Although just a short hop along the coast from Malia, pretty Sissi is a world away from Crete’s clubbing capital. This is somewhere to pause and savour life’s simpler pleasures – from the sounds of the sea to delicious, just-caught fish. And with a boutique hotel to unwind at, there’s plenty of luxury to be had, too.
A fishing village of white houses wrapped around a pretty harbour, on Crete’s north coast
Things to do
Crete is a land of myth, legend and fascinating real history. They combine at the ancient palace of Knossos, not far from Sissi on the outskirts of Heraklion. Take a guided tour to discover still-bright frescoes and mosaics created thousands of years ago, and hear tales of King Minos and the bloodthirsty Minotaur.
With the sea in front and the mountains behind, Sissi is made for getting out and enjoying the open air. Head up into the hills to reach the Lassithi Plateau – a green landscape dotted with windmills that beckons to be explored by bike. Further inland, you’ll come to Psychro cave. This enchanting cavern was sacred to the ancient Minoans, who believed it to be the birthplace of Zeus.
FOOD & DRINK
Sissi is still a fishing village at heart, so you can expect plenty of net-to-table fare at the local restaurants. Northern Cretan cuisine is simply prepared and utterly delicious – think grilled octopus or fish with olive oil. Crete also produces some of Greece’s best wines (and has done for over 4,000 years). Take a vineyard tour along the northern shore to sample crisp white wines produced from indigenous grapes.
The best beaches are just outside Sissi, including popular Boufos, and Kalimera beach, which has smooth, protected waters ideal for swimming.
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