|The Greek Islands|
|Crete Real Estate|
|Crete Car Rental|
|Crete Winter Rentals|
|Map of Crete|
|More maps of Crete|
|Agia Roumeli |
|Agia Sophia 2|
|Agios Georgios (w)|
|Agios Georgios (e)|
|Kalami (south east)|
|Livadia Beach |
|Sweet Water Beach|
|Timpaki / Timbaki|
Crete, the most beautiful and versatile Greek island
Welcome to my homepage about the largest and probably the most beautiful of all Greek islands: Crete. Long and mountainous, it marks the southern boundaries of the Aegean Sea, holding back the contents of the rain-clouds that might have otherwise attempted to venture further north, as well as acting as a giant break-water for the southern Aegean as a whole. Crete is also an island of great strategic importance, and as a result the island is littered with the remains of all the great powers from the region, and it appears to have been the power-base of the earliest of them all, the bronze age Minoan civillization. Roughly you can divide Crete into three parts: the east, the west and the middle. The east is more dry but with many flowers and lots of beautiful nature, the middle underneath Heraklion is like a patchwork blanket with vegetable fields and olive trees, and the west is the most green part with pinetrees and forests. Most of the inhabitants and almost all the bigger cities and villages, with the exception of Ierapetra lay in the north of the island, making the south of the island the most quiet part.
Crete: there is something for everybody
Crete has got everything that you could want from a holiday island. The lovers of peace and quiet, and beautiful, quiet beaches find their place in the southeast of the island, where there are also many naturist beaches. There are cozy villages like Mirtos, Kato Zakros and Makrigialos where you find restaurants, shops and nice beaches, or even more quiet spots like the villages of Ferma and Xerokampos where you can also dive into the sea without your bathing suit. The people that love nature, old Byzantine churches with fresco's, beautiful mountains and great walks find a place in the east of the island. For cozyness, the friendliest of people and a bit of life places like Agia Pelagia in the north of the island, not far from the capital Heraklion, are a good choice. From here it is also easy to make daytrips to other parts of Crete. The lovers of disco's, bars, booze and noise can head for the not so authentic concrete villages of Chersonissos or Malia. About places like these last two you will not find much information on my website. Personally I like the more quiet places and the authentic Crete. Most of the hotels, studios and apartments where I would normally stay are not too expensive but attractive, and every now and then I spoil myself with a couple of days pure luxury.
|WHEN IN CRETE: GO AND TOUR THE ISLAND AND DON'T STAY IN ONE PLACE - RENT A CAR!|
When you visit Crete you MUST rent a bike or a car, because if you don't you are missing out on a lot. The island is so beautiful and large that you just have to explore it. This year I am going to rent my car at Auto Travel.
If you want you can also inquire if and what kind of car or bike they would have for you in a certain period, or you can click on the picture to go to their website.
Tel. +30 2897022232, +30 2897022761, +30 2897021885
|RESERVE A TAXI FROM THE AIRPORT TO YOUR ACCOMMODATION|
If you don't feel like renting a car but you also don't want to wait in line for the taxi (if there even is one), than you can reserve a taxi online that will transport you from the airport (Chania or Heraklion) to your destination. Click on the picture of the taxi reservations Greece, have a look what it costs and if you like reserve one. Keep your flight information within reach because they will ask for this.
Taxis in Crete have fixed prices and are relatively cheap compared to taxis in most other countries in Europe. If you fly to Crete it is possible that your flight lands early in the morning and you are tired and not in the mood to go to the bus station to find the one heading for your destination. Think of it as a treat: you go directly to your hotel or apartment, you don't have to wait, you have a seat and you can just look at the landscape. Your holiday starts the moment you set foot on the island.
|Hotels & apartments
Agia Pelagia - budget
|Agios Pavlos Hotel
Agios Pavlos - budget
|Villa Almyrida View
Almyrida - luxury
|Villa Sophia's House
Almirida - luxury
Ammoudara - luxury
|Old Fountain Villas
Galatas - luxury
Gavalochori - luxury
Kisamos - luxury
|Spiros Soula Apts
Ligaria - budget
Madaros - luxury VIP
M. Chorafia - luxury
M. Chorafia - luxury
|Villa Aetos Vigla
Milatos - luxury VIP
& studios in Mirtos
Plaka - luxe
|Villa Ti Amo
Plaka - luxe
Zaros - budget
Villages on the coast with a bit of life
Below are a couple of examples of villages on the coast, where there is a bit of life, but it is not overcrowded. They all have their own identity, they are not ugly concrete villages especially made for the tourist, and they still have a bit of a traditional feeling. They also have plenty of restaurants, some nightlife and all amenities, but not all the noise that you would find in villages such as Malia or Chersonissos. The beaches are shallow and the places are also family orientated. These are just a few suggestions and not all! If you want to really make your mind up than have a look around on my site. There is so much to choose from and it is hard for me to tell you where you should go to, since everybody is different.
Hotels, apartments and studios in Agia Pelagia
Agia Pelagia is a cozy little village that has still got that feeling of authentic Greece, even though it is only 22 kilometers away from the capitol Heraklion. It's the perfect spot to have your holidays, away from all the noise and convieniently situated to make trips and excursions to the sights of Crete. It's not far away from the airport, so also a good place to start or end your holiday if you want to travel around the island. Agia Pelagia has a couple of very nice beaches, plenty of tavernes and all amenities. The beaches are shallow and sandy, so they are perfect for families with small children as well. If you like it even more quiet than this than you can try it in the village next to Agia Pelagia, which is called Lygaria Beach. Here there are just a couple of restaurants around a quiet beach. In Lygaria there are also some attractive accommodations.
For more information about the village, the accommmodations and pictures of Agia Pelagia - click here
Hotels, apartments, studios and villas in Almirida or Almyrida in Crete
Almirida (sometimes spelled as Almyrida) is a small village on the Apokoronos with 3 shallow beaches (two small ones, one a little bit bigger, but nice, and there are more beaches within walking distance) located in the bay of Souda, about 25 km west of Chania. The village looks out over the sea and the Akrotiri peninsula. It's still sort of quiet, with some waterside taverna's, a few bars and a couple of hotels. Some of the houses are standing in the water of the sea, making it look like a tiny Venice. I thought this village was very relaxed and looks really good in it's pretty bay surrounded by a steep hill on one side. There is plenty of choice for tavernes, super markets, and hotels and apartments (most of them small accommodations) and most of the visitors seem to be English (often with small children, because the beaches are perfect for them). Almirida is located in one of my favorite areas: the Apokoronas. It lies just east of Chania. Here you will find many traditional villages and it is beautifully green. This is also a good place to rent a villa, which are actually quite cheap here (often cheaper than a hotel). Highly recommended!
For more information about the village, the accommmodations and pictures of Almirida - click here
Hotels, apartments and studios Bali in Crete
Bali is sort of a quiet cluster of small villages, beaches and highrising rocks set off the mainroad between Heraklion (45 km) and Rethimnon (28 km). The village is situated at the head of a little bay, on the site of ancient Astale. Bali is set around three small coves. The first has a very small pebble beach with several tavernas and a luxury hotel. The original (and cosy) village is in the second cove where you will find most of the shops, hotels and taverna's, another beach and a harbour with some modern boats and some kaiks. It's possible to rent a waterbike (wich cover about 30% of the space of the small beach there if no one wants to peddle) and explore the bay. Here you can book a daytrip by boat to Rethimnon, Santorini or the "pirate island" of Gramvousa in the northwest of Crete. The third cove, known as Paradise Beach, is the best for swimming.
For more information about the village, the accommmodations and pictures of Bali - click here
Hotels, apartments and studios Georgoupoli in Crete
Georgioupoli lies on the northern coast of Crete, about 35km away from Chania and 20 km from Rethimnon. It is a coastal village with a very large beach. There are several roades leading from the coastal higway to Georgioupoli and one of them is over a 4 kilometers long road leading through some very pretty scenery to the bay of Almiros. You drive through a green landscape with lots of trees and some houses, and there are nice views of the mountains. A part of the drive is graced with large eucalyptis trees on both sides of the road.
For more information about the village, the accommmodations and pictures of Georgoupoli - click here
Hotels, apartments and studios Kalives in Crete
Kalives remains relatively quiet compared to some of the other seaside resorts on the north coast of the island of Crete. The village has all facilities you can ask for in a holiday resort, like good supermarkets and plenty of tavernas to choose from. There is a large village square next to the church where you can have a drink or something to eat in the shade of some very large and old trees. Here you find also the remains of some buildings from the Venetian times. The beaches in the village are quite large and sandy, with some parts where you can rent a parasol and sunbeds. Next to the beach is a large parking area where you will most certainly find a space for your car. The village is lively in a pleasant way. From Kalives it is only a short drive to Chania or to the next door village Almyrida, but there are more exits in the village that will for instance set you down south of the island. In between Kalives and Almyrida lay the pleasantly unspoilt and quiet sand / pebble beaches of Kera where you will find no facilities at all.
For more information about the village, the accommmodations and pictures of Kalives - click here
Hotels, apartments and studios in Mirtos
Mirtos is a charming and popular small tourist center in the south of Crete, just a little west (14 kilometer) of Ierapetra. It has got narrow steets, one leading into the village, others running steeply down from that street to the promenade and the beach. In the village there is a wide choice for taverna's, restaurants, hotels, small pensions and shops. Most of the taverna's are at the seafront, and most of the hotels in the backstreets. It is a lively place but in a good way, and it is cozy with lots of flowers in pots in front of the houses, and trees that are painted white at the bottom. Mirtos has got a lovely sandbeach with umbrellas and sunbeds. Just outside the village towards Vatos there are more beaches, which are more quiet than the beach of Mirtos itself. At walking distance you can also find the beautiful sandy beaches of Tertsa, where there is also place for naturism.
For more information about the village, the accommmodations and pictures of Mirtos - click here
A few of my favorite accommodations on the island of Crete in Greece
Below are a few of my favorite accommodations on the island of Crete. It is just a small selection because I have seen so many. If you want to see more nice accommodations than you have to take a look at my hotel page.
Villa Almyrida View in Almyrida - Large 3 bedroom villa with panoramic views
This beautiful and large villa is situated on a quiet road in the village of Almyrida on walking distance from all the tavernes, supermarkets, atm machine, pharmacy, the (very good) bakery and all the other amenities that this lovely village has to offer (not forgetting the good sandy beaches here). This makes it idealy situated: away from noise but close to everything. The villa has different sitting areas on the outside (you can choose for sun or shade) where you can relax and enjoy a breakfast, a coffee or a drink while you look out over the village of Almyrida, the bay of Souda and the island of Karga. In the distance you can see the planes take off and land on the airport of Chania, which is situated on the opposite Akrotiri peninsula. There is a 40 m2 large private pool with sunbeds (with soft covers if you like) which is in the sun almost day, so water temperatures are good. Next to the villa at the gate there is a parking place for your car.
Cretan Village Hotel in Ammoudara
We have stayed a few days in this lovely hotel. Cretan Village is situated on the outskirts of the village / beach Ammoudara just around the corner. It is clearly marked with a sign on the side of the road. In front of the complex you can find another (pebble) beach, and a little further another one. Cretan Village is built like a Cretan village, with whitewashed houses that are stuck on a mountain and with narrow Greek streets, squares, gardens, flowers and palmtrees. Downstairs is the gate and therefore it's possible to park your car there. If you drive through the gate you will first get to the reception where there is some more parking space. Parking for the guests is over a steep road at the top of the complex. From this parking you can enter the "village" and go to your accommodation. It consists of a number of villas with apartments (with one or two bedrooms, 80 or 120 m2). Also from the reception and the large pool you can access a staircase that leads up to the villas of Cretan Village. The views over the sea, the mountains and Agios Nikolaos are very beautiful. There is a restaurant where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Villa Sophia's House in Aspro near Almirida Beach (Apokoronas - Crete)
This lovely intimate villa is situated on a hill near the seaside resort of Almirida. We stayed here in September 2008 and we absolutely loved it. It was cozy and comfortable and the views from the terraces and the pool were fantastic. The villa had everything you could wish for: amazing views from the terraces and the pool, a beautiful bathroom, a living space with comfortable couches, a dining table and chairs and three bedrooms with extra large extra comfortable beds with loads of pillows. The beds were over two meters long because I could fit in without any problems and without my feet sticking out (yes people, I am a tall, tall guy). I loved this place because it felt so homely and everybody was feeling so happy in it. It makes you want to buy your own villa on the island.
Villa Giorgos in Gavalochori - A house with 3 bedrooms in a pine tree forest
Villa Giorgos is set in a very secluded spot in the middle of a pine tree forest. The villa is situated on the outskirts of Gavalochori and close to the coastal resort of Almyrida. In both villages you can find good tavernes, super markets and a bakery. Especially the pastries of the bakery in Almyrida are worth a detour! Villa Giorgos is situated on a hill at the end of short dirt track. The villa has several verandas with a splendid view of the forest that surrounds it and there are distant views of the sea in front of Almyrida (Souda Bay). It's very, very quiet. Behind the villa is the private pool with the sunbeds and the parasols, chairs and tables, a swing and a bbq. The pool is surrounded by a low wall and pine trees and is not overlooked, so we skinny dipped.
Kastania Lodge, Kastelli Kissamos in Crete
Kastania Lodge is a small complex consisting of one house, one apartment and one studio. It is are situated just above the town of Kastelli Kissamos, in the north west of Crete. It is situated on a very quiet spot in the country side and it looks out over the town of Kissamos and the sea on one side and on the other side the mountains and the olive groves. The small and intimate complex comes with a 50 m2 pool and a small bar.
Spiros Soula Apartments in Ligaria Beach
Spiros Soula is an apartment complex in the village Ligaria (sometimes called Lygaria). This village is about 30 minutes / 20 km drive from the airport of Heraklion (but not in the flight path, so no problems with noise). It's a nice place to start your holiday or end it, so don't have to overstay in busy Heraklion, but instead spend the first or last days in a relaxed place. But it is also nice for a longer holiday, or for a stop if you travel from the west side of the island to the east (or vice versa). The village of Ligaria is accessible from a junction of the New National Road that runs between Heraklion and Rethymnon.
The most beautiful house on Crete - Villa Pantazis (near Rethimnon - Madaras)
We stayed in the upper floor this beautiful stone house for a couple of days in September 2008. It is defenitely the most tasteful and luxurious house that I ever came across on my travels to the Greek islands. It is enormous and filled with antiques and art, and it has thick walls and arches to seperate some of the spaces (all together 330 square meters). At the end of the enormous living room the wooden roof which is shaped with complete tree trunks is about 7 meters high with a big chandelier hanging from it: really impressive. There are several couches and seats, a handpainted "art-table", a big fire place and there are windows everywhere looking out over the sea and the countryside. It also comes with 3 verandas and a balcony. It is situated on its own hill with majestic views over the sea and on the other side over a valley and a large, impressive mountain that is so beautiful it was hard to choose what view was more awesome.
Villa Renata in Megala Chorafia: deceptively large and luxurious. The perfect get away.
Pictures do not do this villa justice: you have to see it and experience it. One of my favorites ever. It is an absolute gem and also the perfect get away from it all. The people that own it have turned it into something very special. We visited this beautiful villa in the Apokoronas in October 2008. It is deceptively large: I estimate it is about 175 m2. Downstairs there are three bedrooms (2 doubles and one twin). The double rooms each have their own balcony and the twin room has a door leading to the patio in front of the pool. The last room has a private bathroom with a shower and toilet and there is also a small study incorporated. All the bedrooms have a tv and there is airconditioning.
Villa Amalia in Megala Chorafia - Luxureous large villa with a big swimming pool
This beautiful large villa with private pool of 50 m2 is situated on a hill next to the village of Megala Chorafia (near Chania - which is 13 kilometers away - and Kalives, in the north of the island of Crete). It is one of the nicest places we ever stayed. The villa is easy to reach. If you come from the direction of Chania and drive towards the east you will pass the village Megala Chorafia. Just after the exit to the village you can clearly see the sign that says "Villa Amalia next exit 100 m" and here you drive over a narrow but good road into the hills. You can not miss it and you will automatically end up at the villa. Here is a separate parking area where you can put the car.
Villa Atlantis House in Plaka near Almyrida on Crete - the luxury life in a Cretan village
Live the life of a villager but in plenty of luxury: you can do this in Villa Atlantis. Behind the walls and the gates of Atlantis House you will find a little hidden gem. Villa Atlantis is a beautifully restored stone village house which is situated in the old part of the village of Plaka in the Apokoronas in Crete. The villa is located in a quiet street with little traffic driving through and surrounded by a wall so the garden and pool are not overlooked from the street. You can park your car park behind the fence so you never have to look around for a parking spot on the street. No carrying luggage or groceries over long distances.
Villa Ti Amo in Plaka near Almyrida on Crete - the most fabulous views
Villa Ti Amo is a beautiful villa which is situated in the green area of the Apokoronas in Crete. Behind the gated front is the road up to the villa and the car parking. Villa Ti Amo has 3 bedrooms, two doubles (with double beds) and a single / twin (the latter is a single bed that can be pulled out). Downstairs is the living room with a kitchen, a bathroom with shower and toilet and one of the double bedrooms. Both the bedroom and living room have a balcony / terrace and a covered porch with chairs / benches and a table. A great place to have breakfast or dinner. It is also a wonderful place to sit in the shade on a sunny day.
On my website you will not find a lot of information about tourist packed villages like Malia or Chersonissos because I intend to avoid those places as much as I can. I always try to find quiet places and beautiful nature and I don't feel the need to share the scenery with hundreds of people. I prefer uncultivated beaches with no beach chairs, and I prefer nude / naturist beaches above "normal" ones. Having said this it doesn't mean I sit alone all the time everywhere, because I also enjoy the cosyness of places like Agia Pelagia and Sougia.