The town’s nine-kilometre beach is its main attraction, as it comes packed with sunloungers and umbrellas on the sand, and restaurants and bars behind. In the summer time, it’s treated to northern winds locally known as ‘meltemia’. They work well to cool off sunbathers as well as amp up the energy for windsurfers and parasailers.
You won’t have trouble finding a secluded spot to call your own, especially if you walk 20 minutes down the coast to Kalivaki Beach. Its golden sands and backdrop of hills and greenery make it a sheltered spot steeped in natural beauty, though you still aren’t far off from local tavernas.
Rethymnon and Chania
The town is sandwiched between two major prefectures, with Rethymnon to the east and Chania to the west. Both are some of the biggest resorts on the island and, if you hire a car, are easily accessible along Crete’s coast.
Rethymnon is half an hour’s drive away, and it’s here you’ll find a bustling old town, Venetian harbour and gorgeous monasteries tucked up into the hillside. Chania is Crete’s second biggest city, behind the capital Heraklion. It too has its fair share of Ottoman and Venetian history, as well as cool nights spent at cafes. The shopping is some of the best on the island – from market stalls to big brands to handmade goods.
Georgioupolis doesn’t skimp on the retail opportunities, either. Down narrow avenues, you’ll find souvenir shops to help you bring home a little taste of Crete – literally. This region of the island is surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, which means Georgioupolis is treated to a delectable range of handmade goods.
Many of the shops you’ll find in town will offer up bottles of local wine and olive oil, as well as honey, so the rich flavours of Greececan follow you home.
By and large, the restaurants in Georgioupolis are Greek-centric. Some have an international twist, while others specialise in the more carnivorous side of Mediterranean dining, but more often than not, you’ll find plates of fresh seafood and carafes of ouzo.
Many of the top restaurants are located along the waterfront, which means if you call the town’s shores home for the majority of your holiday, you won’t have to travel far for a cool drink in romantic settings. But Georgioupolis is also home to a scenic town square lined with traditional tavernas. It’s a charming spot where locals sip coffee underneath the shade of eucalyptus trees.
In terms of nightlife, Georgioupolis is home to a handful of bars that largely keep the laid-back air going long into the night. You’ll find a few cocktail spots with occasional live music and leafy gardens to enjoy the warm summer climate from, as well as a back-home pub serving your favourite British brews making it a popular choice for Brits on cheap holidays to Crete.
The beach isn’t Georgioupolis’ only feature worth writing home about. The town’s biggest landmark is the church of Agios Nikolaos. As the tiny white church is only connected to land via a man-made rock jetty, when you cross out through the waves, it’s almost like you’re walking on water.
Located just a 15-minute drive away is Kournas Lake. It’s the only freshwater lake in Crete and is tucked within a picturesque valley. Here, you can embark on a leisurely pedalo ride, walk through the countryside or just park yourself on the sands for a picnic. The area is a nature reserve, so you’re bound to catch a glimpse of some wetland creatures.
But if you aren’t up for venturing outside Georgioupolis, there’s no shortage of ways to explore the coastline and foothills beyond. You can roam the village via a family-friendly tourist train, horseback excursion and by bike, or hire a car and set your own pace.