A beachfront retreat ticking all the good-time boxes, on the sun-soaked north coast of Crete
On holiday, some days call for a culture fix while others demand nothing more strenuous than sinking your toes into powder-soft sand. Agapi Beach Resort has got you covered. This box-ticking retreat is around 15 minutes from central Heraklion, with its treasure-trove museum of archaeological wonders and the Bronze Age ruins of Knossos – considered to be Europe’s oldest city. But that’s only if you can drag yourself away from the resort, with its three outdoor pools, four restaurants and four bars, spa, sandy beachfront, watersports kiosk and evening entertainment – there’s very little reason to leave.
A great choice for families, Agapi has a kids’ club, jam-packed activity programme and balmy shallows lining the long beach; plus a toes-in-the-sand bar and ocean-blue loungers for sun-seeking parents. Family Bungalows cater for a little one (or two), while the all-inclusive plan staves off relentless hunger pangs – without breaking the bank. For food, there are Greek classics at Taverna Akrogiali, Italian favourites at Piazza d’Italia and street food at Taka-Taka (don’t miss Cypriot favourite, grilled halloumi), plus a buffet restaurant with international cuisine to cover all bases.
Rooms and suites are cool and comfortable, with marble bathrooms and private balconies or terrace. Book a Double Room for sparkling sea views or upgrade to an Exclusive Bungalow for a white-washed cocoon with blush-pink accents and wood furniture. Some overlook the pool, others have direct access for a suite-to-swim perk. Large groups should opt for the Two-Bedroom Maisonette, which has a pair of separate pads connected by a shared entrance – ideal for friends or older families.
15-minute drive from central Heraklion
Good to know
Minimum stay: 3 nights 03 Jun-22 Sep.
• Sign up for a culinary class to pick up cooking skills that remain long after the plane home touches down • Head away from the coast and cycle among silver-leaved olive groves, sloping vineyards and craggy mountains • Visit Knossos Palace for an insight into Crete’s Minoan civilisation • Browse Heraklion Museum to see the elaborate Malia bee pendant rubbing shoulders with iconic Minoan frescoes
4 restaurants, 4 bars
All Inclusive • Meals, snacks and selected drinks at the hotel’s 4 restaurants and 4 bars • A la carte lunch or dinner at a local Cretan Taverna nearby, once per stay • 30-minute stand-up paddleboarding or canoe per room per day, weather permitting.
*Denotes local charge