Rocking to an island rhythm on the eastern edge of Crete, our hotel lies under a kilometre from the beach and the crystal waters of the Mediterranean. From soft sandy shores to mythic landscapes, the area around Aghios Nikolaos mixes the excitement of water sports with the indulgence of sunbathing and fresh-dressed salads on tiny café terraces.
A secluded Mediterranean villa, is a self-contained resort of whitewashed walls, apricot rooftops, and shady groves. Amid the greenery of the gardens lies the lure of a large swimming pool, and the tennis court rings out to the soft puck of play in the afternoon. An indoor gym is also available. Wednesday nights see the lighting of a traditional island barbecue, while a poolside bar serves sundowners as the evenings stretch out to the sound of cicadas.
Bedrooms are tiled and come with a fully-furnished en suite. Each guest will be greeted to their new digs by a welcome drink, perhaps taking them onto the sun-drenched balcony to relax on the patio furniture. A satellite TV and a cooling A/C are also included, and the rooms give way to sweeping views of the garden .
Pack a towel and a book and head out in search of some of the Blue Flag beaches around Aghios Nikolaos. Each offers something different, from tiny coves to broad stretches fit for the froth and whirr of water sports. Moving away from coast, you might be drawn to the lake at the heart of the town where Athena and Artemis once bathed.