Stavros beach is located 1km away from our apartments, only a 10 minute walk. If driving it's a matter of seconds until you reach this idyllic paradise. In 1964, this famous beach was well and truly put on the map with the Oscar nominated Zorbas the Greek, featuring Anthony Quinn’s iconic Greek dance moves at Stavros beach!
The dramatic mountains that face the beach are said to depict a woman lying on her back. In addition these mountains provide a shelter from the strong northwestern winds that are known to hit Chania, making it an ideal destination to protect you and your family from windy days. The waters are really shallow making it the perfect location for small children :)
If you would like a little adventure, just follow the path that leads to the top of the mountains and hike to Lera Cave. Here you can enjoy spectacular panoramic views and also stalagmites/stalactites on the inside of the cave.
Stavros has two sandy beaches with cafes, umbrellas and sun beds. Dotted along the shore are traditional taverns where you can enjoy a tasty lunch or dinner at the beach. The west beach is called Sunset, it is quieter than the main Stavros beach, and an excellent choice on a non-windy day. Before leaving take a walk around the small headland that separates the two beaches, as you will discover the remains of a quarry from where the Venetians dug the limestone that was used for the city walls.
Kalathas is only 5km away from our apartments, which makes it one of the most popular destinations of our guests. Here are three relatively small beaches with fine golden sand separated from each other by a few rocks. The middle beach is the largest and most popular and the only one with umbrellas and sun beds available. The southern beach is more beautiful and less crowded. While the third beach is situated at the end of a small stream and is the most remote of them all. The most recognizable feature of Kalathas is a small island, approximately 100m away from the shore. We recommend you to go for a swim there.
On the way to Kalathas you will find coffee shops and a pharmacy in Chorafakia, as well as Irene's Tavern, which is one of our favorite choices for Cretan home cooked food.
Although it seems remote, Seitan Limani (Satan's Port) or Stefanou Beach, is located just a short 20 minute drive from our apartments, making it an ideal destination. The photo speaks for itself, a paradise in the middle of nowhere. Once you descend the steep asphalt road by car, you end up at the parking space, and then a short hike down for 10 to15 minutes until you reach the beach.
We recommend that you definitely wear shoes and take it slow because it can be a bit slippery in some places. Start hiking down from the right side of the mountain, not the left one! You may be a little confused, but continue along the right side until you reach a small dirt path. Have some water and snacks with you, as you won’t be able to buy anything there. Don’t panic if any of the friendly goats of the area approach you and ask for some food :)
Loutraki is located in a small cove off the gulf of Souda. There are no buses to this beach, so to reach there you will need a car. The beach is organised and has fine sand and clear blue waters. Here you will find a quiet tavern, along with a large beach bar with loud music popular with young people. If you get here, it is worth your while to take a dip in the sea at Marathi which is nearby.
We really like Loutraki because as you can see in the photo there is a small beach on the left and a grassy hill full of sun beds on the right, with stairs that lead directly into deep waters. If you like to listen to music or have a drink, choose the grassy hill on the right. If you want to just relax, choose the small beach on the left.
Marathi has beautiful clear waters and two sandy beaches separated by a picturesque little port. Both of these coves have umbrellas and sun beds which are in demand during the whole summer. Along the coast you will find many cafés and restaurants that offer exceptional local dishes.
We prefer Loutraki, but Marathi with its calm and shallow waters is the ideal destination for families with children, like Stavros. Also, this is one of the few beaches of northern Crete that is south facing, so you can work on your perfect afternoon tan without having to turn your back towards the sea. For the more daring, there is a small rocky island 600 meters off the coast, you can swim there or rent a pedalo or kayak from the beach to go there. Last but not least, Marathi offers a plethora of great restaurants to choose from!
Agia triada monastery,
The monastery of Agia Triada of Tzagarolon is one of the richest and most beautiful monasteries in Crete. It is near the airport of Chania, located in Tzobomylos on the Cape Melecha and at the foothills of Mount Stavros. It is located roughly 8km away from our apartments, on the way to the airport of Chania. The monastery was built by Venetian nobles Jeremiah and Lawrence Tzagarolo. Jeremiah designed and built the the monastery, with the architect Sebastiano Serlio from Verona, Italy.
The monastery today hosts a small museum with various pictures and icons. Visitors will see an incredibly well-preserved and peaceful monastery, that produces and exports organic olive oil, wine, honey, vinegar and olive oil soap, all of which can be purchased.
The Gouverneto Monastery or "Our Lady of the Angel" as it is also called. The monastery was built in 1537, looted later on by the Turks, used as an outpost by the Germans during WWII and started being restored only a few years ago. The monastery has strict regulations and visiting hours, so it is best to give them a call and check if you can visit.
For the adventurers there is a well-known hike starting from Agia triada monastery, taking you through Gouverneto ending in Katholiko, where you can enjoy the special blue and green waters of the unique cove, as depicted in the photo.