Koutouloufari is a traditional Cretan village set on a mountain slope, 24KM away from Heraklion Airport. In the 16th century people escapes to the mountains to escape the pirates. Here is a mini guide to Koutouloufari, Crete.
When to go
Crete is between 2 climate zones, the largest part of the island falls into the Mediterranean and the south coast falling into the North African. Crete has the same seasons has the UK, so if you go in December / January, expect it to be colder where warm clothing is required and very warm in the summer months.
As our trip was a summer holiday, I went in peak summer which was end of June, beginning of July where temperatures hit between 29 – 38 degrees and trust me, it was BOILING. The closer we got to the sea, the cooler is felt from the sea breeze.
Where to stay
You have a couple of choices on where you would like to stay in Koutouloufari.
If you want some relaxing time, then you can stay further up the mountain slope in one of the resorts in the middle of village with the cobbled alleys and town squares. Or if you like to be in the hustle and bustle and closer to the sea you can stay at the bottom of the bottom near the main strip.
We booked our holiday through a package deal for or flights, accommodation and transfers to and from the airport.
Airbnb is another option for accommodation. There are amazing villas and apartments which can work out a lot cheaper if there is a group of you.
What to do
There are many different things and activities to do in and around Koutouloufari whether you are the exploring type or not.
There are a number of beaches along the coast from Heraklion to the eastern edge, some of the most popular are Limanakia Hersonissos & Sarantaris. Most beaches are surrounded by cafes and bars and activities for children.
Water sports is a big thing in Crete, if you fancy being an adrenaline junkie then you can try jet skiing, paragliding and lots more!
If getting into a Land Rover and going on a safari sounds fun? Then they are loads of excursions like this and similar.
There is also a day trip to go to Santorini on a boat. (Fully regret not doing this one)
Every heard of Café Mambo in Ibiza? Well think of a beach resort with live DJ’s, foam parties, water slides, bungee jumping and that is Star Beach. It has everything including cheap food.
Entry is free, but you do have to pay for some of the sun beds (in the good spots)
There is a lot of old ancient buildings and museums to see in Crete. If history is your thing, then check out one of the local shops to book a tour.
How to get there
To fly from the UK, flights can differ in price depending on what of year you travel. As with any peak time destination you will be paying a lot more to go when the weather is nice. My advice is to get it booked way ahead in advance.
Once you get to Heraklions International Airport you can either;
Rent a car
Renting a car is a great option for freedom, you can go wherever you would like without the hassle of booking a taxi.
TIP: if you are planning on renting a car, make sure you reserve your booking before for a better rate and to avoid disappointment when arriving in Crete.
Rental Centre office is located in Heraklion airport.
If you would like to take the bus, there is a bus from the airport that will take you to the KETL station which you will then need to take a bus from there. Buses leave the airport very 10 – 15 minutes.
Taxi is the next best option if you don’t get transfers including in your holiday deal. The taxi rank is outside the airport and prices start from 33 Euros.
As I mentioned above, transfer option was the easiest option for us. When arriving at the airport, there was a guy waiting for us to pick us up, he then dropped us to our hotel and collected us when it was time to go home. No fuss, no bother.
Where to eat
There are so many restaurants with amazing Cretan cuisine everywhere in Crete. Greek food is one of my ultimate favourites and as you can tell, I was in heaven surrounded by olives, tzatziki and bread.
A few of our favourite places to eat were;
Atrium Bar and Café is the place we went to most. Their breakfast was amazing, and as was their evening menu and also super cheap. If you like wine, but wine in a carafe for cheap you need to go here.
Fabrica café is great for traditional style Greek food. I tried my first Souvlaki and it was delicious. On our way out of the restaurant they gave us free shots of Ouzo and Raki.
TIP: If you drink alcohol, then most places will give you free shots, just make sure you give them a good tip.
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