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.

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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 Apostoli , Crete
Agia Apostoli

Agia Apostolis & Chrissi Akti


Chrissi Akti, or Golden beach is a charming beachside village, with a great selection of tavernas, beach bars and mini markets, there are beach's galore, Chrissi Akti with its goldern arch of golden sands and gently shelving waters with Chania in the back drop, there is also the beaches of Agia Apostoli, Iguana and Kalamaki 

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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!

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Almerida & Plaka, Crete
Almerida & Plaka

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, overlooked by the charming village of Plaka.

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Armeni, Crete

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.

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Gavalochori, Crete

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.

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Koukounara, Crete

Koukounara, Kissamos

Just over 9kms inland from the shores of Kissamos Bay, the quiet village of Koukounara is perched on the hilltop reached by a road that passes through several small villages. A small cafeneon for the local gents is in the centre of the village whilst the large church with bell tower is at the edge of the village, as always the church has the best view in town

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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.

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Stalos, Crete

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!

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Sternes & Seitan limani, Crete
Sternes & Seitan limani

Just 15 minutes  drive from Chania airport, there isn’t a lot to the little village of Sternes, set on a hillside above the blue waters of Souda Bay - it is atypical Cretan - a true living village and not a tourist hot spot and so you are more likely to be eating with the locals at either of  the tavernas (one of which offers mouthwateringly gorgeous gyros amongst other delights) or shopping at the  small minimarket.

It is true to say that this is a relatively undiscovered gem of a destination with a wonderful choice of sandy beaches, and with Chania harbour a short drive away - your holiday can begin within minutes of leaving the airport. 

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Stylos & Samonas , Crete
Stylos & 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.

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Tavronitis/Kamisiana, Crete

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.

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Valsamonero nr Rethymnon, Crete
Valsamonero nr Rethymnon

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Varipetro, Crete

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 youve been looking for! Some 500 metres from the tiny village of Varipetro and reached by a gladed lane through the olive groves, Maros Spitaki (little house in Greek, but its a Villa With Pool In Crete) is destined to launch a thousand postcards!

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Vrisses & Georgioupolis, Crete
Vrisses & Georgioupolis

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 & Georgioupolis >>

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Villa Olivia , Crete Latest review - Villa Olivia , Crete
A Genuinely Outstanding Villa
"This was undoubtedly a 5 star holiday in excellent accommodation on the beautiful island of Crete. Villa Olivia is a perfect villa for a family of four. We were delighted with the quality of the accommodation and would definitely return. Thank you for your excellent service. We will always be using you in future as you guarantee quality. "
Ted E - Jul 2015