Cool Crete – 5 Hip Hangout Spots.
As the sun-kissed home of myths and legends, Crete is one of the best places in the world to take in awesome archaeological sites, marvel at ancient architecture, enjoy sumptuous seafood or simply sit and chill with a cocktail on the beach while topping up your tan.
But if your tastes are a little less mainstream, and you’re planning on staying on this inspirational island for a little longer than the typical tourist duration, you might want to wander a bit further from the madding crowd. In which case, you’ll probably appreciate a few insider tips.
If that sounds like you, you’ll love the following five hip hangouts ̶ they encapsulate everything that’s cool about Crete!
A stone’s-throw from Sfakia and 70km south of Chania, Loutro is a beautiful Boho fishing village which sits clustered around a bay in a natural harbour protected from the winds that can sometimes compromise other parts of the island.
You can only reach this car-free village by boat from Sfakia but it’s the perfect hideaway for a family trip or romantic break – the still green waters and cliff-backed, white sandy beaches are simply wonderful. And while you’re in town, don’t miss the chance to sample some authentic Greek seafood at Madares Hotel!
2. Balos Beach
Situated 60km north west of Chania Town, Balos beach is characterised by terrific turquoise waters and silver sands. This natural beauty spot is further complemented by the rocky Gramvoussa Island with its stunning Venetian castle.
You’ll need to walk or take a 4WD vehicle down the 10km track from Kaliviani to get here or arrive by boat from Kissamos. Either way, it’s worth it!
Although it’s the capital of Crete, Heraklion is often bypassed by visitors on their way to the island’s seaside resorts.
But there’s much to see and do here: the Minoan Palace of Knossos provides a fascinating insight to Europe’s oldest civilisation and on the laid-back waterfront you can visit magnificent museums and galleries, stroll in leafy squares or if you’re a remote student, catch up with your classes from the likes of ARU Distance Learning in internet cafes like InSpot.
Want a region that’s replete with secret beaches?
South Rethymnon fits the bill and one of the most family-friendly examples is Rodakino, which boasts the pretty pebble beach Korakos as well as the soft sand Polirizos beach a couple of kilometres west.
You’ll find welcoming waters here, dynamic activities like diving and plenty of chilled-out cafes and tavernas.
Located near Sitia, Palekastro is home to two legendary hidden beaches: Hiona and Kouremenos; both of which feature crystalline waters and golden sands peppered with pretty rocks and shells.
And if you’re a fan of water sports, Kouremenos is a haven for windsurfing. You can hire your gear and book lessons from aqua sports outlets like Freak Surf.
So there you have your five hip hangout spots in Crete – bon voyage!