I am a single mom and I travel with children. I like to feel safe on the road and I need to carry many things to keep them entertained. So the best option for me is to rent a car and I choose Rental Center Crete, a local company, recommended by a friend who vacations on Crete with children too.
In business since 1975, Rental Center Crete is owned by the Anapliotis family. This is a plus: born and raised on Crete, the owners are friendly and happy to give you tips on local attractions that are suitable for your little ones – destinations you would otherwise miss. They have rental centers in Heraklion, Chania, Lassithi, and Rethymno.
To plan the ultimate road trip, consider arriving on the island in April/ May, or September/October, which are not too touristy. This allows you to plan a more elaborate route instead of being confined to a single resort for lack of accommodation availability. You must know that June, July, and August are Crete’s busiest and most expensive months.
Fly to Heraklion and rent a car with Rental Center Crete and then spend the night at Olive Green Hotel – a newly opened city boutique hotel with affordable, environmentally-friendly accommodation year-round. It’s good to start here because they have QR-coded wallpapers featuring regional attractions that will inspire your next stop.
Next day, drive to Knossos the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on the island and Europe’s oldest city. This is a must when you are on Crete. It is also nice, because it is a family-friendly outdoors experience. As you visit the site, you will see the peacocks roaming freely among the ruins – one of the sweetest experiences for the little ones. They also have a local cafe at the entrance if you want to rest before you continue your journey.
You will also want to see the CretAquarium near Gournes – the pride of the island. This is fun for the little ones too: it presents the Mediterranean seascape in 60 modern tanks. The Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) also developed four educational programs focusing on Ocean Plankton; Diversity and Adaptability; Oceans in Constant Motion; and Evolution and Comparison of Marine Species to entertain curious visitors.
From here, drive to Mythos Palace Resort & Spa – it’s less than two hours drive and you can stop several times along the coastal way to admire the view or to visit a local village. The advantage with Mythos Palace Resort & Spa is that they have a Mini Club to keep the little ones entertained if you want to take some mommy time at the local spa. They have nice, luxurious rooms, with tasteful interiors and comfy beds. The resort is close to Georgioupolis, which is perfect to visit both Chania and Rethymno. Plus, they have a load of recommended activities on their blog – much more than you will find in ordinary travel guides. This blog is great to help you customize your road trip according to what you like. We are beach bunnies so we prefer to stay close to the shore. But there are also mountain adventures beckoning on Crete.