Local Info

CRETE

Map of CreteCrete, the largest and southernmost of the Greek Islands, is a land of astonishing diversity and natural beauty. This alluring isle forms a vibrant collage of ochre-coloured ruins, electric blue seas, buttermilk-coloured beaches and silver-green olive groves. Crete is an island where the stark beauty of snow-capped mountains contrast with the lush allure of flower-filled plains; where unspoilt fishing villages sit side by side with sophisticated beach resorts; where the humble charm of inland hamlets is the perfect antidote to the lavish architecture of old Venetian cities; and where the sacred tranquillity of the siesta hours allow you to prepare for the vivacious exuberance of a village wedding or a lively summertime festival.

Crete is not only famed for its cheeses, wines and olives, honey is also one of the island’s finest products and a jar of it makes for a tasty souvenir. There are plenty of jewellery shops selling high quality silver and gold. Dolphins are considered lucky so they tend to feature in much of the jewellery.

The tavernas of Crete serve up a mouth watering array of typical Greek dishes as well as a few Cretan specialities. For those willing to try the exotic, Saligaria stifado is a snail stew served with tomatoes, onions and herbs. Crete excels in cheese, Kaltsounia are small cheese pies coated with sesame seeds or cinnamon. You can also find plenty of small cheese makers around Rethymnon producing feta and Graviera, not unlike Gruyere. There’s plenty to wash it down with too and it’s not just Ouzo. Look out for Raki, a spirit distilled from grape skins, and Mournoraki, a brandy produced from mulberries.

CHANIA

Chania - Old Venetian PortChania is the second biggest town in Crete, with a population of 60.000, it is the administrative, economical, communications and commercial center of the area. 
Chania is simply amazing with a mixture of new and old blended into one. The people are helpful and their genuine friendliness is always apparent. Chania is a city in the making, with a cosmopolitan feel, if you like to shop then the old harbour area and its surrounding streets offers everything from local fashion stores to high end stores offering all the designer labels. Eating out in Chania is an experience not to be missed, Chania offers such a varied and high standard of food local and international that you will not be disappointed. Night time in Chania offers a true view of the Cretan tradition of socialising, a stroll through the old harbour areas with their numerous bars and coffee shops is an experience not to be missed.

There are many wonderful houses, parks and squares and a well designed historic town. The Public Market is an impressive building in the town center, built at the beginning of the present century (1911) and houses grocery stores, butchers' shops, a fish market and vegetable shops. The Public Gardens, next to the Market, are ideal for those in search of shade and tranquillity. Northeast of the gardens is the beautiful neighbourhood of Chalepa where the residences of Prince George and Eleftherios Venizelos were.


The old city has preserved to a great extent the distinctive atmosphere and charm of the Venetian and Turkish periods. Entire Venetian, Turkish and Jewish quarters are saved, with well preserved buildings in the narrow picturesque streets. One of the most significant buildings is the large Venetian church of Aghios Frankiskos which today houses the Archaeological Museum of Chania.


Chania can be the starting point for a tour to the western Crete, a part of the island with magnificent natural beauty. There are lots of places worth seeing, within driving distance (one to two hours), the most famous being the Samaria Gorge. This is a National Park of Greece that starts at the village of Omalos, at an altitude of 1227 m. and ends after a walk of approximately 18 Km to the beach of Agia Roumeli. The Gorge is open from May to the beginning of October and is definitely a must for everyone.

CHORAFAKIA

ChorafakiaAloni Grove in the village of Chorafakia on the Akrotiri peninsula is the perfect base to explore the island of Crete from and there are many places of interest within easy driving distance.

Chorafakia village is a beautiful unspoiled Cretan village that is populated all year round. The village has all the essential services you will need to make you stay more comfortable. There is a supermarket, a late night convenience store, 5 local restaurants, café, 2 hairdressers, a bakery, a church, a school a petrol station and a car hire company. There is a daily bus service to the centre of Chania.

TERSANAS

Photo of Tersanas BeachTersanas beach is a 10minute walk; the beach is ideal for families as the water is very shallow. There is a small terverna with toilets and changing facilities with external shower. Sun Lounges with umbrellas can be hired by the day

KALATHAS

Kalathas is an award winning "Blue Flag" beach and is just a 5 minute drive away; the beach is much bigger and is suitable for everybody. There is a very good beach terverna that offers daily special local dishes at very reasonable prices. The taverna opposite Kalatas beach offers the perfect location for dining by sunset. Toilets and changing facilities with external shower are available. Sun Lounges with umbrellas can be hired by the day.

KOUNOUPIDIANA

Kounoupidiana in a small town 10 minutes drive away (5 minutes drive from Kalathas beach). This is a thriving town and can offer a greater selection a shopping including internet cafes, video rental and specialty shops.

The small village of Stavros is located at the base of the mountain, there is a small beach and a number of local travernas.

The village of Sternes located on the other side of the Akrotiri peninsula has some beautiful views of Souda bay on the road leading to the small port of Marathi. Marathi has a small beach and two tervernas, very popular for Sunday lunch.

THE AGIA TRIADA (Holy Trinity) MONASTERY

Agia Triada MonasteryThe Agia Triada (Holy Trinity) monastery is located in the northwest part of the Akrotiri peninsula, 6 km from Aloni Grove. Although the community decreases the old buildings are gradually restored and the monastery is still active with an excellent library. All the visitors are welcomed and you can buy traditional olive oil from the monks.

The facade of the church has double columns of Ionic and Corinthian style and an inscription. The monastery's museum has manuscripts and important portable icons from the 15th, 16th, 17th and subsequent centuries. In the Agia Triada Monastery was a religious school in the 19th century. The approach to the Monastery is really impressive through an amazing landscape of olive trees and grapevines as well a stand in cypresses trees.

STAVROS

Stavros Beach from the airThe small village of Stavros is located at the base of the mountain, there is a small beach and a number of local travernas.

STERNES

The village of Sternes located on the other side of the Akrotiri peninsula has some beautiful views of Souda bay on the road leading to the small port of Marathi. Marathi has a small beach and two tavernas, very popular for Sunday lunch.