Costa del Sol
Agia Pelagia is a charming, laid-back resort situated just a short drive from the island’s capital, Heraklion. It’s a great setting for families, with tavernas overlooking the beautiful sandy beach and plenty of souvenir shops to browse. Outside the resort, the ruins of the Palace of Knossos are well worth a visit. You could also head to Rethymnon, an attractive waterside town about an hour’s drive away.
You’ll find a few mini markets in and around Agia Pelagia with larger supermarkets located outside the resort. There are also a handful of souvenir outlets and jewellery shops ideal for stocking up on gifts. To experience the sights and sounds of a Cretan market, venture into Heraklion on a Saturday. You can pick up fresh, local produce as well as household items and clothing. Keen shoppers can also peruse the international stores and boutiques in the capital.
Agia Pelagia has a good selection of eateries, mostly along the seafront. Traditional Greek fare is the norm, with a few seafood and souvlaki tavernas too. Ligaria is the next bay along and with a few restaurants, is a lovely setting for lunch with a view.
The picturesque beach at Agia Pelagia has stunning azure waters and is a great spot for swimming and snorkelling. A promenade with sea-facing restaurants traverses the sand, so that cool drink is never far away. There are plenty of other delightful beaches in the area including the striking bay of Ligaria and the smaller coves of Mades and Psaromoura.
Water based fun is on offer down at Agia Pelagia Beach. From pedaloes and boat trips, to jet skis and banana boat rides, there are options for all the family. Nearby Bravo Waterpark has an assortment of chutes and slides, best suited for younger children.
Fodele is a pretty village not too far away, where the 16th century painter El Greco was born. There’s also Rethymnon, a cosmopolitan and lively town with a Venetian harbour which makes a great afternoon out. Margarites is a charming village which is famous for its many churches. It’s also very well known for ceramics and reproductions of archaic vessels. Just outside Heraklion are the magnificent ruins of the Palace of Knossos, a must see for history enthusiasts.
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