Sunbathing and water play
Almyrida has three beaches to its name, all Blue Flag awarded. You can choose to paddle with the children in the small and protected cove, take part in watersports in the open bay or snorkel around the edges of the third, pebble beach. Behind the beaches are dramatic cliffs, making the outlook from your sunbathing spot very attractive.
Crete Diving Centre is based in Almyrida and the instructors will take you out to go cave diving along the coast. Being on the north of Crete also means windsurfing is helped along by the breeze and, again, there’s a school for that.
The main street that runs parallel to the beach has some little shops on the far side. This means everyday items and food are easy to come by at places like the charming village shop, which also has area guides and local produce. And you simply must try a baklava pastry at the bakery. You can also pick up some lovely gifts and things for yourself at the intimate boutiques.
Two-for-one cafe bars
Mealtimes are generous occasions in Crete and you can get big portions of meats and stews at the restaurants in Almyrida – perfect for visitors on cheap holidays to Crete – as well as wood-fired pizzas and pasta. Or for something different there’s Asian food at Captain Jack’s.
After meals, waiters often bring out complimentary pastries or fruit and you’ll find that snacks are also forthcoming when just ordering a drink.
The cafes serving toasties during the day transform into late night bars pouring ouzo, so you can eat dinner and stay out until after the sun goes down to carry on your night. Many cafe-bars have live music, sports on the TV and other entertainment or you can head to Chania for all-night clubs and busy bars around the harbour.
There’s plenty to do without even leaving the village as a number of the hotels have facilities for all. The Almyrida Beach Hotel has a ten-pin bowling lane and many others have spa facilities to use or you can stretch and tone at the Siddhi Yoga Centre.
Mountain bikes are also available for hire so you can get out and see the countryside or just wander by foot and explore the coves along the cliff path to Kalives.
The former capital of Chania is a delight with its mix of Turkish and Venetian architecture and has a picturesque lighthouse to walk out to. You can be in Chania in half an hour. If you’re travelling in September, the Sardine Festival is an intriguing mix of grilled sardines on Nea Chora beach with traditional music and dancing, and of course some Cretan wine.
Just along the coast, the archaeological site of Aptera has the remains of a monastery and temple as well as some Roman ruins a short walk away. The views over the Souda Bay from here are breathtaking.
Omolos Botanical Park is around a half-hour’s drive away, near Chania and has risen like a phoenix from the flames of a fire on the site in 2003. The gardens and lake are a tranquil place to walk around and see fruit trees, herbs and ornamental plants from all over the world.
Splash-tastic fun is also only half an hour away at the closest water park – Limnoupolis. Here you’ll find the usual selection of fast and tame rides, pools and children’s splash zones.