Agia Galini in Crete, Greece

The idyllic Agia Galini stands out as a peaceful holiday resort with diverse hiking opportunities and wonderful beaches. As a base for exploring Crete's south coast, the former fishing village at the foot of the Ida Mountains is just made for it.

The idyllic Agia Galini on Crete's south coast developed from a quiet fishing village into a lively holiday resort, but it has by no means lost the enchanting charm of a small village. Cars are only to be found on the single main road leading to the harbour, and the numerous house facades that nestle against the mountainside behind the harbour make the harbour square one of the most beautiful in Greece.

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The picturesque holiday resort still lives up to its name "Holy Peace". Characterised by Cretan joie de vivre and hospitality, Agia Galini always has a relaxed holiday atmosphere against the unique backdrop of its beautiful bay and the snow-capped peaks of the Ida Mountains.

Journey to Agia Galini

Agia Galini is located on the picturesque south coast of Crete about 80km from Heraklion and a good 50km from Rethymnon. From these two cities, Agia Galini can be reached in 1.5 or one hour by taxi or rental car. There are also plenty of bus connections.

Holiday in Agia Galini

The guesthouses and hotels in Agia Galini have something to offer for every holiday budget (the idyllic holiday resort has so far been spared bed castles). The tavernas, restaurants and bars also range from upscale to inexpensive.

The possible leisure activities in Agia Galini also present themselves as a wide range. Walks along the picturesque bay or in the green hinterland, boat trips to the numerous neighbouring beaches on the cobalt-blue Mediterranean Sea or a hike through the hills by bike make you forget the daily routine.

Easy tours are the 3.5-hour hike from the picturesque village of Grigoria to the rocky cone of Kartalos and the two-hour (unmarked) round trip from Platanos through the Plataniani plateau. For those who want to climb higher, Psiloritis is the highest mountain in Crete and takes about 8 hours.

Shopping is also a real pleasure in the alleys lined with bougainvillea blossoms. In addition to souvenir shops and supermarkets, fashion shops and jewellers also offer their wares for sale in Agia Galini. With the Fishermen's Festival in June, the Folklore Festival in July and Greek pop concerts in August, Agia Galini's summer is not short on culture either.

However, most Cretan holidaymakers come to Agia Galini to unwind on the beautiful beach and in the surrounding bays.

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Agia Galini beach and beaches in the surrounding area

The pebble and sandy beach of Agia Galini can be reached by a footpath of about 800m, as bathing directly at the harbour is not recommended. The path leads over a small bridge, under which a small river flows into the wonderfully calm sea, which, however, is usually dried up in the summer months. The picturesque bay is one of our 10 most beautiful beaches in Crete.

Around 8km east of Agia Galini is the sandy beach of Timbaki, west of the village is Agios Pavlos beach, which also offer wonderful opportunities for your swimming holiday on Crete. If you move a little further west after Agios Pavlos beach, you will find one nice little bay after the other in the direction of Plakias, including the wonderful sandy beach of Triopetra, one of the most beautiful spots on Crete.

There are other bays in the area to explore by boat, including the caves to the west of Agia Galini. The legendary craftsman Daedalus is said to have had his workshop in one of them. Incidentally, Daedalus and Icarus are said to have taken off from the high rock at the harbour of Agia Galini to escape the cruel King Minos on their artificial wings made of feathers and wax.

Excursions from Agia Galini

Agia Galini is the ideal base for exploring the south coast. Just an hour's drive away are the entrance to the shady-cool Rouvas Gorge in Zaros, which is also home to Crete's only trout farm, the archaeological sites of Gortyn, once the Roman capital of Crete, as well as the 5,000-year-old palace of Phaistos and the Minoan settlement of Agia Triada.

A good hour's drive to the north lies the famous Arkadi Monasterywhere a mass suicide in the war of liberation against the Turks attracted worldwide attention. The two small towns of Vori, known for its Cretan Ethnological Museum, or Spili with its 25 gargoyles in the village square, are also worth a detour.

History of Agia Galini

Agia Galini already existed at the time of the Minoans, when it was still called Soulina and functioned as a harbour town for Syvritos. Destroyed by the Saracens in the 7th century, Agia Galini only flourished again under the Venetians from the 15th century onwards.

Today's Agia Galini was founded in 1884 and about 100 years later served as a refuge for some hippie communes from the caves of Matala. Until the 1970s, Agia Galini lived from the trade in wood and olive oil and the production of soap; since then, the main source of income has increasingly been tourism.


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