Agia Pelagia is a charming coastal village on the northern shores of Crete, a few minutes from the capital, Heraklion. The village is a favorite seaside resort thanks to its crystal-clear waters, picturesque beaches, and the warm hospitality of the locals. Offering the perfect blend of relaxation and fun, the settlement caters to a diverse range of travelers. So, read on to explore what things to do in Agia Pelagia this summer!
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Things to Do in Agia Pelagia Crete
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Essential Things to Know about Agia Pelagia
The small fishing village of Agia Pelagia is a popular destination in Crete during summer for its beautiful beaches with clear blue waters, shallow enough to attract families with kids.
The main beach in Agia Pelagia is well-organized, making it an excellent spot to spend a day at the beach just minutes from the center of Heraklion.
Since it has become a well-developed tourist destination, plenty of hotels in Agia Pelagia cater to a wide range of travelers, from affordable studios and pensions to top luxury resorts.
The wide bay offers plenty of favorable opportunities for water sports.
Popular activities include fishing and yachting, while the rich marine life in the area makes it an excellent spot for snorkeling and diving. There are also boat excursions available for those interested in exploring the coastline.
Thanks to its touristic development, the village offers plenty of services to make your vacation much more effortless. There are tavernas, restaurants, cafes, and plenty of waterfront establishments offering picturesque views.
Although nightlife in the village is not as developed as in other larger coastal towns in the same region (such as Hersonissos and Malia in the north or Matala in the southern coast), Agia Pelagia has a modest nightlife scene with bars and pubs to enjoy a relaxed evening with drinks and music.
Where is Agia Pelagia
Agia Pelagia is located on the northern coast of Crete, 28 km west of Heraklion town, in the same region. It takes about 30 minutes by car to reach the fishing village from the island’s capital.
Road Map between Heraklion and Pelagia
How to Get There
Agia Pelagia is well-connected by road, and renting a car is convenient for exploring the surrounding areas. Public buses also provide transportation to and from Heraklion.
Distances from other cities to Agia Pelagia
- Heraklion to Agia Pelagia: 28 km (30 minutes by car)
- Agios Nikolaos to Agia Pelagia: 85 km (75 minutes by car)
- Rethymnon to Agia Pelagia: 60 km (60 minutes by car)
It’s possible to get from Heraklion to Agia Pelagia by bus. There is no bus station in the village, so public bus stops coincide with the entrance to different hotels, which are the reference points of the different shores:
- Bus stops for Mades Beach are at the Athina Palace Hotel.
- Bus stops for the central bay in Agia Pelagia are at the Out of the Blue Hotel and the Panorama Hotel.
- Bus stops for Mononaftis Beach are at the Blue Bay, the Seaside Hotel, and the Peninsula.
At least three daily buses connect the center of Heraklio to Agia Pelagia. You can check the updated schedule here. The ticket price is around €4.
To get to Agia Pelagia by car, you must drive west along the National Road; the journey is no more than 30 minutes.
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Best Things to Do in Agia Pelagia, Crete
Spend Time at the Beach
One of the main reasons to spend time in Agia Pelagia or to choose it as your destination on the island is to spend time at the beach.
Picture long, lazy days by the sea. Enjoy relaxing swims, reading a good book under the umbrella, sipping a cold beer while sunbathing, or having fun with friends. Isn’t this the perfect thing you need after a whole year of hard work at the office?
Along the bay, you will find a variety of beaches to explore, most of them offering organized facilities for a stress-free day in Agia Pelagia.
Mononaftis, for instance, is a picturesque small bay relatively close to Agia Pelagia village. High rocks protect the bay on both sides, so it’s easy to enjoy a swim in calm and dreamy emerald waters here.
Another small beach is Psaromoura. It is organized with sunbeds and umbrellas, athere’se’s also a small bar offering refreshments. The rocky seabed is shallow, only for a few meters; the waters are clear, and it’s easy to spot fish swimming right next to you.
You can even head further west and spend a day at Fodele Beach, perfect to escape from the crowds. Part of the beach is fully organized with umbrellas, while the eastern area is unorganized and usually less visited.
>> Click here to discover the best beaches in Heraklion.
Have a Very Special Dinner
Dining by the sea can be the most romantic experience you can enjoy during your holidays, and there are several excellent restaurants on Agia Pelagia’s beachfront to pick from.
However, if you want an even more unique experience, forget about a romantic dinner by the sea and head to Kyparissi (or Kyparissos), a village about 37 km from Agia Pelagia, home to the renowGianni’sni’s Taverna.
Dozens of local and foreign media have mentioned this restaurant for its incredible atmosphere, and it has become one of Crete’s most incredible places to eat.
Genuinely worth the journey, this taverna is home to a warm atmosphere that resembles a Crete of centuries ago, when eating in a candlelight dim-lit room was part of the routine.
Visit Mountain Villages
Agia Pelagia offers plenty of opportunities to experience the Cretan way of life. With its relaxed and friendly atmosphere, the village is ideal to experience the local culture.
Summer is the right season to witness traditional festivals and events and glimpse the island’s folklore.
Yet, you can get an even closer look at Crete’s traditions if you visit other small villages in the region, especially when it comes to settlements that are still to be reached by massive tourism.
Explore Archaeological Sites
Close to Ligaria and a few minutes from the center of Agia Pelagia stood Apollonia, an ancient Hellenistic town. The site was partly excavated, and today, a small collection of ruins of the area is visible. However, suppyou’reu’re looking to learn more about the past of Crete.
In that case, I suggest getting in a car and driving to nearby Tylissos, a crucial Minoan settlement where you can explore the ruins of three important Minoan Villas dating back to the Second Palace Era.
Over here, archaeologists have unearthed giant copper cauldrons, traditional clay pots (pithoi), and other objects (some of them exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion).
Enjoy Water Sports
As we have said already, Agia Pelagia is a well-protected bay where people of all ages can enjoy a variety of water sports, from boat rentals to fishing trips, from kayaking to snorkeling.
On each of the shores along the bay, you will find local companies offering different water activities at competitive prices and allowing you to spend an entertaining afternoon by the sea.
If you prefer a more relaxing activity while exploring the coastline, different boat tours allow you to explore unknown, lonely beaches and ancient sea caves, jump into the crystalline waters of the sea, and swim in the gorgeous emerald sea.
And if you want, you can even be your own captain! don’ton’t need any special license to rent a small boat and discover the coast around the area.
Several local companies offer hourly boat rentals in Agia Pelagia for you to spend a great time with friends or family.
Day Trips and Excursions from Agia Pelagia, Crete
Due to its central position on the island and proximityCrete’ste’s National Roit’sit’s pretty easy to get in a car and explore the surrounding region on a day trip from Agia Pelagia. These are some of the places we suggest checking out.
Knossos PalaIt’sIt’s impossible to spend a few days in Heraklion and not to viCrete’ste’s most important archaeological site. Knossos is about 20 km from Agia Pelagia, and it was home to the Minoan Civilization. You will find all the details you need to know to visit the archaeological site here.
Dia Island: Located off the coast of Heraklion, Dia is a small, uninhabited island with protected wildlife species and stunning natural features. You can swim, snorkel, and enjoy lunch during a boat trip to Dia. Click here to join this stunning boat trip to visit the island.
Krousonas Village: This mountain settlement is about 25 km from the center of Heraklion, not far from Agia Pelagia, Ligaria, and Fodele. It’s a great place to discover Crete’s traditional way of living. Over here, you can also visit the remarkable Krousonas Monastery, about 3 km from the center of the village. It was probably constructed between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and now functions as a nunnery.
>> This article features 52 fantastic things to do in the region of Heraklion and offers a good selection of activities and places to visit near Agia Pelagia.
Best Tours in Agia Pelagia
Since the town has seen such an important tourist development, plenty of local companies offer activities, tours, and experiences to make the most out of your time in Agia Pelagia.
Thesrestaurant’sf the most popular tours, all of them with excellent reviews:
- Scuba Diving Experience for Beginners in Agia Pelagia
- Sailing Trip to Dia Island
- Quad Safari-Family Tour in Agia Pelagia
Where to Eat in Agia Pelagia
There are plenty of restaurants and Greek taverns in the village; some of them are just by the sea and offer the perfect atmosphere for a romantic dinner. These are some of the places we recommend:
- The Home – Not your usual Greek restaurant, this quirky, colorful place is a favorite on the main beach road in Agia Pelagia. Check the restaurant’s website for more details.
- Alchemist – One of the best-rated restaurants in Agia Pelagia (and certainly my favorite), right by the sea, features Cretan food cooked in Anatolian style. Check reviews on Tripadvisor here.
- Taverna Bar Vasilis – Head to Mononaftis Beach to experience traditional Cretan food in one of the best-rated restaurants in the area. Check reviews on Tripadvisor here.
Best Areas to Stay in Agia Pelagia and Nearby
For easy access to the beach and the things to do in the village, we suggest staying at Agia Pelagia Beachfront. Over here, you will find the main beach and plenty of amenities, including transport, supermarkets, restaurants, a bank, pharmacies, and more.
You can book accommodation in Ligaria (or Lygaria) heading east, closer to Heraklion town. This is a fantastic bay, especially for children, as it is well-protected from strong winds, and the waters are calm and shallow.
If you prefer the mountains, a stay in Rogdia is excellent! I’ve personally chosen the laid-back atmosphere of the village a few times when spending a few days in the area. You will need a car to reach the coast, but the views from the hill are priceless.
Psaromoura and Mades are two small seaside areas in Agia Pelagia with beautiful beaches and essential services. There children’s to rent, and hotels in both settlements and access to Agia Pelagia is quick and straightforward. Mononaftis is another beach close to Agia Pelagia, offering a peaceful retreat with stunning sea views.
Where to Stay in Agia Pelagia
These are some of the hotels children’syou check out before booking your stay. Compare prices and try to book at least a few months in advance.
- Irida Hotel Agia Pelagia: Only 350 meters from the beach, this hotel is on a hill overlooking the sea. The complex also features a restaurant, a lounge bar, a pool bar, two swimming pools, a children’s pool, an outdoor gym, and an outdoor massage area.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.
- Peninsula Resort and Spa: One of the best hotels in the area, this property is surrounded by lush gardens anCrete’seaches. There are two large pools, two chilChania’sools, and 2 tennis courts.
Click here for more information and the latest prices.
- Seascape Luxury Residences: Within a short walk from the beach and the center, the complex features two swimming pools. Apartments include a fully equipped kitchen with a dining table, a seating area, and a luxurious bathroom.
Click here for more information and the latest prices
Check out this article to discover more hotels and other accommodation options in Agia Pelagia.
Are you visiting Agia Pelagia this summer?
Read more about Crete’s Villages
- Loutro, Crete: Fall in Love with Chania’s Heavenly Fishing Village!
- Panormos, Crete: Complete Guide by a Local
- Sougia, Crete: Complete Guide by a Local
- Magical Things to Do in Paleochora for your Next Adventure in Crete!
🛌 Suggested accommodation in Heraklion:
- Affordable: Rea Hotel in the city center.
- Mid-range: Capsis Astoria in town.
- Luxury: GDM Megaron H. M. Hotel in the center.
- Check also Heraklion Accommodation and Best Places to Stay in Crete.
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About my blog:
I moved to Crete in 2016. During these years, I learned much about the island.
In Crete, I juggle being a solo mom, hosting culinary tours, and writing for several travel media.
I’ve written for Greek Reporter, published travel guides about Greece, co-authored DK Eyewitness Top 10 Crete, and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person could ever handle.