A Travel Price Comparison for Greece Hydra vs. Crete for Food, Resorts, Beaches, and Families

Should you visit Hydra or Crete?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Hydra or Crete? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Hydra

Hydra is a quaint, picturesque, and charming island. As this is a charming small town, visitors also come to explore the sights and local activities. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. Other popular activities here include beaches, hiking, and shopping.

Crete

Crete is a world-renowned, scenic, and stunning island. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for food, scuba diving and snorkeling, and beaches.

Hydra and Crete: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Not as many resort options
  • Less attractive beach
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Hydra or Crete?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Crete than Hydra, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Crete is better known for its food, nightlife, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, and beaches, while Hydra is more popular for its historical sights, shopping, and small town charm. Crete is more touristy than Hydra and is known for its breathtaking beaches, wild nightlife, and impressive archeological ruins. Also, Crete is famous for the Palace of Knossos. Hydra is well known for its picturesque setting, car-free setting, and beautiful old town.

How is Hydra different from Crete?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Crete and Hydra. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Hydra or Crete?

Hydra
Crete

Both Hydra and Crete have high quality landmarks and museums for visitors.

Hydra offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. For such a small island, there are many local museums and sights. Highlights include the Historical Archives Museum, the Ecclesiastical Museum, the Monastery of Agia Efpraxia, and the Monastery of Prophet Elias.

Many visitors head to Crete specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. The island is filled with archeological sites including the famous Palace of Knossos. While most people come to Crete for the natural beauty, in the cities you'll find some great museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Hydra or Crete? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Hydra
Crete

Crete is a world-class destination for its restaurant scene. Also, Hydra is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

For foodies, Crete is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. Local cuisine is influenced by the island's fertile environment and excellent agriculture. You'll find olive oil in most dishes and seafood is a major staple. You'll also find a lot of stews and recipes that incorporate local ingredients.

Hydra has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. For such a small island, it really packs in some great restaurants. Head down the side streets to find the best souvlaki. There are also tavernas where you can sample local wine. Fresh caught seafood is a favorite on the island as well.

Is Hydra or Crete Better for Nightlife?

Hydra
Crete

Crete is a great destination for nightlife. However, Hydra is a island with minimal options for nightlife and partying.

The people in Crete know how to have a good time. The island has excellent nightlife with clubs and bars found in Chania, Malia and Stalis to Elounda. The area is popular with British tourists and you'll find many bars open until 2 or 3 in the morning.

Hydra doesn't have the most active nightlife scene. It's a small island that is often visited as a day trip, so don't expect a huge party scene. There are about seven places in total that make up the island's nightlife scene. Each is centered around the harbor and many people start their evening at one bar and slowly hop around. They usually have DJs and full bars.

Is Hydra or Crete Better for Resorts?

Hydra
Crete

Crete is a world-class destination for its resorts. Also, Hydra is still popular, but not quite as popular for its luxury resorts.

For the ultimate resort vacation, Crete is a great choice. The island has world class resorts that include pools and buffet meals. There are many beachfront resorts that range in style from romantic to family-friendly.

With a selection of resorts, Hydra makes a nice vacation spot. It's a popular day trip destination, but if you stay for a night or two, you'll find boutique hotels and charming pensions.


Is Hydra or Crete Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Hydra
Crete

Crete is a great destination for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling. Also, Hydra is still popular, but not quite as popular for its diving and snorkeling.

Many visitors partake in scuba diving or snorkeing while visiting Crete. The island is surrounded by clear waters that make for great snorkeling and diving. There's a number of beautiful fish and other sea life that you can see. Be on the lookout for crabs, sea stars, sponges, and even octopi.

It's worth going snorkeling or scuba diving in Hydra. There are some snorkeling spots around the island - most notably Bisti Beach, which is pebbly and has some interesting sea life.

Is Hydra or Crete Better for Beaches?

Hydra
Crete

Crete is a world-class destination for its beaches. Also, Hydra is still popular, but not quite as popular for the beache.

Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Crete. There are some of the best beaches in the world on Crete. The areas around Chania have some of the island's best beaches, with one of the most beautiful being Balos. On the northern side of the island, be on the lookout for strong winds, particularly in August, which can make for larger waves. The island is large, so you'll find everything from secluded and quiet beaches to more active and lively places.

Many people head to Hydra to enjoy the beach. The beaches are usually pebbly with nice blue water. Many people visit the beaches as part of a boat tour, which leaves from the port and tours the island. Some of the most popular beaches are Vlichos, Kaminia, Bisti and Agios Nikolaos.

Is Hydra or Crete Better for its Old Town?

Hydra
Crete

Hydra is well known for its historic old town charm. However, Crete does not have a historic old town.

Many visitors explore the old town while visiting Hydra. With no cars and plenty of charm, the island's old town feels as if you've stepped back in time. Donkey pulled carts and quaint streets give this town its atmosphere.

Crete does not have a historic old town.


Is Hydra or Crete Better for Hiking?

Hydra
Crete

If you're looking to go hiking, Hydra and Crete both have high quality trails.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Hydra. The island is filled with walking paths and donkey trails that are fun to explore. Some walk along the sea and offer spectacular views while others take you inland through the hills.

Many visitors go to Crete for the hiking trails. The island is filled with beautiful hikes that run along the shoreline or head inland through the island's beautiful landscapes. There are hikes for every ability level that offer spectacular views and an incredible experience.

Is the Shopping Better in Hydra or Crete?

Hydra
Crete

Hydra is well known for its shopping areas. Also, Crete is still popular, but not quite as popular for shopping.

Browsing through shops is a popular activity in Hydra. Charming shops fill the town and sell local items such as handmade jewelry and traditional embroideries.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Crete. The island has many markets that sell local foods and handicrafts. There are also shops and boutiques where you can buy anything from souvenirs to homemade artwork.

Is Hydra or Crete Better for Families?

Hydra
Crete

Crete is a world-class destination for its family-friendly activities. Also, Hydra is still popular, but not quite as popular for its kid-friendly activities.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, Crete is a very family-friendly destination. The island is large and filled with countless family-friendly activities. You can spend several days at the beach, explore Lake Kournas, visit a water park, or even take a pirate themed boat cruise. There's also the amusement park, ​​Labyrinth Park, aquariums and more.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Hydra is very family-friendly. The island feels like it's frozen in time. There are no cars allowed here, so kids can run freely without the worry of traffic. They'll be as fascinated as you are by the carts pulled by donkeys. Most things you'll visit are also close together, making accessibility easy. In addition to some interesting museums, there are beaches and kid-friendly food. The whole island really is a playground.


Is Hydra or Crete Better for Couples?

Hydra
Crete

With fun activities for couples, both Hydra and Crete make for a first-rate place to visit.

Hydra makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. This beautiful island makes a great honeymoon or couple's destination. Most visitors come as a day trip, but spending a night or two on the island is a unique experience. It has a laid back vibe and is filled with romance. The food is amazing, and the traditional atmosphere will make you feel as if you've traveled back in time.

For those traveling as a couple, Crete has plenty to offer. It's stunning beaches, beautiful landscapes, world renowned restaurants, and amazing resorts make this a top honeymoon spot for international travelers and romance seekers.

Is Hydra or Crete Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Hydra
Crete

Crete is a great destination for backpackers. However, Hydra is a island with minimal options for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Crete. It's a large island with a great social scene and no shortage of hostels for backpackers to choose from.

Hydra is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. Most people visit the island as a day trip and it doesn't attract nearly as many backpackers as the larger Greek islands. If you visit during the lower season, you might find some affordable accommodation.

Is Hydra or Crete Better for Students?

Hydra
Crete

Crete is a great destination for students. However, Hydra is not popular with students.

Crete is a very popular island for students and younger travelers. It's affordability and great coastal activities is a big draw for students in the area.

Hydra is not popular with students.


Is Hydra or Crete Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Hydra
Crete

Crete is a popular place for its public transit. However, Hydra is a island with minimal options for times when you don't have a car.

You'll find some public transit in Crete, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. There's a decent bus system that travels around the island and offers access to many areas.

Public transit is mostly limited in Hydra. There are sea taxis and beach boats on the island.

Is Hydra or Crete a more walkable city?

Hydra
Crete

Hydra is an amazing island to visit for its ease of walking around. However, Crete is not particularly known for its walkability.

Getting around Hydra on foot is easy. The entire island is car-free and everything that you want to visit is close together and easy to explore on foot.

Crete is generally not a very walkable island. The island is large and requires a vehicle to get around, but there are short strolls that let you enjoy the stunning landscapes.

For even more information, also check out Is Hydra Worth Visiting? and Is Crete Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Crete or Hydra?

How long in Hydra or Crete?

Both Hydra and Crete have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Crete than in Hydra. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for Hydra, and 5-7 days is enough time in Crete.

Families should spend more time in Crete than Hydra. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Crete, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Crete than Hydra. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Crete that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Crete than Hydra if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Crete.


  • How many days in Hydra or Crete? Ideal Length of Stay
    Hydra 1-2 
    Crete 5-7

One day in Hydra or Crete?

Even though Hydra is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. This island offers a variety of activities to choose from. Because of this, one day is usually enough time for a trip here.

In Crete, many people enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling that this scenic destination offers. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. This island offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.


A weekend in Hydra or Crete?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Hydra. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Crete. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Five days in Hydra or Crete?

Hydra is a fun place to experience. Hydra is a small town, so it's a great destination if you're short on time. Visiting the old town is also a must. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

Crete is a fun place to experience. In Crete, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this destination offers. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.

A week in Hydra or Crete?

Hydra is a small town, so you can explore the area with less time. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

In Crete, many people enjoy the museums and nightlife that this scenic destination offers. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is often enough time to do most activities.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Historical Tours in Greece, The Best 10-Day Tours in Greece, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Greece, and The Best 3-Day Tours in Greece.


Which place is cheaper, Crete or Hydra?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Hydra is €97, while the average daily cost in Crete is €102. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Hydra and Crete in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Hydra 51
    Crete 48
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Hydra 102
    Crete 96
Compare Hotels in Hydra and Crete

Looking for a hotel in Hydra or Crete? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Hydra


Hotels in Crete


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Crete Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Hydra 26
    Crete 23

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Crete

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Crete:

  • Acqua Plus Water Park Admission with Optional Transfer: $31
  • Acqua Plus Water Park Admission with Optional Transfer: $32
  • Beginner's SSI Intro dive w/2 Dives & transfer: $153
  • Crete Private Taxi Transfer from Heraklion Airport to Bali: $95
  • Crete Private Taxi and Transfer Georgioupoli to Heraklion Airport: $161
  • Crete Private Taxi and Transfer from Chania to Adelianos Kampos: $109
  • Crete Private Taxi and Transfer from Chania to Georgioupoli: $87
  • Crete Private Taxi and Transfer from Chania to Panormo: $125
  • Crete Private Taxi and Transfer from Heraklion to Agios Nikolaos: $122
  • Crete Private Taxi and Transfer from Kalyves to Heraklion Airport: $215
  • Crete Private Transfer to and from Heraklion Airport Port Town : $36
  • Acqua Plus Water Park Entrance Ticket with Transfer: $32

Is it cheaper to fly into Hydra or Crete?

Prices for flights to both Crete and Hydra change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Hydra 30
    Crete 34

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Crete

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Crete.

  • Troy Dinner-Show: $33
  • Olive Oil Factory Tour, Dinner & Traditional Dancing: $59
  • Chania: Cretan Folklore Dance Show with Dinner and Pickup: $74
  • Cook with Locals | Cretan cooking Class at Archanes (transfer - lunch included): $86
  • The Delicious Chania PRIVATE Street Food Tour : $87
  • Sightseeing Day Trip with Cooking Lesson and Lunch: $95
  • Full-Day Jeep Safari Tour with Cooking Lesson: $97
  • Authentic and Traditional Cooking Class in Chania Crete: $100
  • Chania: Authentic Cooking Class in the White Mountains: $117
  • Heraklion: Cretan Cooking Lesson with Lunch in Arolithos: $117
  • E-bike Food Tour Tasting in Heraklion : $126
  • Sunset Craft Beer & Food Tour - Chania: $131

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Hydra 11
    Crete 26

Tours and Activities in Crete

Here are a few actual costs in Crete for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Chania: Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt and City Highlights Tour: $6.92
  • Heraklion Archaeological Museum Ticket & Audio Guide: $8.51
  • The Terra Creta Olive Oil Experience Tour: $11
  • Chania: Sunset Boat Cruise with Guide: $15
  • Heraklion: Palace of Knossos 3D Virtual Audio Tour by Tablet: $15
  • Heraklion: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour: $16
  • Heraklion: Hop-on Hop-off Open Top Bus Sightseeing Tour: $16
  • Chersonissos: Mini-Train City Highlights Tour: $17
  • Heraklion City Tour - Aquarium: $17
  • Gramvousa Island & Balos Bay Full-Day Tour from Rethymno English & German guide: $19
  • Chania: Semi-Submarine Boat Underwater Experience: $19
  • Palace of Knossos Entry Ticket & Optional Audio Guide: $19

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Hydra 11
    Crete 20

Sample the Local Flavors in Crete

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Crete:

  • Chania: Off-Road Tour at Sunset with Wine Tasting: $95
  • Wine Tasting-Olive Oil Factory-Traditional Villages- Small Group : $134
  • The Gourmet Wine Tour of Heraklion area: $180
  • Knossos, Olive Mill, Winery - Distillery with Tastings & Lunch : $197
  • Heraklion SUV Private Guided Wine Tour with Lunch : $216
  • From Elounda Private Heraklion Wine Tour with Tastings and Lunch: $232
  • Heraklion: Private Knossos & Wine Tasting Tour with Lunch: $245
  • Ecobike Tour • All in One • Historical Tour-Food Tasting-Wine Tasting: $257


When comparing the travel costs between Hydra and Crete, we can see that Crete is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Hydra Expensive? and Is Crete Expensive?.


Which has a larger population, Hydra or Crete?

Crete has a larger population, and is about 260 times larger than the population of Hydra. When comparing the sizes of Hydra and Crete, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.