Agia Pelagia Crete
As holidaymakers like the fast transfers from the airport, many new hotels and apartments have been built in Agia Pelagia and the surrounding area in recent years. There are some new large hotels and resorts with hundreds of apartments. The coast in the area is steep. To get to a neighboring bay, you often have to drive a few minutes with the car up and down the mountains. Walking along the sea can be much faster. In general, Agia Pelagia has a lovely atmosphere. Most inhabitants live on tourism, but there are also some fishermen and farmers.
Parking is often a problem. In the main bay of Agia Pelagia there is, however, next to the long beach a large car park, which is sufficient at least in the low season.
The long beach in the Bay of Agia Pelagia looks well maintained and has many visitors in summer. There are about ten taverns near the beach, also some cafes and supermarkets. In the main street of Agia Pelagia you can find a bank, ATMs, car rentals, several stores with souvenirs and groceries, a pharmacy and much more.
In the other, smaller bays further north (Kladissos, Psaromoura and Mononaftis) hotels, tavernas and some shops were built. Further up the hills above the bays are same new, large holiday resorts. They are well integrated into the landscape. Most bays in the area have good beaches.
Agia Pelagia is also popular for diving. Several diving schools offer diving courses. You find them in the village and in other bays. One company also offers boat trips with snorkeling.
Why to Agia Pelagia?
Agia Pelagia is not a bad holiday destination, especially for holiday makers with a car. Some sights and cities, such as the Palace Knossos, Heraklion or Rethimno, are not far away. Agia Pelagia itself is a nice resort with good beaches and restaurants. The prices are a bit lower than in the bigger resorts of Crete. Last but not least, the airport is not far away, only around 40 minutes by car.
Tavernas Agia Pelagia
The best restaurants we found near the large beach in the town center. Behind the beach is a small footpath, which leads to the tavernas.
The Bravo Seafood Restaurant we liked very much. The fresh fish dishes, the pasta dishes and the pizzas taste excellent. Delicious are also the starters like shrimps in four different variations, the snails and the grilled mushrooms.
The Home Agia Pelagia offers good pasta dishes and salads. Next to it is an excellent cafe with great crepes and homemade ice cream.
In the tavern Acropolis the salads and the omeletts are yummy. The Stifado (goulash with onion) tastes delicious. Large portions and reasonable prices.
The restaurant Edem at the beginning of the beach at the parking lot is family-friendly. In the taverna is a small playground for children.
If you want to eat in another, quieter bay, the excellent Stelios Tavern in Mononaftis is a good option. Great Greek cuisine and reasonable prices.
At the main road in the centre of Agia Pelagia, there is a good fast food restaurant with Gyros Pita, Souvalaki etc.
Access and excursions Agia Pelagia
Buses Agia Pelagia: In low season there are only two bus connections per day between the capital of Crete Iraklio and Agia Pelagia. From Iraklion buses depart at 8:45 and 14:30, from Agia Pelagia at 9:40 and 15:20 (in spring 2016). These buses run every day including Saturday and Sunday. In high there are some more buses. Also only the summer, a few buses daily connect the different bays in the Agia Pelagia area.
By car: From Heraklion airport, take the expressway direction Rethymno and Chania. Drive through Iraklion on this road. About 15 minutes after Heraklion, there is a sign "Agia Pelagia". After going down the mountain for a few kilometers you arrive in the town centre. Within Agia Pelagia it is not very easy to find the other bays. There are not many signposts. In some bays there is hardly any parking space. With larger vehicles turning at the dead ends by the sea can be very difficult at some beaches..
Distances from Agia Pelagia: Heraklion about 25 km, Heraklio airport about 30 km, Rethymno about 50 km and Chania about 115 km. It is only about 10 kilometers to the interesting village Fodele.
Those who do not rent a car and spend their holidays in Agia Pelagia can also do day trips by bus. Such trips can be booked in the travel agencies in town. For example, trips to the Palace of Knossos (only 35 kilometers), a tour to Heraklion (25 km) are popular. Other day trips, such as to Spinalonga Island or hiking trough the Samaria Gorge, are offered several times per week. Ask the tour operators in town.
The author: My name is Jorgy. I am German and I have been living in Crete for more than 10 years. I translated this article from German into English. I am not a native English speaker. When I find a proofreader, the quality of the article will improve. If you know somebody who wants to help me, please write me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org