Are you wondering if you should visit Rhodes or Crete? Then this guide is for you! We share detailed information to help you weigh up Crete vs. Rhodes and show what each island offers and who should (and should not) visit.
There are many Greek islands; in fact, there are far more than you might realize, as many are uninhabited. So, when you’re deciding which island to choose for your next vacation, you might find that you’re spoiled for choice.
If you’re looking for plenty of things to see and do and lots of amenities, you’ll probably end up shortlisting down to either Crete or Rhodes. It’s no surprise; these are two of the largest islands in the whole of Greece. But how can you choose between them?
Well, it comes down to small details and knowing what you want to get out of your break. This guide should help you work out your decision.
Keep reading below for our in-depth analysis on weighing up Crete vs. Rhodes
Crete is the largest island in Greece and also the fifth largest in the entire Mediterranean. That should give you some idea of how much there is to see and do here.
The other plus point about Crete is that you’ll have a totally different experience in different areas; it’s almost like several small islands rolled into one!
The capital city is called Heraklion, and this is where the international airport is, connecting Crete with the mainland and countless destinations across Europe.
This is a vibrant city, but it’s certainly not the whole of Crete; Chania, Agios Nikolaos, and Elouna are also notable spots you should definitely put on your list.
So, why should you choose Crete, and what might make you think twice?
Why You Should Visit Crete Vs. Rhodes
- It is easy to island hop from Heraklion port. That means you can visit more than one island, including Santorini, which is around 2 hours away
- Getting around the island is very easy, thanks to a great bus network, which Heraklion is the hub for. Buses connect all major sights, although you can choose to hire a car or scooter if you prefer
- Crete is an all-year-round destination, which means it doesn’t rely on tourism. You can visit Crete no matter what the month of the year, and you’ll find cheaper prices outside of the peak summer months
- Prices tend to be lower in Crete compared to Rhodes. This is also because the island isn’t totally reliant upon tourism during the summer months
- Crete’s size means there is a town for everyone. If you’re looking for a family base, Chania is a good option, while Heraklion is ideal for those searching for amazing nightlife
- Walkers often flock to Crete every year because it’s famous for its walking trails. In fact, it’s part of the European Hiking Trail, with Samaria Gorge, one of the most beautiful
- Elafonissi Beach is one of the most beautiful you’ll ever see, and it’s unique because it appears to have pink sand! However, an island this size means you won’t struggle to find a beach
- Crete is also packed with history, which makes it ideal for history buffs
- You will be able to try all sorts of authentic Greek cuisine no matter where you go, and Crete isn’t geared towards tourism quite as much as some other islands
Why You Shouldn’t Visit Crete
- The size of the island can be off-putting for some. It really depends on whether you want to explore or base yourself in one place.
- It’s important to choose the right town for your needs, which can be tricky.
- Depending on which town you choose to stay in, you may have a lengthy drive from the airport.
Rhodes is part of the Dodecanese island chain, and it’s a large island that’s packed with amazing sights and beauty. It’s also extremely historic. Rhodes Town is the capital of the island, and it’s only half an hour away from the airport.
Unlike Crete, Rhodes is a summer island, and although you can visit out of season, you’ll find that most places are closed. However, during the summer, the island is certainly buzzing and makes for a fantastic vacation destination for couples, families, and groups alike.
You’ll find that Rhodes Town is a wonderful blend of old and new. You literally walk through old castles and ruins before you end up at Starbucks and H&M! It goes without saying that the beaches are also beautiful, and there are many places to sit and enjoy some delicious Greek food.
Why You Should Visit Rhodes Vs. Rhodes
- During the summer months, Rhodes has everything you could possibly need for a fun-filled, relaxing summer break.
International flights head into Rhodes Airport during the summer months, so you can fly direct from most countries in Europe
- There are daily ferry trips over to Marmaris in Turkey from Rhodes Port. This makes for a fantastic day trip and a twin-center break
- Rhodes is a wonderful blend of old and new, which you don’t see in most other places. You’ll see winding, cobbled streets next to modern resorts
- Rhodes Town is UNESCO listed, which should tell you a lot about its beauty and historical importance.
- Getting around Rhodes is very easy, thanks to a well-developed bus network and plentiful taxis. You can also hire a car or scooter
- It’s only 30 minutes from the airport to Rhodes Town, with easy connections to other locations on the island, such as Faliraki
- If you’re looking for a vibrant nightlife and summer fun, Faliraki is one of the best places in Europe, while Rhodes Town also has some great nightlife with a more laid-back feel
- Tsambika Beach is a wonderful spot to visit, and it’s also known to be a pilgrimage site for couples who are struggling to conceive. Views from the church are stunning, but you will need to walk up a pretty steep hill!
Why You Shouldn’t Visit Rhodes
- Compared to Crete, Rhodes hasn’t retained its authentic charm quite as much. So, if you’re looking for a traditional place to visit, you’ll have to venture into the rural part of the island
- Because Rhodes relies upon tourism during the summer months and is almost closed during the winter, you’ll find that prices are a little higher compared to Crete
- Along with mass tourism comes the chance of being ripped off. While it isn’t any higher in Rhodes than anywhere else per se, Crete doesn’t have so much of a reliance on tourism
- Gastronomy in Rhodes tends to be quite international if you venture to a main resort; however, if you go outside of these resorts and into the traditional villages, you will find delicious, authentic food
Which Will You Choose – Rhodes Or Crete
The choice is yours! Both Rhodes and Crete islands are fantastic in their own right, and it really comes down to want you want out of your vacation. In fact, why not just visit both Crete and Rhodes huh?