Friday, 26 July 2013

Rent a car from Heraklion... with you dog

Yesterday I had a wander through Heraklion, stopping to ask in almost every car rental place if they allowed dogs in their rental cars. The responses were frustrating to say the least. I think I am going to end up repeating myself time and again in this blog, but the main conclusions I reached yesterday were three-fold, and apply to almost every aspect of travel with your dog:

1) Companies do not have written policies about whether they accept animals 

This means it's up to the individuals, how they are feeling on the day, whether they themselves like animals etc. It means they can change their minds when they see you and your dog, and that you can't refer to any official written rules of the company.

2) Size matters 

This is particularly frustrating to me, and it's something I meet whether I'm asking in hotels, restaurants, car hire places, everywhere..... either you are dog-friendly, or you are not.

3) The smaller, independent companies tend to be more dog-friendly/dog tolerant than the larger chains
Research so far shows this to be the case with accommodation, car hire, bars and restaurants.

I've listed (below) the companies that I asked at yesterday, and given their responses. Again, I'd like to emphasise that this is down to the individuals I spoke to, and you may get different responses. I would absolutely recommend that you contact the car hire company beforehand, and be honest about the size and breed of your dog - I doubt the company would turn you away if you had an agreement, but just make sure that everybody knows what they are agreeing to. I'll try to update this information asap with companies based in towns and resorts outside of the Heraklion area.


Head Office:  Heraklion, 25th August Street    Tel: 0030 2810 300150
Other offices: Hersonissos (Tel: 0030 28970 24734) and Stalis (Tel: 0030 28970 31233)

The only company who told me straight away, with no hesitation, that they would allow dogs in their cars.
This is a small, independent company, with pretty low prices. I would recommend trying this one first.


Offices all over Greece.
Heraklion, 25th August Street   Tel: 0030 2810 300744
Also offices at Heraklion Airport, Chania, Rethymnon etc

A mixed response. I was told there was no general company policy. The final answer was "Yes", as long as any damages were paid by the customer. This seems fair.
Prices for Hertz are generally higher than for the smaller companies, but you will find offices all over Crete, so may be more convenient.

Head Office:  Heraklion, 25th August Street   Tel: 0030 2810 289462

Again, a slightly unsure response. In summary - if the dog does not shed too much hair they will be permitted, regardless of size (e.g. bulldog 'yes', german shepherd 'maybe not'). They also said the dog should be transported in the boot of the car, and that any damages/cleaning should be paid for by the customer. This all seems fair, but is a little open to interpretation.
Small independent company, prices seem reasonable

Office: Heraklion, 25th August Street   Tel: 0030 2810 221609

Hmmmmm. They were very reluctant to commit, especially when I said I would post the information online. Restrictions would apply - they would prefer if you had a carrier, and protected seats etc for damage/dirt.

This is a very small company, reasonable prices.

Not dog-friendly

Office: Heraklion, 25th August Street (and many others, check website)

Staff were very helpful and friendly here. I was told that this was not a general policy, but they themselves would NOT permit animals, as some customers have specifically asked for cars that have not been used to transport animals.

InteRoad (
Office: Heraklion, 25th August Street   Tel: 0030 2810 284635

Again, very friendly, helpful staff. They even told me they themselves had dogs, and understood how difficult it can be. However, they said dogs are NOT allowed in any rental car, from any rental company, theirs included.

It seems that if you have a small dog, especially in a carrier, you will face less problems hiring cars. If you have a large dog, you may need to shop around. I would try the smaller companies first, and be upfront about the size of your dog.

Needless to say, be respectful of the cars, protect seats, and return the car in a good, clean condition.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Flying... with your dog

At Larnaca Airport

We just began out Cretan holiday!!

The flight was fine, but the whole experience is a bit traumatic for all of us. As we had flown before, we had already done some research about how to arrange it. Here is a list:

  • Check with the airlines whether they accept animals. The budget ones (EasyJet, Ryanair) tend not to carry animals at all. Hopefully this will change, it's probably worth checking. If you can't find the information on their websites, just ring up and ask

  • Check what requirements the particular airline has. Most request that you provide a cage for your dog. It is supposed to be large enough so the dog can stand up, and turn around. It should have a very secure door. These can be bought from most pet shops, or you could search online for discounts. For long journeys, it is essential to provide access to water

  • We have flown twice with Cyprus Airways. They require that you phone to check whether they can accept pets on the dates you want to fly. When we flew at Christmas, I was told that we couldn't fly on a particular day as some cats had already booked tickets for that day! Try to arrange as far in advance as possible to avoid disappointment

  • Within Europe, there are not too many regulations:
  1. Your dog must have a microchip for identification
  2. You also need a European passport for your dog (available from your vet)
  3. Your dog must have up to date vaccination - for rabies 
  4. Up to date tapeworm treatment
  5. A stamp from your vet to certify that your dog is fit to travel
  • I would recommend that you organise the microchip and passport some days before you plan to travel. Give yourself time 

  • If you are an overly anxious parent, as I am, it may be worth going to the vet a week prior to travel anyway, to tell them your travel plans, and to arrange an appointment for the final check up - just to make sure they have time to see you, and there is nothing you have forgotten

  • Go to your vet 2 days before flying so they can stamp your dog's passport to show they have been examined and are fit to fly. Also to take the pills against tapeworm.
You are ready to fly...

Airlines charge different amounts for transportation of animals. Again, check with the airline before you book. 

Sage's carrier cost 140 Euros from a pet shop. I am sure I could have shopped around for a bargain online, but I was pushed for time. Smaller carriers, for smaller dogs, inevitably cost less. The bottom half of her carrier serves as a bed when we are not traveling. This helps her to feel familiar and safe when it comes time to travel.

Sage had the microchip implanted as a deal from the animal welfare charity when she was neutered. A quick search online just now showed that prices vary from about 30-50 Euros - you could check with your local animal welfare group to see whether you can get it done more cheaply/for free. 

In Crete, I paid 20 Euros for the pet passport, and for the vet to examine Sage and validate the passport. The second time we flew, from Cyprus, I paid 30 Euros just for the check up and tapeworm treatment. These prices depend on the charges of your vet.

Finally, the big one, when we flew from Crete to Cyprus at Christmas, Cyprus Airways were charging by the kilo for the transportation of animals. The fees were 7.50 Euros per kilo. Sage weighed in at 30 kilos, plus the weight of the carrier - we paid 280 Euros (one way!!) They have since changed the pricing system, now you pay a set fee if your dog is up to 20 kilos, another fee up to 30 kilos etc. It cost 160 Euros, one way, for Sage and the carrier. 

Again, I expect every airport has a different procedure, and every airline a different system for booking, pricing, paying etc. Our journey was quite straight forward:

  • We turned up early to the airport, with Sage already in her carrier, and went straight to the check in desk. They re-directed us to a counter that was for people with special travel requirements. 
  • We tried to weigh her on the suitcase belt, but the carrier was too big. The staff of the airline just asked us her weight and charged us accordingly. Stricter airlines may make you weigh the animal in front of them.
  • I went to pay at the desk for excess luggage charges (luggage handler for several airlines). 
  • We went outside to wait, so as not to check our 'special luggage' earlier than necessary. We made sure she had a drink of water.
  • When it was time, we went to the area where you check oversized luggage. Here we had to take her out of the carrier, so they could scan the carrier. I walked through security with her on the lead. Then I got her back into the carrier (by means of a couple of treats - useful to have with you if your dog is as greedy as mine), and then had to leave her waiting on a conveyer belt to be carried out to the plane.
I then went through security as normal, and waited to find her on the other side....

The worst part of all of this was at Heraklion airport, when we arrived in Crete. I suppose this is a hazard of flying in the summer months. There were too many flights landing, chaos in the airport, people pushing and shoving for their luggage, and nobody to ask where to collect our dog. I admit I got in a bit of a panic. There was nobody at the luggage handling desk, and nobody seemed to know anything. Finally, as our luggage started to arrive on the belt, I heard a little bark somewhere close by through the crowd, and she was sitting there in her carrier, looking relieved to see me. You don't need to know that I cried just a little, out of relief!

A final note....

For Sage's first flight, we gave her sedatives. It was recommended by the vet, and I thought it would be a good idea. It wasn't. It was horrible. I have since read that this is not generally recommended as the dog is not able to balance during the flight as the plane moves around. It may also lead to respiratory and cardiovascular problems due to the increased pressure. I suppose if your dog is particularly anxious, and it is necessary to fly, consult your vet to see if there are alternatives to sedatives that your dog could take. For Sage, considering it was a short flight (1 hour 15 minutes), I decided not to sedate her for her second flight. It may  have been more traumatic, I don't know, but she certainly recovered from it MUCH more quickly, and was her old self within minutes, instead of the 2 days she took to recover the 
previous time. For more information on sedating animals for transport, see: 

And so here we are, ready to start exploring, and blogging about all our experiences from our holidays in Crete

On the beach at Ammoudara

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Enjoy the bars and cafes of Heraklion... with your dog

Sage at Palio Kafe, Heraklion
I actually think Heraklion is a fairly dog-friendly city. There are quite a few small parks and places for quick walks, as well as the city walls, a small patch of beach that nobody goes to, the Venetian harbour, dog friendly cafes in the middle of the city parks etc etc. And look what I found last time I was in Heraklion................. !!!!!!
Outside a shop on (I think)
Leoforos Dimokratias, Heraklion city centre

I've never seen Dog Parking before. I'm sure it exists in other countries, but I thought this was quite 'progressive' for Crete. I don't know how many times I've tried to tie Sage outside a shop, to pop in quickly to buy something, and not found anywhere safe to leave her.

So, leaving tavernas and restaurants for a later post, I just thought I'd mention one or two drinking places in Heraklion that have welcomed my friends and I with our beasts.

Dog Friendly

Palio Kafe
Kagiampi 13 (behind the main church - Agios Minas)
This is a very relaxed, low-key street cafe, which sells beer, wine, raki and a basic range of meze dishes. They have always been friendly and allowed us to sit outside, even with 2 dogs. It's usually warm enough to sit outside, even through most of the winter.

Biscotto (ΜΠΙΣΚΟΤΟ-BISCOTTO/130079446759)
Chandakos 36, heading down towards the sea
I've sat outside here with Sage a few times. They have outdoor heaters, so unless it is raining you can enjoy a coffee (or amazing hot chocolate, with loads of biscuits) on the comfortable sofas outside, with your dog. I've been there with Sage and a quite hefty bull dog, and the staff were still fine with us being there.

Leontaria Square
Sage and I at Kirkor
This place really does have the most amazing bougatsa (filo pastry with
sweetened Cretan cheese or custard and loads of cinnamon). I've been here
loads of times, most recently with Sage and my parents, and sat outside for coffee and bougatsa. They've always been very welcoming.

Guernica (
Andreou Kritis 7  (from Chandakos towards the sea, take a left and it's hidden away down a dark side street)
I haven't been back here since it was renovated in 2012, so I'm not sure they still welcome dogs inside. This place stays open very late, plays loud old school rock music, and attracts quite a young crowd. It's always quite nice to sit under the huge tree in the courtyard and drink a few beers. In the winter, mid week, you could take your dog inside - they had a small fireplace and it could be quite cosy. At the weekend, this would be very overwhelming, noisy and smokey for a dog (and for some of their owners!), so best avoided. The staff have always been very friendly to Sage, and I've seen other dogs inside.

Lakouva (λακουβα/431657050184029)
Zotou Kosma 11, Ayios Dimitrios Square
At Lakouva (with 3 dogs!)
This small raki bar (rakadiko) is hidden away down a side street and can be hard to find. They serve cheap, but good raki, and various mezedes, including quite a few Turkish and Middle Eastern dishes (lahmajun, tabouli salad etc.) We sat outside, with our 3 dogs (Sage and a couple of her friends), and nobody complained. There are often one or two small dogs running around this small pedestrian street.

Meramvellou (pedestrian street near Korai)
At Sfakianou
This small bar mainly sells raki (as well as beer and wine) and mezedes. It's on a lively street, great for people watching, with very reasonable prices. They had no problem with us sitting outside with Sage and Betty. We ended up drinking a lot more than we'd planned, and eating a small plate of mezedes, and only paid about €10.

Dukas Art Cafe (
Gerasimou Pardali 5 (on a side street near the church of Ayios Minas)
This is a really great bar with some of the most interesting decor (the owner buys and sells antiques), as well as music, that I have found in Heraklion. I must note here that we once tried to sit inside with a dog, during the winter, and were turned away. However, they don't have any problem with you sitting at the tables outside with your 4-legged friends. They serve the typical menu and the food is good, although we've mostly come here for drinks.

This is really just a small selection. Heraklion is bursting with bars and cafes; you can always find somewhere to sit outside with your dog, to enjoy a beer or a coffee and watch the world go by. Sitting inside with your dog is a little bit more difficult. I have found that tavernas have been more dog-friendly than bars in this respect - so I'll post dog-friendly tavernas/restaurants asap.

View Dog-friendly bars in Heraklion, Crete in a larger map

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Hiking around Mount Juktas on the E4... with your dog

Today's post stars another of Sage's friends - a 5 year old (mixed breed) called Poppy. Having been adopted by an energetic, nature-loving couple, Poppy has probably covered more hiking routes around Crete than anyone else I know.
Poppy at the peak of Mount Juktas
Poppy spent some time on the E4 long distance path that runs through Crete (more or less East-West). In particular, she hiked a section of the E4 between Archanes and Profitis Ilias. A brilliant website describes numerous walks of different difficulties and durations:

It gives this description of the Archanes-Profitis Ilias route: "... from Archanes to Ano Asites, perched on the west of the Ida range of mountains. On the south-western side of Archanes, a rather pretty trail skirts the southern side of Mount Juktas, and half an hour after setting off, you can reach the mountain's other side. You may spot E4 sign followed soon after, as you head north. Another sign suggests that you could head west, but you could also find yet another sign painted onto the side of the mountain to continue walking North. This will take you through a village before heading west to the village of Profitis Ilias and the church of Pouka..."

I think that description says it all. There are sign-posted paths, but the trails are often hard to follow. You should equip yourself with a map and know your route before you set out, unless you are happy to just wander.
On the way up Mount Juktas

I've also climbed up Mount Juktas, although I didn't continue along the E4 afterwards. Sage and I walked up on the road that climbs right up to the church at the top. It was a longish walk, but fairly easy. We did this at Easter last year, April time, so it wasn't too hot. Along the road there are all sorts of wild flowers and herbs growing, and the smell of wild sage and thyme is incredible.

At the top of Yuktas, apart from a modern church, and incredible views (those that Poppy is admiring in the photos), there is also a Minoan peak sanctuary. This peak sanctuary is somewhat grander than most found around Crete (and there are quite a few!), arguably because it seems to have served the Minoan Palace at Knossos. This site was first excavated by Arthur Evans in the early 20th century, then again from the 1974-90 by Alexandra Karetsou. The exact nature of rituals that took place at peak sanctuaries is still debated by scholars, although it is clear that they combine central factors such as: pilgrimage up to the site; dedication of offerings (clay figurines, but probably food and/or wine too); and feasting. There is a fence around the peak sanctuary, but the site is mostly visible from outside.

A second archaeological site which is of interest is found further down the slopes of Juktas. This small but significant site - Anemospilia - was excavated in '79 by Y.Sakellerakis, and was said  to preserve evidence of human sacrifice.  A building had collapsed and preserved a group of figures, said to be in the midst of a ritual. The argument continued that perhaps they were enacting a drastic ritual to prevent the very earthquake that interrupted and killed them. Anemospilia is fenced off and closed to the public. There is very little to see except the foundations of three narrow rooms, overgrown with weeds. It is a place to visit and think about the story, to wonder whether the peace-loving Minoans actually committed such acts, rather than a place to marvel at what remains.

At the summit of Profitis Ilias
I love this photo of Poppy and my friends on Profitis Ilias. I especially like the ubiquitous plastic container for water that features in all my hiking photos too. We haven't been there, but it looks like there are some wonderful views from the top. There are also the remains of a Byzantine fortress, built after the Byzantines recaptured the island from the Arabs. The fortress keeps the name given during the Ottoman period - Kanli Kasteli, or Blood-painted Castle. For more information see:

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Naturally, in addition to the E4, there are numerous paths to explore, mountains to climb, gorge's to hike through... There are nature trails that lead along the coast, passing by endless deserted coves and inviting places to stop for a swim. There are trails that wind up through the mountains, yielding views of coast, fertile plains, valleys, more mountains. There are yet more trails that link small villages, isolated churches, fields and agriculture, archaeological sites.... You can pretty much head out of any Cretan town and just start walking. Or you can go to any one of a number of websites and find routes mapped that will ensure that you find water, shade, places to stay, manageable hikes etc, depending on your criteria.
A useful map of the E4 long distance path through the whole of Crete can be found (in French):
For detailed maps and descriptions of E4 routes in the Heraklion region, have a look at:

Various walking blogs have described adventures on the Cretan section of the E4, such as:
Poppy at home, drying off after a winter hike

Friday, 12 July 2013

Coffee, a wander, then another coffee... Archanes... with your dog

View of Mount Juktas from Archanes
Reaching the end of my photos of Sage in our favourite Cretan places, I asked various friends to send me photos they had taken of us, or of their own dogs on days out. For this reason you will notice that these photos of Archanes are absolutely stunning, and nothing like the amateur shots you see on my other posts. Last Spring, a couple of friends came out to visit us in Crete, and we spent a morning in Archanes, exploring the narrow streets that lead downhill to Mount Juktas, nosing in the windows of abandoned houses and shops, admiring the plants that fill every courtyard.

I've only just seen these photos myself, and it's really interesting to me to see the town as it appears to a new visitor, especially one who expresses himself through visual images, although not normally through photography    (have a look at his work here:

I love Archanes. It's so close to Heraklion, yet has a completely different feel to it. The houses and streets have mostly been renovated, and there is very little sign of the rapid development, the blocks of flats and excessive concrete, that is evident in much of Crete.

I also love the way the town is kind of nestled in the foothills of Juktas. It is not a dramatically high mountain, but has been important in the area for millennia (at the peak there is a rural sanctuary dating to the Minoan period and linked with the Palace of Knossos). The mountain is supposed to have the shape of the profile of Zeus when viewed from a particular angle, but perhaps I've never been at that particular angle, because it doesn't look much like him to me.

Excavations have been undertaken in and around Archanes for almost a century, with some of the 'big names' of Minoan archaeology - Sir Arthur Evans, Spyridon Marinatos, Nikolaos Platon, and Yiannis Sakellerakis - each leading campaigns in the area. The most thorough excavations were carried out by the late Yiannis Sakellerakis from the mid 1960s. He led excavations in the Minoan cemetery Phourni, outside of Archanes, as well as the 'Palatial' site within the town itself. For further reading, try the guide by the excavators:

  • Sakellarakis, J. and E. Crete, Archanes ISBN 960-213-234-5 (Guidebook). Most of the f
  • inds are now displayed in Archanes archaeological museum.

    The official pages of the Ministry of Culture can be found here:

    Apart from wandering through some really picturesque streets, and exploring archaeological sites (from outside the fence if you have your dog with you), there are many cafes and tavernas, in the square and on some of the side streets - I have found a few of them to be dog-friendly.

    On this particular day, we sat outside in the square at "O Apostolis" kafeneio. We had both Sage and her friend Betty with us, and the cafe was fine about them sitting quietly at our feet. This place is very much a traditional cafe, selling mostly just coffee, beer and raki. It's cheap, and dog-friendly.
    Betty at the kafeneio in Archanes Square

    There are quite a few stray dogs that roam the streets and especially the square of Archanes. I've always found them very docile and no problem at all, but you should probably bear it in mind when you visit.

    On a previous occasion I sat inside at a taverna with Sage, when my parents came to visit on a cold and rainy day in October. I have just spent more than an hour searching for the name of this place online, and not finding it. I'll go and find out when I'm in Crete this summer. It was a very nice place, next to the kafeneio on the same side of the square. They had good, warm food, ready made but fresh. The prices were very reasonable. Most importantly, they were extremely friendly to us and to Sage, and made us feel very welcome.

    There was a second taverna that I didn't manage to find online - so many reasons to go back and eat and drink in Archanes! - where I went with a group of friends this autumn, and again sat inside. This taverna was not on the main square, but off one of the side streets, and was decorated with lots of traditional Cretan musical instruments and equipment for weaving. The food was reasonable, but I don't remember now what we ate or exact prices (about 12 Euros per person for wine and meze). Sage was tolerated, the staff were fine about her sitting indoors.

    For such a small town there is really a lot to do and see here. I'm going to post separately about hiking in the area, as there is too much to say. It also seems like most of the cafes and restaurants at least tolerate dogs, and most welcome them. It's really worth spending some time exploring Archanes, especially if you are looking for a break from Heraklion and the busy north coast of Crete.

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    Wednesday, 10 July 2013

    Enjoy the old city and harbour of Chania... with your dog

    We have a cameo appearance in today's blog from Betty, a 3 year old Kokoni. Betty was adopted from a Cretan dog shelter by some friends of mine. She pretty much goes everywhere with them these days.
    Betty at my friend's art exhibition in the Giali Tzamisi Mosque, Chania harbour
    Although based in Heraklion, Crete, she recently spent quite a bit of time in Chania at my friend's art exhibition which was housed in the 17th century Giali Tzamisi Mosque, on the harbour. An article, in Greek, about his work and exhibitions can be found here:ένας-αυστραλός-ήρθε-στην-κρήτη-κι-έμεινε
    Looking out towards Chania harbour lighthouse
    from the mosque
    Being quite a bit smaller than Sage, and white and fluffy, it is probably true that places which would turn a blind eye to Betty coming in might not tolerate larger, more conspicuous dogs.

    Betty has stayed at the Morfeas Nest Rent Rooms, near to the old harbour, on two occasions.
    The rooms look nice, there is a roof terrace with views of the old town, free Wi-Fi, and they advertise on their website that:
    Pets are allowed on request with no extra charges. 
    Prices vary according to season, so best to contact them for more information.

    I have also been around the old town in Chania with Sage. One afternoon in September we sat outside at the last cafe around the Venetian Harbour, opposite the lighthouse. This is the quietest, calmest part of the harbour, and a little easier to find an out of the way spot. I'm not sure how it would be, however, to walk along the harbour in the height of summer with a Sage-sized dog.

    I would really appreciate any suggestions of dog-friendly hotels/hostels/rent rooms, as well as tavernas and bars in Chania. Please add a comment, and I'll go and investigate this summer with Sage.

    Thursday, 4 July 2013

    Eat lunch at Toplou Monastery... with your dog

    This is one of the most peaceful cafes I have ever been to. I've been going to the cafe at Toplou Monastery since I first spent time in the Sitia area for an excavation in 2003. I've taken every guest who's come to see me in Crete up there. And I've gone there with Sage many times (together with her friend Mayia once).

    Why do I love it so much? I think it has to do with the very hushed, respectful atmosphere, due to the monastery next door. It is also wonderfully shady, from vines growing overhead, complete with hanging bunches of grapes in late summer. All around the Monastery are pots full of gigantic cacti and succulent plants. The area of Toplou is extremely arid, it's perched on top of an almost totally barren hill. So there is something about the shady, peaceful cafe that gives the impression of an oasis.

    They have a fairly limited menu; it's a kind of salad, omelette, chips type of place - great for lunch after a swim at one of the small beaches close to Itanos or Vai. I have often been there just for a slow coffee with a newspaper.

    I would definitely recommend that you ask politely whether your dog can sit (on his/her lead) at your side. I have never had any problems however, even with two dogs. If you want to see inside the Monastery, and it is well worth it for the Byzantine icons, documents and engravings that they have on display, you would have to leave your dog with a friend and take turns. There is no shade at all to leave your dog anywhere outside.

    The official page of the Ministry of Culture for Toplou Monastery:

    While you're there, take the time to look at the small shop selling hand woven rugs, throws, and garments! The woman working there has a loom inside the shop, and may give demonstrations if you ask.

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    Tuesday, 2 July 2013

    Stay at the Philoxenia Rooms, Agathias...with your dog

    There are so many lovely places to stay in this part of East Crete. You could stay up in the larger village of Palaikastro, or down by the beach at Kouremenos, or hidden away among the olive groves that separate the villages from the sea... I will be spending all of September in this area this year, so I'll fill this section out with lots more details then.

    For the time being, the only place I have stayed in the Palaikastro area, with my dog, was at the Philoxenia Rooms in the beautiful village of Agathias. Unfortunately, I don't have a better photo, so you'll just have to take my word for it.
    Entrance to Philoxenia Rooms, Agathias, Palaikastro
    The rooms are very clean, a good size, and reasonable (I think we paid about 35 Euro per night in high season), with air conditioning, fridge, tv. They also have some of the nicest views in the whole of East Crete (in my opinion, that is). From the balconies on the backside of the building, you have views out over a sea of silvery-green olive trees, to the characteristic boxey shape of Kastri mountain down at the shore, and the long sweep of Kouremenos bay.
    View of Kastri from Chiona Beach

    I have known the owners here for a few years, and they are a really lovely, friendly couple. They were absolutely fine about Sage staying in the room, and made a bit of a fuss of her whenever we saw them. I don't know if it's a policy to allow pets, but they were very accommodating and relaxed about it.

    We had a really nice few days staying here. I love the beaches in this area, there are so many small coves and places to escape to, as well as the larger, more well-known beaches such as Vai and Itanos which are close by. The village of Agathias is much more beautiful than Palaikasto, with some of the traditional old houses remaining. The streets are narrow and the whole village is balanced on a steep hill - it's exhausting just going back to your room at the end of an evening.

    From here you can climb up to the Minoan sanctuary of Petsofas, for some really breathtaking views of the mountains and bays around Palaikastro and down the coast to Zakros. You can also visit the Minoan settlement of Palaikastro, which is just off the unmade road from Xiona Beach.

    Again, I'll be posting a lot more information about this area while I'm staying there, as there are so many places to explore in that area. I just wanted to include these Rent Rooms now at the start of summer, for anyone looking to stay in this area...with their dog

    E-mail :
    Tel: +30 28430 61615

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