For relaxation and rest, only Saint Pelagia is the best
Agia Pelagia is a small seaside tourist town located on the northern coast of Crete: about 12 mi from the city of Heraklion. It gives an easy access to the international airport – 20 minutes from the resort town.
A quiet fishing village, until recently, has now become a modern tourist resort with a developed infrastructure, one of the most popular and demanded in the Heraklion area. The local population here is only about a thousand people, but most of the year Agia Pelagia is very crowded due to the incoming tourists.
Almost 4 decades ago Capsis company has seen a potential in extraordinary beauty of this place, and today the Capsis Beach Hotel is one of the largest, and most luxurious hotels on Crete. Its territory occupies the whole western side of the local bay. Of course, there are now many other hotels, villas and apartments where you can relax with comfort.
When choosing a hotel or villa, one must take into account the peculiarity of the local landscape. Agia Pelagia has been built in the in form of an amphitheater, and the further the shelter is from the shore the higher it will be above the sea level. Therefore, the high located hotels will be more suitable for tourists who like to go for a walk or to the owners of rented cars. If you are not a hiker, then look for an accommodation near the beach. However, then you can not enjoy the beautiful view from above.
Agia Pelagia received its name from the medieval monastery of St. Pelagia, which was a metochion of the famous at the time of the Venetians power in Crete monastery of Savvathianon located south of the village of Agia Pelagia, on the road leading from the village of Rodia. Unfortunately, only a church of the 12th century remained from the monastery of St. Pelagia.
It’s supposed that even earlier here was located the ancient town of Apollonia destroyed by Cydonia in 171 BC. A little to the north of the bay of Agia Pelagia, in the town of Kladissos, there were interesting archeological finds: in the rocks carved dome-shaped tombs of the Late Minoan period, dating from 4th century BC, as well as a ceramic workshop and dwellings built at different times, beginning from the Middle-Minoan until the Roman period. But, despite the rich history of the previously located at this place town, the settlement of Agia Pelagia appeared here not so long time ago – only in 1965, when unremarkable lands began to be bough from local residents at a very low prices; and then no one could guess what popularity the settlement will find decades later. Now there are there supermarkets, various other shops, restaurants, cafés and taverns, pharmacies, rental offices of any type of transport, sightseeing companies, etc. For lovers of Greek cuisine, there is a large selection of taverns stretched along the entire central beach. If you consider yourself to be a gourmet, we advise you to visit the restaurant “Alati”: it means salt in Greek. Here you can taste refined Greek cuisine with stress on modernity.
The beach season lasts from April to November, which is very convenient when planning vacation although one needs to book a hotel or villa in advance. In the spring-summer time the average temperature is about 27º. The hottest months are July and August, in the remaining months the weather is perfect for those who do not like exhausting heat, appreciate pleasant temperatures and water as smooth as silk.
The main advantage of the resort of Agia Pelagia is the protection of the bay from winds: due to its location, the sea always remains here relatively calm even during the coming from north tempest. A wonderful beach allows adults traveling with little children to relax here.
The main sandy beach of the resort is extended but rather narrow, and water seems here green. The Turks called the Gulf of Agia Pelagia Çanak limanı. The port reminded them of a pot: “çanak” in Turkish. The beach offers many opportunities for water sports, scuba diving, there are also umbrellas. Many good taverns as well as various little restaurants and bars are facing the beach.
In the northern part of the beach, there is a cave called Evrisi (Revelation) with a small icon being to remind of another icon of St. Pelagia reveled there some centuries ago. Therefore it has been built here the well known on the island monastery of Agia Pelagia. Thousands of believers came to the beach on the Day of the Saint, removed all their clothing and buried themselves in the sand to cure their diseases.