This was the most unassuming, beautiful, restful spot one could imagine. An hour from the airport through hilly countryside and quiet villages takes you to this wonderful place in the middle of Crete, among mountains and olive groves with the most amazing views from your bedroom balcony on waking. Eleonas is a treasure, peaceful and with amenities like air con, swimming pool and fantastic Cretan traditional cooking. They love children which was a bonus and helpful with anything you need.Great value too, you can book per night. There is also a lovely lake…walkable, and quaint village with tavernas for a local treat. Pure Simple Bliss.
This was the most unassuming, beautiful, restful spot one could imagine. An hour from the airport through hilly countryside and quiet villages takes you to this wonderful place in the middle of Crete, among mountains and olive groves with the most amazing views from your bedroom balcony on waking. Eleonas is a treasure, peaceful and with amenities like air con, swimming pool and fantastic Cretan traditional cooking. They love children which was a bonus and helpful with anything you need. Great value too, you can book per night. There is also a lovely lake, walkable and quaint village with tavernas for a local treat. Pure simple bliss.
Renting a car is a must for exploring the beautiful rugged western Crete - all doable on day trips from a charming Venetian town of Chania. Our favourite outings were Samaria Gorge, Gramvousa and Elafonisi. Samaria Gorge for a change of scenery and sightings of wild goat Kri Kri; relax to follow after the day hike in the laid back coastal village of Agia Roumeli. Explore the hills above the Balos beach for wonderful pre-sunset views of Gramvousa Peninsula. Drive to Elafonisi via the Agia Sofia cave; enjoy paradise settings of Elafonisi with its warm sands and shallow, blue/green hued waters; then back via the spectacular NW coastal drive. Late summer should be a perfect time to visit - the crowds are gone (not that it’s ever too busy) and the weather is good well into early autumn.
We stayed at Frida for easy access to everything.
Small fishing town that has one or two hotels, great bakers, butchers and several brilliant tavernas either on the beach or overlooking it.
Bit busy in the centre (though not in a Costa del Sol-type way), quiet places to stay on the edges of the village or inland towards Armeni. Really friendly people that make you more than welcome. Enough to do nearby without having to explore - though amazing archaelogical sites nearby.
There are 3 beaches in a line on the bottom of the island called Skinaria, Amoudi and Damnoni.
They each have something special. If you go to one and the sea is too rough, it would be fine on the next beach.
If you take the road to Plaxia from the village of Asomatos, the first beach you reach is Skiniria. This is a safe sandy little beach.
The furthest beach is Danmoni, it is a really long sandy beach where you can hire pedalos, and there is a great floating pier that you can swim from.
The best beach of all is called Amoudi. We call it the drop off because it is like the drop off in Finding Nemo.
It is a small beach with a river on one side, and what makes it really special is that you can walk out into the sea on a huge flat rock, and then jump into about 10 feet of water.
If you are wearing a mask or goggles you can see hundreds of fish. The last time we were there we brought some little bits of salami from our sandwiches
into the water with our snorkels on and all the fish went mad for the salami, and that is my favourite place to be.
On the road from Asomotas to Plaxia, Crete.
Malia, Crete, gets undeserved bad press. Yes, The Beach Road bars/clubs cater for British kids in July/August, but one can avoid them altogether & have a pleasant vacation here. There is an attractive old village to the north of the main road.
Most of the restaurants mentioned in the Rough Guide & Lonely Planet have been closed for the past few years as they were run by non-Greeks and rents were too high for the short tourist season. There are however, two excellent restaurants remaining, The Elizabeth, which is in the town square of the old village, and off to the left, Kalesma, both offering dishes way above the usual taverna fare.
There are two classic rock bars on the Main Road, The Cavern and Epsilon - The Alcoholic Church, which can be dangerous territory in the afternoons if the owner, Michaelis is working. He doesn’t like the customers to leave sober!
Malia is a good central base from which to see the island. It has a spectacular beach and a Minoan Palace nearby. Driving inland will take one to the breathtaking views from the Lasithi plateau in about 15 minutes.
At the end of a long, winding road through stunning mountain scenery is a little piece of Crete as it was in the 60s and 70s - but with electricity.
A traditional family-run taverna offering fresh food and four simple-but-comfortable balconied rooms, all with stunning views along one of the most picturesque and unspoilt coastlines in Europe.
Situated in a secluded bay and literally perched at the water's edge, you can fall asleep to the sound of the waves after a perfect meal of freshly caught and perfectly cooked fish and a carafe of local wine.
Perfect for those whose idea of nightlife is counting the stars, and who don’t need any water sports other than swimming and fishing.
Stavros & Vicky Peraki;
tel: (0030) 6937124600;
Turn off the main Chania-Rethymno road at Paleloni, and you will find the road winds down for a mile or so into a picture-postcard bay. This taverna is right on the bay, offering the freshest fish, an upmarket Cretan wine list, and views of the sea from every table. A deservedly popular spot.
Near Paleloni, Chania, Crete
High above Crete's Lasithi Plateau is this extraordinary late Minoan site, slung across a strategic mountain pass with views to the sea below. It's a steep 30-minute walk up from the nearest road - though when I visited, I saw a man shepherding his goats on the plain below from inside his 4x4. The site was excavated by John Pendlebury, the archaeologist, whose grave you can see at the Allied War Cemetery at Soudha Bay.
Near Tzermiado village, Lasithi, Crete;
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