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Matala, Agia Galini, Plakias

Southern Crete (see map )

Moni Preveli Crete, Agia Galini Matala

 

To be more precise we will present the Messara plain and it’s more popular tourist hangouts. Visits to Gortys, Festos and Aghia Triada sites are a must. Matala, though not frequented by hippies anymore, still carries a certain aura of liberty and of "flower power". But what you’ll indubitably notice when visiting the area is a spirit of antiquity, this fertile land has been inhabited from the beginnings of history, you can feel it everywhere (well, if you mentally discard the omnipresent plastic greenhouses).

 

COFFEE-SHOPS

Should you arrive in Aghia Galini by bus your first stop will be at IKAROS and DEDALOS for a coffee, a raki, some ice cream, combined with fresh information about what’s going on by owner Dimitris alias "Charlie". LOUKOUMADES is a breakfast-bar proposing scrambled eggs, sandwiches, draught beer and …loukoumades, of course, little doughnuts served with honey. TAZZOMONDO doubles as a pizzeria after breakfast time (or simultaneously). The kafeneion of MYRON insists on being traditional. At the port’s piazza ALIBI is the hot spot for independent travelers. In Matala ZWEI BRUDER is the meeting point, where everything in town happens.

 

RESTAURANTS

In Aghia Galini BOZO’S is a classic for Greek tastes and a nice view at those going to or coming from the beach beach (there’s only one beach). Just by is ZEPHYROS, typical Cretan food, it’s not only tasty but good for your heart, according to medical surveys. MADAM ORTANS is a top restaurant, we mean it literally, as it’s a rooftop place. The same goes for ONAR. At the beach (there’s only one beach) KOSTIS or "POIKILIOS" for the locals (means "Mr. Variety") will quench your thirst with chilled white wine, accompanied with filets of fresh tuna (very tasty) and other delicacies, followed by fruits and small bottles of raki - don’t turn to the beach afterwards! KYRIAKO’S is the last restaurant on the way to Kokkinos Pyrgos (next to the camping) and Mr. Kyriakos care for everything is manifest. In Matala SCALA, KIMATA and PLAKA are some possibilities. Near Plakias is the small and delightful Hotel-Restaurant AMMOUDI. It is nestled an easy 100-meter walk from the cove of crystal-clear water. T It is the genuine article, where in contrast to a sadly-growing number of restaurants nearby, tourists are served with the same eager discretion as the local populace. And it is a local destination. The family's own fishing boat is launched each evening and one may dine on the freshest catch. Classic Greek dishes are prepared with fine, locally-grown ingredients including top-quality oil, the family's own. Near Tymbaki NIKOLAS is a pool restaurant-bar-cafe. At Kataliki's beach FLOISVOS and ZEPHYROS are good and fair-priced fish taverns.

 

NIGHTLIFE

In Aghia Galini ALIBI is a meeting point for the whole Messara area. Everybody will pass sooner or later for a drink and for information exchange. Should you miss, you could be judged as a simple tourist. There are many bars uphill as PARADISO (a classic), TOP BAR, CACTUS, JUKE BOX, BLUE BAR a very nice rock bar run for over 10 years now by the musician and dropout Heinz Weiss, from 'Good Old Germany'. It’s very probable that you’ll visit more than one in a night. It is also very possible that you don’t remember which were those! In Matala, the place to be is the famous ROCK BAR. It is not rare to find some Iraklion youth having traveled for an hour and a half, to gather here. Despite the name the sound is more often non-rock. MARINERO is next door as an option. In Tybaki's central square cafe-bars "INCONTRO" , "KUNGA", "PLANET" , "LATINO", "PALLADIUM" and "JUKE BOX" are frequented mainly by locals.

 

SHOPPING

Masterpieces made of blown glass at NIKO’S WORKSHOP just outside of Aghia Galini, on the road to Rethimnon. Wood carvings at XYLAS (means "the woodman" in Greek). Ceramic and enamel handicrafts at CYRILLOS

 

BEACHES - GETTING AROUND

There’s much to be said here, some of earth’s nicest beaches can be visited, if you are the happy owner a decent off-road vehicle or, preferably, a zodiac or some other floating device.
MATALA beach is a spectacular strip of sand under a steep cliff on which the famous caves are carved. KOMOS, KALAMAKI Long beaches and beach tavernas. Every full moon of August a biker’s party is held at Komos, by the the Minoan ruins. AGHIOS PAVLOS is a magical creek surrounded by sand dunes. Everything is so calm that a yoga school has chosen the place for a permanent installation. KATALIKI is Tymbaki’s "socializing" beach. If you have a means of transport there’s much more to discover. KALI LIMENES, LENTAS, DISKOS, TSUTSURAS are some names (you need a map!) and the general rule is: though road = beautiful beach.

 

 

Source: Stigmes, Crete's magasine

Nikos Papadogeorgakis


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Numerous thematic museums show Crete’s glorious past and modern cultural life:
Heráklion Archaeological Museum exhibits significant findings of the Minoan Civilisation and is considered to be one of the most important museums of its kind in the world. Thousands excavation finds, from the Disc of Phaestos to the gold pendant of Mália and the clay dancers from Kamilári reveal an ancient-old illustrious past.
• Heráklion Historical Museum presents the evolution of the city during the centuries; among the exhibits stand out three paintings by El Greco and manuscripts of the famous author Nikos Kazantzakis.
• Cretan Ethnology Museum at Vóri reveals the island’s folk life.
• Natural History Museum at Dermatás Bay promotes the unique habitats in Crete and the Mediterranean.
Traditional settlements and historic villages built on mountain slopes and valleys are often surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. Discover the local architecture and spirit of Crete at Arhánes, where neoclassic nobility coexists with rural simplicity, or visit Episkopí with its Byzantine churches. Áno Hersónissos is a picturesque hamlet with Byzantine churches, old wells and stone ovens.

 

 


Index: Tourist guide of Crete
Agia Galini Agia Roumeli Agia Triada Agios Nikolaos Akrotiri Almirida Anogia Aradena Archanes Arkadi Argiroupoli Balos Bali Chania Chora Sfakion Chersonissos Chrissoskalitissa Cnossos Elafonissi Elounda Falassarna Festos Fodele Frangokastello Gortyna Gramvoussa Hania Heraklion Hersonissos Hora Sfakion Ierapetra Kalyves Kandanos Kastelli Kissamos Knossos Kritsa Lato Lassithi plateau Lendas Loutro Malia Matala Mochlos Omalos Paleokastro Plakias Preveli Rethymnon Rethimno Rodopos Samaria Sitia Sougia Sfakia Spili Vai Vamos Zakros

 

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