy walking distance of the port and the main shopping and eating spots.
    Groups  -  These spacious and charming self catering apartments, of 2-4 beds, are ideal for groups travelling together.
    Great walks  -  Wander the streets of Chania‚Äôs Old Town, full of hidden treasures and charming spots.
    Sights nearby  -  Check out the historic Venetian Harbour and its famed lighthouse.
  • Nostos Hotel

    Chania (Crete)

    These colourful and simple self-catering apartments are in the hub of the Old Town of Chania. Good value studio rooms with views of the harbour make for a great base. Do not miss sunset from the roof terrace before stepping out to explore the local restaurants and bars.

    12 rooms from $110
    Local exploring  -  Ideally located for exploring the historic old town, full of historic buildings, food markets and jewllery shops.
    Sights nearby  -  The stunning Venetian harbour and lighthouse can be seen from the terrace and is a short walking distance.
    Local markets  -  Just a few minutes walk from the main markets and leather shops of the old town.
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
  • Metohi Kindelis

    Chania (Crete)

    Beautiful terracotta farmhouse dating from 1650, with central courtyard and lush gardens. Stunning self catering apartments marry old and new with admirable elegance. Fridges are daily stocked with wonderful organic produce from the hotels orchards. Privacy, style and a truly homely feel.

    3 rooms from $213
    Back to Nature  -  Situated in a secluded walled garden, brimming with flowers, palms and euclyptus trees and surrounded by lush organic orchards.
    Romantic Break  -  A wonderfully peaceful couples hideaway, with high walls surrounding private gardens with pool and al fresco dining, heaven!
    Cooking classes  -  Join the Tastes of Crete cooking class, on Tuesday and Saturday mornings, followed by a lavish wine filled lunch.
    Sights nearby  -  Explore Chania, with its lovely Venetian-era fishing harbour ringed with cafes and tavernas.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
  • Mythos Suites

    Rethymno (Crete)

    This boutique self-catering setup is a peaceful and friendly haven in the heart of Rethymnon. Light and comfortable rooms have private balconies, small kitchens and access to lovely breakfasts. Enjoy the small pool and the closeness to the action.

    15 rooms from $135
    Value chic  -  This charming ivy covered hotel is great value for money, with airy, chic rooms boasting private balconies and counrtyard pool.
    Sights nearby  -  Be sure to check out the historic and impressive Venetian Fortress, within a few minutes walk of the hotel.
    Swimming Pool  -  Stunning outdoor pool
    Full of character
  • Paradise Island Villas


    A super chic collection of villas in sophisticated Cretan style. Each villa has its own pool and living areas. Romantic rooms have parquet floors, four poster beds, and attractive furnishings. Excellent restaurant, lots of spa treatments. Romantic, grown-up, close to the beach, and family friendly.

    12 rooms from $278
    Private villas  -  12 separate villas to rent.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, CN Traveller

Written by  Helen Pickles,
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