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Agios Nikolaos (Elounda) Traditional Villages


This is a world known tourist resort to the north of Agios Nikolaos, only 10km away, with clear sandy beaches and a peaceful environment. Elounda is 1km west of Ancient Olounda to which the location owes its current name. A bit lower you will notice the four villages of Elounda, Mavrikiano, Skisma - the port - Pano Elounda and Kato Elounda. Bare in mind that the Greek Ministry of Tourism has characterized Pano Elounda as a traditional village so it would be a good idea to visit it and enjoy its beauties.

In Elounda you will find nine different beaches which have won the blue flag this year as well. Some of these beaches are Poros, Driros, Skisma, Chiona, Plaka, Driros and Pigaidakia.

In Elounda you will find some of the most luxurious hotels in all Crete. Famous people from all over the world visit them mostly in summer but also during the other seasons as well. So don't be surprised if a Hollywood star or a famous politician is eating at the next table of the restaurant that you have chosen. Elounda is a magical place!

elounda port elounda town


It is situated between Papagiannades and Armenoi and undoubtedly owes its name to the tree called Itia in Greek, meaning the salix. It bloomed during the Venetian occupation while its habitants during those times were about 564.

It was a feud of the Venetian family De Mezzo who built their three-floor mansion at the same spot that you will find it today. The locals call it Serayo or Serai because it was used by Turkish officials. This mansion is one of the most characteristic samples of Venetian architecture in Crete.


Makrygialos is another beautiful traditional village 24km east of Ierapetra to the south coast of Crete. The access is easier if you go from Sitia. The harbor area is full of tavernas and cafes and at the back you can see the mountains which are full of beautiful gorges that you may want to explore. In Makrygialos you will also find a beautiful sandy beach which offers a selection of hotels, apartments and rooms for rent and as far as nightlife is concerned there are also many stylish bars. If you have the courage after staying up all night in the bars pay a visit to the Minoan ruins.

sitia port sitia town

Sissi and Pano Sissi

Leaving Heraklio you will travel east towards Agios Nikolaos and 40km later you will find a sign directing you to Sissi which is the village after Malia to the left. After four kilometers of driving through the olive groves you will reach the attractive fishing village Sissi. There are some hotels where you can stay, traditional tavernas with fresh fish and a supermarket.

The vilage of Pano Sissi on the other hand is an interesting location with a traditional character that is apparent on the buildings and in the every day life of the local people.

If you decide to walk its streets and visit its cafes, you will have the feeling that you are in the past. The local tavernas serve excellent dishes cooked with traditional recipes.


Plaka is a seaside village very close to Elounda. It is said that the settlement was built after the transportation of the lepers to Spinalonga in 1904 by the Cretan community.

From the beach of Plaka they used to move the lepers across to the island. So, the first inhabitants created stores that the lepers and their visitors could visit in order to buy what they needed.

plaka village plaka village beach

Kato Zakros

Kato Zakros is nothing like the rest of Crete which is flooded by tourists. Apart from the beautiful ruins of the Mycenaean palace it has beautiful beaches and interesting hiking routes.

Zakros and Kato Zakros are situated to the southeastern part of Crete, a three- hour drive from Heraklio and one hour from Sitia. This is the finishing point of the famous European path ?4 which starts from the Pyrenean mountains and goes through France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria, then continental Greece and Peloponnisos to end up in Crete and more specifically Kato Zakros. This is an important information if you are a hiker!

The citizens of both Zakros and Kato Zakros are over 800. They all work as farmers or oil producers.

kato zakros village kato zakros village


A picturesque traditional village built amphitheatrically at the roots of Kastellos mountain which is full of olive and almond trees. The village maintains the traditional Cretan color with its narrow streets, the two - floor white houses, the elaborate balusters and the local women who still weave. During the Venetian times the village was one of the biggest in Crete but it has been through many destructions since then.

Kritsa has many Byzantine churches. After Kera Panagia which is the most important, visit Agios Ioannis Theologos dated back in the Byzantine years, Kritsa, is also the place where Jules Dassin decided to make his movie "He who must die" based on Kazantzakis' book "Greek Passion".

kritsa village kritsa village

greek islands - dolphins

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