All the tavernas in Aptera can be reached on foot in a few minutes or by car from our accommodation in the village, although its an uphill walk on the way back!
Reviewed in the Independent by Anna Pavord: "The food was the best I have ever found in Greece. Not a sign of moussaka or souvlaki. Instead there was lamb with lettuce in egg and lemon sauce, black-eyed beans with fennel, salt codfish in filo pastry. The Taverna made all the difference to the stay in Aptera. It meant minimal shopping (bread, yogurt, oranges - all local - for breakfast) and no need to use the car at night. It was full moon while we were there and the walk up the track to the house,if occassionally unsteady, was always a pleasure."
Serves local Cretan dishes, every Saturday a Cretan night with traditional dancers. Wonderful views across the countryside from the terrace.
Also serves local dishes and has a charming roof terrace.
- The 1912 Cafeneon, popular with the locals (opposite Taverna Aptera) is open for drinks and delicious local snacks.
- Wi-Fi is now available at the tavernas in the village square
There is a local taverna on the main road in the village, The Izeddin Taverna (right) which specialises in Meze. A great spot for the views out to Souda bay and conveniant for our guests staying down on Kalami Beach (below). On the opposite side of the road is a small cafe popular with locals
There are many tavernas, cafes and bars offering a variety of food and drink. Many line the beach and have stunning views out to sea and to the White Mountains. Traditonal Cretan food, fish tavernas and even an Italian taverna can all be found here. The beach has a cantina too serving drinks and snacks on the beach, perfect for a day at the beach.
There are three traditional tavernas in the sleepy village of Stilos. Famous for its spring water which is bottled locally and is often served with your meal. The shaded tavernas serve simple Cretan food and large portions and very little English is spoken. Often there is grilled local meat from the BBQ. They are often popular for wedding parties and in high summer you will often find the tavernas alive with local music and dancing. The tavernas are a 15 walk from our accommodation in Provarma.
Two tavernas in this sleepy village which get very busy on a Sunday when many Cretans head out with their family for a long Sunday lunch. You can walk to the tavernas from our accommodation in the village.
The partially restored village of Vamos has tavernas cafes and an art gallery. All walking distance from our accommodation in the village.
There are two tavernas in this pretty and interesting village, which includes a womans’ co-operative selling locally made lace and natural Cretan products. One taverna next to the war memorial has a modern twist. The other, newly opened is found down a cobbled street in the square. and has a lovely atmosphere. There is also a Gyros Bar for those wanting Cretan fast food!
Costas and Voula provide a warm welcome at their Kafenion situated in the village square opposite the Byzantine Church which Costas is a key holder for. Simple home cooked food and often grilled fish and meat and salads from his garden are on the menu. Ps there is no menu!
Both tavernas are walking distance from the Pure Crete houses in the village
This charming village near the Blue Flag beaches of Georgopolis, is known for its shaded tavernas beneath the Plane trees and by the river and its local sheep yogurt – often sold or served in local terracotta pots.
This bustling beach resort with its fabulous sandy beaches contains bars, cafes and restaurants to accommodate most tastes. Nearby Lake Kournas is Crete’s only freshwater lake. There are tavernas and cafes along the lake shore with stunning views across the lake. You can also hire pedaloes and try and spot terrapins.
Traditional Crete, Organic Food & Wine Tasting
The Malaxiana centre in the village of Malaxa, 9km from Megala Chorafia, is a beautifully renovated former olive mill built into the hillside with spectacular views to the White Mountains. The owners, Demetrios and Katerina, are conservationists and have been involved in many environmental projects in Crete. Cretan culture and food evenings are usually held weekly at the centre; Demetrios talks about Cretan culture and diet while Katerina prepares fresh organic food and snacks. Details can be found on our “What’s On” information sheet or from your representative.
Milia is a restored and protected old settlement located south of Kissamos and the Topolia Gorge, 4 kilometers from the village of Vlatos. It is built on a mountain slope which forms one side of a valley and is situated in an area unique for its expansive variety of plants and trees. The philosophy of Milia is to preserve the natural life cycle in such a way that is friendly towards both the environment and people, working according to the traditional principles and history of Crete.
The settlement has a taverna, guest house and an organic farm. Mostly run without electricity; lighting is by gas and candlelight, refrigerators run on natural gas and there are wood-burning ovens. All natural products are recycled. Edible fruit and vegetables end up in the kitchen, while their remnants and other plants feed the animals, who in turn provide milk and cheese, meat, leather, and wool.
The taverna offers year-round home-made delights made from produce cultivated organically on the farm.
Leonida’s Traditions in Xilioumoudou, near Samonas
The Taverna Lemonia is set on top of a hill in Xilioumoudou with breathtaking views and uses only fresh local produce, including organic meat, cheeses, olive oil and wine. The owner, Leonidas Rethemiotakis, has a small olive oil factory which produces organic olive oil by traditional methods using a donkey to turn the mill. He also makes the Cretan musical instruments, the lyra and laouto. Visit the taverna on Saturday morning or Monday evening (with live music) and you can take a guided tour of the olive oil factory as well as learn about the making of the Cretan musical instruments followed by lunch or dinner at the Taverna.Details can be found on our “What’s On” information sheet or from your representative.
The Observer: “Our other top trip is to Taverna Lemonia, a 20-minute drive along twisting roads into the White Mountains. This taverna has not only stunning views, but is also home to Leonidas, one of a handful of olive farmers still using traditional olive presses. We take a tour of the small mill where he uses a donkey to turn the massive stone wheels that crush the olives. This is cold-pressed olive oil, now a rarity in Crete, as heating olives allows for faster pressing, but as our bottle proved, a less intense flavour. Leonidas is also a master craftsman, and shows us his workshop, full of traditional stringed instruments which he makes, bespoke, for local musicians. We are invited into the family house for coffee and cheese pies, made from their own mizithra (a soft goat’s cheese) and horta (wild greens). As we tuck in, Leonidas picks up a lyre and plays for us. “
Wine Tasting – Heraklion
These three wineries are all near Knossos and you could combine them with a visit toKnossos.
The Boutari exhibition hall is inside an estate vineyard called Fantaxometocho.
The estate lies just outside the village of Skalani, on the road towards the village of Mirtia, birthplace of the famous Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis, 8km from Heraklion.
Open to visitors every day from 10:00 until 18:00.
The Peza exhibition center is located a couple of km past Peza village on the left side of the road to Agies Paraskies village.
Open from 9:00 a.m. to 15:00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday.
The wine tasting hall of the Milliarakis Winery is situated on the right side of the road close to the exit from Peza village.
Open Monday to Friday 09:00 – 16:00, Saturday 11:00 – 16:00