Exams are done and you and your mates just want to get away for some sunshine, lots of relaxation and perhaps a little bit of partying too. If it’s lovely beaches, great local bars and a relaxed, friendly vibe you are looking for, then beautiful Stalis on the island of Crete could be just the spot.
Here is my lowdown on what this charming resort has to offer during both the day and the night.
Stalis by Day
Stalis is a winning holiday destination if you love beaches. They are long, clean and sandy, and there are several bars lining the seafront, each owning a sandy section that you can access if you buy a cocktail or two! Sunbeds come at a price but there is so much competition to win your business that there are lots of deals on offer – Dwyer’s Irish Bar even offers a snack and drink with your lounger.
Days sunbathing on the beach are definitely in order after a long year studying, but if you fancy a little adventure too, then you have to try snorkelling. There are some beautiful tropical fish to spot and the shoals of mullet and bream are stunning too. Stronger swimmers might even like to venture out to one of the islands.
Anyone who loves to shop when on holiday will not be disappointed in Stalis. From leather to jewellery, there is lots to buy. If, however, you fancy going further afield, the pretty mountain towns of Mohos and Krassi are worth the trip, even if it’s just to see the charming windmills on the Lassithi Plateau.
Hersonissos, the cosmopolitan town only a five-minute drive from Stalis, is ideal for a morning visit, and the capital of Heraklion, home to the Knossos Palace, is only half an hour away. Other pretty attractions include the fishing village of Elounda and the artsy town of Agios Nikolaos.
Stalis by Night
Pubs and Bars
While Stalis may not be a hedonistic clubbing paradise like its neighbour Malia, this buzzing little town has plenty of action to be enjoyed once the sun has dipped below the horizon. There is definitely no shortage of British bars, so you are never far away from an English beer, a snazzy cocktail or a civilised glass of wine.
There are a good number of local tavernas too, which for anyone who loves a little local flavour, are always a good bet. The Yassas Beach Bar is a particular favourite of mine. Right by the shore, it is laid-back, has great music, serves wonderful food and is perfect when you are holidaying with your friends.
With plenty of restaurant options, my advice is to wander and see what takes your fancy. You can find excellent international food as well as some wonderful local specialities. Explore the back alleys and you will no doubt find some real hidden gems!
Dance ’til Dawn
Any time you are looking to dance until dawn, head to the Slainte Irish Bar, which is open until the early hours and does a good karaoke. There are a couple of other clubs in town too and a very good Scottish bar called Mambos.
If you fancy a movie night then Cheers is the place to go. Buy a drink and see a film – makes for a nice evening out!
If the reputation of Malia has got you curious and you fancy painting the town red one evening, why not take the short walk towards the bright lights of this clubbing haven? The Dolphin Beach Bar and Charlie’s Bar are very popular, the music is good and closing time is much later than most other places in the area.
I love Stalis for its relaxed yet energetic vibe – a great place to come to forget the stresses and strains of uni work and the anxiety of waiting for exam results!
Where to Stay
Stelios Apartments – You can’t get better than Stelios Apartments for proximity to the beach. A mere two minutes after leaving your room you can be laying out your towel for a morning soaking up the sun!
These apartments are ideal for groups of friends travelling together as they offer a communal space for everyone to spend time together. It is always good to have self-catering as an option too, especially if you have been partying all night and want to come back for late night snacks at your accommodation.
Free WiFi is a definite bonus and very useful when you need to post those Insta-worthy pics! Make sure you book a unit with a terrace, as you’ll be rewarded with some great views that you can enjoy with your pals in the comfort of your own space.
It is worth noting that the airport is less than 30 minutes from these apartments.
How to Get to Stalis
Heraklion Airport is the main airport on the island of Crete and it is a busy one that currently receives 39 flights weekly from London. There are five major airlines that fly directly to Crete, with Sun-Air being one of the most popular. The journey takes approximately 3 hours 45 minutes, which is plenty of time for you sit back, relax and switch into full-on holiday mode. Flights are competitively priced and, if you do your homework, you can get a return trip for cheap!
On arrival, you are bound to want to avoid hanging around for taxis or battling public transport, so book a transfer with Shuttle Direct. They offer an excellent service that provides private or shared vehicles and can be booked in advance.
About Shuttle Direct
Shuttle Direct is one of Europe and North Africa’s leading transfer companies, offering private and shared shuttles from airports to resorts and hotels. We provide fantastic services at competitive prices and have options to book ahead of time. Here at Shuttle Direct, we aim to make your journey as seamless as possible.