Georgioupoli (Γεωργιούπολη) is one of the busier and more popular villages in Crete. It is located 43 km east of Chania, about 22 km west of Rethymno and about 100 km west of Heraklion in the Apokoronas region(part of Chania prefecture).
Although very touristy, many visitors enjoy their stay and in many cases decide to return to this seaside village, due to the laid back atmosphere and geographical location. If you are planning to explore several places in Crete, Georgioupoli makes a very good base, especially when hiring a car.
Protos can either deliver a desired rental car to your accommodation in Georgioupoli for free or you can pick it up from the Chania or Heraklion airport or harbour.
The history of Georgioupoli
Georgioupoli dates back to the Minoan times based on historical evidence found. The city back then was named Amphimalla and was mainly used as a harbour for the nearby city Lappa. Artefacts from excavations in the region (which you can see in the Archeological Museum of Chania) show that the city flourished during late Minoan and Roman times.
In the 13th Century Georgioupoli was under Ventian control and developed significantly. Evidence of the advancement has been found in books and documents found in the region as well.
In the 19th Century the town's population grew. Local officials drained the marshes that surrounded the area, providing fertile farming opportunities to the inhabitants.
In 1899 the small town was given its modern name Georgioupoli which translates to George Town in honour to Prince George of Greece, who had visited Crete to officialise its union with Greece.
4 Best things to do in Georgioupoli 2021
1)Visit Kournas Lake
Lake Kournas is definitely a must when you decide to visit or stay in Georgioupoli. It is an all year round popular destination for locals and tourists. It is the only freshwater lake in Crete and is rather small in size but yet stunningly beautiful. You can either walk, rent a bicycle or drive there as it is located just 4 kilometres from the town. When you arrive at Kournas you will see shops with local produced goods, shops with handcrafted goods, ice cream shops as well as traditional tavernas that serve great food and the famous Andikristo dish (if you are not a vegan or vegetarian you should not miss out on that). You can also walk along either side of the lake (but not around the whole lake) , relax on the shore, go for a swim or rent a paddleboat and explore the lake.
2) Explore and Relax at the beaches of Georgioupoli
Georgioupolis Beach : is a sandy beach that stretches over 10 kilometres to the east ( in the direction to Rethymno) and is one of the longest beaches in Crete. Many spots offer sunbeds, umbrellas and lifeguards but you can also find deserted spots if you prefer privacy.
Although this beach is occasionally affected by the strong summer winds “Meltemia” it is very popular amongst locals and tourists. If you are the type that needs some adrenaline in your holidays, you can try out some water sports that you can find along the beach. Be aware that the sea at some spots may have strong currents that can drag you along the beach (don't panic, not out to the open sea)
Kalivaki Beach : is located west of the little harbour of Georgioupoli and you can easily walk there within a few minutes. This little bay is very popular amongst families with children due to the shallow waters and protection from the wind even on windy days. It features a lifeguard, sunbeds, umbrellas and a taverna with simple greek housemade food and meals designed for children. The river Almyros and two smaller streams meet the sea in this small beach and bring cold freshwater from the mountains that mixes with the warm seawater. So be prepared to feel some sudden temperature changes at some spots.
3) Take a daytrip to Vamos village
Vamos is a small scenic village 10km from Georgioupoli. There has been efforts to restore old buildings giving it a charming atmosphere. You can visit old ruins of a Monastery and an oil mill that dates back to 1862. The village also features a quaint delicatessen shop and art cafe as well as small local stores. Vamos village is also offering a variety of interesting activities, from traditional cretan cooking courses to botanical guided walks and more.
You can book a spot on their official website here: https://www.vamosvillage.gr/activities
4) Walk to the Agios Nikolaos Chapel
If you are looking for that special Instagram shot or you just want to enjoy a spectacular view, head over to the Agios Nikolaos Chapel. The white chapel is built on a small rocky islet, in the middle of the sea, and is dedicated to Saint Nicholas, the protector of seafarers. In order to reach it you have to walk over slippery stones for 200 meters, so make sure you wear closed-toe shoes. On windy days, be prepared to get splashed a little by the waves, which makes the walk there even more fun.