We are traveling to Crete in early October and would like advice on renting a house for 8 people as well as any other suggestions places to stay and things to see while we are there. We were told Crete is less touristy than Rhodes. True?
I have not been to Rhodes, but Crete has the advantage that it is larger and has a life aside from tourism, so it may seem less touristy. My suggestion would be to look for a place in or around Hania (Chania) Wonderful town with great dining and shopping, beaches nearby, with a daytrip to the Samaria Gorge a great daylong activity.
From our guidebook, I got the impression that Rhodes was a bit of a party island, so we bypassed it. We stayed in Heraklion on Crete, but in hindsight, I think the Chania would have been a slightly better choice. FYI, Samaria Gorge is a popular hike, but it is quite long. Instead, we hiked the lesser-known, but shorter Imbrus Gorge and really liked it. And of course, don't miss the ancient Minoan temple of Knossos. At Knossos, they have guides that you can hire, which is well worth it. You can hire the guide for yourself (a bit expensive) or wait for a large enough group to develop, bringing down the per-person cost.
I agree with the above posters. Go to Chania on Crete. It has more of a Greek feel and you can take busses to Samara Gorge and Rethymnon. Crete does have more to do as well. Keep in mind that Crete is more touristy the more east you go. Knossos is also very interesting.
Rhodes was all tourists but I still liked spending the night in the ancient city walls. But given the choice, I'd go back to Crete first