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Best hotels in Lasithi
Lasithi's beautiful coastline and plateau are some of the most beautiful, but least touristy parts of Crete. In amongst the glamourous resorts of Elounda and Agios Nikolaos, where you can find many of the best hotels in Lasithi, are small fishing and farming villages offering no visitor accommodation, but a chance to eat in a local taverna and see what life's like for modern Cretans before you go off and investigate some of the area's ancient treasures.
Outlined below are some of the main towns in Lasithi and some of the best hotels from which to enjoy them.
Capital of Lasithi, Agios Nikolaos is set around a charming harbour, on the northernmost point of beautiful Mirabello Bay. Behind the harbour is a narrow channel opening onto a wide lake, which gives Agios Nikolaos reams of additional waterfrontage - lined by cafes, bars and tavernas. The actual seafront also has a long stretch of sandy beach, so this is one of the few places on Crete where you'll find a beach right in the centre of town. And then there's the marina.
The varied ocean-view experiences are probably why sleepy Agios Nikolaos first began attracting visitors in the 60s, and quickly developed into a tourist town. But these days things are calmer and this town has the perfect combination of cosmopolitan liveliness and seaside peace.
- Minos Beach Art Hotel has enough on offer that you could have a perfectly lovely holiday without leaving its pretty, green sanctuary dotted with contemporary artworks. There are semi-private beaches and coves and four restaurants, and the accommodation ranges from rooms and suites to entire whitewashed cottages, making it one of the best places to stay in Lasithi for families.
- If you want nothing more than the perfect Cretan beach resort then check in to the St Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel and Villas. It's a low-rise garden resort looking out over the peninsula with views of the town and its beautiful bay. The small beach is surrounded by landscaped gardens, and there's a spectacular infinity pool. This was one of the first real luxury resorts on Crete, and it's got a charming retro feel about it.
- Daios Cove is a luxury resort just minutes from the town. Sumptuous suites and villas boast cool contemporary interiors and for families it's ideal with kids club and huge range of activities available.
There are magnificent views along the road linking Agios Nikolaos and Elounda, with rising mountains on one side of you and charming coves and wonderful sea views on the other. So even if you don't need to pass this way it makes for a scenic drive...
Some of Crete's first luxury resorts were built around Elounda in the 60s, so this fishing village became a glamourous A-List destination, and it's still one of the best places to stay in Lasithi if you're looking for one of Greece's most exclusive resorts. However there are plenty of affordable options in town, and town is a cute, cosmopolitan place within walking distance of several sandy beaches.
On the edge of Elounda is the sunken city of Olous, which isn't really a city, more of a sunken village, but it's still an interesting sight to see walls and windmills underwater.
Spinalonga Island makes for an excellent day trip from Elounda. It's unoccupied now, but its ancient Venetian fortifications and pebbly beaches were once home to a leper colony - which only closed down in the 60s.
- The luxury family resort Domes of Elounda is certainly one of the best hotels in Lasithi. It enjoys spectacular views over Mirabello Bay, has its own private beach, three excellent pools and a large spa. Your kids may appreciate the drawing classes, tennis lessons and the chance to try all kinds of watersports.
- If you're after something smaller, book the Elounda Gulf Villas and Suites. It has the gorgeous views over Mirabello Bay too, and the luxurious decor and services, but it's only got ten suites and 18 self catering villas, so it's much more personal.
- For serious luxury, book the Elounda Beach Hotel & Villas. An indulgent celebrity style hideaway this resort has private decks, private beaches, private screening rooms and several restaurants ranging from causal dining to gourmet.
- Elounda Bay Palace is a large luxury resort that works for both couples and families, with sumptuous accommodation, kids club and oodles of activities on tap.
- Elounda Mare is another property that attracts the celebrity crowd. It boasts a private beach, yachts to charter, a golf course and enormous spa.
- The Blue Palace follows the same theme with fabulous accommodation - over half the villas have private infinity pools, plus there's a private beach, fine dining restaurants and award winning spa.
- Finally we recommend the Elounda Peninsula. Here the fifty suites offer contemporary decor, each with its own private pool and hot tub! The perfect romantic hideaway.
On Crete's quieter eastern side, Sitia is one of the closest towns to Palekastro, which has some impressive Minoan excavations, and it has an archaeological museum which houses many findings from this dig. It also has a lovely waterfront, a large public beach, numerous old cafes and tavernas - and its own 13th century fortress.
It has been relatively untouched by tourism, so it's a good option if you want to experience a more authentic version of Crete. The harbour is unlike Chania's or Rethymno, because it's yet to become over commercialised and is still full of the colourful little fishing boats which serve the colourful little restaurants around it.
Sitia is also ideally located for visiting Richtis Gorge and waterfall, and the palace and gorge at Kato Zakros.
- Cressa Ghitonia is ideally located between Sitia and Agios Nikolaos. It offers a stylish cluster of traditional village houses in a stunning location that offers access to unspoilt beaches and the wild Cretan countryside.
Kato Zakros is a small town of mostly olive oil farmers and fisherman, which sits on a simply spectacular spot at the very edge of Lasithi Plateau. No one would know this was one of the most beautiful of Crete's villages if they weren't coming here already to visit the nearby ruins of a large Minoan Palace and a beautiful gorge, lined with caves in which Minoan tombs have been discovered. This isn't a tourist town - there are no shops, but there are a few tavernas, most of which grow a lot of their own food, and nearby are some of the best hotels in Lasithi if you're looking for somewhere remote.
- Yiannis Retreat is a charming collection of self-catering stone villas set amid pretty tropical gardens, just a short walk from the beach. There's no restaurant on site, but a BBQ is provided if you don't want to walk to the local taverna.
Aspros Potamos is a tiny settlement on Lasithi's Southern side. Reputed to be one of the oldest inhabited locations in the area, it is known for its natural beauty, stunning beaches and unspoilt traditional villages. It's a place to visit if you want to find a slice of authentic Crete, and do more than simply lie on a busy beach. Not that you can't just lie on a beach, but then you'd lmiss out on all the glorious walking trails and visits to the Kaspa Monastery, Dei Mezzo Villa (the only Venetian Villa in this part of the island) and much, much more!
- Aspros Potamos is a small collection of stone cottages offering a true home-from-home in this beautiful spot. It's simple, but it's the perfect place to escape from the pressures of 21st century living!
- White River Cottages is a similar proposition - a charming hamlet of thirteen restored shepherd's huts set amid olive groves and citrus trees. The accommodation is cool and comfortable and there's the added bonus of a pool, if you can't face the walk to the beach!
For an apartment or villa
- If you're travelling with family or a group of friends it may be a better option to book a villa or apartment. For a wide range of properties for all tastes and budgets we recommend you visit our online partner, Booking.com.
- From Athens, Crete can be reached by a 9-10 hour ferry or year round flights. From April to October numerous airlines fly direct to Heraklion and Chania.
- The climate is ideal for most of the year. The traditional tourist period is April to mid-October but the best times to visit are in late spring/early summer and in autumn when the weather is not too hot.
- If you plan to hire a car, which we strongly advise if you want to get out and explore, we recommend you visit our online partner, Holiday Autos.
Still not sure which to book?
- Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Lasithi.
- Alternatively you can look at all our recommendations for Crete.
- Or call, or email, one of our gurus for advice.
Minos Beach Art Hotel 129 rooms from $195Agios Nikolaos, Crete
Set in an out-of-this-world location right on the Cretan seafront. A collection of understated luxury rooms and bungalows elegantly decorated with simple white walls, furnishings and minimalist artworks. Excellent mediterranean dishes are served up in the restaurants. Ideal for totally relaxing.Honeymoons - A haven of tranquility with private villas with mountian and sea views, spoiling massages and haute cuisine overlooking the bay.Beach Life - Set directly on the crystal clear waters, indulge in diving, sailing, fishing or simply basking on the stunning beaches.Sailing - Venture out in the hotel's motorboat around the bay or day cruises to Spinalonga and Mochlos.Sights nearby - Archaeological Museum of Agios NikolaosRecommended by - Small Luxury Hotels
St Nicolas Bay Resort Hotel and Villas 107 rooms from $297Agios Nikolaos, Crete
Low-rise garden resort with immaculate seaside grounds. Rooms with floaty linen curtains have excellent sea views from their large glass windows. Suites and private villas have personal pools. A good selection of bars and restaurants. Explore the surrounding islands or simply lie back and relax.Romantic Break - Spoil yourselves with chartered yachts, tandem massages, chic rooms, five on site restaurants plus cocktial bar and beach bar.Total relaxation - Totally unwind with relaxing Poseidon Spa face and body therapies, sauna, Hammam, jacuzzi and cocktails!Sailing - Explore untouched beaches and coves in the hotel's 34-foot sailing boat.Full of character - The retro 60's look adds an element of "cool"Recommended by - Good Hotel Guide, Kiwi Collection, Small Luxury Hotels
Aspros Potamos 10 rooms from $46Lasithi, Crete
A home-away-from-home deep in rural tranquility with beaches, bars and tavernas a walk away. Small collection of traditional stone cottages make perfect base for families. Self-catering and BBQ available for all. Return to simpler times at this beautiful hideaway on Crete.Eco break - They have restored the huts in a purely traditional fashion, using all natural materials and only renewable energy sources.Back to Nature - This stunning area of natural beauty combines beaches and mountains covered by lush greenery, pine, olive and citrus trees.Great walks - Explore the ancient settlement of Aspros Potamos on foot, terrain is ideal for hikers and mountaineersLocal markets - The local village with restaurants, bars and a market is only 1km away.
White River Cottages 13 rooms from $98Lasithi, 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.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 amazing landscape on foot, full of olive groves, citrus trees and lovely landscapes.Sights nearby - Walk down through the olive groves to Makriyialos, the prettiest town on this stretch of coast.Recommended by - I Escape
Yiannis Retreat 5 rooms from $46Sitia, Crete
A charming self-catered retreat set in cascading tropical gardens. Charming stone villas with private kitchenettes and outdoor dining are dotted around the grounds. Guests are provided with a selection of home made jams and spices. A short walk from the beach, this is a perfect holiday hide out.Families - Self-catering, with plenty of great restaurants nearby takes the fuss out of meal time. And plenty of activities!Full of character - A truly Cretan hideaway, rustic & idyllicLocal markets - Visit shops and markets in SitiaSights nearby - Toplou Monastery
Cressa Ghitonia from $97Sitia, Crete
A stylish cluster of carefully renovated traditional style village houses, with bijou spa in the heart of wild Crete’s countryside and close to un-crowded beaches, which will appeal to hikers, and nature lovers.Sights nearby - Sitia town is 18km away and well worth a visitBack to Nature - Beautiful beaches nearby 3 miles away.Views - Cretan Sea and mountain viewsSpa - Wellness centre
Daios Cove Luxury Resort 300 rooms from $448Agios Nikolaos
Luxury beach resort just minutes from Agios Nikolaos. Sumptuous suites and villas with cool contemporary interiors and fabulous sea views, and many with their own private pool. Private sandy beach, and fantastic facilties for all the family including luxury spa and kids club.Kids Club - Supervised kids' club for children up to 12 with a huge range of activities.Swimming Pool - Two outdoor seawater infinity pools, plus two indoor pools too!Sights nearby - Visit Agios Nikolaos Port.On the beach - Private beach
Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa 251 rooms from $263Elounda
Ultra-luxurious haven combining the best of villa and hotel facilities, with over half the villas having private infinity pools. Elegant, with private beach, fine dining restaurants and an award-winning spa. Perfection.Honeymoons - This is honeymoon stuff- blue skies, crystal clear waters, indulgent spa, luxury accomadation and sunset cruises.Spa breaks - Combining the benefits of Thalassotherapy with the commitment to luxury and personal attention.Sailing - Take a romantic sunset cruise around the coast, sip on Champagne and admire the starlite skies.Cooking classes - Learn how to cook your favourite dishes on the menu from the world class Greek chef.Recommended by - Kiwi Collection
Elounda Bay Palace 152 rooms from $238Elounda
Impressive luxury resort, totally insulated from the outside world in semi-tropical gardens. Large rooms offer mountain views or sea views from the large glass windows. Suites have private pools. An epic choice of restaurants and bars. Lovely beaches, ideal for a romantic break or family holiday.Families - The young ones are kept happy with loads of activities at the kids club and playground, while parents get time to relax.Active Holiday - Never a dull moment with mini golf, billiards, darts, tennis, scuba diving, sailing, waterskiing, fishing and more!Sailing - Either charter your own boat or take a skipper, and set sail directly from the hotel.Swimming Pool - Indoor and outdoor pool.Recommended by - Kiwi Collection
Elounda Beach Hotel & Villas 204 rooms from $286Elounda
Indulgent celebrity hideaway in a fabulous location. Luxury rooms and suites make the most of the epic sea views. A range of restaurants serving excellent food from mediterranean to asian. Activities to suit all and a truly pampering spa. A benchmark for luxury on Crete.Weddings - Overlooking the deep blue Mirabello Bay, this is a fairytale location for a wedding, plus the property has its own chapel.Total relaxation - With palatial suites, private pools, pampering spa, and unbeatable service you are sure to leave relaxed and refreshed.5* Luxury - Very high service standards.Sailing - The resort will happily arrange boat trips to the surrounding islands.Recommended by - Kiwi Collection
Elounda Gulf Villas and Suites 45 rooms from $444Elounda
Ultimate, intimate luxury, combining self-catering villa living with hotel services. A welcome alternative to the larger resorts, luxury here is discreet, with a genuine personal touch. A charming and pampering hideaway with stunning views.Spa breaks - Spa villas have their own sauna, steam bath, and gym, while the Elexir Spa Gallery offers a whole range of expert treatments.Honeymoons - Wonderfully intimate and romantic, with secluded private gardens and pools, and butlers bringing you juice each morning!Families - Trust the team of professionals from the kids club to keep the kids happy and allow for parents to truly relax.Sailing - Sailing, motor boating and yachting are available at the hotel, an ideal romantic day trip.Recommended by - I Escape, Kiwi Collection, Small Luxury Hotels
Elounda Mare 74 rooms from $280Elounda
Five Star luxury that attracts some of the world's most wealthy. Private beach, yachts to charter, every watersport, golf course, enormous spa, restaurants and varying accommodation. Rooms, suites, bungalows, and separate royal suites with private pools. An indulgent choice.Spa breaks - Each month offers the option of a particular programme, be it cleansing, massage, facials or detoxChild friendly - A complete world for children from creche to dancing lessons up to football camps for teenagersActive Holiday - All watersports, tennis, gym oh and perhaps shopping?5* Luxury - Very high service standards.Recommended by - Relais & Chateaux
Domes of Elounda 83 rooms from $290Elounda
A stunning hotel and spa resort on Mirabello Bay with its own private beach and dreamy views. Seamless rooms and suites with creamy furnishings, all the modern gadgetry, balconies, some with private pools. Three excellent restaurants, salt water pools and extensive spa. Luxurious.Child friendly - Numerous activities for children from tennis lessons and watersports to drawing classes.Families - Plenty of activities and kid's club to keep all ages amused.Beach nearby - Private sandy beach ideal for little childrenLuxury - You'll want for nothingRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith
Elounda Peninsula 50 rooms from $367Elounda
Experience luxury in abundance at this peninsula hotel with contemporary, stylish decor and sea views. All rooms come with an outdoor pool and private hot tubs. An award winning restaurant, a superb wine list and a well-known spa on site. Total bliss.Families - Family suites and private villas with pools - plus babysitting services and a kids' clubFoodies - The Calypso - an award winning restaurant on site serves French gourmet cuisineSpa breaks - An award winning spa specializes in unique treatments and medicinal treatmentsDiving - Crystal clear waters and fascinating flora and fauna to discoverRecommended by - Tablet