Agia Marina, on the Greek island of Crete, is certainly no hidden gem – although it is, indeed, a gem! Situated on the north-west coast, just 10 km from Chania, this popular resort is much-loved by tourists looking to soak up the relaxed Mediterranean ambience and, of course, the magnificent beaches.
But while lying on a sun lounger on a wide, fine-sand beach working on your tan is an almost obligatory aspect of a holiday in Greece, for those who also like to get in a little cultural education, Agia Marina is ideally located for you to get out and do a little exploring.
Two Trips Worth Doing from Agia Marina
The entire island of Crete is akin to a history lesson, with remnants from centuries past everywhere. If you’re looking to delve into the fascinating past of the region, the following two places are easily accessible while staying in Agia Marina.
Locally known as Agioi Theodoroi, this place actually comprises two land masses: the main island, Theodorou, and the tiny islet, which looks more like a large rock, known as Glaraki. (Out of interest, this is why it’s referred to in the local language in its plural form.)
Measuring just 697 sqm, Theodorou’s diminutive size belies its strategic historical importance. Over the years (dating back to Minoan times) it has been used as a sanctuary and referred to by several different names, but it was the Venetians, in the sixteenth century, who put it to the most practical use. They built two large fortresses (one at the highest point and one down lower, on the beach) to be used defensively against marauding pirates and the Turks, who had Crete in their sights. At one point, 70 men lived on the island, but upon realising they were hopelessly outnumbered, and no match for the approaching Turks, they blew themselves up rather than concede defeat.
Visitors are not allowed to walk on the island (which is designated a National Park),but from one of the fantastic glass-bottom boat tours, you’ll be able to see the ruins of the fortresses and a church. Even though you can’t exactly stand in their footsteps, it’s quite evocative to imagine the thoughts of those 70 men who died there.
If you’re lucky you may catch sight of the famous Cretan Ibex (aka Kri-Kri). The population were moved to the island, from the mountains, in order to allow them to breed in peace away from the dangers of poachers. You’ll also see lots of migratory birds and other wildlife.
Chania Old Town
From a base in Agia Marina, you really can enjoy the best of both worlds, as the resort is very close to Chania – a place that’s absolutely seething with history. A visit to the Old Town, with its pedestrianised stone streets, ancient architecture and friendly locals, really is a wonderful way to get a feel for the authentic character of Crete.
As you wander around, you’ll be able to see the unique blend of architecture, which is inspired by Turkish, Venetian, and Greek trafitions, giving it a character unlike anywhere else. Some of the cultural highlights of the Old Town not to be missed are the Archaeological Museum (set in a former monastery), the Maxeradika (the Street of Knives), Firkas Fortress, and the Venetian harbour.
It’s not hard to fill in a few hours, or even a whole day, exploring the Old Town of Chania, and there are plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants where you can stop for refreshment, or just a chat to the very friendly locals.
Where to Stay:
Galini Sea View: Situated just 150 m from the stunning beach, this elegantly appointed accommodation delivers sea views, stylish rooms, and high quality amenities, including air-conditioning, satellite TV and luxury touches throughout. The hotel’s facilities include a hamam, a sauna, indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness room, bars and two restaurants.
Giannoulis – Santa Marina Plaza: Located right next to the beach, this adults-only accommodation puts you front and centre to the delights of Agia Marina. Rooms feature all the mod-cons, including a balcony with views over the water or gardens. With a swimming pool, a Mediterranean inspired restaurant serving delicious Greek fare, and a fabulous breakfast buffet, here’s your holiday bliss!
Elia Agia Marina Hotel: With the beach on your doorstep and the welcoming surrounds of this high-quality hotel at your disposal, your holiday is a guaranteed success! All the rooms are air-conditioned and feature private bathrooms, flat screen TVs, and some have sea views. There’s a superb onsite restaurant, a lovely pool, a snack bar, and room service is available.
How to Get There:
Travelling to your holiday in lovely Agia Marina can be a pleasant and stress-free experience! It’s a four-hour flight into Chania Airport (CHQ) from most UK locations, and the route is well-facilitated by a number of airlines. Because of its popularity you’ll have plenty of options of times, days and prices. For your onward transport from Chania Airport to Agia Marina, the easiest and most convenient option is to pre-book an airport transfer with Shuttle Direct. Once you land, you’ll meet your friendly driver and head off to your final destination, without any of the hassle of trying to navigate public transport or queue for a local taxi.
UK to CHQ Flight Time: 4 hours
CHQ to Agia Marina Distance: 29 kms
Shuttle Direct Transfer Time: around 30-35 minutes
Types of Transfer
Because every traveller has different needs and priorities, Shuttle Direct offers a range of airport transfers from Chania to Agia Marina to suit everyone. Whatever’s important to you, be assured we can accommodate your requirements.
If you’re looking for the ultimate in comfort and convenience, our private Chania airport transfers will suit you to a tee. A friendly and professional driver will meet you in the terminal and you’ll be whisked away on a door-to-door service in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle. No hold-ups, no hassles.
Another kind of private service to get you from the airport at Chania to Agia Marina is a pre-booked taxi. Unlike everyone else waiting in a queue for a regular local taxi, you’ll head off immediately and be at your destination in no time. This is a very reliable and convenient option for a Chania airport transfer.
For travellers with an eye on the budget, a shared shuttle bus is the ideal way of getting from Chania Airport to Agia Marina. It’s still a comfortable and reliable mode of transport, but because the cost is spread among other passengers it’s a lot cheaper – you might even make some new friends!
If you’re heading off on holiday with a large group of friends or family, you might want to consider a minibus transfer to get you from Chania Airport to Agia Marina. Not only is it very cost-effective, it gives you the peace of mind of all being able to travel in one vehicle, with plenty of room for the accompanying luggage.
Choosing the Right Transfer
When making the choice of what airport transfer is best for you, the two main factors that will affect you are cost and convenience. Only you know which one is a priority.
Cost: If you’re on a tight budget, or simply prefer to save your holiday money for the fun things, sharing with other passengers is a great way to reduce the costs. In this case you should consider a shared shuttle or minibus airport transfer.
Convenience: If, however, you’re all about convenience and luxury, and you don’t mind paying for it, then you should book a private door-to-door transfer from Chania to Agia Marina.
About Shuttle Direct
As one of the most trusted providers of onward airport transport, Shuttle Direct provides services in destinations all over the world. Whatever your budget, wherever you need to go, and however you like to travel, we’ve got your needs covered. Leave the logistics to our friendly, professional drivers, and just sit back and enjoy your holiday!