A Travel Price Comparison for Greece Kos vs. Crete for Attractions, Food, Resorts, and Scuba Diving & Snorkeling

Should you visit Kos or Crete?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Kos and Crete can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.


Kos is a party-hard, vibrant, and beautiful island. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. Other popular activities here include museums, nightlife, and food.


Crete is a breathtaking, world-renowned, and scenic island. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. Other reasons to visit include nightlife, food, and scuba diving and snorkeling.

Kos and Crete: Pros and Cons

  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Not as many resort options
  • Less family-friendly
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • 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 Kos or Crete?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Crete than Kos, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Crete is better known for its resorts and hiking, while Kos is more popular for its museums, scuba diving & snorkeling, and impressive beauty. Crete is more touristy than Kos and is popular for its breathtaking beaches, wild nightlife, and impressive archeological ruins. Also, Crete is famous for the Palace of Knossos. Kos is well known for its sandy beaches and crystal clear blue water.

How is Kos different from Crete?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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


Kos is an amazing island to visit for its museums and landmarks. Also, Crete is still popular, but not quite as popular for its historical sights.

You'll find many recognizable landmarks that put Kos on the map. The small island is packed with archaeological sites and interesting history. Famous places worth visiting include the ruins of Asklepion, the ancient Agora, Roman Odeon, Neratzia Castle, and so many more!

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 Kos or Crete? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?


Both Kos and Crete offer terrific local cuisine and restaurants.

Many restaurants in Kos have been singled out for their culinary prowess. The cuisine relies heavily on locally harvested ingredients with many dishes featuring cheese, seafood, vegetables, olive oil, and potatoes. The dishes are influenced by Italian and Turkish cuisines and common dishes include moussaka, souvlaki and tzatziki. Popular seafood options are prawns, squid, lobster and octopus. A great way to enjoy a sampling of local dishes is to visit an ouzeri, which is a Greek taverna that serves mezza style meals with small dishes that you can share.

Eat your way through Crete, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. 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.

Is Kos or Crete Better for Nightlife?


Both Kos and Crete have excellent vibes after the sun sets.

Kos has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. For such a small island you'll find a huge party scene during the peak summer months. There are almost nightly parties, beach raves, and late night clubs throughout the summer months. The bars and clubs are mostly concentrated around a couple of streets in the center of Kos Town, but Kardamena is also a lively party area. It's popular with British tourists who head here for the all-night clubs.

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.

Is Kos or Crete Better for Resorts?


Crete is very popular for its luxury resorts. Also, Kos is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its resorts.

Crete is a world class resort vacation destination. 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, Kos makes a nice vacation spot. It's a smaller island and there aren't as many resorts here as there are on some of the larger Greek islands. Some of the best resort areas include Lamp and Psalidi to the northwest, Tigaki on the west coast (a good option for families), as well as Mastihari and Marmari which both have relaxed atmospheres. The younger crowd often hangs out around Kardemena on the east coast.

Is Kos or Crete Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?


Kos is an amazing island to visit for snorkeling and scuba diving. Also, Crete is still popular, but not quite as popular for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling.

The clear water and abundant marine life make Kos a world-class scuba diving and snorkeling destination. There are countless snorkeling sports around the island where you can immerse yourself in the undersea world. Popular snorkeling areas include Camel Beach and Limnionas Beach. Make sure you understand the water conditions before heading into the water.

There is a nice variety of marine life that makes scuba diving and snorkeling great in 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.

Is Kos or Crete Better for Beaches?


Both Kos and Crete are considered to be terrific beach destinations.

Kos is considered to be a world-class beach destination. The island is famous for its beautiful beaches, many of which are sandy with various shades of color. There are touristy beaches with plenty of amenities as well as less frequented beaches that offer a quieter and more remote atmosphere. Some of the most visited beaches on the island include Agios Stefanos, Kardamena, Kefalos and Lambi while some of the more peaceful areas are Cavo Paradiso and Helona Beach.

Crete offers stunning beaches that attract visitors from around the world. 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.

Is Kos or Crete Better for Hiking?


Crete is an excellent place to visit for its hiking trails. Also, Kos is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its hiking experiences.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Crete. 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.

Kos offers some nice hiking trails. This is a great walking island with a number of easy walks or hikes that take you along the coastline or through interesting landscapes.

Is the Shopping Better in Kos or Crete?


Shoppers can find a variety of notable stores in both Kos and Crete.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Kos. There are a number of traditional items that you can pick up while you're in town. Fun souvenirs include jewelry, leather items, and perfumes.

Crete offers some nice shopping areas. 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 Kos or Crete Better for Families?


Crete is very popular for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Kos is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

Crete is an extremely popular island to visit for families. 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.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Kos. It's comparable to other Greek islands when it comes to kids' activities. Kos Town can get a bit lively at night so if you want to avoid the party crowds, then those areas are easily avoided. Popular activities include exploring ancient ruins, going to the Kos Archaeological Museum, visiting The Castle of the Knights, and of course, hanging out at the beach. One of the best family-friendly resort areas is Tigaki along the west coast.

Is Kos or Crete Better for Couples?


Crete is very popular for romance. Also, Kos is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its romantic activities.

Crete is a great island for couples, as it 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.

Couples visit Kos frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. This small island offers beautiful beaches and plenty of ancient ruins to explore. Kos Town is where you'll find the liveliest atmosphere but for some of the best resorts you'll want to stay in one of the resort suburbs like Lampi or Psalidi.

Is Kos or Crete Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?


Kos and Crete are both excellent destinations for backpackers.

Kos is very popular with the backpacker crowd. It's a small island but has a few hostels and a variety of apartments available for rent. Despite its small size, there are areas where you'll want to have a car if you wish to explore, but if you stay in town you'll find getting around fairly easy. The island attracts its share of young travelers and you'll find plenty of people to hang out with.

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

Is Kos or Crete Better for Students?


Crete is an excellent place to visit for its student-friendly activities. However, Kos is not popular with students.

Students come from all over to stay in Crete. It's affordability and great coastal activities is a big draw for students in the area.

Kos is not popular with students.

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


Kos is well known for its public transit. Also, Crete is still popular, but not quite as popular for times when you don't have a car.

Kos offers a very effecient public transportation network. Buses connect many of the tourist destinations including beaches, cultural sights, are resort areas.

While Crete offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There's a decent bus system that travels around the island and offers access to many areas.

Is Kos or Crete a more walkable city?


Kos is well known for its ease of walking around. However, Crete is not particularly known for its walkability.

Kos is a very walkable destination. It's small size means it's possible to explore parts of the island on foot or bicycle. There are some beautiful walks on the island, but some areas will require a car or bus.

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 Kos Worth Visiting? and Is Crete Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Crete or Kos?

How long in Kos or Crete?

Both Kos 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 Kos. Usually, 2-5 days is a good amount of time for Kos, and 5-7 days is enough time in Crete.

Families should spend more time in Crete than Kos. 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 Kos. 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 Kos than Crete 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 Kos.

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

One day in Kos or Crete?

In Kos, many people enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling that this cultural destination offers. It's also a great beach destination, too. 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.

With museums and nightlife around the stunning destination of Crete, there's plenty to do. It's also a relaxing resort destination. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

A weekend in Kos or Crete?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Kos. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. 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.

Many people visit Crete for a weekend. With nightlife and food around the breathtaking island of Crete, there's plenty to do. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Five days in Kos or Crete?

Kos is a fun place to experience. In Kos, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this destination offers. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.

With food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the destination of Crete, there's plenty to do. Many people spend five days here. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. It offers something for everyone. Because of this, five days is usually enough time for a trip here.

A week in Kos or Crete?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the ancient destination of Kos. Most people come for the beaches. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Crete, a popular island, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for one week. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Your budget might influence how long you stay. One week is usually enough time to experience most activities.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours from Athens, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Greece, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Greece, and The Best Historical Tours in Greece.

Which place is cheaper, Crete or Kos?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Kos is €134, 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 Kos and Crete in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kos 62
    Crete 48
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kos 124
    Crete 96
Compare Hotels in Kos and Crete

Looking for a hotel in Kos 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 Kos

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: Kos Hotel Prices and Crete Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kos 37
    Crete 23

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kos

Also for Kos, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Arrival transfer from Kos Airport : $67
  • Artemis Hamam and Spa with Hotel Transfers Kos Island: $59
  • Departure transfer to Kos Airport : $67
  • From Kalymnos Self-Guided Day Trip with Hotel Transfer: $59
  • Kalymnos, Pserimos & Plati Island Cruise with Hotel Transfer: $59
  • Kos - Airport Private Transfer: $54
  • Kos Airport to Kos Hotels Private One–Way Transfer: $64
  • Kos Hotels to Kos Airport Private One–Way Transfer: $59
  • Kos Private Transfer Services: $59
  • Kos Town: Kalymnos & Pserimos Day Cruise & Optional Transfer: $30
  • Kos transfer services, Kos - Airport - Kos: $106
  • Paradise Beach Return Transfer: $25

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Crete

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Crete:

  • Wine Tasting Experience @ Lyrarakis Winery (Transfer Included): $119
  • VIP transfer from Chania to Rethymno: $104
  • VIP Private Transfer: Heraklion - Analipsi Hotels & Villas: $61
  • Transfer from Chania airport to Paleochora up to 3 or vise versa: $198
  • Transfer from Chania airport to Kolymbari up to 3 or vise versa: $104
  • Transfer from Chania airport to Georgioupolis up to 3 : $105
  • Transfer from Chania airport to Elafonisi up to 3 or vise versa: $222
  • Transfer from Chania airport to Agia Marina up to 3 customers: $70
  • Transfer Services From Heraklion To Rethymno Hotels: $96
  • Transfer Heraklion Airport to RETHIMNO CITY area up to 7 : $157
  • Transfer Heraklion Airport to Panormos area up to 7 customers: $131
  • Transfer Heraklion Airport to MALIA area up to 7 customers: $79

Is it cheaper to fly into Kos or Crete?

Prices for flights to both Crete and Kos 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 Meals for one day
    Kos 43
    Crete 34

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Kos

For Kos, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Greek Dinner with Music, Dancing, and Unlimited Wine: $43
  • Kefalos Sunset Cruise from Kos with Dinner: $61
  • Sunset Cruise with Swimming and BBQ Dinner: $62
  • Tavern Dinner Experience with Greek Dancing and Wine: $65
  • Kos Cooking Classes by Mama Contessa: $85
  • Private Greek Cooking Class in Kos with Lunch: $90
  • Sunset Safari Tour with Dinner: $95
  • Private Cooking Class in Kos, Local Recipes: $97
  • Half Day Wine Tasting with Dinner in Kos: $116

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Crete

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

  • Cretan Night with Dinner & Live Show: $49
  • Olive Oil Factory Tour, Dinner & Traditional Dancing: $59
  • Chania: Cretan Folklore Dance Show with Dinner and Pickup: $75
  • 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
  • Heraklion: Cretan Cooking Lesson with Lunch in Arolithos: $117
  • Chania: Authentic Cooking Class in the White Mountains: $117
  • E-bike Food Tour Tasting in Heraklion : $125
  • Sunset Craft Beer & Food Tour - Chania: $130
  • Private Interactive Cooking Class with Aggeliki : $158

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kos 33
    Crete 26

Tours and Activities in Kos

For Kos, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.20
  • Kos Scavenger Hunt and Best Landmarks Self-Guided Tour: $6.52
  • Self-Guided Highlights Scavenger Hunt and Walking Tour: $7.99
  • Escape Game and Tour: $7.99
  • Kos Town: Glass-Bottom Boat Cruise with Swimming Stops: $21
  • From Zia Sunset Tour: $27
  • Dory's Glass Bottom Boat Adventure in Pserimos and Pserimos Beach: $29
  • Kos Island: 3-Island Wooden Ship Cruise w/ Lunch: $32
  • From the Port of Full Day Boat Cruise to 3 Islands: $32
  • 3-Island Cruise with Greek BBQ Lunch and Swimming: $32
  • From Kalymnos, Pserimos and Plati Day Cruise: $32
  • Full Day Boat Cruise to 3 Islands with optional pickup: $33

Tours and Activities in Crete

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

  • 4x4 Safari tour Southern Crete Tripitis Gorge: $108
  • Adventure Safari Tour Secrets of the southern Crete : $100
  • Cretan Night Show Tour From Rethymnon: $53
  • Private Tour to Elafonisi and Falasarna: $130
  • Seitan Limania - Marathi private Jeep tour with SUP & lunch: $173
  • 4-Hour Giouchtas Trekking Hiking Experience from Heraklion: $90
  • 4x4 self drive adventure: $87
  • 6-Hours Safari Tour in Damnoni and Skinaria Beach, from Plakias: $37
  • Adventure Jeep Safari Amazing sunset : $85
  • Agia Pelagia: Quad Safari-Family Tour: $85
  • Agios Nikolaos-Spinalonga-Elounda Tour TR: $47
  • Agios Nikolaos: Private Sailing Cruise in Mirabello Bay: $2,131

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kos 19
    Crete 20

Sample the Local Flavors in Kos

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Kos:

  • Wineries Tour w/ Wine Tastings, Lunch & Transportation: $59
  • From Tour of 2 Wineries with Wine Tasting & Small Bites: $63
  • Kos Island: Wine Tasting & Zia Village Visit for Sunset: $149

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
  • Ecobike Wine Tasting Tour in Heraklion: $114
  • Heraklion: Half Day Small Group Wine Tour with wine Tastings: $125
  • Wine Tasting on Luxury Yacht Sunset Evening in Marina: $173
  • The Gourmet Wine Tour of Heraklion area: $180
  • Knossos, Olive Mill, Winery - Distillery with Tastings & Lunch : $196
  • Heraklion SUV Private Guided Wine Tour with Lunch : $215
  • Private-Knossos Palace and Wine tasting in Heraklion countryside: $218
  • 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: $256

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Kos and Crete, we can see that Kos is more expensive. And not only is Crete much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Crete would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Crete and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Kos would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Kos than you might in Crete.

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

Which has a larger population, Kos or Crete?

Crete has a larger population, and is about 30 times larger than the population of Kos. When comparing the sizes of Kos 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.