Giorgioupolis Holiday – relax by the azure sea
A fishing village turned popular tourist town, Giorgioupolis lies between the mountains and the sparkling blue Mediterranean on Crete’s north coast. Conveniently placed between Chania (Hania), with its lovely old quarter and modern airport, and the historic tourist town of Rethymnon, Giorgioupolis serves all ages and is particularly popular with families on package holidays.
The centre of town is lined with eucalyptus trees providing pleasant shade for al fresco dining, drinking and strolling, activities that continues around the harbour, with its unusual and picturesque little chapel out on a stony promontory. Giorgioupolis also boasts western Crete’s longest sandy beach.
Here the river Almyros meets the sea and close by are breeding grounds of the endangered loggerhead turtle and marshland full of birds, including kingfishers and egrets.
When to go to Giorgioupolis
Summer is the most popular time for a Giorgioupolis holiday – both for people and wildlife. It is a lovely place to be early and late in the season too, however, and these times are a lot cheaper than summer. Spring brings long days, wild flowers and newly-arrived migrant birdlife. In Autumn the sea is still warm enough for swimming and the sun often hot enough for sunbathing – and you will have a lot more space on the beach. Much of Giorgioupolis closes in the winter.
The weather in Giorgioupolis
Summers in Giorgioupolis are perfect for a beach holiday: hot, dry and sunny with daytime temperatures into the high twenties from June to September. May and October see peak temperatures in the low twenties and in April and November they hover around the 20ºC mark and there can be a bit more rain. Sea temperatures are over 20ºC from May to October and in August rise to a balmy 27 ºC.
Getting the best deal to Giorgioupolis
If you can avoid July and August and school holidays you will be in the best position to grab yourself a bargain Giorgioupolis holiday. Both flights and accommodation costs come down dramatically outside the summer peak. Booking well ahead or a the last minute can also be very helpful in reducing costs, so have a look at our best deals below or check out late offers here.
Airport and transport need to know
Giorgioupolis is about 50km from Chania (Hania) Airport (http://www.chania-airport.com/) to the west and 100km from Crete’s main international airport at Heraklion (Iraklio) (www.heraklion-airport.info) to the east. Between May and October there are direct flights into both airports from Gatwick and many other UK cities. Flying time is under four hours.
Crete has a good bus service (www.bus-service-crete-ktel.com) and Giorgioupolis is just off the main road between Chania and Heraklion via Rethymnon. The bus from Chania airport into Chania takes 30 minutes and costs €2.30 (about £2) and From Chania it takes only a little longer and another few euros to reach Giorgioupolis. The bus from Heraklion takes a couple of hours and costs around €10 (about £8).
Taxis and hire cars are available at both airports although it is often cheaper to organise your car hire before departing the UK. Taxi fares are officially regulated but do agree the price before travelling. For example, the 100km from Heraklion to Giorgioupolis should cost €129 (around £105).
The best beaches in Giorgioupolis
Crete has beaches for all types and tastes. It is the largest of the Greek islands and has everything from long open beaches of golden sand to hidden coves, rocky lagoons and off-shore islets. There are beaches backed by lively bars and loud music and peaceful green and rocky seascapes accompanied by nothing but the lapping of the water. All Crete’s coast has one crucial thing in common though: the deliciously inviting blue waters of the Mediterranean.
Giorgioupolis is so popular in part because of its long gently shelving sandy beach stretching 9km from the harbour. The atmosphere is relaxed and there are areas of the beach for all tastes. Parts are full of sun beds and umbrellas, water sports and bars/tavernas to provide refreshment. Other areas are just sand and azure sea. The water is cooler near town where the river spills out into the sea, and warmer further off.
A little way west is Almyrida on Souda Bay which has a long exposed beach particularly good for windsurfing. Kayaks can also be hired and there are speedboat trips to secluded coves. The area is less developed than Giorgioupolis but you won’t go hungry or thirsty.
For something a bit different, head 4km inland from Giorgioupolis to Crete’s only fresh water lake, Lake Kournas. A little tourist train runs here from Giorgioupolis in summer. The lake has a narrow stretch of sand and crystal clear waters that change colour with the light. It’s a lovely place to swim, take out a canoe or pedaloe, and watch the birds and turtles.