Simpson Collection @ Artemis Hotel

Palekastro & Eastern Crete , Crete , Greece

Part of the Simply Simpson collection

The simple things in life often give the greatest pleasure and we believe our Simply Simpson Collection offers the chance to experience a more authentic taste of local living in some of the most idyllic locations in the Mediterranean. Take time to discover our comfortable, no-frills accommodation and join us on the road less travelled.
Simply Simpson

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  • Friendly family-run hotel
  • Beautiful beachfront location
  • Tavernas and shops 5min walk
  • Unspoilt area ideal for walking
  • Sea view rooms exclusive to Simpson Travel

Nestling by the Libyan Sea in the southeast corner of Crete is Makrigialos, home to the Artemis Hotel, a small, family-run establishment of just 30 rooms. Fronting a glorious sandy beach which shelves gently around the bay for half a mile or so, it’s a modest place, not for those seeking a high-end luxury resort, but the unique location offers access to a hidden Crete that so many visitors never see and countless opportunities for discovering a different side of this great island that's every bit as compelling as the tourist trails further west. For a glimpse of this extraordinary landscape, please view our Hidden Crete video

The local area is largely focussed on agriculture, yielding an astonishing array of products; consequently tourism has less prominence here and once you turn off the main thoroughfare that runs along by the sea, a different world unfolds. Time has stood still and delightful small tavernas lie at the heart of the hillside villages with rural prices to match, and though the food may take a little longer to prepare, it’s freshly cooked and more than worth the wait.  

The jewel in the crown is Pefki, where Piperia Restaurant is renowned for being one of the best for traditional Cretan fare. The proud owner Fanis uses only local ingredients – wild greens, artichokes, pomegranates, mushrooms – all collected on the nearby hillsides at different times of the year. The energetic will walk up the Pefki Gorge from Makrigialos to get there; more measured souls take a taxi and step out for the spectacular journey back down. Either way a visit is essential to experience Cretan hospitality at its very best; unhurried, unpretentious and utterly delicious.

The area is a walker’s paradise and there are many lesser-known archaeological sites too, including the impressive Moni Kapsa monastery, just a 10-minute drive from Makrigialos. Or, if you fancy travelling further afield, it's possible to rent a car for a couple of days to head further east and explore Xerokambos, Kato Zakros and Kouremenos. 

At the hotel itself, you are guaranteed a warm welcome from Maria, the owner’s daughter, whose infectious passion for philoxenia shines through in everything she does. For Simpson Travel guests we have reserved eight rooms in the hotel – the Beach Collection and the Palm Tree Collection. Situated on the ground and first floors respectively, they are comfortable and cool, all with balconies or terraces overlooking the sea. The four Beach Collection rooms are larger and have their own loungers on the lawn beyond their terraces with steps leading directly down to the sea; the balconies of the first floor rooms offer a little more privacy with uninterrupted views across the bay. A lovely beachfront dining area with multicoloured tables is set out under a canopy of almiriki trees; served by the hotel restaurant it offers all the familiar Greek specialities and is celebrated locally as one of the best traditional eateries in the village.   

Further bars and tavernas are a short stroll along the sand and though the hotel beach is a real draw, those in search of more solitary shores should head for Diaskari, just a 15-minute stroll away. Here, it feels wild and undiscovered (notwithstanding the excellent taverna at its entrance) and further along the coast again, a number of small, deserted beaches are scarcely visited, even in the height of summer.  

For those interested in discovering an authentic taste of island life from a time gone by, Artemis couldn’t be better placed. As the history of this special spot begins to weave its way into your heart, its unpolished edges only begin to add to the appeal. Equally, the rooms are an excellent choice for anyone who values warm, attentive service, value for money and a magnificent stretch of sandy coastline for a week to drop and flop. 

Good to know... For those looking to relax, a car is not essential at Artemis Hotel. Private taxi transfers can be arranged from the airport and there are plenty of local cabs available. If you would like to travel further afield, it is also possible to hire a car for a day or two in Makrigialos.


Explore Hidden Crete

If you’re keen to see more of Hidden Crete, we are happy to arrange bespoke itineraries in May and October, combining a stay at our Simpson Collection @ Artemis Hotel with our other hotel in the east of the island, Mochlos Blue. Please call our Destination Specialists for further information.

In Greece, a tourist tax may apply at your accommodation which will be payable locally, in cash, during the course of your holiday. Please use the link to view details specific to your accommodation. View tourist tax rates here.


Palm Tree Collection

  • Set within 30-room Artemis Hotel
  • Four first-floor rooms with balconies overlooking the sea (25m2)

Beach Collection

  • Set within 30-room Artemis Hotel
  • Four ground-floor rooms with small terrace and garden sunbeds for exclusive use overlooking the sea (35m2)


  • Kitchenette with fridge and tea and coffee making facilities
  • Double beds (180cm beds that can be made as a twin on request) 
  • En-suite shower room with basin and WC
  • Accessed by one flight of steps


  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Air-conditioned throughout
  • Iron, ironing board, hair dryer, bath and beach towels provided
  • Beachfront restaurant with shaded dining area 
  • Terrace bar and breakfast area
  • Daily cleaning
  • Parking space
  • Bike hire from hotel



  • All properties with WiFi are able to support basic functionality such as web browsing and checking emails*

* We aim to offer an uninterrupted service but sometimes due to factors beyond our control reliability can be affected.

National tourist licence (EOT): 1040K032A0087900


  • Located on the beach in Makrigialos
  • Shops and supermarket 5min walk
  • Skippered boat hire 15min walk
  • Ierapatra 30min drive
  • Sitia town and local airport 35min drive
  • Xerokambos 1hr drive
  • Heraklion airport 1hr 30min drive

Car hire

Car options

Based on the number of people travelling, the following hire car(s) are included in the package price of your holiday:

  • 2 guests – 1 Group C2, Fiat Grande Punto or similar* 

*All our cars include comprehensive insurance with no excess charge.For this particular destination, the undercarriage, tyres, wing mirrors and windscreen are not included in the cover.

Car specification

Group C2 – 1.2-1.4 litre engine, 1 large suitcase*

The following cars are available as alternatives on request (supplements apply). Please call our travel specialists for details.

Group D2 – Hyundai i30 or similar, 1.4 litre engine, 2 large suitcases*

Group CA – Automatic Fiat Grande Punto or similar, 1.2-1.4 litre engine, 1 large suitcase*

Group D3 – Skoda Octavia or similar, 1.4 - 2.0 litre engine, 3 large suitcases*

Group DA3 – Automatic Seat Toledo or similar, 1.4 - 2.0 litre engine, 3 large suitcase*

Group L2 – Skoda Yeti or similar, 2.0 litre engine, 3 large suitcases*

* Suitcase sizes are based on a large suitcase being approximately 75cm x 41cm x 31cm, a medium suitcase of approximately 65cm x 46cm x 29cm and a small suitcase of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm.

We had a wonderful holiday with Simpson Travel at the Palm Tree Suites. The room and hotel exceeded our expectations. The hotel was in a fabulous location on the beachfront with plenty of local tavernas a short walk away. Maria and her staff were brilliant hosts and Olympia the concierge was amazing.

Mrs Caroline Taylor, October 2023

Very enjoyable week. The location next to the beach is perfect. Hotel facilities and staff great. Nobody could do enough for you! Hotel restaurant was good food and good value. Didn’t venture far but the port and tavernas were also excellent. Will definitely ‘be back’!

Heather & Martin, September 2023

The Artemis Hotel made for a delightful stay on one of the best beaches in the area. Maria and her team provided a very friendly and efficient service, always with a smile. Thanks to them all. We enjoyed being able to walk to a great selection of restaurants. Enjoyed travelling around including Xerokambos and Ierapetra Old Town. Thanks also to Olympia for looking after us and her suggestions of places to see and eat.

Jack & Liz, September 2023

What can be better than staying in a hotel on the beach rolling out of bed onto a beach bed with waiter service for drinks?

Mrs Teresa Shaw, September 2023

The venue was excellent, right on a sandy beach set in lovely gardens. The staff were fabulous, and the hotel was not too busy. Very relaxing. Aim to return.

Mrs Heather Callingham, September 2023

We loved everything and everyone at the Artemis and can’t wait to return next year.

Marilyn Edwards, July 2023

Recommend the walk up to Pefki village and a good lunch at Piperia restaurant, excellent views. Highlight was visiting Kato Zakros – walking down through the gorge to a lovely beach, Minoan ruins and lunch. The drive over the mountains is stunning if a little terrifying with hairpin bends, but beautiful unspoiled country. Loved the hotel, nothing was too much trouble.

Sandy, June 2023

Such a charming hotel. The staff are so friendly and welcoming. What a treat to wake up to the sound of lapping waves on the shore. We found Gusto and Diaskari beach great places to eat.

Fiona and Andy, May 2023

Accommodation is fully up to the standard we’ve come to expect from Simpson Travel. The staff are very welcoming and friendly. Breakfasts were excellent. We’re sad to be here too early in the season to try the restaurant. Many thanks to Maria, with such an infectious laugh, and Pepe, who brought up our luggage on arrival and looked after us so well at breakfast time. Also to Olympia for her advice on our trip up into the hills to Pefki and suggestions for some excellent waterside tavernas – we enjoyed Gusto, Petra Bay (large portions!), and Faros. All in all a lovely week which we have thoroughly enjoyed.

Lynda and Pete Woods, May 2023

Our choice of Greek properties is as diverse as the islands themselves, ranging from simple seaside charm to genuine luxury and style. Much of our portfolio is privately owned, and price alone is therefore not a universal guide. We contract all our accommodation in person, and each property has its individual appeal. To help you make the right choice based on your own priorities, we have devised a simple grading guide to be considered in conjunction with each individual property description, awarding up to a maximum of five stars for the below categories.


Property Grading Key:

  • 5/5


  • 4/5

    Very good

  • 3/5


  • Location


    Position, view, serenity, privacy

  • Comfort


    Space, style, overall furnishings

  • Facilities*


    Property enhancements

  • Amenities*


    Proximity to beaches, restaurants and shops

* For further clarification on Facilities and Amenities, please view the 'Details' tab for each property or speak to one of our experienced sales consultants.

A destination where tourism is not the local raison d’être, this is a place to relax unreservedly into a life by the sea. The landscape is rugged – mountains, gorges and rocky hillsides scattered with tiny villages and ancient ruins – but some of Crete’s finest beaches belong here too. Among them are spectacular Xerokambos and palm-fringed Vai, whilst Palekastro is one of Europe’s favourite windsurfing spots. And there are plenty of excellent waterfront tavernas where the passing of time is best marked by the waves rolling in nearby.

To the south of the region you'll find Makrygialos, an unpretentious one-time fishing village bordering a magnificent sandy beach by the warm Libyan Sea. It's a little more commercial here these days but the real draw is its extraordinary position close to some of Crete's most spectacular scenery and traditional villages. A visit to Pefki is a must, not least to dine at the pretty taverna where the ingredients are locally sourced and prepared in the traditional way to mouthwatering effect. With outstanding views across the southern coastline, there can be nowhere finer to enjoy lunch before indulging in a walk down the Pefki Gorge for a refreshing dip in the sea.

To base yourself in this idyllic destination, visit our collection of handpicked villas in and around Palekastro & Eastern Crete or take a look at our boutique Simpson Hotels.

Read more on our Crete region page

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