Agia Galini, Crete South Coast – nothing but tavernas, bars, gift shops and rooms to rent

The village of Agia Galini sprang up about a century ago on the site of an abandoned Roman port. It is a pleasant enough place, the hotels and houses almost tumble down the steep road that leads to the harbour. In places, there are houses that appear to be in imminent peril of literally tumbling down a 40m cliff – tellingly, they seem to be uninhabited.

In the evening, from the harbour wall looking back towards the village the tavernas look as if they are piled one on top of the other, their tiers of lights giving the appearance of a fairytale castle.

There is no shortage of rooms, even in the height of summer, and ther is also a sizeable campsite beyond the grey-grit beach.

Agia Galini

Agia Galini

What a tourist town this is! It seems to be nothing but tavernas, bars, gift shops and rooms to rent.

History is on display in the form of two Roman columns, acting as gateposts to the Church of the Four Martyrs in the village center. Recent efforts to rip them out and use them as a feature in a fake “Daedalus’s Cave” being carved out of the hillside were defeated when the archaeological authorities stepped in. Work on the cave and the efforts to falsify mythology for gullible tourists by claiming Daedalus and Icarus flew from there (Knossos has the original claim) are, apparently, still continuing.

If you leave Agia Galini for Rethymno by car, ignore the left turn signposted “Rethymno” at the top of the hill: it follows a perilous road to Melambes before joining the main Rethymno-Agia Galini highway.

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