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Best family hotels in Crete, as recommended by parents

From buzzing cities and archaeological sites, to all-inclusive resorts and waterparks. Crete is a great family holiday destination. Here’s our guide to the best family hotels in Crete.

By Karen Basnett | Last updated Aug 23, 2022

Best family hotels in Crete

Crete is an incredibly diverse island. It boasts scenic beaches, luscious mountains, and a variety of attractions, rich in ancient history and culture.

As the largest of the Greek islands, Crete is huge and is considered to have some of the most picturesque beaches in Greece. Many of them are suitable for families as they have shallow seas and sandy coves. A holiday here will undoubtedly keep the whole family happy and provide an unforgettable experience.

Crete has an incredible culinary scene and is famous for its Mediterranean delights. Plus, Cretans love kids and are renowned for their warm hospitality.

There truly is something for all ages, from buzzing cities and traditional villages to the chance to discover Europe’s oldest civilisation by exploring museums and archaeological sites that bring ancient myths to life.

There is accommodation for every kind of family, whether you are looking for a carefree all-inclusive with a beach, an on-site waterpark, or exclusive luxury at A-lister Elounda with gourmet restaurants and first-class kids’ clubs. No matter where you stay in Crete, you’ll find unique activities to enjoy for the day within a short drive.

Whether you’re after a 5* resort with all the frills or a friendly base from which to explore Greece’s biggest island, read our recommendations to discover the best family hotels in Crete.

What are the best family hotels in Crete?

1. Best overall family hotel: Atlantica Caldera Palace

Atlantica Caldera Palace

Atlantica Caldera Palace | Check availability

“We stayed at the Atlantica Caldera in 2020 and it was lovely, great staff, very clean, tasty food and the kids pool was fun.” Recommended by whoruntheworldgirls

A stunning resort in Analipsi, a traditional village overlooking the golden sands and crystal-clear waters of Lyttos Beach. Atlantica Caldera Palace is a magical place to stay in northern Crete. With six pools including a kids’ pool complete with slides and splash areas. Seven restaurants, a spa and an industry-leading children’s club.

If you’re holidaying with young children, they offer a sensory nursery and playhouse with supervised sessions for three to twelve-year-olds. There’s also an entertainment venue for all the family where you can enjoy live shows.

Large family rooms accommodate four, with a double bed, sofa beds and sliding doors. Plus, there is a variety of suites that can sleep between two and five people. These feature a separate bedroom with a double bed and a living area with extra beds and folding beds. Most room types are available as swim-up or private pool rooms.

2. Best hotel for babies: Domes of Elounda, Elounda

Domes of Elounda, Elounda

Domes of Elounda | Check availability

“Went to Domes of Elounda this May half term. Beautiful place! Crete is lovely, as are the people. It has a fantastic children’s pool and a fabulous beach which is perfect for children too.” Recommended by Frolie

Overlooking eastern Crete’s spectacular Mirabello Bay, the luxury five* baby and toddler-friendly Domes of Elounda is set in a spectacular hillside location with stunning sea views. The hotel has a private sandy beach with shallow waters ideal for little ones. There is a variety of family swimming pools, a deluxe spa and four gourmet restaurants.

They have a creche for babies aged four months to four years, and a kids club with an eco-playground, BMX park and climbing wall. There’s a focus on sustainability, healthy eating, and gardening at the hotel. Best of all, two children stay for free.

3. Best for sporty families: Lyttos Beach, Hersonissos

Lyttos Beach, Hersonissos

Lyttos Beach  | Check availability

“Lyttos Beach is amazing...” Recommended by bellamountain

Lyttos Beach Hotel is directly situated on a blue flag beach in the village of Anissaras. Surrounded by a 150-acre park, it boasts two Olympic-sized pools, an aqua park with waterslides, twenty-one tennis courts and a tennis academy for all ages. There’s also a brand-new outdoor basketball court, bike hire, as well as free coaching for young aspiring footballers.

If that's not enough to keep the children busy, the animation team organises pool activities and games, and themed parties during the day and night. Plus, several entertaining events take place in the hotel's open-air theatre and there is an outdoor disco during the evenings.

4. Best for families with teens: Creta Maris Beach Resort

Creta Maris Beach Resort

Creta Maris Beach Resort  | Check availability

"Creta Maris Beach Resort." Recommended by Fivemoreminutes1

The Creta Maris Beach is set in a beautiful location in the popular resort of Hersonissos. The complex has an authentic Greek feel with white-washed buildings in a village-like setting. Plenty is available to keep the kids entertained. There's an outdoor cinema and a room for babies up to age five, a kid’s club for ages four to eleven and another club for twelve to fifteen-year-olds. Plus, six kids pools, a splash park, and a water park. From morning until night, the entertainment team keeps guests entertained.

Family suites are available and there are endless bars and restaurants around the resort, with an all-inclusive option. The Creta Maris Beach is a real hit with families as it has so much to offer children of all ages.

5. Best family self-catering apartments: Village Heights Resort, Hersonisoss

Village Heights Resort, Hersonisoss

Village Heights Resort  | Check availability

If you’re looking for a fantastic self-catering resort in Crete, then the Village Heights Resort is for you. This wonderful hotel is located just outside of Hersonissos and has its own beach area. This is an ideal place to stay with kids in Crete, with tennis, mini-golf, basketball, two outdoor swimming pools and one indoor pool on offer. Nearby you will find the CRETAquarium and the Labyrinth Theme Park.

The apartments and villas have everything you need to enjoy self-catering, but there are also two handy restaurants on-site. The grounds here are incredibly gorgeous. They have a mini kid’s club for three to twelve years olds, a playground and staff that will make you feel like family.

Spacious and comfortable self-catered apartments are available, featuring one, two or three bedrooms, all with fully equipped kitchenettes with a view of the sea, resort gardens, and mountains.

6. Best for toddlers: Kiani Beach Resort, Kalami

Kiani Beach Resort, Kalami

Kiani Beach Resort | Check availability

“We go to Crete in late October and love it. We stayed at Kiani Beach Resort. It is quiet but right on the beach but only 25/30 minutes from Chania.” Recommended by montessorinanny

Kiani Beach Resort is a popular 5* family hotel perched on the award-winning blue flag beach of Kiani Akti, just outside of Kalyves village in Crete. This stunning retreat is ideal for families with young children as it has been specially designed to comfortably accommodate adults and younger guests.

The hotel offers all that you may need for a stress-free holiday with a toddler in tow, such as strollers, highchairs, walkie-talkies, a baby bath, a baby cot, and sterilisers.

The complex features sports facilities, two outdoor swimming pools, one specially for children and an extensive entertainment program, including plenty of activities to keep the little ones amused.

Toddlers will love the pirate ship-themed playground, the inflatable jumping castle and the kid's pool complete with slides and a fountain. There are loads of family-friendly activities, and a packed entertainment programme running throughout the day. During the evening, the hotel offers entertainment including a Greek night, karaoke night, DJ nights, quizzes, live music and shows.

The hotel offers a convenient all-inclusive option and rooms are ideal for families as they can hold between six to eight guests.

7. Best for a relaxing family villa holiday: Villa Amaltheia, Chania

Villa Amaltheia, Chania

Villa Amaltheia | Check availability

“We stayed here and it was complete and utter bliss! The villa was ultra-secluded and it was the most relaxing holiday we have ever had...a car is a must though but relatively easy to get to! Amazing place... loved it!” Recommended by Bea

Located on the edge of the traditional village of Xirosterni in the Cretan countryside, Villa Amaltheia is completely secluded. The villa has glorious panoramic sea and mountain views which can be enjoyed from all its terraces and balconies. The layout has been very thoughtfully planned, and the villa is fully equipped so you have everything your family could need for a comfortable stay.

The villa has three double bedrooms, a private outdoor pool, BBQ, a games room with table football and air hockey table, a full-size outdoor table tennis table, a cot and a high chair.

It is glorious to relax watching the sun go down over Souda Bay with the White Mountains to one side, and the sparkling lights of the Akrotiri peninsula to the other side. If a villa holiday that meets the needs of your family, Villa Amaltheia is a perfect choice.

8. Best for families of all ages: Stella Palace Hotel & Village Apartments

Stella Palace Hotel & Village Apartments

Stella Palace Hotel & Village Apartments | Check availability

“We stayed at Stella palace, about 20 mins from the airport, it's a beautiful resort. There is also Stella village attached, this is cheaper, but you can't use the restaurants in the palace they have also just built Stella island next door which is an adults only resort, absolutely stunning.” Recommended by  purpleboy

Stella village offers the ultimate holiday experience. Whether you have babies, toddlers, small children or teenagers, family fun and entertainment never stop.

The resort combines a group of four hotels (two children friendly, two adults only), and is a 5* upscale hotel that offers chic relaxation and magnificent family rooms and restaurants. For families, the resort’s bungalows offer more simplistic accommodation to cover the needs of families who are looking for apartments to stay in.

Complete with a brand-new Aqua Park, that has waterslides, splash pools, circular tubes, aqua towers, and activity stations. The Stella Kids Club, the pirate pool and kids’ playground, along with football, tennis, water polo, table tennis, volleyball, and mini golf are guaranteed to keep the kids amused. When the sun goes down evening entertainment is on at the open-air amphitheatre with a mini-disco, kids cinema and thematic shows.

Whichever option you choose for your stay, you can benefit from all the amenities at Stella Village, and you will be sure to have a fun holiday for all the family.

9. Best for ultimate luxury: Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas - Agios Nikolaos

Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas - Agios Nikolaos

Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas | Check availability

“Another vote for Daios Cove in Crete. We had a fabulous time here. Fantastic resort definitely go for the villa with a heated pool, rather than the room with an individual pool though, as some rooms don’t get the sun, so might be a tad cold for a toddler.” Recommended by lurker101 

The sophisticated Daios Cove Resort & Villas is a 5* beach hotel in Agios Nikolaos situated in the North-East of Crete. The hotel occupies a prime location, set on the hillside above its own child-friendly private sandy beach with shallow waters perfect for swimming and snorkelling.

The family-friendly atmosphere at Daios Cove offers children an entertaining and safe environment in which to play, have fun and let off steam. It’s a paradise for families, there’s an on-site crèche with British and local staff, a kids club, along with excellent and varied restaurants that cater well for children and private pools with sea views at each villa, add to that the ease of transfer from Crete’s main airport. At Daios Cove, you'll all have a holiday experience you'll never forget!

10. Best for a budget friendly stay: Grecotel Marine Palace & Aqua Park, Panormos

Grecotel Marine Palace & Aqua Park, Panormos

Grecotel Marine Palace & Aqua Park | Check availability

“I’d suggest Grecotel Marine Palace because the Casa Marina Family Apartments sleep six, it has a teens club and it’s within walking distance of tavernas.” Recommended by Fivemoreminutes1

Designed to reflect a Cretan village, the budget friendly Grecotel Club Marine Palace & Suites offers an excellent all-inclusive getaway with nonstop fun for all the family.

The beautiful beachfront complex is a firm favourite as children can make a splash at the on-site waterpark, filled with heart-stopping, adrenaline-pumping, aqua towers, rides, water slides and splash park. While adults relax and indulge in spa treatments, or for the more active you have the pick of six swimming pools, and the outstanding animation team is on hand with an exceptional array of games, competitions, and classes throughout the day.

Traditional in style, rooms are spacious and well-equipped and there are numerous bars and restaurants throughout the property to satisfy all tastes.

A short stroll out of the hotel will bring you to the pretty fishing village of Panormos, where winding streets full of tavernas and bars come to life at night.

Which part of Crete is best for families?

The island of Crete is a magnificent destination for a child-friendly holiday, with a wide variety of options and resorts. Each part of Crete is unique and features its own character and landscapes.

Along the north coast of the island is the lively area of Hersonissos, one of the most popular Cretan seaside resorts which offers some of the best child-friendly beaches on the island and a variety of fun activities for the whole family.

On the north-eastern coast of Crete, you will find Elounda, which is situated on the stunning Gulf of Mirabello. It is famous for its expensive and luxurious hotels and some of the most picturesque landscapes in Crete.

Kids will enjoy staying in Heraklion, which offers tons of family-friendly activities. It's extremely near the capital and you will find fantastic theme parks, water parks, and museums.

Crete’s largest towns are Chania and Rethymno both located on the west side of Crete and are very charming and popular resorts to stay at.

If you want to escape the crowds you can head to the south, which offers authentic Cretan culture and is less developed than the north.

Wherever you choose to stay you will not be disappointed. The Greeks are naturally very welcoming of families and kids of all ages.

When is the best time to visit Crete?

Crete has one of the best climates in Europe. Throughout the year, the island enjoys pleasant weather, making it an ideal destination for families. Crete falls into two climate zones: the Mediterranean one to the north and the North-African one to the south. The temperature of the sea doesn’t go below 15°C in winter.

Summers are hot, but winters are mild, and springs and autumns are pleasant. Fresh north winds help alleviate summer heat.

How we chose our recommendations

Our recommendations are based on feedback from real parents, Mumsnet forums, customer testimonials, and review sites. Being parents ourselves helps us to understand what families need when booking a holiday, and we always offer unbiased, independent advice you can trust.

After we’ve collated our hotel picks, we then turn to the experts and consult the likes of TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and Expedia to see what their recommendations include for family holidays to Crete.

Here we’ll also check what travellers are saying on these sites, taking into consideration both the positive and negative points of their trip to bring you a well-rounded and honest guide.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.