Authentic Analipsi holidays 2019 / 2020
Analipsi sits pretty on the north coast of Crete, about 13 miles east of the vibrant island capital of Heraklion and a short drive from vibrant Hersonissos. A quiet, family-friendly resort, it has oodles of authentic Greek charm and beautiful sandy beaches which offer a wide range of water sports. It has a charming main square, ideal for sitting out with a drink and watching the world go by, and a rambling maze of narrow streets dotted with atmospheric taverns and bars. There are some wonderful excursions nearby, such as to the Lassithi Plateau, scattered with beautiful villages and traditional windmills. You’ll also find the Dikteon Cave, legendary birthplace of Zeus. If you want some lively nightlife and great shopping, head to Hersonissos or the vibrant capital of Heraklion.
At a glance
- Time Zone: GMT +
- Average flight time: 4h 0m
When to go
(°C) Avg. High Temp
Analipsi is a charming little resort with gorgeous beaches on the north coast of Crete, just 13 miles east of Heraklion and close to Hersonissos, the island’s biggest resort. Delightfully old-fashioned, Analipsi’s narrow streets and lively main square are scattered with a great choice of shops, cafés and taverns. The main beach is long and sandy, overlooked by a miniature white chapel, and there’s a picturesque harbour and some delightful little coves. It’s only a 30-minute drive to the beautiful Lassithi Plateau, high in the hills, where you’ll find timeless villages, windmills and the Dikteon Cave, which legend says is the birthplace of Zeus. If you’re more in the mood for sightseeing or some shopping, head to the vibrant city of Heraklion.
Analipsi has a great choice of cafés and taverns where you can tuck into a range of different cuisines including, of course, plenty of traditional Cretan dishes. Cretans like to boast about their amazing fresh produce, and you can enjoy it in local specialities such as the refreshing Greek salads topped with mizithra cheese. The island is famous for its cheeses and there is a huge variety to choose from. You could also go for some dakos, a sort of local take on bruschetta, which are barley rusks with a topping of chopped tomatoes, herbs and some local cheese. You won’t want to miss out on the fabulously fresh seafood, or you could go for some lamb served with wild greens.
There are all sorts of things to do with the family in charming Analipsi. The long main beach is perfect for children, with its golden sand, shallow waters and great facilities for water sports. There are lots of child-friendly cafés and tavernas to choose from in the pretty old town, and you can sit out on the main square and enjoy an ice-cream. There are several family-friendly attractions in the area, including an aquarium and reptile rescue centre in nearby Hersonissos where kids can have some hands-on fun with lizards, snakes, turtles and other animals. Children will also enjoy the labyrinth park, which has the Cretan minotaur as its theme. They might also like to visit the real thing: the ancient site of Knossos, where the Minotaur once roamed beneath the palace, is only a 30-minute drive away.
Action & Adventure
You’ll find plenty of activities to enjoy during your holiday in Analipsi. There are lots of water sports available, including kayaking, paddle boarding and parasailing. There are also a couple of diving centres, which run courses and offer diving trips to some of the best sites along the craggy northern coast of Crete. Inland, you’ll find some stunning walks, including one along the Aposelemis Canyon. There are more around the Lassithi Plateau, which sits at an altitude of about 800 metres. Follow hiking trails through orchards and almond tree groves, past tiny villages and whitewashed windmills. You could also visit the impressive Dikteon Cave, where, according to legend, Zeus was born.
The main beach of Analipsi is a lovely long expanse of golden sand, with plenty of amenities, including sun loungers and parasols for rent plus a choice of water sports. You could rent out a sea kayak, or have a go at wind-surfing or parasailing, or perhaps head out on an excursion to one of the diving sites along this stretch of coast. The main beach is divided from the town’s second beach by a small pier, topped with a picturesque white chapel. This beach is smaller and narrower and stretches along to the little harbour. It doesn’t have as many amenities and is usually a little less busy in the height of summer.
Quiet, family-friendly Analipsi is no nightlife hub, but there are lots of cafés and taverns where you can bar hop at your leisure and enjoy a few drinks on warm star-lit evenings. In summer, the atmosphere livens up, and some of the bars might host special events, such as traditional music or live gigs. If you’re in the mood for some serious nightlife, you could head into Heraklion: the island capital has plenty of great bars and clubs where you can party until dawn. The lively resorts of Malia and Stalida, located a short drive east of Analipsi, are also brilliant options for a fantastic night out, and have some fantastic clubs right on the beach.
Relaxed, peaceful and oozing old-fashioned Greek charm, Analipsi is the perfect destination for romantic holiday in the sun. You could chill out on the beach, working on your tan or maybe taking a dip in the warm, crystal-clear waters. Or, if you’re feeling active, rent out a kayak and explore the coast. Drive up to the beautiful Lassithi Plateau, where you’ll find ancient villages, windmills, wonderful walks and scores of romantic picnic spots, particularly if you come in spring, when the meadows are carpeted with wild flowers. You could take in the sights of vibrant Heraklion, the capital of Crete, or head to hedonistic Malia for some nightlife.
Some of the most fascinating cultural sights on Crete are located within an easy drive of Analipsi. Up on the Lassithi Plateau, you can visit the Dikteon Cave near the village of Psychro. In this cave, hung with stalactites and stalagmites, Rhea hid from Chronos and gave birth to Zeus according to Greek myth. Votive offerings to Zeus have been discovered dating back to the 2nd millennium BC: you can see some of them in the archaeological museum in Heraklion. The island capital has a clutch of fascinating historic sights, including a Venetian fortress.