The ultimate five star island resort on Crete’s verdant coast

A Mirandes: Grecotel Exclusive Resort

A Mirandes: GrecotelThis is the ultimate five star island resort on Crete’s verdant coast…Kate explains why…

Imagine a vast sandy beach being lapped by gentle blue waves, an Olympic-sized outdoor sea-water pool, an indoor pool and 60 private ‘Star’ pools with their own villa, cottage or suite attached…then you have some idea what this luxury water wonderland is like.

Add to that a network of gentle lagoons dissecting the landscaped gardens, and a school where various watersports can be taught or enjoyed.

On the north coast of Greece’s magnificent island of Crete – with its rugged mountains, dramatic gorges, wild hinterland and huge caves (including the one where Zeus was born) – you begin to sense why this is called the isle of the gods. Add to that the Minoan palaces and archaeological wonders of Knossos and you will understand that in order to experience all of these riches you may need to extend your holiday…more…and more. Then there are all the joys of the resort to experience from its seven restaurants, including a faux-boho beachside restaurant, its spa and wellbeing centre, tennis courts, fitness area and a five star children’s club.

Making your stay even more memorable – get moving!

The concierge will organize and help you (you might even want a guide) to take a walk along the Samarian Gorge. It is not for the faint hearted and takes between four to seven hours to complete, but the views and the experience are unforgettable.

A Cretan palace to sleep in. Ancient history alongside modern design. And a genuine warm hospitality that truly says ‘welcome’. You’ll feel like a god, which seems only natural as they made Crete their home.

Oil slick

If you need help unwinding on arrival, book into the spa for the Sirodhara treatment. Half an hour of soothing massage followed by the Kerala treatment of a steady stream of medicated oil on the forehead. You will melt and sleep like a baby. Languid and lavish. Best massage I have had since Hotel Anassa in Cyprus.


Make plans to visit Kuossos the famous Minoan palace. It is the most stunning archaeological site with its ruins beautifully preserved and surrounded by oak, cypress and olive trees. Go early morning or very late in the day (the site closes at 7:30pm) for the best light. Stop for a refreshing drink in one of the tavernas just outside the gates. It’s a historic experience.


Step back in time to the Agreco Farm which has revived organic farming alongside hospitality. This replica of a 17th-century lodge features an olive press, flour mill, village square and a zoo! Enjoy the food on the terrace in the shade of the pergola overlooking the sea. Featured in Vanity Fair as Best Organic restaurant.

Grape vine

You heard it here – go to the Boutari Winery outside Heraklion which is beautifully located to combine with your visit to Knossos. It’s state-of-the-art; you can have a tour and then sample the red varieties of Kotsifali and Mantilari, as well as Malvasia Aromatica and Moschato Spinas. Drop in for a drop, and book a driver.

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