If you’re after some tips for exploring the hidden gems of Greece, you are definitely reading the right post. The popular holiday destination is perfect for your everyday tourist, with its sandy beaches and souvenir shops, but there are people out there who are looking for something a little more unique. If that’s you, keep reading to find out about the authentic village of Platanias…
Top Tip: Check out this amazing infographic for an Insider’s Guide to Greece
A History of Platanias
To begin with, the area is certainly abundant with history. Archaeological finds near Platanias, including remains from villas and tombs, have led us to believe that Cretan civilisation began here in the Minoan period. Interestingly, the village also appears twice in Greek mythology. The goddess Athena is said to have sipped water from a spring in Ano Platanias, and it is told that King Agamemnon founded the city of Pergamos at the mouth of the River Platanias. The fact that these ancient myths still circulate today is truly astonishing.
To enjoy some wonderful views over western Crete, head up the hill to Ano Platanias. This ‘upper’ village on the hilltop overlooks the ‘lower’ village, or Kato Platanias. The short hike will definitely be worth your while, as you’ll be greeted with stunning old-style houses, winding streets and taverns serving local cuisine (as well as the unbelievable postcard-views, of course). The atmosphere at the top is incredibly serene compared to the busier town below.
The traditional village of Theriso and its astonishing natural gorge are a must-see for nature lovers and adventurers. Popular among walkers as well as rock climbers, this attraction is a perfect example of Cretan natural beauty. In addition to the gorge, you can enjoy the beautiful river, the thriving forest, and the nearby Sarakina Cave, which is known to have hidden some relics found by archaeologists.
Once you have taken in the dramatic scenery, you can grab a bite in the village. Local taverns serving delicious fresh produce are dotted all around Theriso’s quaint streets, and the residents are always friendly and welcoming.
The Square of Sintrivani
The square is located in the centre of Chania Old Town, so it makes for a great cultural day trip. The town is jam-packed with restaurants, cafes and shops, so there’s plenty to keep you busy. All around you are unique, traditional buildings that are vibrant with colour, providing amazing photo opportunities! The infamous centre square is home to a beautiful fountain intricately decorated with lion heads. It is certainly a one-of-a-kind attraction.
Where to Stay
Agrimia Holiday Apartments – These beautifully furnished apartments are perfect to relax in after a long day exploring. Each one features a kitchenette and a dining area, as well as a sofa and TV. The bedrooms are modern and each have picturesque views of either the sea or the beautiful gardens. Agrimia also offers a pool and sun terrace for guests to enjoy at their leisure. Exploring the local area and enjoying some Cretan cuisine at the traditional taverns is made easy, since the bustling city of Chania is less than eight miles away.
Villa Melody – If you’re looking to stay in luxurious accommodation just walking distance from some main attractions, then this is the place for you. Villa Melody is a gorgeous property complete with a pool and a hot tub. Plus, it’s just yards away from the village square, Agios Dimitrios Church, the beautiful beach and a handful of shops and restaurants. What more could you need?
Stamatakis Boutique Studios – This is another fantastic property if you’re looking for easy access to the beach and villages. Just 450 yards from the village square, this is a perfect holiday home for an avid explorer. The location has beautiful views across the Cretan landscape, and includes free Wi-Fi and a flat screen TV as well as other amenities. The furnishings are relatively fresh and modern, and there is ample space in all the rooms.
How to Get There
For the easiest access to the resorts, I would suggest flying into Chania Airport. From the UK, the flight time is usually just under four hours. There are around 17 flights to Chania per week, and seven airlines fly there directly.
From there, an airport transfer to Platanias is the best way to get to your accommodation quickly and safely. I highly recommend booking a transfer with Shuttle Direct. Their services are always on time, and each driver has been extremely friendly and attentive. The journey to Platanias from Chania will take just 50 minutes.
About Shuttle Direct
At Shuttle Direct we pride ourselves in providing easy and safe airport transfers to our customers. Our drivers will cater to your every need and make it their mission to give you a hassle-free start to your holiday.