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Car Hire in Crete: One Car, Many Destinations

Immerse yourself in Crete's exquisite charm and rich history while savouring the full spectrum of its beauty. One car, many destinations – a truly captivating experience.

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Imagine the freedom of exploring Crete, not as a mere tourist, but as an adventurer in your own rental car. The convenience and liberty that comes with car hire in Crete are unparalleled. Instead of being confined to the rigid schedules of organised tours, you can take the reins of your journey, venturing into hidden corners of this diverse Greek island at your own pace. Every day, a new route, a new destination, a new experience awaits. Your rental car is not just a mode of transport; it is your passport to the breathtakingly vibrant landscapes of Crete.

Crete, with its stunning landscapes, beautiful beaches, ancient ruins, and vibrant towns, offers an unforgettable journey. Explore the island’s wonders with a unique concept: stay at a different hotel each day. Immerse yourself in Crete’s exquisite charm and rich history while savouring the full spectrum of its beauty. One car, many destinations – a truly captivating experience.

Prepare to fall in love with Crete as you navigate the scenic routes, the historical sites, and the daily cultural surprises. This article is your guide to a car hire adventure in Crete, designed to enrich your journey with treasured memories. Buckle up as we take you through the most enchanting corners of Crete, answering all your questions about car rentals along the way.

The Allure of Crete

Diverse Landscapes

Crete, with its diverse landscapes, invites you on a journey of discovery. Imagine golden beaches stretching to the horizon, embraced by the turquoise Mediterranean Sea. Picture craggy mountains, veiled in morning mist, adorned with wildflowers. In the heart of the island, vineyards and olive groves bask in the sun, while peaceful villages dot the landscape. With a rental car, explore coastal roads where sea and citrus groves mingle. Ascend mountain trails for breathtaking vistas. Each turn unveils a new facet of Crete’s beauty, transforming your journey into an exploration of boundless allure.

Rich History and Culture

Crete, the birthplace of the ancient Minoan civilization, invites you with its rich history and culture. With a rental car in Crete, embark on a time-traveling adventure, exploring ancient ruins, churches, and fortresses. Imagine standing before the majestic Palace of Knossos, its ancient walls whispering tales of Minos and the Minotaur. Picture yourself wandering the streets of Rethymno’s old town, its Venetian fort and Ottoman mosques showcasing the island’s diverse past. In the south, the Phaistos archaeological site reveals the remnants of a Minoan palace, narrating a story of power and decline. Each site uncovers a new chapter of Crete’s history, with a rental car as your time machine, enabling exploration at your own pace. Beyond the tourist trails, discover forgotten villages and hidden monasteries, each holding their own secret stories. Journey through Crete and experience its history firsthand.

crete ticket Car Hire in Crete: One Car, Many Destinations
crete church Car Hire in Crete: One Car, Many Destinations
elounda driving Car Hire in Crete: One Car, Many Destinations

The Convenience of One Car, Many Destinations

Freedom to Roam

Having a rental car in Crete means allowing yourself the freedom to roam at your own pace. It’s liberating, to say the least. You’re not bound by tour schedules or public transportation timetables. You set the rhythm of your adventure. Imagine driving along the coastal road, when a quaint seaside village catches your eye. You can decide on a whim to pull over, explore the narrow streets, maybe even stay for a sunset dinner at a local taverna. Or picture yourself coming across a sign for a hidden beach that’s not on any tourist map. With your own car, you can make that detour, spend the day soaking up the sunshine, and discover a secret slice of Crete that’s off the beaten path. These spontaneous detours, these unexpected discoveries, are the moments that make your vacation truly unforgettable. And a rental car gives you the freedom and flexibility to make them happen.

Choosing the Right Vehicle: Small Cars, SUVs, and Seven-Seaters

Small Cars🚗

Navigating through Crete’s quaint villages and winding mountain roads can be a joy in a small car. With their compact size and excellent fuel efficiency, small cars are a budget-friendly and environmentally conscious choice. They’re easy to park, easy to manoeuvre, and perfect for solo travellers or couples looking to explore Crete in a fun, economical way.

Small Car Hire Prices in Crete

Hiring a small car in Crete is an affordable option, especially for those mindful of their holiday budget. Prices for small car rentals vary depending on the season and the duration of the rental period but typically, you can expect to pay between €20-€35 per day during the off-peak season. In the peak tourist season, the prices can rise slightly but are still quite reasonable, ranging roughly between €25-€50 per day. These prices usually include basic insurance coverage. Some car hire services offer additional discounts for longer rental periods. It’s always advisable to book your rental car in advance, especially during the peak season, to secure the best deals and ensure availability. With various car hire services in Crete, you’re sure to find a deal that suits your budget and your needs.


For those craving a bit of adventure, an SUV could be your ideal travelling companion in Crete. With their robust build and spacious interior, SUVs are well equipped to handle Crete’s diverse terrains, from mountain trails to sandy beaches. They also offer more cargo space, which is handy if you’re planning on carrying beach gear or luggage for a small group. An SUV provides a comfortable ride without compromising on the spirit of adventure, making it a great choice for families or small groups.

SUV Hire Prices in Crete

Renting an SUV in Crete is a budget-friendly choice for groups or adventure seekers. Prices fluctuate based on season and rental duration, with off-peak rates typically ranging between €30-€50 per day. During tourist high season, expect slightly higher rates, around €50-€85 per day. These estimates usually encompass basic insurance coverage. For better deals and ensured availability, especially in peak season, it’s recommended to book your SUV rental in advance. With numerous car hire services in Crete, you’ll undoubtedly find a package fitting your budget and preferences.


Travelling with a larger group or family? A seven-seater vehicle offers the space and comfort you’re looking for. With ample room for passengers and luggage, everyone can travel comfortably without feeling cramped. Whether you’re planning a group tour of Crete’s historical sites or a family holiday, a seven-seater ensures you have the space to accommodate everyone and everything you need for your trip.

Seven-Seater Hire Prices in Crete

Renting a seven-seater vehicle in Crete caters perfectly to large families or groups looking for comfortable and spacious travel. Prices can vary with the season and length of rental, but generally, you can expect to pay between €60-€85 per day during the off-peak season. In the peak tourist season, rates may increase to between €70-€120 per day. These prices usually include basic insurance coverage. It’s worth noting that securing better deals and ensuring availability, particularly in the high season, is best achieved by booking your seven-seater rental in advance. There are numerous car hire services in Crete, allowing you to find a package aligned with your group’s budget and needs. For further details about seven-seater car rentals, you might want to consider this link💪 which provides ample information on seven-seater rentals in the neighbouring island of Rhodes.

8 3 Car Hire in Crete: One Car, Many Destinations

In summary, your choice of vehicle will depend on your specific travel needs and the kind of adventure you’re planning in Crete. Opt for a small car if you’re seeking a cost-effective, easy-to-maneuver option. Choose an SUV if you want the versatility to explore varied terrains and need extra cargo space. And if you’re travelling with a larger group or family, a seven-seater offers the perfect balance between passenger capacity and comfort. Check the following article to explore all the posibilities to craft your car hire strategy🤖 carefully.

heraklion to knossos Car Hire in Crete: One Car, Many Destinations
Heraklion to Knossos Palace Route
heraklion to agios nikolaos Car Hire in Crete: One Car, Many Destinations
Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos Route
chania to ierapetra Car Hire in Crete: One Car, Many Destinations
Ierapetra to Chania Route

Your Crete Itinerary: Six Days of Discovery

Day 1: Exploring Heraklion

Arrival and Hotel Check-in

Touching down at Heraklion Airport, the adventure begins. A seamless hotel check-in at your chosen local accommodation sets the tone for a comfortable, hassle-free stay. You’ll find that the Cretan hospitality extends from the bustling streets right into your hotel lobby.

knossos Car Hire in Crete: One Car, Many DestinationsKnossos Palace Visit

Your first stop is the legendary Knossos Palace, a symbol of the ancient Minoan civilization. Feel the thrill of anticipation as you navigate through its labyrinthine corridors, each turn revealing fascinating artifacts and frescoes that echo with the tales of King Minos and the Minotaur. Amid the ruins, history comes alive, whispering ancient stories of power, intrigue, and myth.

Buy Skip the line tickets from Knossos Official Website.

Heraklion Museum

Continue your historical journey at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of Minoan artifacts. Here, each relic and artifact holds a piece of the puzzle, shedding light on the mysteries of this ancient civilization. As you wander through the museum, the vibrant Minoan culture unfolds before your eyes, its story told through intricate pottery, delicate jewellery, and imposing statuary.

Lunch at Erganos Restaurant

For lunch, Erganos Restaurant offers a delightful introduction to Cretan cuisine. Sample the ‘dakos’, a traditional crunchy bread topped with fresh tomatoes and mizithra cheese, or the hearty ‘gamopilafo’, a local risotto-style dish. Each bite is a tribute to Crete’s culinary heritage, combining fresh local ingredients with time-honoured recipes.

Heraklion Center Exploration

Immerse yourself in the vibrant city centre of Heraklion, where history and modernity play a fascinating duet. Explore charming boutiques, marvel at the Venetian fortress Koules that guards the old harbour, or lose yourself in the vibrant market streets brimming with local produce and crafts. Stop by Morosini Fountain, an iconic symbol of the city’s Venetian past, and let the pulsing energy of the city draw you into its rhythm.

Dinner in Heraklion

End your day with a delectable dinner in Heraklion, a city celebrated for its diverse dining scene. Whether you’re seeking a traditional Cretan feast or a gourmet culinary experience, Heraklion has it all. The city is a gastronomic paradise, home to both quaint tavernas serving authentic local fare and high-end restaurants that reinterpret the island’s culinary heritage with a touch of modern elegance. For the traditionalists, the tavernas in the old town offer beloved Cretan dishes prepared from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. If it’s gourmet you’re after, Heraklion’s upscale dining establishments serve up innovative cuisine that beautifully marries Mediterranean flavours with contemporary culinary techniques. Whichever culinary path you choose, rest assured that every meal in Heraklion is a sensory journey into the heart of Crete’s rich gastronomic tradition.

Nightcap in the City

End your day with a nightcap at one of Heraklion’s intimate bars. Sip on ‘raki’, Crete’s traditional spirit, under the starlit sky, and let the day’s adventures simmer in your thoughts. The soft hum of the city at night, coupled with the relaxed atmosphere, provides the perfect ending to your first day in Crete.

Day 2: Agios Nikolaos

Scenic Drive to Agios Nikolaos

As the sun rises, start your second day with a leisurely drive towards Agios Nikolaos, located on Crete’s eastern coast. The roughly 66km journey promises a visual feast of Crete’s stunning landscapes. Along the way, you’ll pass by charming villages, lush vineyards, and olive groves that stretch out against the cerulean sky. Don’t miss a stop at Kritsa, one of Crete’s oldest and most picturesque villages. Here, narrow alleys snake between traditional whitewashed houses, inviting you to take a short walk and soak in the genuine Cretan lifestyle.

spinalonga Car Hire in Crete: One Car, Many DestinationsExploration of Agios Nikolaos

Agios Nikolaos, with its charming harbour and glittering lake, is a jewel in the crown of Crete. Begin your exploration at Lake Voulismeni, a small lagoon in the heart of the town, connected to the sea by a narrow channel. According to local folklore, the lake is bottomless and was the bathing place of goddess Athena. Next, head to the Archaeological Museum of Agios Nikolaos, where a collection of Minoan gold and Mycenean clay figurines narrate tales of the island’s ancient history. Stroll along the marina, take a dip at one of the nearby sandy beaches, or simply enjoy a cup of Greek coffee at a waterfront café, absorbing the town’s laid-back atmosphere.

Overnight Stay in Agios Nikolaos

Finding a place to stay in Agios Nikolaos is pleasantly simple, with options spanning from charming bed-and-breakfasts to luxury resorts. Prioritise a convenient location— a hotel near the town centre or beach allows easy access to local attractions. Consider amenities that cater to your comfort, such as an in-house restaurant, pool or sea-view rooms. For a truly immersive experience, opt for a family-run establishment where Cretan hospitality shines. As the evening unfolds, enjoy the tranquil charm of this coastal town, its twinkling lights reflecting on the calm waters of the bay— a perfect end to your second day in Crete.

Day 3: Spinalonga

Spinalonga Tour

Kick start your day with a tour to the Island of Spinalonga, an important cultural landmark that was once a Venetian fortress and a leper colony. Booking a tour to this historical island is an opportunity to delve into Crete’s fascinating past. As you wander through the preserved houses and buildings, tales of resilience, struggle and human spirit come to life. Do not miss the small museum that showcases life on the island during its time as a leper colony. The striking contrast of the island’s sombre history and the sparkling azure waters that surround it makes a visit to Spinalonga an unforgettable experience.

Dinner in the Area

After spending the day steeped in history, unwind at the charming ‘Taverna Giorgos’, nestled close to Spinalonga. As you savour delicacies like ‘stifado’ (a hearty beef stew) or ‘chochlioi boubouristi’ (fried snails), a traditional Cretan dish, the restaurant’s warm and inviting atmosphere will make you feel right at home. Dine al fresco and enjoy the breathtaking view of Spinalonga, bathed in the golden hues of the setting sun. The combination of delicious local food, friendly service, and stunning scenery makes ‘Taverna Giorgos’ the perfect spot to end your third day in Crete.

Day 4: Ierapetra Beach and Drive to Chania

Ierapetra Beach Visit

Start your fourth day in Crete at Ierapetra, a beach paradise that offers more than just a typical day under the sun. Known as the ‘bride of the Libyan Sea’, Ierapetra’s sun-drenched beaches are a haven for sun-seekers and watersports enthusiasts alike. From the azure waters of Agia Fotia to the golden sands of Koutsounari, each beach presents its own character. Take a leisurely swim in the crystal-clear waters, or partake in a range of watersports, from windsurfing to snorkeling. If you’re in search of tranquillity, stake out a spot under the shade of the tamarisk trees dotted along the beaches, and lose yourself in a good book or merely bask in the serenity of the surroundings. Don’t forget to pack your picnic gear— a beachside lunch of local cheeses, fruits, and a bottle of Cretan wine can elevate your beach experience to exceptional.

Drive to Chania

After a leisurely morning at Ierapetra beach, embark on a scenic drive to Chania, one of Crete’s most charming cities. The drive, approximately 300 kilometres (3 hours drive) , unfolds across Crete’s diverse landscapes. As you traverse this distance, you’ll pass through traditional villages and vast olive groves, witnessing the authentic Cretan lifestyle. A recommended pit stop is the Imbros Gorge, located halfway through the journey. The viewpoint offers stunning panoramas of the deep gorge cradled between towering mountains, a breathtaking sight indeed. While the drive is long, the ever-changing vistas and the anticipation of reaching Chania, with its Venetian harbour and beautiful old town, make the journey an integral part of your Crete adventure. A car hire in Crete is your passport to these unforgettable experiences, revealing the many surprises this enchanting island holds at every turn.

Day 5: Exploration of Chania

Chania City Highlights

Delve into the heart of Crete’s cultural richness with a day spent exploring Chania. Start your day at the captivating Venetian Harbour, Chania’s historical centrepiece. From the quaint lighthouse to the Fort Firkas, each corner of this harbour whispers tales of the past. Wander through the narrow, labyrinthine streets of Chania’s Old Town, where Venetian, Ottoman and Neoclassical influences blend seamlessly, creating an architectural tapestry that stands as a testament to the city’s diverse history. Visit the Chania Archaeological Museum situated within the gorgeously restored Venetian church of St. Francis, which exhibits a wide range of artefacts from Neolithic to Roman periods. Don’t miss the bustling Chania Municipal Market, or Agora, where the vibrant display of fresh local produce, cheeses, and spices offer a sensory delight. A day in Chania provides you with a rich cultural palette, an embodiment of the essence of Crete.

Nearby Beaches

A stone’s throw away from Chania are some of Crete’s most beautiful beaches, each boasting unique landscapes and attractions. The exotic Balos Lagoon, with its turquoise waters and white sand, offers an almost Caribbean-like setting, a striking contrast to the rugged Cretan topography. Equally impressive is Falassarna beach, renowned for its crystal-clear waters and broad sandy beach. For a more secluded experience, head over to Seitan Limania, a hidden gem nestled between steep cliffs. Wherever you choose to unwind, the beaches near Chania are a testament to Crete’s diverse beauty, easily reachable with a car hire in Crete.

Day 6: Departure from Chania

Chania Airport Drop-off

As your adventure in Crete draws to a close, a smooth transition is key. Returning your rental car at Chania Airport is straightforward. Be sure to fill up the petrol tank in accordance with your rental agreement to avoid additional charges. Arrive at least 2 hours before your flight to allow time for car return, check-in, and security. It’s also a good idea to check the car for personal belongings and leave it clean to ensure a hassle-free return.


The splendour of Crete is undeniably compelling, with each day unfolding a different chapter of its rich tapestry. From the historical depth of Spinalonga, the sun-kissed shores of Ierapetra, to the cultural bounty of Chania, Crete has offered a myriad of experiences, each one etched in memory. The convenience of a car hire in Crete has allowed us to traverse the island’s diverse landscapes, painting our own journey amidst its timeless allure. As we bid adieu, we leave with a suitcase full of sunsets, smiles, and stories, carrying a piece of Crete in our hearts, forever.

Get a car hire quote for Crete

Unforgettable Cretan Adventures with a Car Rental

Summing up, the journey through Crete is more of an adventure than a trip. A car rental gives you the freedom to immerse yourself fully in the diverse landscapes, absorbing the energy of vibrant towns, the tranquility of remote beaches, and the rich history of ancient sites. The flexibility of having your own vehicle empowers you to follow your curiosity, making spontaneous detours and discovering hidden gems. In essence, car hire in Crete is not just about convenience; it’s about crafting your unique narrative of exploration and discovery. So why not consider a similar itinerary for your Cretan adventure? With one car, many destinations await!

FAQ About Car Rental in Crete🧾

What are the requirements to rent a car in Crete?

In Crete, the minimum age to rent a car is generally 21, but this can vary depending on the rental company. Some may charge a ‘young driver surcharge’ for renters under 25. It’s essential to have a valid driver’s license for at least a year. For non-European Union residents, an International Driving Permit is usually required.

Where can I find the best car hire deals in Crete?

For the best car rental deals in Crete, head the platform here at, where you can find the perfect option in partnership with top car rental companies worldwide. Compare prices, services, and take advantage of promotions, discounts, and package deals to get the best value for your money.

Is it worth it to rent a car from Heraklion or Chania Airport upon my arrival?✈️

Renting a car directly at Heraklion Airport is a convenient and efficient option. It eliminates the need for additional transfers or delays, allowing you to start exploring Crete at your own pace immediately upon arrival. This flexibility is particularly useful for reaching both popular and off-the-beaten-path destinations using Crete’s well-maintained road network.

Should I book my rental car in advance?

Yes, booking your rental car in advance is advisable. It ensures a smooth transition upon arrival and guarantees that you secure your preferred vehicle type. This way, you can start your journey in Crete without any hitches.

Your Cretan Adventure Awaits!

Exploring Crete by car is a transformative experience that offers a unique blend of adventure, relaxation, and cultural immersion. It allows you to tailor your journey to your interests, creating a memorable narrative of discovery. Whether you’re soaking in the sun at a secluded beach, hiking through Europe’s longest gorge, or savouring local cuisine, the magic of Crete is best explored at your own pace. So why not embark on your own Cretan adventure? With a car hire in Crete, the many delights of this captivating island are just a drive away!

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