Sandy meets pebbles
The beach at Gerani is a Blug Flag award-winning stunner, complete with crazily big shores. The west sees sandy spots whose turtle inhabitants are protected, while on the east are pebbled shores. The beach is lined with sunloungers and umbrellas, but it's to the east where you'll find the most tranquil spots on your Greek island holiday.
Further afield are the shores of Platanias, and Aghia Marina beyond that. This is where the watersport action is, as well as a beach volleyball court. Onshore, pedalos and windsurfing equipment are available to hire, while out to sea, snorkellers dip below the waves to explore the underwater coastline.
Because Gerani is surrounded by the White Mountains, it's a great base for scenic hikes up into the foothills. You can hike up to nearby mountain villages like Pano Gerani and Modi, or go even steeper for show-stopping views of the Cretan landscape.
The Family Life Creta Paradise Hotel will happily keep you close to home, and works as an easy go-to spot for families. It comes equipped with archery facilities, mini golf, tennis and basketball courts.
If you're looking to explore the surrounding coast, nearby Platanias and Aghia Marina offer an even bigger array of gorgeous beaches, not to mention more watersport adventures. Platanias is a 5-minute drive from Gerani and Aghia Marina isn't much more, so embarking on colourful tourist trains or heart-racing jeep tours from one of these neighbouring towns is no sweat.
Dining in Gerani is a deliciously Greek experience. Here, there are a handful of local tavernas, many of which are located slightly inland, which means they're the picture of peaceful. You'll also find a popular spot that mixes traditional Greek eats with British cuisine, and sets you in a leafy courtyard.
When night falls, Gerani maintains its same laid-back air – at area hotels, you'll find evening entertainment like live music and shows, while cocktail bars offer fruity drinks in friendly surroundings. And to help you branch out with your after-hours activities, Platanias is on hand with a rock bar and neon-lit dance spot.
In the ways of retail therapy, the town offers a modest selection of shops. There are a few souvenir pitstops and places to pick up foodstuffs for a Self Catering holiday, as well as a local bakery dishing up fresh Greek pastries.
For the ultimate Greek shopping experience, you can't go wrong with Chania. It's a shopper's paradise, equipped with a whole avenue lined with market stalls boasting local produce, honey, olive oil and wine. The town also features clothing shops and ones selling handmade jewellery, which means you could be going home with a whole new wardrobe.
One of the most vibrant resorts on the island, Chania is a haven for action-packed holidays. It's a 20-minute bus ride from Gerani, though hiring a car is the easiest and quickest option to get you between the towns. Once you're standing at the foot of Chania's Venetian harbour, you'll quickly see what all the fuss is about.
Chania is a town with a staggering amount of history, and it's not afraid to show it. Dotted throughout are hints of its Venetian past in the form of a towering lighthouse and fortress.
There are also domed mosques, food tours and an impressive array of museums specialising in Byzantine art, natural history and even Greece's football past. And if you don't want to stray far from the water, Chania can help with that too – there are even more beaches here, plus the Limnoupolis Waterpark.