Alcudia, Majorca, Balearic Islands
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Ayia Napa, Cyprus
Costa Teguise, Lanzarote, Canary Islands
A vibrant little seaside resort, Georgioupolis has a gorgeous setting on the northern coast of Crete, about 18 miles east of Chania Town. Prettily backed by hills covered in citrus groves and orchards, the small town spreads around a charming main square and overlooks a long sandy beach. There are lots of taverns, cafés and shops, and it’s particularly popular with families and couples, thanks to its laid-back island charm. The beautiful and historic cities of Chania Town and Rethymnon are a short drive away, if you fancy some sightseeing and shopping, and you can also explore some delightful inland villages and picnic by Lake Kournas if you want to escape the coastal hubbub.
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Thanks to its sandy beaches and authentic Greek charm, little Georgioupolis has grown into a popular seaside resort. You can relax on the main square, enjoying a drink and watching the world go by, take a stroll around the picturesque harbour, or simply bask in the sun on the beaches. These are well equipped with sun loungers and beach bars, and offer a choice of water sports, from kayaking to diving. There are plenty of wonderful day trips, whether you want to admire the gorgeous Venetian harbours in historic Chania Town and Rethymnon, picnic by Lake Kournas, or escape the crowds and head for the hills.
There are lots of enticing little waterfront restaurants and traditional taverns to choose from in Georgioupolis. You can take your pick from elegant seafood restaurants serving the day’s catch or atmospheric spots offering home-cooked Greek and Cretan cuisine. Classic dishes such as moussaka and Greek salads – topped with the delicious mizithra cheese, one of many produced on Crete – feature on many menus. You could also try unusual local specialities such as snails, or go for a delicious lamb stew, perhaps cooked with wild greens and lemon. You can wash it all down with some Cretan wine: the island’s vineyards have seen a renaissance in recent years.
Georgioupolis is a fantastic destination for a relaxed and enjoyable family holiday. The gorgeous beaches are the focus of most holidays here, and the clear, shallow waters are great for even the youngest kids. You’ll also find plenty of handy amenities, from sun beds and parasols to rent to life guard posts. Older kids can rent out kayaks or paddle boards or perhaps even take a diving or wind-surfing course. Boat trips head upriver on fishing and turtle-spotting expeditions, or you could rent a pedalo and potter around Lake Kournas. The charming and historic cities of Chania Town and Rethymnon (both easily reached by bus) are fantastic for a day trip.
If you’re not much of a beach bum (at least, not all the time!), then it’s easy to stay active on your Georgioupolis holiday. You can rent out kayaks and paddle boards on the beach, or book yourself a diving course or excursion to one of the amazing wrecks and sea caverns. There’s also a paragliding centre, which offers tandem flights for beginners, if you’re in the mood to really get the adrenaline flowing. There are fishing trips along the river, or you could head up to Lake Kournas, the only freshwater lake on Crete, which is a haven for numerous bird species.
The main beach in Georgioupolis extends for more than a mile, and is a lovely stretch of golden sand that shelves gently into the turquoise sea. It has excellent facilities, including sun beds for rent, beach bars, and a life guard post. The shallow waters are calm and great for young kids, although occasionally the wind can pick up and make it choppy. The town also boasts a second beach, Kalivaki beach, which is smaller but equally well equipped. The main beach extends all the way east to Kavros beach, and is part of a virtually unbroken string of beaches, which stretch for 10 glorious kilometres along this picturesque coastline.
The nightlife in little Georgioupolis is relaxed and low key, although things liven up considerably during the summer months. The beachfront bars can get quite buzzy on warm summer nights, and some of the hotels have elegant rooftop bars where you can soak up the sea views as you enjoy a cocktail or two. Many of the taverns put on some live traditional music if you want a taste of local culture. There are no big bars or clubs, however, and you’ll have to visit Chania Town or Rethymnon if you’re looking for a big night out. These cities are each about a 30-minute drive away.
If you’re looking for a tranquil seaside resort with plenty of laid-back Greek charm and great beaches, then Georgioupolis is the perfect option. You can sun yourself on the golden beaches, perhaps take a stroll across the dunes, or even rent out a couple of kayaks and explore this beautiful stretch of coast. There are lots of romantic taverns where you can linger over lunch, and then spend an hour or two on the main square watching the world go by. The nearest cities are Chania Town and Rethymnon, two of the most charming and historic towns on Crete, and ideal for a romantic stroll. You could visit some local vineyards, picnic on the shores of Lake Kournas, or head into the hills to find a string of timeless villages.
Georgioupolis enjoys a perfect setting halfway between Chania Town and Rethymnon, two of the best preserved and most enchanting cities on the island. Chania Town has a magnificent Venetian harbour, guarded by a fortress and a slender lighthouse, plus a slew of excellent museums. You can also visit the ancient ruins of Kydonia, a Minoan settlement located on the hilltop of Kastelli. Kastelli is the oldest part of Chania, and is still ringed by 12th-century walls. Rethymnon also boasts a gorgeous Venetian harbour, and its picturesque historic quarter is dominated by a vast fortress, erected by the Venetians in order to deter pirates. Both cities ooze plenty of charm, and are perfect for an enjoyable day trip from Georgioupolis.