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|THE VILLAGE AND THE BEACHES OF MAKRIGIALOS IN THE SOUTHEAST OF CRETE|
The village of Makrigialos lies on the south coast of Crete, 24 km away from Ierapetra, and is the next door neighbour of the village of Analipsi (with a big beach). The name Makrigialos actually means "long beach". It's a quiet, friendly place with a cosy little fishing harbour and a small sand beach inside the village. The beach is shallow and stays undeep for a while so is is easy to go into the sea and suitable for small children.
At the end of the promenade with the tavernas is the start of the long sandy beach that runs all the way into the next village, Analipsi. The village of Makrigialos. has been expanding and growing for the last few decades and nowadays there are plenty of hotels and other accommodations (apartments, studios, villas) in the area and at least one excellent taverna (we had dinner there ;) - but of course there are more restaurants and kafenions. Yet it's still pretty unspoiled compared to some of the other coastal villages in Crete. The background setting is one of pretty, high hills. A nice place to stop and relax for a while.
In the land behind Makrigialos there are no direct spectacular things to take a look at, but there are nice walking tracks that you can use to wander around in the quiet nature. You can also make a boat trip from Makrigialos to the small nearby island of Koufonisi. A boat leaves from the port of Makrigialos early in the morning and then returns late in the afternoon. The trip to the island takes about one hour. Koufonisi has nice beaches and is a good place for a swim in the sea. The island is also an archaeological site because during the Roman period there was a factory here that produced the color purple from sea shells for the Roman imperial clothes. Inside the village there are all amenities that you would want: tavernas and kafenions, a bakery, mini markets, tourist shops and cash points where you can get money.
For the lovers of old stones there is also something closer to home, because in Makrigialos a Minoan villa has been found. You can reach it from the main road that leads through the village and it is indicated by a sign. Excavations that took place in the seventies showed that the villa had been destroyed by fire. It had thick outside walls and many rooms and a large courtyard and the villa in the details and the way it is set out looks like a smaller copy of the large Minoan palaces on Crete. Close to the sea there are also the remains of an ancient Roman villa. Update 2013: don't bother to go and take a look at the Minoan villa, since it is in a field behind closed gates and you can only see it from a distance.
High in the mountains above Makrigialos there are a couple of old traditional villages: Pefki, Stavrohori and Agios Stefanos. In these three mountain villages there are many houses that are falling apart, but plenty of them are being renovated. Here it is still relatively cheap to buy your Cretan dream home. Somehow there is a different atmosphere in each one of the villages and for instance the people in Stavrohori appear to be more friendly and open to the "new foreigners" than the people in Agios Stefanos.
On both sides of the village beach there are more stretches of sand. On the east side of Makrigialos there is the large sandy beach of Makrigialos / Analipsi and on the west side just around the corner from the town beach is the real hidden gem, that nobody seems to know about: a large and beautiful quiet sand beach (which is much nicer in my point of view, but as you know I like it to be quiet). You can reach this beach from the main road and you have to descend some stairs. Other pretty beaches that are not far away from Makrigialos are for instance the beautiful beach of Agio Fotia that is surrounded by high mountain, the beaches of Koutsouras and Mavros Kolimbos or the beaches of Ferma and Kalo Nero. The last two beaches are also suitable for naturists.
|Accommodations, hotels, apartments, studios and villas in and around Makrigialos in Crete|
There is plenty of choice for accommodations in and around the villages of Makrigialos, Analipsi and Lagada and there is a hotel, a studio or an apartments for every budget. In the area there is also a choice for people that are looking for a villa with a private pool.
For all hotels, apartements and studios in Makrigialos on Crete - click here.
For all villas in and around Makrigialos on Crete - click here.
|Lagada Resort - Lagada Beach, Makrigialos, south of Crete|
I really recommend this one. We stayed here for the first time a few days in October 2011 and we have been returning almost every year. The Lagada Resort is situated on the edge of Makrigialos / Analipsi if you take the exit Kalo Nero from Analipsi. Lagada (sometimes called Langada) is a quiet area with many small and often deserted beaches. The complex enjoys a quiet location about 800 meters from the edge of Analipsi and in front of it lies a large and quiet sandy beach: one of or favourites. The last part of the beach (about a hundred meters long) on the west side is especially nudist friendly.
These new bungalows have an area of 88 m2 and are situated around a lovely large communal pool with sun beds. The decor is sleek and modern, yet very cosy. We felt immediately at home upon arrival, even so we only went out for dinner in the evening one time and the rest of the days we stayed in the bungalow and I cooked something myself ;).
From the hallway you can reach all the rooms. Each bungalow has two bedrooms (one double and one twin) and the master bedroom has an ensuite with shower and toilet. There is also a bathroom with bath and toilet. In the large living area is a very comfortable L-shaped sofa with a coffee table. There is satellite TV (with good channels, not the crap channels that you sometimes find on satellite TV) and a DVD player. The living room flows into the area with the kitchen and the dining table. Outside there is also a 30 m2 terrace with comfortable seats and via a staircase you can go to enormous roof terrace to enjoy the beautiful sunsets with a glass of wine in your hand.
Over the years we have stayed in such a bungalow four times, but in recent years we have been renting a "townhouse". A two-storey house with two bedrooms below and the living room and kitchen above. From the balconies you have a beautiful view of the sea. There are also townhouses with a roof terrace as an extra.
For more information and pictures - click here.
Check availabilities and prices & book Lagada Resort in Makrigialos - click here.
|CretaSun Apartments in Makrigialos|
Makrigialos is a cosy fishermens village in the south of Crete, with nice taverna's and beautiful beaches. Tourist industry is not over-developped here, although there is some life in the village. There are no ugly concrete buildings though like you will for instance encounter them in Malia or Chersonissos. In this way the village has maintained its authenticity. In Makrigialos you can find the CretaSun Apartments, which are each 70 m2 large, some with a beautiful view of the harbour, the beach and the mountains. The apartment complex is situated on top of a hill at the edge of the bay. A short walk and some stairs will bring you to the main beach and the taverna's. On the west side of the village is another more quiet beach and there are many more great beaches in the area.
|Hotel Ville du Soleil in Lagada, Makrigialos - Bungalows and villas at affordable prices|
We stayed here for a week in 2018, just because it is close to one of out favorite beaches. Ville du Soleil offers traditional stone-built houses in Makrigialos, in south Crete. The long sandy beach of Lagada is just a 5-minute walk. The bungalows and villas are elegant, with stone walls, wooden furniture and timber ceilings. Their private balconies offer sea or landscape views. Each offers a comfortable seating area with fireplace. Makrigialos is graced with a long sandy beach and a splendid backdrop of mountains with gorges. The village boasts a delightful selection of taverns, bars and cafes, all serving delicious local flavours
For more information and pictures - click here.
Check availabilities and prices & book Ville du Soleil - click here.
|Villa Plori in Makrogialos|
Villa Plori is located in the South-East coast of Crete, right on the beachfront of Makry Gialos. It offers studios and apartments that open to a balcony, enjoying garden and Libyan Sea views. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout. The air-conditioned units come with a seating area and a satellite, flat-screen TV. They all include a kitchenette with a fridge, and a bathroom with a shower and hairdryer. Some also have built-in beds. Various restaurants and super markets can be found within walking distance of Villa Plori. Ierapetra and Siteia Towns are both 30 km away. The reception can help guests with bike and car rentals, while free private parking is possible at a location nearby.
Check availabilities and prices & book Villa Plori in Makrogialos - click here.
|Porfyra's Island in Makrogialos- very good reviews|
Just 25 metres from Makry Gialos Beach in Lasithi, Porfyra's Island offers self-catering accommodation with free WiFi and spacious balconies overlooking the Libyan Sea and the mountain. A garden and BBQ facilities are also available on site. Fitted with tiled floors, modern furnishings and wrought-iron beds, the apartments of Porfyra have an open-plan kitchen with seating and dining area. Each unit is air conditioned and equipped with a fridge, an electric oven with hobs and a flat-screen TV with CD/DVD player. Some units have a fireplace. Guests will find restaurants, bars and mini markets within a short walk from the property. The seaside Siteia Town is 33 km away and Siteia National Airport is at a distance of 35 km. Ierapetra Town is 25 km away. Free on-site parking is possible.
Check availabilities and prices & book Porfyra's Island in Makrogialos - click here.
|Athena Villas in Makrogialos- villas with a private pool in Makrigialos|
Within 400 metres from the beach, Athena Villas offers fully equipped accommodation with a private pool and views over the Libyan Sea. The village of Makry Gialos is 2 km away. Villa Athena is spacious and traditionally furnished opening out to sea-view balconies and patios. It includes a kitchen with dining area, adjacent living room with fireplace and 3 bedrooms. It is equipped with a satellite TV, DVD player and washing machine. A USB stick for internet access is provided free of charge. In the village of Makry Gialos you will find traditional Cretan taverns, cafes and shops. The airport of Siteia is 35 km away, while Heraklion City is at 120 km. Free parking can be found near the premises.
Check availabilities and prices & book Athena Villas in Makrigialos - click here.
|Lyronda Villa, Aspros Potamos in Makrogialos - villa with a private pool|
Located in Makry Gialos, Lyronda Villa offers an outdoor pool. This self-catering accommodation features free WiFi. Accommodation will provide you with a TV, air conditioning and a balcony. There is a full a kitchenette with a dishwasher and an oven. Featuring a shower, private bathrooms also come with a bath and a bath or shower. You can enjoy sea view and mountain view. At Lyronda Villa you will find a garden, barbecue facilities and a terrace. The property offers free parking. Heraklion International Airport is located 80 km away.
Check availabilities and prices & book Lyronda Villa, Aspros Potamos in Makrogialos - click here.
|Ionio Star Appartments - Koutsouras, Makrigialos|
With views of the Libyan Sea, Ionio Star Hotel offers comfortably furnished rooms and apartments with private balconies with sea view. A sea-water pool with pool bar-restaurant is available. Children can safely swim at their own pool. Umbrellas and sun beds are available both at the beach and the swimming pool. Beach towels are complimentary. At the hotel's 24-hour reception guests can arrange for doctor visit, or set up beauty care appointments. Breakfast can be served at the hotel's restaurant, or at the guest rooms through room service. Special romantic dinners under the sunset can be arranged upon request.
Check availability & prices and book the Ionio Star Apartments - click here.
|Limani Restaurant - Makrigialos|
A taverna with a very extensive menu illustrated with pictures. You will be handed one when you sit down at one of the tables. This seemed to be the busiest taverna in the row of taverna's in the harbour, so we thought we would give it a try. They have a lot of fish dishes on the menu. We tried the tuna salad, the garlic bread (which was good), beetroot salad, spagetthi bolognese, sole fish (no bones but tasteless and we think - or are sure - it was deepfreezed and not fresh), French fries (soft, not chrunchy)... to be short, it was sort of a disappointment. Besides that there was football on the television (this might explain why it was so busy, it couldn't have been because of the food), and we seemed to be "invisible"- meaning: nobody was paying any attention to us, bad service.
Our verdict: a 6,5 out of 10 - no longer there
|Semeli Restaurant - Makrigialos|
The neighbour of the Limani Restaurant above. This one was quiet and for us this was a mistery, because it was much better and cheaper too. We tried the same fish, sole fish (good, crispy and tasty), salad Semeli with spinach, rucola, cheese and turkey (good!), lamb chops (also good), French fries (like they should be - crispy) and courgette balls (also good but a bit on the salty side). The bread came in one piece and it was fresh. The only downside was the rosé, which was a bit tasteless...at least we thought so. Conclusion: cheaper and much better than the next door neighbour, and we wonder what everybody was doing there. The service was friendly and also much better.
Our verdict: an 8,5 out of 10 - no longer there
|Ilios Cafe - Makrigialos|
The Ilios Café is located at the village beach in Makrigialos. It's not a place to have lunch or dinner but a good place for a cup of coffee, a soda, a cocktail or some ice cream. Friendly service and a good cappuccino with a glass of cold water. Breakfast is reasonable but if you want an Illy coffee you pay extra. You can chose from nescafé or filter coffee. The filter coffee looks and tastes like water though and so we took one sip and left the rest.
Our verdict: a 7 out of 10
|George's Taverna - Makrigialos|
George's Taverna is located on Kalamokanias beach, the beautiful sandy beach on the western side of Makrigialos town center, at the point where the exit to Makrigialos Minoan Villa is. We order the lamb from the oven, the chicken from the oven and the Greek salad. The food is really very good, and I have not eaten such a nice chicken for a long time. The lamb from the oven also tastes excellent. The service is friendly.
In the meantime we have gone back to George's Taverna several times and have tried various other dishes, such as the dolmadakia (stuffed wine leaves), the mousaka, the stifado (soft beef with onions) and the beans. Actually everything was always in order and the service is equally friendly every time.
Our verdict: a 9 out of 10
|Stratos Restaurant - Makrigialos|
The Stratos Restaurant is also located on Kalamokanias beach, which in my opinion places the two best restaurants in the village not in the port of Makrigialos, but just over the hill on this beautiful sandy beach. They are also the only two tavernas on this beach. We first ate here in May 2019, while we have been to Makrigialos so many times (the entire restaurant was reserved on a previous visit). Stratis Restaurant is run by Dolores and Dolores loves to cook. This woman originally came from Ireland, then lived in Canada for a long time and now spends the days on Crete. The Stratos Restaurant is also number 1 on Tripadvisor and I think not without reason. Dolores is very friendly, the place is fun and cared for and popular with everyone. We ordered the chicken curry and it was really delicious. Some cooked vegetables were served, the fries were okay but not very special. We also got a delicious dessert of strawberries with a kind of cake and whipped cream and a glass of strawberry-raki.
Our verdict: a 9,5 out of 10
|Cave of the Dragon - Makrigialos, Lagada|
This restaurant, the Cave of the Dragon, has several billboards placed in Makrigialos and just outside. It lies just outside Lagada en route to Kalo Nero. We decided to go there and give it a test. It employs three people that serve the food in the restaurant, but when we sit down we are totally ignored, although it is at that time still very quiet. One of the waiters is talking to a few Greek guests and the rest of the waiters don't show their face. If after five minutes we think that we are invisible we go for a look in the kitchen to see if there is anyone who can bring us a menu.
You can choose from a variety of appetizers, salads, grilled meats and fish. An unfriendly and humorless lady takes our order. The bread that is brought to the table is not fresh, but roasted and there's nothing done with it in the form of a little garlic and olive oil on it. The house wine is simple. The Dragon Cave salad includes red cabbage, white cabbage, apple, tomato and bacon. The saganaki (fried cheese) is dry, the tomatoes balls are good and so is the fish (Dorato) which is served with a small salad and a butter sauce. Afterwards no raki, no grapes or something sweet, like you will normally get in all Greek restaurants if you ask for the bill. When we go away there's a crowded bus coming in with football fans on it. Not really a place for a cosy or romantic evening.
Our verdict: commercial, all about the money and unfriendly service, a 5 out of 10
|Fish Taverna Argyrovoli - Makrigialos|
This taverna is situated on the boulevard, a bit on the end of it when you have your nose pointed towards the sea. They serve among other things, salads, fish dishes, grilled dishes, pizzas and omelettes. It is cheap and the portions are very large, but they could have been a bit more seasoned. Unfortunately no crispy fries, but the fish is good. Friendly service.
Our verdict: a 7,5 out of 10
|Taverna Exipiretisis - Makrigialos|
This taverna is situated right next to the large parking lot in the village of Makrigialos, on the left hand side as you look towards the sea. There is no extensive menu but it is really cheap and delicious. We ordered the fried zucchini, tzatziki, twice the sole fish, a mix fish, chicken fillet and green beans. All this of course accompanied by a carafe of white wine.
Everything we have ordered tastes good, especially the fried zucchini and cheese saganaki are excellent. The next day we are back. We get a nice desert and a free can of white wine. Highly recommended, good food for little money.
Our verdict: an 8 out of 10
|Café Olympio Bar - Makrigialos|
A small snack bar on the promenade of Makrigialos. There are sandwiches, pizzas, omelettes, ice, breakfasts, cocktails and coffee on the menu. The cappuccino is good but could be served slightly stronger. A long wait for the sandwiches arrive to our table.
Our verdict: a 7 out of 10
|Obelix Pizzeria - Fast food delivery - Makrigialos|
This pizzeria / fast food service delivers at your home. They also have a restaurant on the right hand side of the main road of Makrigialos as you drive through Makrigialos towards Ierapetra. The have pittas, sandwiches, pizzas, salads and several other snacks. Cheap, fast delivery and not bad at all. Especially the pittas are delicious.
Our verdict: an 8,5 out of 10
|Grillhouse Makis - Makrigialos|
Makis Grill House is located on the boulevard that runs along the beach of Makrigialos. They sell mainly meat dishes, such as gyros, souvlaki and pita and there are also various salads. The chicken salad we ordered was fine. The wine too. My pita bread with chicken is also very nice. The fries are crispy. Cheap prices.
Our verdict: an 8 out of 10
|Faros Taverna - Makrigialos|
Taverna Faros is located on the boulevard that runs along the beach of Makrigialos. They sell mostly seafood and there is a friendly man working here. We ordered the "sole fish", the shrimp and fava. The fava was really delicious and the fish and shrimp are OK. There is fresh bread with butter served. The wine is good. The fries are okay but they are not crisp.
Our verdict: an 8 out of 10
|The Olive Tree or Elia Taverna - Makrigialos|
The Elia Taverna is located in the port of the village of Makrigialos. Here we ate a few times and always ordered fish (dorade, sea bass and sardines) and the Elia salad, which is very tasty. The house wine tastes fine too. The service is extremely friendly. Strange that in September the sardines were served without French fries and in October with fries.
Our verdict: an 8 out of 10