Holidays in Platanias
Practical information for your holidays in Platanias
It would be hard to think of anything you might want on your holidays in Platanias that you couldn’t find here. Platanias is one of the busiest tourist resorts in Crete, so you’ll find every kind of business addressed to the many tourists enjoying their holidays here.
On the main street of the resort you will find:
- banks and cashpoints
- a post office
- pharmacies, a health centre and a police station
- tourist shops to buy souvenirs of your holidays in Platanias
- bakeries selling not just bread but also wine and raki, as well as sandwiches, cheese pies and other breakfast snacks
- mini markets which stay open till late at night
- car and motorbike rental shops
- a succession of bars, restaurants, clubs and cafés all along the road as far as Agia Marina
If you are coming by bus from Chania, get off at the stop on the main street, about 500 m after entering Platanias. This is the main square of Platanias, where the taxi rank is.
Parking is difficult, especially in the evening. You need to be careful driving through Platanias, as you have to go slow and keep an eye out for pedestrians who may not always be walking on the pavement, especially after midnight and a few drinks.
Hotels and Apartments in Platanias
The hotels in Platanias are famous for their quality. Here you will find luxury all-inclusive hotels which take up large stretches of the beach.
There are also many and rooms and apartments for rent in Platanias, for younger tourists on a tighter budget.
Most of the hotels and apartments in Platanias are along the main road and on the beach, but there are also a few behind the road to the south, nearer the mountain, but still only a short distance from the centre and the beach.
If you’re planning a holiday in Platanias in July, August and September, make sure you book well in advance as everything is usually full then.
Restaurants and Tavernas in Platanias
Try Harma Beer from Chania and
soft drinks from Gerani
You’ll find many restaurants and tavernas in Platanias, a distinct advantage for those who want a wide variety of food choices on holiday.
Although most of the local eateries are geared to the German and Scandinavian tourists who pack the place each year, there are also restaurants which insist on a more traditional style, offering Greek and Cretan home cooking.
In Platanias you will also find souvlaki shops, fast food outlets and many tavernas with their famous pictures of Greek dishes on the menu. Of course international cuisine is also available at Platanias, in the Chinese, Indian, Mexican and English Pub styles.
Most of the local tavernas offer an impressive variety of food, with huge menus. If you pick one of the Greek tavernas, you will be treated to fruit and a sweet dessert with chilled Cretan raki (tsikoudia) after your meal.
If you get fed up with spending every minute of your holiday by the sea, walk up to the traditional village of Ano Platanias, where things are quieter, more traditional and there is a stunning view! There are several restaurants and tavernas, open from midday till the evening, mainly offering Greek and Cretan dishes. They are well worth the few minutes’ walk, with their marvellous view of Platanias, Agia Marina and Chania Bay.
The view is just as impressive at night. If you choose to dine there, you might be lucky enough to enjoy one of the Greek music evenings regularly organised in the tavernas of Ano Platanias. If you stay for a meal, try the marathopita (fennel pie) and alatsolies (salted olives)!
Bars and Clubs in Platanias - Nightlife
The bars and nightclubs of Platanias attract a wide audience, especially from among the many young visitors from Chania and abroad.
There are various types of bar in Platanias:
- rock cafés
- karaoke bars
- cafeterias which turn into bars when the giant screens stop showing sports programmes and matches.
- Scandinavian bars, marked by the flags outside.
- more atmospheric bars with lounge music
- there are also ellinadika (Greek music clubs) and kritikadika - the joking name for some clubs playing live Cretan music.
Even if your holidays in Platanias last a whole month, you can visit a different bar or club each evening, without ever having to go to the same place twice.
The nightlife of Platanias is concentrated along the main street running through Platanias and Agia Marina, although Platanias is much busier than Agia Marina in the evenings.
There are also lots of beach bars and clubs on the beach of Platanias, with tables, sofas and sun loungers on the sand, where you can enjoy your drink to the accompaniment of loud music and the sound of the waves. The bars are usually half full around 10 p.m. but absolutely packed from midnight till the early hours. Next morning everyone’s fast asleep, so if you are the exception who wakes up before 11 a.m., you’ll find the streets and shops empty.
What to do on your holidays and Platanias
Enjoy the sea and the Cretan sun all day long. The organised facilities and itinerant fruit sellers and massagers on the beach make it an entertaining place to be.
Both Platanias and Agia Marina offer a wide variety of watersports, from banana boats to scuba diving, canoeing, beach volley and windsurfing.
Dance the night away in the bars and clubs of Platanias, letting morning find you running home to your hotel for breakfast before you crash out, or outside a bakery trying to decide which treat to choose for the munchies.
Play mini golf or arcade games in one of the many shops available. There are also many play areas in Platanias, with swings and various children’s activities to keep your kids entertained for hours.
You can take the Magic Train through Platanias and Agia Marina. It offers much useful information and is a way of getting small children to see the area without getting bored.
Try and learn Cretan dances at one of the Cretan evenings organised by local associations in collaboration with tavernas, in the wider Platanias area.
Visit Ano Platanias. Unlike the modern, cosmopolitan beach resort, Ano Platanias is a picturesque village of old houses and narrow, labyrinthine streets, built in a horseshoe shape on the hill above the beach to the south (see photo on the right -->).
Ano Platanias offers a wonderful view and a sensation of peace which is almost unbelievable just 3-4 km from the hustle and bustle of the coastal resort.
In Ano Platanias you will see many cats sunning themselves in the quiet streets, and older inhabitants sitting outside their houses.
You can leave your car in the “car park” outside the church of Ano Platanias and wander round the alleyways, taking pictures or simply enjoying the peace and the sounds of nature. Everything will suddenly seem more human.
You can visit nearby villages such as Maniolopoulo, Xamoudochori and Vlacherniotissa, famed for their olive oil, and go shopping or try the traditional Cretan home cooking.
Visit neighbouring Maleme and the German War Cemetery, set up in memory of the heroic Battle of Crete in 1941. Even if you do not wish to honour the foreign invaders, retain the anti-war message of your visit to this site.
Visit Syrili, 2 km from Platanias. It is known for its church of Agios Spyridonas and its xerotigana (crispy honey pastries).
Spend a little time learning about the Archelon Sea Turtle Protection Society active in the area, devoted to protecting turtles in Chania Province and the whole of Crete. On some parts of Platanias beach you will see fenced-off paths for the baby turtles to reach the sea.
Visit Chania and walk around the lovely picturesque harbour, or wander through the narrow streets of the most beautiful and romantic town in Crete.
Visit Agia Lake, one of the artificial lakes of Crete, about 10 km away, at the southeast end of Platanias. This is where the River Platanias rises.
If you come to Platanias on holiday, don’t let your first impression put you off. Platanias is a place which can give you an exciting holiday and hours of relaxation by the sea.
If you get tired of the noise and people, head to Ano Platanias or one of the neighbouring villages to fill your mind with pretty pictures and moments of peace and quiet, before returning for yet another wild night out at Platanias.