Agia Galini before the advent fo tourism was a port of the ancient settlement of Sybritos. Now it is a convenient base to visit Phaestos, Agia Triada, and Gortys around 25 km away. Then you could follow an impressive mountain route, which starts from Apessokari and gives you a taste of the Asterousia wilderness and the sandy beaches behind the mountains.
Legend has it that, the name of Agia Galini was given by Empress Eudocia of Byzantium when her ship sailing to Africa faced a big storm close to the ancient city of Soulia. Asking for the help of the Virgin Mary, the Empress suggested that the crew approach the shore, and vowed she would build a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary if they could find shelter.
History of Agia Galini village is built upon the ancient Minoan city of Soulia, one of the hundred cities of Crete described by Homer. It was a place of worship and there was also a temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis. The history of Soulia continued until the 7th century when it was destroyed by pirates. Remnants of this city and temple have been found, such as buildings, tombs, marbles, as well as two granite columns that adorn the church of the village till our days. The bay of Agia Galini has always been a suitable anchorage for ships. It was used in the revolutions of 1821 and 1866 for unloading munitions. Due to its proximity to the fertile and oil-producing regions of Ampadia and Melampes, the port was used for loading oil to ships. The settlement was founded in 1884, when commercial buildings, oil warehouses, and some residences were built. Over the years the commercial traffic and oil export increased significantly and therefore Customs was founded. After a few years (1890) there was a permanent settlement of about 20 people. Indeed the ship moored safely to the naturally sheltered beach of the village, and the Empress built the temple, as promised. The temple was dedicated to the so-called 'Holy Virgin of Serenity' after which the village was named.
10 things not to miss during your stay in Agia Galini:
- The view from the theatre to the village and the bay of Messara late in the evening when all buildings are lit up.
- The statues of Daedalus and Icarus on the rock from where they flew away, as legend has it.
- Drink local raki and taste “spoon sweet”, a preserve made of fruits.
- Sample local fish (tuna, swordfish, mullets, or the catch of the day) & traditional dishes (mousaka, pastitsio, kleftiko, meat with honey, and local herbs).
- Relax at a traditional “kafeneio” and enjoy a Greek coffee, raki, and meze.
- Take a fishing trip with one of the boats departing from the harbour.
- Swim at nearby beaches (Aghios Georgios, Agios Pavlos, Triopetra, Kommos).
- Visit the archaeological sites of Phaistos, Gortyna, and Agia Triada.
- Take part in one of the many local festivals organized every year.
- Enjoy the breathtaking sunrise.
During summer there are daily boats from the harbor to the beaches of Agios Georgios, Ayios Pavlos, Agiofaraggo, and Preveli (Palm Beach) as well as the Paximadia Islands 12km offshore, which have wonderful fine sand beaches but little shade, making a sun umbrella a must.
Don't miss the dolphin-watching excursions which are organized in the area, as dolphins are plentiful here. Ask for details at one of the tourist agencies or the harbour. The days and times change depending on the season.
For the most romantic ones go down to the jetty to see the sunset and the cave of Agia Galini, just outside the harbor. You can visit the cave with its wild doves by a small boat from the harbour.
According to mythology, the rock that was used by Icarus and Daedalus to escape from King Minos and fly to freedom is located in the port of Agia Galini. At this point, there is a monument with their statues and the view is excellent.
Visit Zaros Village a particularly attractive, refreshingly unspoiled village famous for its spring water, which is now bottled and sold all over Crete.
Discover another side of Crete, visit Kapetaniana Village, and enjoy Cretan delicacies at the tavern of Thalori Village.
More activities around Rethimno and Crete? Please have a look here.
Check-in: 15.00 pm
Check out: 11.00 am - 12.00 pm
Minimum Stay: 2-3 nights, depending on the season
How To Get There
Palazzo Greco Boutique Hotel is set at Agia Galini's fish village in southern of Heraklion prefecture in Crete.
From May through mid-October there are direct charter flights to Chania (75km from the village) and, more frequently, to the capital Heraklion (89km). Tickets can be bought in advance for almost all flights via our partner website.
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. The new Athens airport makes this a slightly slower process because it is further from the port, but it's worth the extra time for a still-romantic way to travel. And then take the overnight ferry from Piraeus to Chania-Souda port (80km from the village)or Heraklion Port (85km). Tickets can be bought in advance for all ferries via our partner website.
By Bus or Car
Buses to Agia Galini terminate at the bus station by the church, in the village proper.
We recommend that you rent a car, other means of transport are limited and/or infrequent. In addition if you want to explore the region while you're here, you really need to hire a car. We recommend our sister website, which offers competitive prices. There's a car park at Romantika Apartments
Book your taxi transfer online easily and safely from the airport or port to any location via our partner website.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through CreteTravel.com
Dining: Delicious breakfast on the terrace with stunning sea views. Small bar/cafe open along all day.
Internet Access: Free WiFi throughout
Swimming pool: Swimming pool with sunbeds and umbrellas.
Bank: There is no bank but there is an ATM at the village
Disabled Access: Not suitable.
Pets: Not allowed but maybe welcome by prior arrangement
Parking: Just opposite the hotel
Languages Spoken: Greek, English, German