Nine Villages in Crete that Show the Beauty of the Greek islands

Where cozy fishermen villages are to be found next to the azure blue of the Meditteranean sea, there are colorful houses and charming little tavernas with the most delicious Greek food. Get yourself ready for stunning beaches of pebbles and sand, terrific mountains and a rich culture that dates back to the ancient Greek inhabitants. Crete, of which you were reading makes a great travel destination. In the summer, Crete is a wonderful place for a road trip or other types of holidays.

Most of the Greek islands have been attracting many travelers from all over the world for a long time. But in fact, there are quite many Greek islands to choose from. Crete, Santorini, Corfu, Rhodos, Kos, Lesbos or Zakynthos, which one are you going to pick?

This article explains how nine villages in Crete show the true beauty of the Greek islands. Reading this post might even make you choose this particular Greek island as your next holiday destination.

Crete - the Greek islandsA Greek mountain goat, somewhere in the mountains of Crete – The Greek islands.

Omalos in the White Mountains of Crete

Many travellers don’t expect mountains in Crete because it’s a well known beach destination. But there is a magnificent mountain range in the center of this Greek island. The Omalos plateau is sitting right in the middle of those mountains and it makes a perfect home base for the White Mountains, a which is the name of this devastating mountain range.
There are quite amazing walks to be done here. Included a hike to mount Gingilos and a trek into the famous Samaria gorge.

The village of Omalos is 10 km away from the entrance to the Samaria Gorge, which can be found at the edge of this mountainous plateau. Every day, tour operator busses drop walkers off here for the Gorge of Samaria, which is 16 km long and ends at the seaside village of Agia Roumeli. A great adventure.

Climbing mount Gingilos is a different story. You’ll need some courage to do the hike to the top as the path up there can be steep and there are many loose rocks. You also have to climb a couple of feet now and then. You’ll also have the option to just climb mount Gingilos halfway. Which is still worth the effort because you’ll have the same nice views and the walk will take be a lot shorter.

 A colorful door of an abandoned house in the White Mountains - Crete Greece Summer Road Trip Some of the houses on the Omalos plateau are deserted because people left their home to go live in one of the larger cities in Crete (like Heraklion). Whilst some of the houses are turning to dust, this particular image brings out a lot of emotion and colors. It shows the beauty of a house in decay, which located in the sublime natural environment of the Omalos plateau in Crete. – The Greek islands


Every traveler in the Greek Islands will find peace in this picturesque coastal village. The ocean in Sougia is warm, the beach is quiet and the food is amazing. In this little seaside village, most travelers stay for a mid-week or longer to fully absorb the atmosphere. Whilst finding shade between the trees on the beach of Sougia, nobody will rush you out of your afternoon nap. Sougia is a place out of dreams in the Greek islands and should receive a reward for tranquility. It’s remarkable place in Crete that holds the real beauty of the Greek Islands.

Ocean view from a hill near Sougia in Crete - The Greek islandsOcean view from a hill near Sougia in Crete – The Greek islands


Wandering around on the pebbles beach of Paleochora feels like a dream. Exactly how a holiday in the Greek islands should be. This little fisherman’s village on the South coast of Crete has a lovely harbor with the finest seafood restaurants. And when it comes to accommodation, there are quite a few good options in Paleochora. For nature lovers, there is also a charming camping area in the area, like there are many in the Greek islands.

Nine villages in Crete that show the beauty of the Greek islandsPaleochora in Crete – Greek islands


Where the mountain air is fresh in Crete, there is a little mountain village with the name of Anogia. Located close to the breathtaking Nida Plateau, the Ideon cave (myths say that the ancient Greek god Zeus grew up here). The Greek food in this small village is heavenly and there is a huge mountain located right next to it called Mount Psiloritis. Although the village was completely destroyed during WOII, Anogia has risen back up to be a wonderful travel destination in the Greek islands.

Anogia in Crete - the Greek islandsAnogia in Crete – The Greek islands (© Justin Sovich – Flickr)


After a 5-minute drive from the hectic city of Malia in Crete, there is a quiet little fishing village that offers a fine selection of excellent walks, charming tavernas, and stunning natural views. Sissi is a perfect travel destination in the Greek islands. Perfect for a holiday full of romance and amity. There are quite a few beautiful things to explore in the area. Good examples are the Lasithi plateau, Milatos and the island of Spinalonga. The natural harbor of Sissi makes a perfect location for a nice walk along the seaside or a candlelight dinner in the evening.

Sissi in Crete - the Greek islandsSissi in Crete – The Greek islands (© Ann Wuyts – Flickr)


A stunning little Greek village on the far East end of Crete. Zakros is unique because of its end-of-the-world atmosphere. It’s different is some ways compared to many other towns in the Greek islands. If you’re lucky with your timing, you have the chance to see a blood moon rise out of the Meditteranean sea at the far end of the horizon. The beach here is modest in size and the family restaurant of “Antonios agios” serves wonderful Greek platters. After your meal, you’re allowed to wander around in the garden of the restaurant. In the season, you can pluck a few bell peppers, grapes, and grapefruits in this garden.

Zakros is a place in the Greek islands, where you’ll want to stay for a few days. Rent a nice apartment and celebrate your holiday as you deserve.

Nine villages in Crete that show the beauty of the Greek islandsZakros in Crete – The Greek islands


In a place in Crete where no paved roads go, there is a little coast side town called Loutro. You can only visit this paradise spot in the Greek islands by boat, or by a long walk along the shore. You can either arrange a ship from Chora Sfakia or you’ll have to walk for 1-2 hours.

You’ll seldom find a place like Loutro on a holiday. The Greek islands, however, offer plentiful places like this. You only need to know where to find them. Loutro is a cozy little natural bay that is perfect for a half or full-day trip.

Loutro in Crete - the Greek islands Loutro in Crete – The Greek islands (© Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho – Flickr)

Agios Nikolaos

In the Greek islands, there aren’t many places like the coastal town of Agios Nikolaos. This village manages to mix sleepiness with a vibrant atmosphere. It’s a modest city that feels like a very tiny village. It is built partly on top of ancient Greek ruins and there are three different faces of the sea. The most famous part of Agios Nikolaos is where the lake joins the sea with a strip of water under a tiny bridge. Being overlooked by many tavernas and cafes, this place is stunning.

Agios Nikolaos has made its name in Crete. Most travelers that know the place always come back another time. The beach here is beautiful, the sea is warm and the food is amazing. You’ll be happy to come across a place like this. One of the finest places in the Greek islands, a true winner.

Agios Nikolaos in Crete - the Greek islandsAgios Nikolaos in Crete – The Greek islands (© Gervasio Varela – Flickr)


Famous for ancient hippie caves and a breathtaking beach, Matala is favorited place known by many travelers in the Greek islands. The caves used to be renowned as old graves that date back to the ancient Roman and Christian times. In the 60’s, hippies found their resort in them, fleeing from society as it is. As time seems to stand still in the Greek islands, Matala in Crete must have been a great enclave of peace for them. It still is and many travelers know this.

Matala has something for every traveler and it still has the charm of the quiet fishing village it used to be a long time ago. It’s quite a unique place to visit in the Greek islands.
Part of the beach is modestly dotted with tamarisk trees, leading the eye on to impressive sandstone rock cliffs with the famous hippie caves.

Matala in Crete - the Greek islandsMatala in Crete – The Greek islands (© Olivier Duquesne – Flickr)

See more travel guides and articles about the Greek islands and Greece.

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Nine villages in Crete that show the beauty of the Greek islands
Nine villages in Crete that show the beauty of the Greek islands

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