Athens may have the ancient temples and Santorini may have the fiery sunsets, but Crete has its own treasures. The rugged island is a vision of golden coves, mirror clear waters, and Minoan mythical tales that make you widen your eyes. From the venetian charm of Heraklion to the elegant charm of Elounda, and the glitzy beach clubs in Agios Nikolaos, every corner of Crete has something to discover. Live the yachting lifestyle from shore to shore as you explore the tapestry of charming Crete…
Where to Sail
Kick start your Cretan journey in Heraklion, with its bustling waterfront, buzzing nightlife, and jaw-dropping ancient treasures like the bronze aged Palace of Knossos. Wandering the old-world courtyard, you can hear exotic tales of bull leaping competitions and the mystery as to why the city of King Minos came to be abandoned. Back in the city and it’s all about sipping sweet wines in front of bright colored boats and splurging on whimsical white clothing at the boutique stores.
Those looking for siren like Greek scenes can sail towards Elounda. The most handsome of the little fishing villages famed for its iridescent deep blue waters and former leper colony of Spinalonga Island. Yacht lovers seeking a chance to snorkel can drop anchor around these parts and dive right in. Afterwards, pick one of the charming harborside cafes to sample mountain cheeses and fiery raki.
If you are missing the bright lights and flowing cocktails, make sure that Agios Nikolaos is your next stop. The resort style flair can make for a welcome change of pace, particularly around the curve of Mirabello Bay where cool café culture and hip clubs spill out onto the sidewalk.
After the excitement of antiquities, artistry, and amazing night life head west to Rethymnon with its exclusive feel, stunning restaurant and scene and miles of powder soft beaches.
Where to Dine
Food on the fabulous island manages to hit that sweet spot between farm fresh and indulgently playful. Tiny taverns take their mezze seriously and often bring their own cured meats, ripe cheeses, and glug worthy olive oil down from the mountains.
Russian billionaires and other yacht lifestyle lovers seem to adore hanging out at the Calypso Restaurant at the Elounda Peninsula Hotel. With a Michelin award winning Parisian at the helm in the kitchen, and a vivid imagining of favored French dishes, this make a statement restaurant boasts sublime waterfront vibes.
Methexis is another favorite but you will have to travel to the resort of Palaiochora to dine there. The oyster thistle dish and lamb roulade take creative cooking to a whole new level. When the weather is cool you can dine inside this charming little place, right beside the wood burning stove.
Where to Play
Minoan jewelry lovers can spend up a storm at Fanourakis in the capital. For five generations the Fanourakis family have been making beautiful pieces inspired by history. Precious pearls from the deep sea, goldsmiths that can spin the sun into pendants, and art deco touches with luminous jewels, every piece is its own work of art.
The Palm Beach Club can be found in Hersonissos, boasting two pools and three bars for those days when you want sunrise to melt into sunset with little interruption. Trendy, cool, with hip spinning DJ’s and decadent VIP areas, those looking for a place to party while sailing around Crete will find their element here.