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|The village of Agia Pelagia in the north of the island of Crete in Greece|
The village of Agia Pelagia, once the site of an ancient Greek city, is situated in a bay 22 kilometers northwest of the capital Heraklion, and set 4 kilometers off the main road. The name Agia Pelagia derives from a monastery 1 kilometer west of the bay.
It's a haven of peace compared to some of the other beachvillages that are sometimes placed directly next to the mainroad itself. Agia Pelagia is actually more like a cluster of small villages and beaches, the main beach being the most eastern one, decorated with a small 'boulevard' with restaurants, cocktail bars and a supermarket. For a short movie of Agia Pelagia you can click here
|More about Agia Pelagia - the beaches of Agia Pelagia in the north Crete|
When driving in from the mainroad it's easy to lose your way in the spiderweb of small roads and the lack of signs (especially when you see a sign saying 'beach' pointing both left and right one might not understand...).
The atmosphere in Agia Pelagia is cosy, and its bay looks very pretty, with caiques (trafitional wooden boats) in the water and greenish rocks rising out of the of the sea. It's a rather green place with palmtrees and flowers. The main beach is not very long or wide, and it gets shady very quickly at the end of the afternoon. The people in Agia Pelagia belong to the most kind Greek people I have ever met.
West of the main beach of Agia Pelagia you will also find three more quiet beaches with less facilities. My favourite is the middle one of the three which has only a small 'shop' that sells drinks and ice cream. I like it the best because of the beautiful rocks on the left side of it and because of its quietness. The first beach west of the main beach of Agia Pelagia is called Kladissos. The second beach that you will encounter when you walk eastwards from Agia Pelagia's main beach (the one with only the small shop with drinks). This is my favourite one. It's called Psaromoura and it has some beautiful rocks in the sea. The third beach is called Mononaftis, and has a nice green rock in the opposite.
In the neighbourhood of these beaches there are a couple of big holiday resorts, amongst which the big Capsis beach hotel with a pool and lots of small houses. Facilities have "improved" over the last few years and you will find more umbrellas and sunbeds on these beaches nowadays.
|What is Agia Pelagia like - nearby Lygaria Beach|
A walk down westwards will bring you to some escavations (near the big Capsis Hotel on the rock), and a small zoo with storks, strange chickens, some baboons and other animals. It's quite a strange surprise, but a funny one. Most of the birds and some of the animals just walk around freely (update 2007: sorry people, the zoo is closed and replaced by a building).
If you want to try another more quiet beach in the area you can take the turn just before Agia Pelagia, which will bring you to the sheltered and more quiet Ligaria beach. It is also possible to walk to this beach from Agia Pelagia. On this beach there are also a couple of places where you can have a drink or something to eat and there is a small supermarket. At the beach there are umbrellas and sunbeds for rent.
A few years ago a large complex of holiday homes was built here on the hill overlooking the bay, so it is possible that it is a little bit more busy now. So summarized Agia Pelagia comes with all sorts of beaches for different kinds of people and there is a large choice in tavernas, small cozy bars, shops, super markets, hotels, apartments, studios and villas. Update: it doesn't seem to have affected the village of Lygaria that much and the beach is still pretty quiet.
|Tourism and agriculture in Agia Pelagia - the landscape, what can you expect|
Besides tourism a lot of people in Agia Pelagia still live from farming. This is why in between the houses, restaurants and hotels you will see a lot of agricultural fields in the village. There are onions, cabbages, herbs and all sorts of vegetables growing everywhere. Slowly Agia Pelagia is expanding and more new houses are being built. Because the village is built on a slightly sloping hill a lot of these new houses will get a sea view. The latest project is a cluster of holiday homes (it is called Agia Pelagia Villas) that are being built at the public parking square at the end of the small road that leads to the beach (distance 80 meters). If all goes according to plan it should be finished in 2009.
|The "Agia Pelagia Church" - the monastery in Agia Pelagia, walking around the village|
In the village you will also see a couple of signs that are pointing to the Agia Pelagia Church. If you follow these signs you will end up at an old church / monastery, but of course it is closed, so you are unable to take a look inside. Another walk that you can make is all the way up the hill towards Nymphes Villas which will give you breathtaking views of the bay and the opportunity to take a look inside a small church on top of the hill. Here the roads turn into walking paths and you can make walks to the inland or along the coastline.
|The journey to Agia Pelagia - how to get to the village of Agia Pelagia|
How to get to Agia Pelagia
The easiest way to reach Agia Pelagia is of course with your own transportation. From the capital Heraklion it takes about a half an hour drive westwards before you are downstairs in the bay. There are several entrances to the village of Agia Pelagia from the main road. From Heraklion and from Rethimnon there are also busses that stop at Agia Pelagia, but they make you get out at the main road, which means that you still have to walk downstairs about three or four kilometers. The views over the bay that you will get are rewarding though. A better alternative for a rental car would be a taxi from for instance the bus station or the airport. The prices for the ride are fixed. Since 2008 there are two petrol stations on the way from the main road to the bay of Agia Pelagia.
|Shops and restaurants in Agia Pelagia - ATM machines in Agia Pelagia|
There is a good choice of tavernas, kafenions and restaurants in Agia Pelagia. Most of them you will find directly on the main beach and none of them is really expensive. On the main street going from the beach to the public parking place you find most of the larger souvenir shops, an internet cafe, car rentals and a pharmacist. A little bit more hidden away is the butcher. There are a couple of cocktail bars at the beach as well. Near the Capsis Hotel you will find more shops, small restaurants (also take-away giros pita - really cheap) and car rentals. On the beach and in the main street to the public parking there are also supermarkets.
|Accommodations in Agia Pelagia - Hotels, apartments and studios in Agia Pelagia|
Zorbas Studios and Apartments in Agia Pelagia
A few meters from the main beach, the shops and the restaurants you can find Zorbas Studios and Apartments. All the rooms in this complex have satelite tv, airconditioning, a kitchen, a safe box and a balcony with table and chairs. Some of the rooms have a seaview and some of them look over a quiet little street. Zorbas has also got and internet corner exclusively for its visitors. Prices in 2006 start at 28 euro for a studio and 30 euro for an apartment in low season. If you book here my advice is to ask for a room / apartment on the front with a seaview. Large parts of the back of the building don't have much of a view because of a large grape-tree and other plants growing over the building.
Tel. +30 2810 811074 & +30 2810 811518 - Send an email to Zorbas Apartments
More information and pictures you can find on this page
Villa Bellevue Apartments with swimming pool in Agia Pelagia
Apartments and studios in Villa Bellevue. Villa Bellevue is is a family run beautiful 3 star Hotel – Apartment and studio complex. Situated 17-18 kilometers west of Heraklion in an enviable and unique location overlooking the small picturesque bay of Ligaria and the tourist resort and fishing village of Aghia Pelagia. It is built in a quiet and hospitable environment of natural beauty, with spectacular views of the sea and the mountains, and only 1200 meters from the centre of Aghia Pelagia and 800 meters from Ligaria Beach. The hotel is built in 7000 square metres of lush greenery of palm, olive, lemon and hibiscus trees. The elevated garden area provides plenty of space for guests to move around in. On arrival in their room guests will find free of charge a bottle of home made wine, fresh seasonal fruit and a bottle of mineral water.
The hotel consists of 6 separate buildings of studios and apartments, which measure between 35 to 55 square metres with balconies or terraces. They are all fitted with cable television, direct dial phones, King size beds, kitchenettes and private bathrooms with baths or showers. The Hotel also provides a safe parking area, reception with safety boxes, a friendly, informal Greek style Tavern serving breakfast, lunch or evening meal, a mini market and on the grounds a large pool with umbrellas and sun beds. The sea and beach areas of Ligaria and Aghia Pelagia are ideal for guests to enjoy scuba diving, ski, jet ski, wind surfing and parasailing. The owners of this lovely place will welcome you ,offering a friendly and family atmosphere.
Villa Bellevue is in the centre of Crete and is in easy reach of many attractions and archaeological sites such as Knossos (20 km), Phaestos (60 km) and of course all the famous museums. Taxi transfers for guests from Heraklion airport to Villa Bellevue is approx. 32 -35 euro. The exit to the villa Bellevue Studios is clearly marked along the road to Agia Pelagia with a sign. * FREE transfer from Heraklion Airport to our hotel for reservations of 10 days or more. Optional (prices for 2009): Breakfast 7 € per person, Dinner menu 10 €, Half-board menu 15 € per person (Breakfast & Lunch or Dinner), Air condition 7 € per day.
Check availability and prices & book Villa Bellevue - click here
More information and pictures you can find on this page
Thania Studios - Cheap studios right at the beach of Agia Pelagia
For us this was the first complex that we stayed in in Agia Pelagia. It is situated in a quiet spot directly at the beach. The next year we wanted to go back to this place but it was closed at the time that we wanted to stay there. Instead we ended up in the Lygaria Beach Apartments in the next bay (see below). Thania Studios is a family hotel offering the world famous traditional Cretan Hospitality, personal contact with the owners, and several comforts for your pleasant stay. Our gentle staff and our dedication to high quality services, provide the necessary discreteness to the pleasant atmosphere of our apartments. The balconies of our apartments offer a magnificent view of the sea while they allow you to enjoy magic summer nights. On the rooftop of Thania Studios is a pergola where you can enjoy the magic atmosphere of the sunset and your sunbath during daytime. The calm and friendly environment of our studios will take a place in your heart from the first moment.
Check availability and prices & book Thania Studios - click here
Marianna Apartments - Apartments in the center of Agia Pelagia
The apartments provide spacious accommodation with 2 balconies each, and are situated in a central location of Agia Pelagia, with the main services and beach nearby (the beach is at about 100 meters distance). At the Marianna Apartments, you have the privilege of private balconies offering stunning scenery of the mountains and sea. Agia Pelagia is a small village with a quiet setting. The nearby beach also offers opportunities for water sports. Agia Pelagia has a variety of supermarkets, shops, restaurants and cafes to make your holiday comfortable. The taverns at Agia Pelagia are highly recommended, as you can enjoy fresh local seafood. The village also provides an ideal position for excursions around Crete, with the highway only 3 km away.
Check availability and prices & book Marianna Apartments - click here
Amazona Apartements- Studios and apartments in a central and quiet location
Located in a quiet neighbourhood just 180 metres from the beach, Amazona Apartments is a family-run establishment offering comfortable accommodation and Cretan hospitality in the beautiful village of Agia Pelagia. Amazona offers air-conditioned apartments and studios with en suite facilities, satellite TV and free Wi-Fi. The kitchenette gives you the opportunity to prepare meals using fresh, local produce, and enjoy them on your private balcony or terrace. And if you want someone else to do it for you, the Amazona restaurant serves delicious, homemade cuisine. You can even order your breakfast or dinner in your room. You can also relax by the pool with a drink from the bar, while the children are having fun in the playground.
Check availability and prices & book Amazona Apartments Studios - click here
Renia Hotel-Apartments in a central and quiet location
The complex consists of two different buildings; the first features typical Greek island architecture and the second houses the bar, restaurant and reception and incorporates Postmodern Greek designs. Between them there is the relaxing swimming pool. With such a tranquil yet convenient location only 70 metres from a sandy beach, 20 minutes from the capital and its shopping centres, and 30 minutes from the golf course of Analipsis and the two biggest water parks on the island, this hotel makes for the perfect base for a holiday in Crete. From here it is easy to reach every point on the island and all of the archaeological sites.
Check availability and prices & book Renia Hotel-Apartments - click here
Creta Sun Hotel Studios with swimming pool in Agia Pelagia - inexpensive & good reviews
Creta Sun Hotel Studios is located in one of the most beautiful places of Crete, Agia Pelagia. It is a small, quiet, family-run, newly built hotel with swimming pool and just 400 m from the sandy beach and the center of the village. All studios have verandas with a view combining the sea and the mountains.
Check the prices and availability & book Creta Sun Hotel Studios - click here
Sunday Life Hotel in Agia Pelagia - very good reviews
With a panoramic view of the sea and the village of Agia Pelagia, the Sunday Life is just 150 metres from the beach of Agia Pelagia. It has an outdoor pool and an on-site restaurant that serves innovative Cretan cuisine. All rooms overlook the sea, the Bay of Agia Pelagia and the hotel’s swimming pool. In-room comforts include free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and minibar. The bathroom comes complete with a make-up mirror, bathrobes and a hairdryer.
A traditional Cretan breakfast is served daily. The in-house restaurant serves home-cooked local dishes using organic products grown on site. The hotel bar offers a great variety of cafes, drinks and pastries, as well as herbal drinks. Guests of the Sunday Life can enjoy drinks and sunbathe at the outdoor swimming pool. The on-site gym is fully equipped for your daily fitness routine.
Situated in the centre of one of the most beautiful bays on the eastern coast, the picture-perfect resort of Agia Pelagia is just 18 km from the capital’s port and 20 km from Heraklion Airport.
Check availabilities and prices & book the Sunday Life Hotel - click here
Joanna Apartments in Agia Pelagia - Good reviews, 30 meters to the beach
Joanna Apartments are situated 30 meters away from the beach, in the center of Agia Pelagia, at the most beautiful and quiet neighborhood. The apartments have a 200-m˛ garden with showers, in this beautiful garden you can have your breakfast ,enjoy the Cretan sun and let your children play safely.
Check the prices and availability & book Joanna Apartments - click here
Nymphes Apartments in Agia Pelagia - good reviees - luxury accommodation in Agia Pelagia
Nymphes Luxury Apartments are situated 22 km from the Heraklion airport, toward the middle of the island of Crete, 21km from Knossos Palace and 56 km from Rethimnon town. Upon an enchanting hill at Agia Pelagia, in an area of 5000 m2 of unspoilt natural beauty, we limited development to just ten accommodations, a swimming pool, a salon, and gardens with fruit trees, grapes and many species of herbs. All accommodation faces the sea, offering a spectacular view of the blue Aegean Sea.
Check the prices and availability & book Nymphes Apartments - click here
Irini Restaurant - Agia Pelagia - our favorite, but the cook left in 2009
Once my favorite restaurant in Agia Pelagia is situated about 25 meters off the beach on the first corner leading of the main road. It's called Irini, and it's a wonderful place to have a breakfast, lunch or dinner. This is the place where you will find us almost every morning to have a coffee and bacon and eggs, while we are trying to wake up. It is run by Giannis and he is fast and always in a good mood. The salads get that extra bit of care, looking beautiful, with fresh herbs and tasting delicious. The pizza's and the chicken with honey-mustard sauce are amongst our favorites. The cook left and went to the village of Bali now.
Mouragio Restaurant with Nikos and Stella
Stella and Nikos work in the best restaurant of Agia Pelagia: Mouragio, the 4th taverna from the beginning of the beach. Their fried zuchini's, tuna salad, gyros and chicken dishes are addictive, so is the laughter of Stella, and friendlyness of all of the people there. Stella's husband is the cook, and he's simply the best. Thy make a swordfish filet like you have tasted nowhere else, and actually everything that comes from the sea tastes better than anywhere else. You must also try the lamb chops, which are super! There is one big problem at the Mouragio Restaurant and I hope they will change this in the future: they give you too many complementairy bottles of a high alcohol percentaged liquid called "raki" after you have stuffed yourself with their food, and your holiday pictures end up like this...
Piatsa Cocktail Bar - Agia Pelagia
Piatsa is situated on the corner of the beach and the main street of Agia Pelagia. It is a cocktailbar, but you can for instance also get ice cream and off course a cup of coffee. For us it is a nice place to have a wonderful cup of Lavazza coffee with a metaxa or an Irish coffee at the end of the afternoon. The service is friendly, the seats are comfortable and there is nothing wrong with it.
Our verdict: a 9 out of 10
Del Mar Cafe - Agia Pelagia
The Del Mar Cafe Bar is situated at the hand left side of the beach (when coming from the main street) of Agia Pelagia. It all looks quite modern and fresh. Only the toilet leaves something to be desired with a door that is impossible to close. It looks like it is from the 50's, but who knows by the time you read this it has been changed. The cappuccino was served with whipped cream instead of whipped milk (easy of course) and there was no glass of water. We ordered a club sandwich. The french fries were reasonably cruncht, the sandwiches were not toasted enough. Besides cocktails and coffee you can also order snacks here like hamburgers and pizzas. There is a beautiful view of the sea and the island of Dia that lies oposite the coast of Agia pelagia.
Our verdict: a 7 out of 10