I am coming to Crete for 10 days in August and just can't work out where to base myself. I want to see the main o museums/archeological sites and will be spending maybe 3 days at Heraklion to see Knossos at the end of the trip before flying back. But, from what I've read, the city isn't the most relaxing place, and I would also like to spend most of the time somewhere pretty, not a package holiday resort, with beaches and enough in the vicinity to see and do. I'm planning to travel around by bus and am happy to do daytrips.
I thought maybe Rethimno, but am worried it is too far from sites like Phaestos/Gortys. All suggestions welcomed.