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|The village and the beaches of Agia Galini in the south of the island of Crete|
Agia Galini (meaning: holy peace) is a very charming - yet touristy - village in the Bay of Messara in the south of Crete. It's situated on a steep hill a little north of Matala at a distance of one and a half hours drive from the capital Heraklion. It seems to consist of mainly hotels and tavernas along bougainville covered steep steps up the hill. Agia Galini has all amenities like souvenir shops, supermarkets and ATM machines to withdraw cash. There are cosy terraces where you can have a drink and the beach is pretty good. It doesn't get as busy here as it gets in some other places in Crete (for instance Chersonissos or Malia). Visited by bus loads of tourists it's still a place with atmosphere though and there is plenty of space on the beach.
When you are staying in Agia Galini you can make a day trip to Preveli beach. This beach is one of the prettiest beaches of Crete. It is situated at the end of a river that divides the beach into two. It is famous and very picturesque because of its palm trees. The palm tree forest has been hit by a large fire in 2010 though and sadly much of the scenery (about 50%) was destroyed at that time. Another excursion by boat will take you to the next bay where you find the beaches of Agios Georgios.
Agia Galini has a cosy harbour and interesting scenery: high cliffs, flowers, a river, a beautiful view of the white mountains, and last but not least a good (pebble) beach. On one side of the harbour on some sort of a small hill are the statues of Daidalos and Ikaros, overlooking the bay. These two mythological figures flew with wings that had been attached to their bodies with wax. Ikaros came too close to the sun and the wax melted, so he crashed into the sea (near the island of Ikaria). What their two statues are doing over here was a big question to me, but they are decorative and beautiful indeed. The myth tells that Ikaros and Daidalos after escaping from King Minos fled to Agia Galini (which was named Soulia at that time, the Minoan times) and took off into the sky from this rock. From this spot where the statues stand - which can be reached easily on foot - you also have a nice view over the village and the sea.
The beach of Agia Galini is situated next to the village, is about 1 kilometer long and it is suitable for children because it is shallow. Behind that there is a smaller nudist beach with equally clear waters (note: ever since a bridge has been built across the river leading to this beach naturism is over. Umbrellas and beach beds have appeared). On the east side of Agia Galini there are interesting caves that you can visit by excursion boat. There are enough small bars and other places that you can visit in the evenings. There is also a camping site in the village.
Agia Galini has about 800 inhabitants, but the village and its surroundings attracts about 2500 tourists during the high season. Agia Galini is definitely a place to recommend. It is not packed with mass tourism and yet there is a bit of life in the village. The ugly concrete buildings that you will find in some of the tourist destinations are not te be found here. There is only one road for the traffic so the rest of the village is free of cars. Agia Galini lives mainly from tourism but in the wider area also vegetables (cucumbers and tomatoes) are cultivated. In front of the coast of Agia Galini lie the small Paximadia islands. To these two islands there are also organized boat trips.
Agia Galini was founded in 1884 on the same spot where the ancient Soulia was situated. This was the port of the old Syvritos, a Minoan city. Soulia was destroyed by pirates in 640 AD and not rebuild until the Venetian times. It flourished as an economical center for the export of olive oil and other products. The small church of Galini Christos dates from the middle ages and was built on the remains of an Artemis temple. During the building of houses in Agia Galini remains from the ancient times were found, such as graves and granite columns. These remains are exhibited in the church of the village.
The story goes that the name Agia Galini comes from the Byzantine Empress Eudocia, who during her journey to the holy land ended up in a storm. She prayed to the Virgin Mary and asked for her help. She promised to build a church at the spot where she would safely land ashore. Then she landed safely on the shore of current Agia Galini and she had a church built here. She called this church the Panagia Galini (the peaceful Mary). Over the years the name changed in Agia Galini (Holy Peace). The remains of the church are still visible in the cemetery of Agia Galini. Another theory is that the name comes from the church that was build over the old Artemis temple. This church is called the Galini Christos (the peaceful Christ). The modern village of Agia Galini dates from 1884 when families from Melampes and other neighbouring villages started to build it.
For studios, apartments and hotels in Agia Galini - CLICK HERE.
|Villa Nisi in Agia Galini on the island of Crete - Vista Villas|
In this villa we had an enjoyable one week stay in October 2017. Villa Nisi, along with 5 other villas, is situated on a hill above the village of Agia Galini in the south of the island of Crete. Villa Nisi offers a lot of privacy, is surrounded by a large 2000 m2 plot of land and has a private swimming pool. There is a roof terrace and there are a number of terraces downstairs (one of which is covered) where you can sit in the shade or just sit in the sun. Around the pool there are beds for relaxing and enjoying the sun. From the plot there is a beautiful view of the surroundings and the sea, where you can see the Paximadia islands which are situated in front of the coast. It is very quiet and there is no traffic noise. You only hear the birds and bells of the sheep, and the view of the sea and the Paximadia islands is different every time, and changes from day to day and from morning, afternoon and evening. The villas are for rent but also for sale.
Send an e-mail to Vista Villas in Agia Galini. - Tel Vista Villas (Linda Butterworth): 0030 6976702364
For more information - click here.
|Agia Galini Hotels - Sunningdale Bungalows in Agia Galini - good reviews, low prices, breakfast buffet|
This stylish family owned hotel with its unique architecture, the beautiful Cretan surroundings and the warmth of the Manousakis family will make your holiday extra special. There are rooms for two or for three people and there are family rooms. Sunningdale Bungalows are only a 10-minute walk from Agia Galini village and close to the beach. Every day under the everlasting sun of Crete, you can enjoy a European breakfast on a small terrace surrounded by trees and flowers: the perfect way to start your day. If you want to explore further afield, hotel staff are happy to arrange excursions to many places of interest, including Psiloritis Mountain. Back at the hotel, you can cool off in our large swimming pool before enjoying a lovingly-prepared meal at our restaurant.
Check availabilities and prices & book Sunningdale Bungalows - click here.
|Agia Galini Hotels - The Rozmari Hotel and the Antigoni Hotel in Agia Galini - cheap|
Located on a quiet street above the resort of Agia Galini, Rozmari offers simple, clean and affordable accommodation on the beautiful southern coast of Crete. Rozmari is a family hotel where you can experience true Cretan hospitality. It is a stroll from the harbour of Agia Galini, and the beautiful sand and shingle beach is 500 metres away. The Antigoni Hotel is a small, family-run hotel ideally situated only 350 metres from the beach in the pretty town Agia Galini in Rethymno, in the south of Crete.
Check availability and prices & book the Rozmari Hotel - click here.
Check availabilities and prices & book the Antigoni Hotel - click here.
|Agia Galini Hotels - Adonis Hotel in Agia Galini on Crete|
Adonis Hotel offers sea-view accommodation in the picturesque harbour of Agia Galini, in Rethymnon. The Adonis Hotel provides functional and tasteful rooms as well as self-catering studios and apartments. Air conditioning units and safes are also available at an extra charge. Guests can enjoy a drink at the bar by the swimming pool or have breakfast at the breakfast room.
Check availabilities and prices & book the Adonis Hotel - click here.
|Agia Galini Hotels - The Palazzo Greco Hotel in Agia Galini - luxury boutique hotel|
Palazzo Greco is a unique boutique hotel, with a stunning view of the Mediterranean Sea, located in the friendly harbour village of Agia Galini by the South coast of Crete. Located on a hillside by the coast of Agia Galini, Palazzo Greco is ideal for those who want to relax in a peaceful environment. The boutique hotel is newly renovated and has 28 stylish and spacious luxury rooms. At the hotel you have the chance to relax by the swimming pool or have a drink by the bar with its splendid view. The hotel provides guests with free private parking and wireless internet. Enjoy long peaceful walks across the coast and enjoy the ambience of the port area of the town. Agia Galini is a family friendly place and very relaxed. Apart from the main road, the entire village is free of cars. This is the ideal place to go, if you are looking for a holiday away from the noisier tourist areas.
Check availabilities and prices & book the Palazzo Greco Hotel - click here.
|Restaurant Pantheon in Agia Galini|
Restaurant Pantheon is a fairly large restaurant in the port of Agia Galini (up the stairs). There is beautiful view over the bay from the terrace. We eat the dorade and the swordfish fillet, a Greek salad and wine. Everything is just fine and the fries are good too.
Our verdict: very good, a 9 out of 10
|Taverna Kostas in Agia Galini|
Kostas Taverna is a fairly large restaurant located right on the beach, near the bridge that runs over the river. Due to its size it may be slightly less intimate, but the restaurant is popular, the service is very friendly and smooth and the food is excellent. We order the dorade (which is served pre-cut), the tuna fillet, the avocado salad and the white wine. A bottle of cold water is immediately put on the table and so are some small appetizers that can be combined with the bread. The fish is very tasty and the fried potato slices are perfect. The avocado salad contains avocado, tomato, lettuce, dried tomato, fresh dill and tuna and it is served with a delicious lemon sauce.
Our verdict: very good, a 9,5 out of 10
|Alykes Taverna in Agia Galini|
Alykes Taverna is located along the path that runs from the port of Agia Galini to the beach. We order the sea bass, grilled sardines, the Alykes salad and half a liter of white wine. The salad contains potato, tuna, egg, onion rings, feta, olives, cucumber and tomato and a sauce. Everything tastes fine.
Our verdict: good, a 9 out of 10
|Agia Galini restaurants - Alexander Café in Agia Galini|
This cafe has a terrace in the port next to the street where you take the stairs that take you inside the villages. We asked for an "English breakfast" here and were not disappointed. The china was beautiful and the portions were large and good, including eggs and bacon, sausages and baked beans. There was a choice of fresh bread or toast. Freshly squeezed orange juice and a good cup of coffee finished it. The service was friendly. Inside is an internet corner where you can check your e-mails at a cheap rate. Everything was good an with a nice view.
Our verdict: good, 9 out of 10