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ACCOMMODATION

It is unlikely that you could come to Crete at any time and not be able to find accommodation of some kind. Unsurprisingly though in peak season your choice will be severely limited unless you book in advance. In the age of the internet however, research and pre booking must be the option of choice, even in the low season pre booking will give you peace of mind and save wasting part of your valuable holiday on searching for suitable accommodation. The excellent, and free to download google earth program gives detailed street level satellite views of Crete, and indeed the rest of the planet. It should be possible, using this, to locate any advertised accommodation, and check out for yourself just how far a short walk to the beach really is.
All accommodation in Crete is licensed, or should be, by the Greek National Tourist Authority ( G.N.T.O. ). Accommodation is categorized thus:-

Hotels
Rooms to let
Self catering units ( tourist residences and villas )
Campsites
Youth Hostels

The accommodation is then categorized on a qualitative basis as Lux, A, B, C, D, E, with Lux being the best, A the next level down and so on. Or at least it was, a new star system is currently being introduced, from 1 to 5 stars with 5 being the best and obviously gradually descending. The more mathematically astute of you will have spotted an incompatibility problem here. This is because D and E class both now equate to 1 star. For the immediate future both systems will be running side by side until complete changeover is achieved.
Prices run between 20euro and 60euro per night approximately, though there is no upper limit in the Lux or 5 star class.
Accommodation is concentrated on the more populated north coast, where most tourists go, and therefore most facilities are. There is a good supply and variety of accommodation on the south coast, but the whole place has a quieter more laidback feel to it.

HOTELS


As with most things in life the old maxim of getting what you pay for applies pretty much across the board when it comes to accommodation of all types, in terms of facilities and appointment. Location though isn't quite as straightforward, as some of the better hotels serving primarily the business community are generally closer to business than the beach. Decide what you want and research a hotel that meets your needs.

ROOMS

rooms


Rooms are let on an informal basis all over Crete. Unfortunately you are unlikely to find comprehensive web sites giving details. As a general rule though whether by dint of the competition element or just the Cretan ethos, most rooms are clean, well appointed, and reasonably priced.
Staying in accommodation of this type will bring you into more direct contact with local people and provide a more intimate insight into local culture.

SELF CATERING UNITS


Useful for families with small children, and anyone who doesn't care to frequent restaurants for every meal. There are not a lot of these establishments that aren't tied in to package companies, but they are on the increase.

VILLAS


There has been a boom in the last few years of privately owned second homes being built in Crete, that shows little sign of abating. Consequently many of these properties, and indeed dedicated holiday villas are on the market for holiday rental as owners try to recover some of their outlay. There isn't a one stop shop for these though. They tend to be promoted through a variety of web sites that don't specialise in Crete. A trawl through the internet is the best way of finding these.
Prices are generally for the villa as opposed to per person. A reasonably well located villa with air conditioning and a pool, to sleep four people should cost  between 300euros and 900euros per week depending on the time of year.
A lot of these villas are in villages some way from the coast. This should guarantee peace and quiet, but local facilities may be lacking, and a hire car may become a necessity rather than an option.
Chief buyers are the Dutch, Scandinavians and the English, which may or may not give some indication of what you will find inside. Web sites for these places are generally very good in providing pictures and information though.

 

CAMPING


Camping is illegal in Greece on all but licensed camp sites, of which there are not that many in Crete. Similarly as with naturism though unofficial camping is tolerated providing it is done with discretion. That is to say away from popular public areas, and with respect for the immediate area.