We all know that Greece has some of the most beautiful islands on the planet – but there is none other than Crete! It is the largest island in the country, dating back to the Bronze Age. The vibrant land is filled with mesmerising beaches, ancient ruins and lively cities. In addition to being a haven for people who love history, Crete is the perfect place just to kick back, relax and forget about the worries of your daily life. It’s no surprise that the island is a favourite tourist destination for most Europeans – once you experience it, you will want to come back time and time again!
Today, we would like to show you what makes the island stand out, and as usual, we’re going to provide the best hostels in Crete!
We went backpacking Crete and found some gems we have to share with you. We rent a car to drive around the island. You can find all our recommended hostels and hidden gems in the map we have created for you. We cover as well the popular things to do like Balos Beach and Venetian Fortezza Castle.
Check-In and Check Out: The average check-in time is from 15:00 (3pm), while the Check-Out time is before 11:00 (11am). Hostels usually offer luggage storage in case you arrive earlier or leave later. Make sure you check if luggage storage is free or if there is an extra cost.
Backpacking Tips for Crete: Crete’s diverse charm offers many activities and experiences that fit everyone’s enjoyment! Let’s take a quick look at them!
A trip to Rethimno, specifically the village of Argyroupoli, is a must! Here you can find a hidden waterfall surrounded by serene lush greenery. What’s best – most people don’t know it exists, so privacy is guaranteed!
We are all fans of Greek cuisine! However, you must try a Raki! Usually, it is served right after a meal as an aperitif in traditional tavernas. Just keep it in moderation – Raki is pretty strong!
If you’re visiting Knossos, you might want to drop down to Heraklion to visit the Archaeological Museum. It features the most extraordinary collections of Greek artefacts, including a fine collection of Minoan antiquities.
The Cocoon City Hostel is the ultimate accommodation for all social butterflies! It is located in the centre of Chania, just a few minutes from the old town. Furthermore, all the nightlife spots and restaurants are nested in this area, so you’ll have plenty of fun ways to spend your nights in Crete.
The rooms are decorated playfully, with vibrant colours across the entire space. Additionally, the cleanliness at Cocoon City is on another level. You can join a WhatsApp group to meet up with other travellers staying at the hostel! One small note, there are no curtains on the dorm beds, so privacy might be an issue.
The bus coming from the Airport and connecting the rest of the island is just a few streets away, too. Therefore, the location is perfect.
As you can see in the photos, the hostel also comes with a swimming pool. This hostel is without a doubt one of the coolest hostels in Chania, especially in summer.
The Kumba Hostel is an excellent place to stay if you’re heading to Chania! Although the centre is at a 15-minute distance, there is a bus stop right in front of the hostel. Additionally, the area has plenty of stunning beaches, making this accommodation the perfect place for relaxation.
You’ll be amazed by the decor in Kumba – a mix of African and traditional Cretan vibes ooze throughout the whole place! Furthermore, the pods in the dormitories are quite spacious and really private. The surrounding area is also safe, making Kumba an ideal spot for solo female travellers.
If stylish boutique hostels are to your liking, you should book the So Young Hostel immediately!
It has an unbeatable location – in the heart of Heraklion, just a few steps away from all the tourist attractions. The nightlife is pretty lively in this area as well, so unforgettable nights are guaranteed!
The rooms are very clean and spacious and provide the utmost privacy. You’ll fall in love with the rooftop terrace, which features a bar – a perfect spot to meet fellow travellers! Finally, the staff is incredibly helpful and queer-friendly. Any LGBT couples out there are more than welcome!
The Intra Muros Hostel is another fine boutique accommodation nested in the heart of Heraklion. This place is special because it was built from scratch by fellow travellers, thus keeping in mind the necessities for an enjoyable stay!
The rooms are quite spacious, and every bed has a nightlight and power socket. Musicians will love Intra Muros due to the provided instruments – you can jam with people you meet along the way! However, if you’re planning your trip during the winter, you may want to bring your own blanket, as the ones from the hostel are thin.
Calling all hippies to the Matala Hostel! This accommodation is located in a quaint village of the same name and it offers serenity all around. The place was built by three brothers who are locals of Matala in 2022, and they will happily provide the hidden gems of the village.
There are both dorms and private rooms, each with its own balcony. There’s even a pool if you want to avoid the business of the beaches. The place is extra social as well! We should note that sometimes you may experience unpleasant odours from the pipes in the bathroom, although it’s not too serious.
The Youth Hostel Plakias prides itself on being the most chill hostel in Rethymno! Previous travellers simply adore the vibes of this hostel, as it is very relaxed and tranquil. The hostel is located in Plakias, a quaint village in the south of Rethymno, and getting to it might be a bit tricky. However, the staff provide you with travel info as soon as you book.
The facilities in Youth Hostel are simple yet fully functional. Moreover, the owners have utilised the outdoor spaces to ensure the utmost comfort. Although the location is not the most social, the people that come here are incredibly so!
If you’re looking for a hostel set in the heart of Rethymno, then Rethymno Youth Hostel is your ultimate choice! Due to its location, it’s very easy to access any destination throughout the city, and there’s a bus station just minutes away. What’s best, even though it’s central, it’s tranquil!
The Rethymno Youth Hostel is modernly decorated and equipped with all the necessary amenities. You can spend your nights at the amazing patio where you can drink and chill with fellow travellers. Finally, the staff can help you with anything you may need, especially when it comes to booking all the best tours of the island!
Agios Nikolaos is the ideal spot for couples seeking a romantic getaway, and we’ve got the perfect accommodation to fit the vibe. The Pension Mylos is a family-owned business run by Pella and Gina, who you’ll simply fall in love with and who will treat you with the utmost hospitality!
The pension is rather simple and comes with a private bathroom and views overlooking the crystal sea – some rooms also come with a balcony! The area has small, beautiful beaches, though they’re not sandy. Additionally, there are plenty of restaurants in its vicinity, so dreamy date nights with your beau are guaranteed!
Sofia Rooms are located in the quiet village of Pitsidia, 20 minutes away from the majestic Kommos Beach. People who enjoy hiking will also find great pleasure in this accommodation, as Mt. Psiloritis is opposite the village and offers plenty of trails.
The rooms are nicely decorated and equipped with basic amenities. They also contain private showers and air-conditioning. Sofia, the owner of this accommodation, will greet you with homemade cookies upon arrival, feeling like a warm hug!
Creative souls are more than welcome at the YOD Hostel! It is nested in a 19th-century Cretan house and even features an exhibition room for all of the artwork created at the hostel. One thing’s for sure – you never know what to expect at YOD, whether it’s a party or a chilled-out vibe!
The accommodation includes dorm rooms with an authentic rustic charm! Since Khordhákion is pretty serene, don’t expect to find many social events throughout the area. However, there are plenty of monasteries adorned with exceptional frescoes.
We hope you’ve found the ideal choice from our list of best hostels in Crete! Have safe travels, and enjoy this Greek gem to the fullest!
What about the cheapest hostels in Crete?
Of course, there are always cheap hostels. But how do you actually find them? When you are traveling on a shoe-string budget and you want to save every dollar, there are ways to find the cheapest places in Crete.
Open Hostelz.com with a full list of all hostels in Crete
add your dates
Order the listings by price
Simple as that.
Hostelz.com is a price comparison site for hostels. They list every single one in the world and tells you exactly which website is cheaper to use.
Another smart Tip: Check what is actually included, and what is excluded. Take a closer look at the location, too. A further location might mean more costs in transport.
We recommend booking your hostel as early as possible! All of Crete best hostels are popular; especially in high-season. To make sure you end up in those stylish and good hostels, secure your room/ bed as soon as you have your travel dates fix.
The coolest Hostel App you need comes as well from Hostelworld. It gives you super cool features like you can contact your hostel mates beforehand and make plans together. Find more details in our review of the app
Ask all your questions and connect with like-minded wanderers 🔥
Things to do in Crete as Backpacker
During our stay at The Cocoon City Hostel, the hostel shared many fantastic tips with us. We want to share them with you below:
The most popular activities in Crete are:
Embark in a Jeep Safari
Enjoy the skies with Paragliding
Have a Bangee Jumping experience at the Aradena Bridge
Discover the underwater world with Scuba Diving.
Take a horse riding tour to feel the ruggedly beautiful wilderness of Chania region
Fun Bars in Chania
Fagotto jazz bar
Bras de frères
Peackock tail bar
Monastiri of Karolos
Cool Cafés in Chania
Great Restaurants in Chania
Backpacking Crete, Greece
As a standard, Greek islands come with impeccable nature and vistas you’ll remember for a lifetime – and Crete is no exception! The island is home to some of Europe’s finest beaches, including the famous Elafonisi, covered in pink sand! In addition, you can find many coves while you’re there to discover the island’s unique wildlife. However, Crete is not only known for transparent waters and sandy havens. On the contrary, plenty of mountain ranges with hiking trails can lead to the best landscapes on the island.
Moreover, you don’t need to be afraid of any harmful wild animals popping up, as according to Greek mythology, Hercules drew them all away!
There are many reasons why history enthusiasts adore Crete! Primarily, the Palace of Knossos tells the deep story of the Cretans through the Bronze Age, and it’s filled with amazing artwork such as the Cup Bearer Fresco and Prince of the Lillies Fresco. It is also believed that the Minotaur, the half-man/half-bull creature, trailed the labyrinths of Knossos – mythology fans, you’re in for a treat! Furthermore, Crete’s finest jewel is the city of Chania, the largest on the island. Here, you can walk down narrow cobbled streets while taking in the colourful vibrancy of the city. Additionally, you should head down to the Ottoman-influenced harbour that includes a 16th-century lighthouse, serving both as its entrance and as a monument for Crete’s diverse history. Keep in mind that this area is usually crowded, especially during summer, so the best time to visit would be around spring. The weather will serve you quite nicely as well, since the island experiences over 300 days of sun!
Balos Beach is just WOW (and Erofili Ερωφίλη Tavern)
You will need to rent a car to get here. You should also know that the road here takes a while, so plan an entire day for this day-trip from Chania. In off season, you won’t find any bar here, so pack water and snacks. On your way there or back, we have found a spectacular restaurant. The name is “Erofili (Ερωφίλη)“. It is a very authentic tavern with greece cuisine.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why Crete is a favourite amongst travellers worldwide! And, with our choices of the best hostels in Crete, you’re bound to have the trip of your lifetime!
Here we share with you the most asked question:
What are the best sites for finding hostels?
Of course, the best site to find hostels is Hostelgeeks.com
Not all hostels in Crete are necessarily safe, especially the ones that offer cheap prices in sketchy areas. They might be illegal hostels or ones without the proper licenses and safety measures put in place.
In all fairness, it is best to check out Hostelgeeks.com because we feature safe hostels in Crete. You can find backpacker hostels with top ratings here! Keep a close eye on the overall ratings on booking platforms!If you are not sure which hostel to pick, you can also email us and ask us!
Where to stay in Crete?
If you are just on public transport then Chania is definitely a better option. We recommend renting a car as public transport is not the best. Another option is to do day trips from Chania.
Flights to Crete?
There are two international airports on Crete: Heraklion Airport (HER) and Chania Airport (CHQ) with heavy air traffic, especially during the summer months. Ryanair has super cheap connections to Chania directly. From here you could even travel further for cheap prices. From Chania you can find cheap flights to Paphos, Cyprus, as an example.
We use Skyscanner and Omio.com to find cheap flights and good connections all over the globe.
Skyscanner has a bunch of cool features like Multi-City Trip. Instead of doing this research step-by-step, Skyscanner offers this flight planning tool.
Do you have any questions left, maybe doubts? Then please leave it in the comment below. We are very keen to help you - and actually you would even do us a favor!
Your question will help us to improve this Crete guide.
Last note: Our commitment
This is a genuine article to help you travel a bit smarter, and find the best place on a budget! We will never recommend you any place we haven’t evaluated or are not convinced by. We are constantly updating all our guides to keep them as fresh and accurate as possible.
Safe travels, The Hostelgeeks
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