You’ll get an old-friend welcome with holidays to Analipsi. This coastal village has stuck to its roots, and invites you in to the slow lane courtesy of laid-back tavernas and a relaxed beach scene.
Circled by fields and fruit groves, Analipsi is a cutesy village on Crete’s eastern shoulder. It’s sandwiched between 2 of the island’s pulse points – cosmopolitan Hersonisos and big-hitter Heraklion – but it’s managed to stay under the radar and remains deliciously true to tradition. The picture here is one of whitewashed cottages and pretty gardens trailing their way down a kilometre-long road to a lovely beach. Back from the seafront, meanwhile, spidery lanes beat a track to a restaurant-lined central square.
From Analipsi, a flat, paved road follows the line of the coast for almost 2 kilometres. It offers access to the area’s long sand-and-pebble beaches and satin-blue waters. You don’t have to go far, though, for soft sands. Right in front of the village, a tiny blue-and-white-painted church marks the beginning of Lyttos Beach, which rolls out eastwards from here. To the west, meanwhile, the coast is rockier and better suited to quiet strolls beneath the shade of tamarisk trees.
Analipsi doesn’t like to do things in a hurry. Life revolves around the village square, which is dominated by a huge palm and ringed by restaurants with menus headlining typical Cretan fare. The side streets that shoot off from here are home to little boutiques and old houses. In the afternoons, the locals gather in chairs at their front doors to chat and play backgammon.
Close to ancient landmarks
One of the beauties of the village is its closeness to some of Crete’s best-known sights. It’s around a 20-minute drive to the island capital, Heraklion, where historic leftovers include a 15th-century Venetian fortress. The painted colonnades and mosaic floors of the Palace of Knossos, 5 kilometres further south, also bear witness to the island’s flamboyant past. And while you’re here, pencil in some time to explore the Lassithi Plateau, 30 minutes’ drive inland. It’s a region of orange groves, vineyards, monasteries, and lost-in-time towns pressed against the mountainside.
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When it comes to dining out, the welcome is always warm at Analipsi’s restaurant-cafés, which clump along the seafront and…View details »