Crete or Santorini

Updated: October 22, 2016

Santorini or Crete – Where To Go?

  • Santorini is the most magical incredible island in Greece. If you can only visit one island then it should be Santorini.
  • Crete is wonderful and beautiful too – it’s also much bigger and requires one to two weeks to tour the island properly.
  • Crete has more outdoor activities. Santorini has more tours. Both have wineries and great food.
  • Crete has better beaches but they’re really spread out and it takes a fair bit of effort to see the best beaches. Santorini is small and it’s easy to get around to all the prominent beaches.
  • Crete has more small traditional (non-touristy) villages.
  • Santorini is more romantic and better suited to a honeymoon.
  • Santorini has better and more unique luxury hotels.

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2 Questions and Comments

  1. Chania and Santorini for Honeymoon

    We are planning a 12 day honeymoon for Crete and Santorini in late August of 2017. A few questions:

    –Should we book ferry tickets in advance for Heraklion to Santorini?
    –We are currently planning for 6 nights in Chania, 2 nights in Heraklion, and 3 nights in Oia. Does that sound good?
    –We’re not real beach people but would like to get to at least one while in Greece. What’s the best beach in Crete and Santorini?

    Thanks, Rickie

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Ultimate Guide to Greece

      -Yes, that ferry can sell out in high season. Book ferry tickets here.
      -Chania is great but that’s a long time unless you’re planning to do several different day trips. I would cut Chania to 3 or 4 nights and then add 2 or 3 nights in Imerovigli in Santorini.
      -Elafonisi beach (about a 90 minute bus ride from Chania) is the best beach in Greece and great for swimming and relaxing. The beaches on Santorini are composed of volcanic rock and worth a visit too. (Santorini being much smaller, it’s quicker and easier to get to the beaches there.)

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