Determining the “nicest” town in Crete is a subjective endeavor, as the island offers a diverse range of towns and villages, each with its own unique charm and appeal. However, several towns stand out for their beauty, history, cultural significance, and overall visitor experience. Here, we explore some of the top contenders for the title of the “nicest” town in Crete:


Chania, located on the northwest coast of Crete, is often hailed as one of the island’s most picturesque and charming towns. Its old town, characterized by narrow cobblestone streets, Venetian and Ottoman architecture, and colorful buildings adorned with bougainvillea, exudes a romantic and nostalgic ambiance. The Venetian Harbor with its iconic lighthouse and waterfront promenade is a focal point, offering stunning views and a vibrant atmosphere with numerous cafes, restaurants, and shops. Chania also boasts historical sites like the Venetian Fortress, museums showcasing Cretan art and history, and nearby beautiful beaches such as Balos and Elafonissi.


Rethymno, located between Chania and Heraklion on the northern coast, is another contender for the title of the nicest town in Crete. Its old town is a blend of Venetian, Ottoman, and Greek architecture, featuring narrow alleys, arched doorways, and traditional houses adorned with wooden balconies. The Venetian Harbor and Fortezza Castle, a 16th-century fortress offering panoramic views, are prominent landmarks. Rethymno also boasts a long sandy beach, vibrant nightlife, and a rich cultural scene with festivals and events throughout the year.


As the capital city of Crete, Heraklion offers a different but equally compelling experience. While it may not have the same picturesque old town charm as Chania or Rethymno, Heraklion is a bustling city with a rich historical and cultural heritage. The Palace of Knossos, the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete, and the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, home to an extensive collection of Minoan artifacts, are major draws for history enthusiasts. The city also offers a lively atmosphere with markets, cafes, and restaurants serving authentic Cretan cuisine, along with easy access to nearby beaches and natural attractions.

Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaos, situated on the northeastern coast of Crete, is renowned for its picturesque setting around Lake Voulismeni, a small, circular lake connected to the sea by a narrow channel. The town’s waterfront promenade, lined with cafes and restaurants, offers stunning views of the lake and nearby Kitroplatia Beach. Agios Nikolaos also boasts archaeological sites, including the Ancient City of Lato and Spinalonga Island, a former leper colony with a fascinating history.

While each town in Crete has its own unique appeal and beauty, Chania, Rethymno, Heraklion, and Agios Nikolaos stand out as some of the nicest towns on the island. Whether you prefer the romantic charm of Chania’s old town, the historical richness of Rethymno, the vibrant city life of Heraklion, or the serene beauty of Agios Nikolaos, Crete offers a variety of towns that cater to different interests and preferences. Exploring these towns and experiencing their cultural, historical, and natural wonders is sure to leave visitors with lasting memories of this enchanting Greek island.

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