Crete, An introduction                   Freelance Holidays facebook page

As you laze at a sleepy taverna and marvel at the startling clarity of the deep ultramarine sea, sipping ice cold beer or Retsina, you will already have succumbed to the timeless magic of Greece.

The spirit of Crete is reflected large in the islands landscapes, its soaring mountains and fertile plains, in the palaces of the Crete Minoan era and the castles, mosques and minarets of Venetian and Turkish conquerors. Above all it is in the traditional hospitality of the Cretan people with their infectious love of life and enjoyment of simple pleasures. Thus Crete is a land for all temperaments, blending fascinating layers of history with a proud and thriving folklore in a powerfully beautiful setting.

Crete, however, is a land apart, a unique island with a vibrancy and sheer diversity, that weaves its own special sirens spell on all who visit her. Fringed by long sandy beaches, rocky coves and towering cliffs, the green but frequently rugged scenery is splashed with patches of vivid colour as wild flowers run riot through the fields and olive groves

Crete is a much larger island than most people imagine, being 280 km long and up to 64 km wide. There are still a surprising number of unspoilt areas of Crete as yet undiscovered by mass tourism where deserted beaches genuinely still exist and where you can still wine and dine in the local taverna for astonishingly low prices.

Western Crete & Chania

Still relatively uncommercialised and authentic, Western Crete & Chania just waits to be explored. Here, the magnificent White Mountains bestride the landscape and melted snow from their high slopes waters the fertile coastal plains, where orange, lemon and olive groves flourish and superb fruit and vegetables of every description grow in amazing profusion. This part of Crete also boasts some of the island best beaches, especially the coast west of Chania which is one 15 kilometre stretch of sandy beach rocky outcrops and bustling villages with numerous waterside tavernas. Inland and virtually untouched by tourism, Crete rural life continues at the same slow pace as it has for centuries and the visitor who ventures off the beaten track will be suitably rewarded with fabulous scenery and a friendly welcome at every wayside watering hole.

more +

Whether you're looking for a little hideaway cottage of local stone, a magnificent modern villa with private pool, or perhaps a Chania harbour side hotel or apartment in a small seaside town, you'll find that Crete has them all in amazing disparate profusion. Once you take the plunge and opt for a holiday away from the massed rows of beach side hotels and apartments in more popular resorts, you might be agreeably surprised to discover just how easy it is to live in a more natural Mediterranean environment and how rewarding it can be to meet the locals on equal terms in the village bakery, butchers or wayside fruit stall. Without doubt you will also begin to understand the real meaning of filoxenia, the Greek word for hospitality to foreigners, still a way of life in rural Crete, where good Samaritans always stop to extend a helping hand and even the poorest shepherd will offer you a glass of fiery raki in the local cafenion by way of a welcome.

Where Freelance Holidays go in Crete

We have the best Crete Villas, Apartments & Village Houses in the best parts of Crete from Agia Paraskevi to Varipetro. If you are looking for a Cretan mountain village, seaside location or harbour side position we have the place just for you. We have spent time in all the areas we cover, so if you have a question, please call us on 0044 1789 297705.

See all the areas we go to in Crete and where are Crete Villas are located:

Agia Paraskevi, Crete
Agia Paraskevi

Hidden away on the south coast between Agia Galini and Moni Preveli and a good 2 hours drive from Chania Airport, the tiny hamlet of Agia Paraskevi, stands high on the hillside looking out over the Lybian Sea. Virtually abandoned for 25 years, the village has over the past decade been slowly restored and brought back to life and now provides the ultimate place to unwind!

...More about Agia Paraskevi >>

Almerida , Crete
Almerida

22 km east of Chania, Almerida, this pretty little seaside village has two gently shelving sandy beaches fringed by sleepy waterside tavernas as well as a small fishing harbour and little rocky coves, with the sea a marvellous melange of colours from deep aquamarine to a pastel turquoise.

...More about Almerida >>

Armeni, Crete
Armeni

Something of a foodies paradise, the village of Armeni is notable for its large shady plain trees lining the main street where you will find a choice of simple cafenions and three excellent tavernas. There is also a small mini -market and amazingly, a well stocked delicatessen with wonderful local cheeses, yoghurt and charcuterie as well as a large choice of frozen fish! Of a morning, fresh bread is delivered to the cafenion on the small triangular central square, you'll see what we mean! Nearby Kalives (approx 5min drive) 18 km east of Chania and strung along the edge of Souda Bay, Kalives is still very much a Greek village that has taken tourism in its stride and the bustling main street reflects the status quo with local shops, mini markets, tavernas and cafes happily doing business with all and sundry.

...More about Armeni >>

Douliana, Crete
Douliana

20km east of Chania with truly spectacular views of Crete\'s White Mountains, this idyllic little village perched atop a hill overlooking Souda Bay is surrounded by olive groves and terraced farmland criss-crossed by drystone walls and ancient Byzantine donkey paths. ...More about Douliana >>

Gavalochori, Crete
Gavalochori

In the centre of the scenic Apokoronou Penisula, 3.5 km inland from Almirida and at the end of a green and wooded valley leading down to the sea, the village of Gavalohori has enjoyed something of a renaissance. This is in part thanks to a woman's co-operative where they make and sell local handicrafts such as lace and silk products. Many of the houses have been renovated in traditional fashion and the village has a pleasant air of both rural charm and prosperity.

...More about Gavalochori >>

Kalamaki, Crete
Kalamaki

5 kilometres west of Chania, this small resort boasts a number of sheltered sandy beaches. There are a number of small local supermarkets as well as numerous tavernas scattered along the beach, which is gently shelving and an ideal venue for the bucket and spade brigade.

...More about Kalamaki >>

Kerames, Crete
Kerames

Turning off the road after passing through the pretty spa village of Spili, you are entering a different world. As you wind towards the coast, first climbing upward towards the tiny village of Akounda, with its wonderful old wash house hidden away amongst its tiny streets, followed by equally tiny, Ardaktos then turning and winding before you cross over the ridge and catch site of the Libyan sea stretching below. Then begins the downward stretch of the journey, passing through more tiny villages where life continues in much the same way as it has for centuries, then at last, Kerames balancing on the hillside. ...More about Kerames >>

Koukounara, Crete
Koukounara

...More about Koukounara >>

Megala Horafia, Crete
Megala Horafia

Some 12 km from Chania and perched atop a thyme-covered hillside overlooking the islands of Souda Bay the small village of Megala Horafia with a population circa 300, still boasts a church or two, plus a local kafenion, three tavernas and a thriving economy based on sheep and honey! The panoramic views of the distant mountains are quite remarkable. ...More about Megala Horafia >>

Meskla, Crete
Meskla

Just 25mins drive inland from Chania, this lovely mountainous village stretches along the river between the hills. Part of the village is on the hillside whilst the centre has a lovely taverna, cafe & beautiful twin tower church. Meskla is a the foot of the White Mountains & is a real treat to discover what life in Cretan village is all about. It is easy to explore inland or head for the coast from Meskla. ...More about Meskla >>

Paleohora, Crete
Paleohora

Beguilingly known as the jewel of the Libyan Sea this laid back village stands on a promontory fringed on one side by a long sandy beach, whilst on the other side a pretty little harbour borders a pebble beach that stretches off into the wild blue yonder. ...More about Paleohora >>

Samonas, Crete
Samonas

Charming Cretan Village of Samanos enjoys breathtaking sea views, most famous for the nearby Byzantine Church Of Ag Nickolas and the most fantastic taverana, 6km down hill is the village of Stylos famous for its natural spring, this is the source for the popular Samaria bottled water and many others, 6 or 7 fantastic tavernas, minimarkets, and a bakery.

...More about Samonas >>

Sfinari, Crete
Sfinari

17km from Kastelli, betwixt the rugged mountains and the endless blue sea, on the very far western tip of Crete, Sfinari nestles in the folds of olive green hillsides, a haphazard scattering of little white houses and with a main street somewhat shorter than the braking distance of the local bus from Kastelli, which invariably grinds to a halt beyond the last house!

...More about Sfinari >>

Spilia , Crete
Spilia

A thirty minute drive west of Chania, Spilia is one of many small and timeless Cretan villages happily set back just far enough from the coast road to remain virtually untouched by tourism. It nevertheless gets a mention in some guide books for its impressive church, Panagia Mertiotissa where there is also a tiny museum housing a number of Byzantine icons

...More about Spilia >>

Stalos, Crete
Stalos

7 km west of Chania, the village of Lower Stalos fringes a long, sandy beach with the island of Theodorou, said to be a petrified sea monster, rising from the sea just a short distance off shore. 1km inland the small village of Upper Stalos nestles serenely on the hillside amidst a patchwork of vineyards and olive groves. Here you will find a slower pace of life as well as a couple of the best local tavernas in the area, both certainly worth a visit or two!

...More about Stalos >>

Tavronitis/Kamisiana, Crete
Tavronitis/Kamisiana

30 km west of Chania, the village of Tavronitis stands at the point where the north coast road sends an exploratory spur wriggling southwards over the mountains to Paleohora. Tourism still remains pretty low key and the village retains an authentic ambience with particularly friendly shopkeepers delighted to have the opportunity to practise their English.

...More about Tavronitis/Kamisiana >>

Varipetro, Crete
Varipetro

If you would like to stay in a Villa With Pool In Crete, just for 2 within striking distance of Chania and are looking for a double bed, luxury pool, plus peace and quiet in a Cretan Garden of Eden, then this is the mixture of metaphors you’ve been looking for! Some 500 metres from the tiny village of Varipetro and reached by a gladed lane through the olive groves, Maro’s Spitaki (little house in Greek, but its a Villa With Pool In Crete) is destined to launch a thousand postcards! ...More about Varipetro >>

Vrisses, Crete
Vrisses

Although Georgioupolis with its lovely sandy beaches is now a thriving seaside resort it still retains a pleasing rural ambience. Tavernas and cafes surround the bustling village. In Vrisses, huge Plane trees line the road where you will find mini-markets, a bank and a bakery (do try the cheese pies). In the morning this is a bustling little town, but by mid-day the pace slows and the tavernas spread their tables out towards the banks of the river Voutakis

...More about Vrisses >>

Villa Local Service
There if you need us 24/7
Villa Local Service
Crete Car Hire
See the full selection >>>
Crete Car Hire
No Hidden Extras
Our Rental Price includes everything >>
No Hidden Extras
Independent Feedback
Gold Trusted Merchant >>
Independent Feedback
Villa Nikoletta, Crete Latest review - Villa Nikoletta, Crete
Authentic Crete
"I loved the privacy and the fact that it was in a real Crete village. The outside space is amazing and the Villa and gardens were clean. Thank you for the complimentary wine and snacks- it was very thoughtful of you!!!"
D - Jun 2015