Crete – A Guide to a week well spent in Georgioupoli

Come on an adventure to northern Crete, where sunshine, sea, turtles and endless raki will fill your heart with wonder!

© Kerry McCarthy

Where to stay in Georgioupoli

To save money, and a lot of organising, we chose an easyjet holiday that included flights, transfers and accommodation at Athena Apartments Hotel, which was an absolute delight. Sitting just on the edge of the town we had the benefit of not being in the hustle and bustle of the centre but we were also a very short walk away from everything as well!

  • Beach & beach club – 5 minutes
  • Nearest taverna – under 1 minute
  • The main square – 10 minutes
  • The harbour area – 15 minutes

The apartments were very clean, well presented and spacious, and there was a pool surrounded by gardens, so we didn’t feel like we were backing onto another hotel. We just about had sea views, and wonderful views of the mountains too. The owners were incredibly friendly and very helpful indeed, we would definitely go back!

Image of coast Georgioupolis Crete

© Kerry McCarthy

Things to do in Georgioupoli

Eat, drink, shop, sail, swim, snorkel, sunbathe… There is plenty to do here, and lots of excursions from the nearby hotels and beach bars. The beach is very very long, so plenty of places to bag a parasol and get served drinks and snacks whichever direction you go! Here’s what we got up to:

Kalivaki Taverna Beach Day. Here you’ll find the best bit of beach, super soft sand and very safe swimming. The water is shallow for quite a way, and crystal clear, free from seaweed and stones. The Taverna serves up amazing food (small cheese pies are a must, along with stuffed vine leaves and zucchini flowers), and is attached to accommodation if you want to make this place your base.

Kalivaki beach is on the far end of the town, near the harbour and has a river running into it which if you look carefully is filled with fish and turtles! Don’t miss the amazing models of forts, amphitheatres and other amazing Greek architecture just around the back of the taverna.

© Kerry McCarthy

Lake Kournas. We took the “fun train”, a cheap (€7 per adult return) short journey on a road train from Club Tropicana Beach Bar up to the only freshwater lake in Crete. I cannot recommend visiting this place enough, especially if you are with kids. The lake is huge, surrounded by mountains, is crystal clear and you can hire pedalos to go explore and see the turtles!

Definitely take your swim stuff and a snorkel set too as the water is ideal for exploring, and you might even be able to bag yourself a pedalo with a slide. The place really is huge, so you it doesn’t feel like you are in amongst everyone out on the lake. There are also tavernas where you can refuel, and sunbeds amongst the greenery if you want to spend a day there.

Eat delicious local food! We had fresh fish at Poseidon Seafood Restaurant – I can personally vouch for the seabass, traditional Cretan food at Nostos – my son wanted us to go back for the grilled cheese, I wanted to go again for the grilled squid; and more of the same at Taverna Babis, where I had the best prawn saganaki I’ve ever eaten. All of these places are within a five minute walk of each other, and also served amazing souvlaki (grilled meat on a skewer).

Be warned – portion sizes here are huge! I doubt there are many people who would be able to fit an appetiser along with a main meal in one sitting!

© Kerry McCarthy

What I loved (and did not love) about Georgioupoli, Crete

I loved how friendly everyone is, and the custom of serving Raki as a complementary drink after eating, along with dessert. I also quite enjoyed the fact that the Raki just keeps on coming. It is most certainly an acquired taste, but after the first shot, you get used to it! Kalivaki Taverna served theirs ice cold and with cherries. Amazing!

There wasn’t much not to like at all, I guess if I was to pick anything, it’s getting used to the Greek sewerage system and remembering not to flush paper down the toilets!

© Kerry McCarthy

Would I go to Georgioupoli again?

Yes, I would. It is a lovely laid back place to be based and there are plenty of excursions and day trips to other areas of the island. Next time we go, we want to explore some of the beaches on the southern side – Elafonissi beach is high on the list for its pale pink sands!

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Travel Writer Bio

Kerry McCarthy is a travel writer, author, artist, and breathwork instructor. You can see more of her adventures on Instagram @kerrymccarthystars.

© Kerry McCarthy

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