The simple answer is: it gets as expensive as you want it to be.
There’s a range of quality and price for every purse, although you are there to spend. It’s very much like going to SE Asia: you can spend close to nothing to hundreds. But it’s likely that you’ll buy more than what you had planned.
How can you resist the small shops of Rethymno, the markets of Hania, the tasty homemade food of the pensions? Can you resist not paying the extra 5euros to get a view over the misty blue sea? Could you say no to the man whom you’ve spend the last hour with when he shows you his hand made jewellery? Do you keep walking when a group of joyful people welcome you to their table?
The difference between SE Asia and here is that at least people smile to you and you get the feeling that they haven’t forgotten you’re also a human being, and not just a credit card number.
Pension rooms (small, comfortable but nothing luxurious) range between 35 and 60 a night in high season, and you can get them for as low as 20 in the inter season.
Couchsurfing is terribly difficult on the island, there s a lot of empty profiles (except for Hania ), but then you have to send your requests weeks in advance.
The cheapest rooms we found were those people offered us in their homes. Go to a bar or a restaurant then talk friendly to the waiter, the boss, and you easily end up with a room for 10 or 15 euros.
In every case, do not hesitate to negociate the price but be organized if you’re travelling during the high season, it gets incredibly busy around here!
The cheapest way would be, as always, to buy your food in the supermarket and cook at home. Most pension rooms have electric cookers or offer their kitchen.
In the villages it’s definitely cheaper (and let’s say it, a lot tastier) to eat out. The small supermarkets will cost you a fortune and are almost empty of fruits and vegetables.
In that case, order any greek specialty and you ll get by with 5-8 euros for your dish.
I travel on a tight budget but here I have to say: do not miss the food here, it’s really exquisite, subtle and healthy!
It seems like a rule for tourists to rent a car or a vespa even before checking if there are buses to get to those beaches. I travel by bus and as a rule, never rent a car or anything.
I can’t help you with the price of a rented car but if you are a solo traveler my guess is that it’s definitely cheaper to take the bus rather than renting a car. Route faires are relatively cheap (3.20 euros for 40km) and there’s a good chance you find someone with a car to take you further down the road.
Hitchhicking can be difficult. The locals won’t like a tourist hitchicking when we could be paying to take the bus, unless you are a solo female traveler…
Renting a bike for a day (around 5euros) is a great way of discovering the country, especially on the east coast, where buses won’t go.
Crete is an amazing island for outdoorsy activities, so make the most out of it, get out of that car!
Budgetwise, you could get by with 15 euros a day if you camp and cook. The good news is that you dont have to stick to the paying sites to see how beautiful and culturally rich Crete is, just bring your smile and aspirin for raki hangovers!