Holidays in Makry Gialos
Practical information for your holidays in Makry Gialos
Holidays in Makry Gialos are relaxed and comfortable because Makry Gialos is a fully-organised resort where you can find everything you need:
- a National Bank of Greece branch and 2 cashpoints
- a medical centre for minor problems (more serious cases are usually taken to Ierapetra)
- a pharmacy in the Analipsi area
- bakeries selling bread and other delicious things for breakfast
- 3 minimarkets and a few food and tourist shops
- an Internet Café and cafeterias with free Wi-Fi for customers
If you have a car or motorbike and want to use it to get to the seaside, your best bet is to leave it in the car park on your right as you go up the road to Analipsi - it’s a restaurant car park but is used free of charge by everyone in Makry Gialos.
Hotels and Apartments in Makry Gialos
There are many hotels in Makry Gialos, as well as in the neighbouring areas of Analipsis and Koutsouras. There are also apartments, rooms and studios for rent at reasonable prices.
The rooms and apartments for rent on the harbour of Makry Gialos offer a wonderful view of the bay and are very clean and tidy.
If you’re thinking of coming here on holiday in the summer, make sure you book well in advance - there are masses of tourists in July and August, making it hard to find a room.
Tavernas and Restaurants in Makry Gialos
The little harbour of Makry Gialos is the main meeting-place for those in search of coffee and food. All along the harbour and beach of Makry Gialos are traditional tavernas serving Cretan food at very reasonable prices.
Around the harbour you will find about 10 different tavernas which are open after 11 a.m., while some of them also serve breakfast.
For good home cooking, you can try the harbour tavernas and the small traditional tavernas at the end of the village towards Koutsouras.
Of course there are also more modern restaurants, some offering international cuisine on the seafront, and even creperie-bars. You will also find interesting tavernas on the road to Kapsa Monastery and in some of the neighbouring villages.
Both the harbour and main beach of Makry Gialos are famous for their cafeterias and ouzeri (ouzo joints), while some of the beach bars are set on the sand itself, allowing customers to enjoy their drinks even on the sun loungers. The restaurants of Makry Gialos are also known for their fresh fish and seafood, caught in the Libyan Sea and sold in the shops, in the harbour or at the local Friday market.
Bars and Cafés in Makry Gialos
Many of the bars and cafés of Makry Gialos are open from one morning to the next in the summer months.
The busiest spot, naturally, is the part of the beach near the old harbour, where most of the bars are. People can enjoy themselves both in the bars and on the beach in front of them.
It’s quite common to see customers lying on the sun loungers in the early hours, waiting for the sunrise - most of the bars in Makry Gialos stay open till 6 a.m., so people go straight to breakfast!
If you’re renting an apartment, you must go down to the seaside café-bars for breakfast - yoghourt with honey and fruit by the sea is a great way to start the day!
Sightseeing in Makry Gialos - What to do on Holiday in Makry Gialos
The obvious thing! Enjoy the sun and sea on the beaches of Makry Gialos or nearby. Makry Gialos is ideal for a great holiday and peaceful swimming. The coastline from Kalo Nero to Galini is etched with bays, coves and rocks in the sea, as well as long beaches with clear water. Not far from Makry Gialos, about 6 km away, is the beach of Agia Fotia and the beautiful beach of Achlia.
If you’re one of those people who don’t want to spend their whole holiday lying on the beach, remember that Makry Gialos is the perfect starting-point for excursions to the nearby villages, both on the coast and in the interior of the island.
The most popular excursion from Makry Gialos is by boat to Koufonissi island, an uninhabited islet a few sea miles to the southeast. There are daily boat trips to Koufonissi, 50-60 minutes away depending on the weather. The boats set off from Makry Gialos harbour every morning.
From Makry Gialos you can also visit the island of Chryssi or Gaidouronisi, but most people prefer to go there from Ierapetra, as the distance is much shorter - about 50 minutes on a large boat.
From Makry Gialos you can visit Mount Afendis Estavromenos, to the north of the village. The mountain is 1,500 m high and offers a stunning view of Lassithi Prefecture, as far as the islets off the south coast. Some parts of the road are very bad and only accessible by jeep.
Don’t miss a trip to the Great Caves, the village of Agios Stefanos, and Pefki right next door, at an altitude of 470 m. The drive from Makry Gialos to Pefki is wonderful, the green landscape making it well worth it in spite of the bends.
Devote a day of your holidays to visiting Kapsa Monastery, 7 km east of Makry Gialos. The monastery is dedicated to St John the Baptist, whose feast-day is celebrated on 29 August. Nearby is the entrance to Pervolakia Gorge, considered the most beautiful gorge in the area.
Go on a daytrip to Sitia with its picturesque harbour. Sitia, 38 km away, is set out in an amphitheatre shape above the bay, pretty and welcoming. It’s busy in the summer as it has a harbour and airport, and the famous palm forest of Vai and its beach are just a few kilometres east of the town.
Sitia is ideal for a daytrip from Makry Gialos, as there are lots of things to see: the Kazarma Fortress and the Folk Museum, picturesque streets and alleyways, and a beautiful beach. There are many restaurants and café-bars on the harbour, which is the local nightlife centre in the evening.
25 kilometres west of Makry Gialos is Ierapetra, the largest town in southern Crete. Usually people staying in Makry Gialos visit Ierapetra, either by day or by night, as it has many sights and a vivid nightlife.
In Ierapetra you can visit the Kales Fortress, the Mosque left over from the Turkish occupation and the Museum of Antiquities, or simply enjoy a coffee on the pretty beach road.
In the evening, the beach road is full of people who flood the bars and restaurants until dawn. It’s only 25 kilometres from Makry Gialos to Ierapetra, but if you’ve spent the night on the town be very careful driving back. The bends, limited visibility and carefree Cretan approach to driving can make it dangerous.
Gorges im Makry Gialos
Makry Gialos is an excellent base for outdoor activities if you want to enjoy nature at its best. There are many lovely walks to try in the surrounding countryside.
The locals will recommend you visit:
Autumn Holidays in Makry Gialos
If you’re looking for a small, peaceful, picturesque place to go on holiday in the autumn, Makry Gialos is the ideal destination. You won’t be disappointed!
The area is free of the tourist masses but preserves all its freshness and charm, while the sea is still warm and extremely tempting for a dip. Anyway, Makry Gialos is in southeast Crete, the area with the least rainfall on the island, so bad weather is unlikely to be a problem.
Of course the same goes for holidays in Makry Gialos in the spring, i.e. April, May and June.