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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Koutouloufari

Koutouloufari Holidays

Koutouloufari offers relaxing holidays in a charming village setting with incredible views from its hilltop location. It's far enough away from party resorts to have chilled out afternoons on a taverna patio but close enough to join in the fun.

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Taste of tradition

Even though Koutouloufari is within eyesight of some of the busiest resorts on the island of Crete, the town still manages to retain its peaceful atmosphere. Once you cross back into its borders, you're a lifetime away from the hustle and bustle of downtown island life.

Koutouloufari is unmistakably a traditional Greek village, with cobbled streets and stone houses that are lined with colourful flowers – it's the stuff laid-back holidays are made of.

Days here are filled with glasses of wine along patios on the main square and delicious Greek flavours at local tavernas. The beaches and water parks of Hersonissos and the epic nightlife at Malia are within your grasp, so you'll have no trouble dialling up the energy when the mood strikes.

Quick Tips

  • Greek Orthodox
  • Euro
  • Greek
  • GMT +2

Three nearby beaches

Koutouloufari is technically an inland town, but don't let that fool you – it's located about 100 metres above sea level, so gorgeous views of the water are on the horizon, quite literally. This also means that the beaches at Hersonissos aren't very far off – only a 20-minute walk away.

Hersonissos is home to three beaches, whose sandy shores feature everything from sunbeds and umbrellas, to scuba excursions, jet skis and banana boats, plus the Star Beach Waterpark. There are also a number of small, more private coves tucked into the rocky coastline for an even more chilled out afternoon by the sea.

Lazy days and nearby excursions

When travelling to Koutouloufari, you should be prepared to get in some much needed rest and relaxation. The town oozes leisurely vibes, inviting you to wander through the village streets or pause in a cafe for a cup of coffee. Should you want to explore the area at a faster pace, there are wine tasting and jeep safari tours you can book with private companies.

Another option is hiring a bike that'll get you up and running on two wheels, making the trek into Hersonissos that much more convenient. But be advised, the journey back is largely uphill, so a good cardio workout is guaranteed.

In Hersonissos, you can have an action-packed Greek holiday. It has two waterparks, a theme park complete with archery, puzzles and a petting zoo, museums and animal sanctuaries. Plus there's the cave of Zeus, rumoured to be the locale where the head Greek God was saved from death.

Patio dining and leisurely nights

The town's restaurants are not only great for their authentic Greek food, but for their authentic Greek settings. Many of them are cloaked in greenery, with vines draping over garden patios and shading diners from the sun's rays.

You'll find a lot of tavernas on the town's main square, but unassuming side streets play host to tucked away treats as well. The vast majority of menus here boast traditional Greek eats like moussaka and souvlaki, though you will find a hint of British fare, as well as Italian, Spanish and Chinese.

Nights in Koutouloufari are very casual, with glasses of wine or creative cocktails at local tavernas. There are more wild nights to be had in Hersonissos and Malia, the party capital of Crete, which lies only a 10-minute drive away. There, you'll find all-night dance clubs – some of which are actually open 24-hours – that bring in some big names in the DJ world, plus cocktail bars and sports pubs.

The busy resorts of Hersonissos and Malia

Hersonissos is essentially the unofficial downtown of Koutouloufari – they're that close. So you'll have your pick of either town's activities when on holiday in this part of Crete.

You can spend a lazy morning having breakfast in the sunshine before wandering down to Hersonissos for horseback riding. Or take a trip to the Aquaworld Aquarium & Reptile Rescue Centre for an up close look at some four-legged locals. Hersonissos is also renowned for its excellent shopping scene, with designer brands and fashion boutiques taking up shopfronts by the beach.

Malia is also just beyond the outskirts of Koutouloufari, so you won't have any trouble reaching its shores. It's often sought out for its incredible nightlife scene, though this is only one facet of the popular resort.

Aside from the international eats and souvenir shops, Malia is also home to the ruins of a Minoan Palace and its surrounding town. You can join a guided tour and learn more about these ancient peoples, or wander through the former homes and workshops at your own pace.