Made is one of those hidden places, generally quieter than beach areas close to Heraklion, Crete, but with the facilities (if you include Lygaria and Agia Pelagia) that make spending days here a pleasure.
Made, pronounced "Mathvay" is a tiny village by the sea, twenty kilometres from the centre of Heraklion. A few notable people live here year round, most keep summer homes.
Made occupies a delightful bay with a small sandy beach. It also serves as anchorage for smaller locally owned boats. On one side of the bay the grand Athina Palace Hotel clings with its pastel coloured cubes, to the cliff-side and its guests swamp the beach in the summer... Below the hotel is an attractive beach bar, neatly sculpted on and around the rocks.
Originally part of neighbouring Lygaria, few people know the name Made if you ask about it in Heraklion. It has a calm and less touristy nature than many similar places so close to the big city. Lygaria - just 5 minutes further also has the useful distinction of being one of the most protected bays in the area - the sea being calm and swimmable most of the year.
How to get there
Buses: No bus goes all the way down to the beach. There are buses from Heraklion to neighbouring Agia Pelagia in the summer, and some of them will go as far as the Athina Palace hotel. Then it's a 5-10 min walk down. Bus station tel. 2810- 245017/019/020. Bus can be taken from the bus stop in front of the Astoria Hotel in Eleftherias square.
By car: Take the National Road from Heraklion towards Rethymno and after the Pantanassa Bridge and then the Palekastro Bridge look out for a right turn signed to "Made" and also "Paralia Lygarias - Lygaria Beach" - follow the steep winding road down toward the sea and turn right (there is a sign which you need to watch for - see photo right) for Made, the road changes from asphalt to cement. You are in Made - follow the road down to the taverna, market and the sea.
By Air: From May through mid-October there are direct charter flights to Chania and Heraklion Airport. Tickets can be bought in advance for almost all flights via our partner website.
By Sea: The journey is the thing". A superb way of enjoying the journey to Crete is to fly to Athens and take the ferry from Piraeus (Pireas) - the port serving Athens. A still-romantic way to travel by the overnight ferry from Piraeus to Heraklion Port. Tickets can be bought in advance for all ferries via our website.
If you want to explore the region while you're here, we recommend that you rent a car, other means of transport are limited and/or infrequent. We suggest our sister website, which offers competitive prices and you can collect your car at either airport.
By Taxi: Book your taxi transfer online easily and safely from the airport or port to any location via our website.
Where to stay
Lygaria has some rooms and apartments available for rent - ask at the tavernas. Or, you can find numerous rooms and hotels in the next village - larger and with more restaurants, cafes and beach nightlife - Agia Pelagia.
In Made itself you can stay within, literally, a few paces of the shoreline at Vivi's, above the mini market, in decently finished apartments with plenty of hot water and kitchen facilities, wonderful balconies (there are just two apartments available, usually for a period of at least a week, which need to be booked in advance).
Opposite Amoudi Taverna and small supermarket there are apartments with two bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom and balcony - Amoudi Apartments.
Thomais Resort - Residences, two bioclimatic residences with style, excellent build quality, pleasing stylish furniture and dramatic sea views complement these luxury residences , which are on a quiet edge above the sandy, beach-lined village of Agia Pelagia.
Aspalathos Villa, gorgeous and stylish Villa, with stunning sea views and a fabulous pool above Lygaria's beach.
What to see & do
Swimming is good here - the bay is partly protected from the open sea. At the end of the beach bar scuba diving, jet-skis and other water sports are offered.
Relax and sunbathe, paint, write and enjoy the beach bar! A souvenir shop selling alabaster opposite Amoudi taverna and mini market may be worth a look - if alabaster is your passion!
Lygaria offers further dining on the beach and continuing on the same coast-edge road you come to Agia Pelagia which presents more of the standard tourist offerings food and gift-wise.
Agia Pelagia has one of the narrowest beaches that could still be called a beach, enjoyable cafes and restaurants and the first class/deluxe Capsis hotel and conference centre.
Fodele, Achlada and the fascinating villages off the Old national road heading towards Rethymno are accessible; Bali is worth a visit for its harbour, cafes, restaurants and generally pleasing topography and waterside setting.
Where to eat & drink
The beach bar serves food as well as drinks. Lygaria and Agia Pelagia's tavernas are not far and also offer water's edge dining.
In Agia Pelagia the restaurant Almyra offers a change - quite fine dining by the sea; its neighbour - the Almyra bar and cafe - plays mostly cuban, latin and beach-memorable music!
Made is one of those hidden places, generally quieter than beach areas close to Heraklion, but with the facilities (if you include Lygaria and Agia Pelagia) that make spending days here a pleasure. You can rent a car (recommended) and explore from a pleasing base camp.
The beach is kept clean and free of debris during the April-October season by the Athina Palace hotel.
The reviews for the Made