A serene beach
Like everything else in Kamisiana, the town’s pebbly beach is nice and quiet. There are umbrellas to laze underneath and lightly lapping waves to swim in, but that’s about it. Just you, the sun and the cool sea breeze – all you need on cheap holidays to Crete.
For more lively times, there are the shores at Platanias just 15 minutes along the coast. Here, you’ll find beach bars and restaurants, plus water sports, boat cruises and diving centres that’ll get you exploring under water. Further to that, only a 40-minute drive away is Falassarna Beach, whose crystalline waters and golden sands are often regarded as being among the top 10 beaches in all of Europe.
Coastal fun in nearby resorts
The main activity in Kamisiana is kicking back and relaxing along the beach or from a taverna patio, though there’s a shop boasting locally-made oils and honey to browse through, as well as a spa. But when you’re ready to amp your holiday up, Platanias and Aghia Marina are nearby to supply you with a larger range of fun. Both are seaside resorts that come packed with vibrant coasts.
At Aghia Marina, only a 20-minute drive from Kamisiana, the two-and-a-half kilometre-long beach is the town’s show stopper, where you can parasail and windsurf, or just stretch out and bronze. There are also a number of touring opportunities, some that will take you off-roading, hiking and biking through the area’s mountainous terrain.
Platanias is a charming coastal town with two faces – to the north, it’s a more modern resort, with hotels and bars, not to mention a sweeping stretch of sand. The town is cut in half by a main road, which is lined with some of the area’s greatest bars and restaurants. And then on the southern side is the old town, paved with cobbled avenues and home to family-run tavernas that’ll give you a real taste of Cretan cuisine.
Local tavernas and easy nights
Kamisiana only has a handful of tavernas, each of which dishes up authentic Greek cuisine in some pretty tranquil settings. The menus often specialise in seafood caught that very day, with complimentary raki closing out your meal.
Come evening time, most of the restaurants become laid-back night spots where you can sip locally-made wine or cocktails and watch the occasional live performance. For energetic dance clubs and cocktail bars, Platanias and the busy town of Chania will happily provide a wild night.
You won’t find high rise hotels in Kamisiana, just small apartments and villas run by the locals. They carry the atmosphere of being homes away from home, with peaceful pools and home-cooked breakfasts laden with local flavours. You’ll occasionally find an on-site spa and gardens to lounge in, but you’ll almost always be treated to excellent locations just minutes from the beach.
Only a 30-minute drive from Kamisiana, the town of Chania is an expert mixture of old and new, with a fabulous nightlife and dining scene peppered around Venetian architecture. Whether you’re popping over for a daytrip or making it your second destination on a Greek adventure, there’s no shortage of things to do on this part of Crete’s coast.
Days in Chania are action-packed. If you’re a foodie, the Venetian harbour is lined with classic tavernas whose menus boast fresh seafood dishes. If you’re a history buff, there’s the Venetian fortress, lighthouse and countless museums unearthing the town’s past, not to mention the ancient ruins of Aptera.
Shopaholics find solace in the stalls lining the popular Mercado Agora di Chania while outdoorsy types take to the nearby gorges for spirited hikes in the glorious Greek weather.