In this section...
- Beachfront location
- Simple, authentically Cretan style
- Unspoilt area ideal for walking
- All rooms with balcony
Nestling by the Libyan Sea in the southeast corner of Crete is Makrigialos, home to the Artemis Hotel, a small, family-run establishment of 30 rooms and suites. 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.
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 the four best rooms in the hotel – the Palm Tree Suites. Situated on the first floor they are simply furnished, comfortable and cool, all with balconies overlooking the sea. Beneath, a lovely 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 a little further east. 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, our Palm Tree Suites 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 suites 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.
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 the Palm Tree Suites with one or more of our other hotels in the east of the island; Mochlos Blue and Breezes @ Glaros Beach. Please call our Destination Specialists for further information.
Palm Tree Suites
- Four first-floor suites with balconies overlooking the sea
- Set within 30-room Artemis Hotel
- Kitchenette with fridge and tea and coffee making facilities
- Twin beds (90cm beds) that can be made as a double 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
- 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): 1040K10000042300
- 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
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.
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.
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.
* For further clarification on Facilities and Amenities, please view the 'Details' tab for each property or speak to one of our experienced sales consultants.
Heading east from the exclusivity of Elounda and the elegance of lakeside Agios Nikolaos reveals a rugged landscape harbouring the soul food of a simpler life. Our portfolio here celebrates the road less travelled, transporting guests from the mainstream to a hidden Crete that's often overlooked. From gorges and caves to the mountain communities of the beautiful Lasithi Plateau, from the tucked away waterfront village of Mochlos in the north to the timeless landscapes and homely tavernas surrounding Makrigialos in the south – this is Crete at its most warmly welcoming, without artifice, where you’re a guest and never a tourist.
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