Travel: 48 hours in Gouves, Crete

Robin Gauldie spends a weekend in Crete

Amirandes Grecotel Exclusive Resort in Crete. Picture: Contributed
Amirandes Grecotel Exclusive Resort in Crete. Picture: Contributed

Friday, 10pm

Check in to the opulent Grecotel Amirantes (0030 28970 41103, This breathtaking resort has its own sandy beaches, indoor and outdoor pools, spa, nine restaurants and bars and 58 villas with private pools. It’s a 10­ minute cab ride from Heraklion’s airport, and double rooms start at around £160.

Saturday, 9am

Have a glass of bubbly with your buffet breakfast of smoked salmon, fresh yoghurt and Cretan olives.


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Take a cab (around €12) to the 4,000­-year-­old ruins of Knossos, with frescoes of dolphins and dancers, courtyards and pillared porticoes.


Admire Minoan relics like the bull’s head drinking vessel or rhyton at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum (Xanthoudidou 2; tel: 28102 226092,; combined Knossos and museum ticket €16).


Lunch with a harbour view at Herb’s Garden, on the roof of the downtown Lato Boutique Hotel.


Back at Amirandes, surrender to an open-air massage from one of the hotel’s Elixir Spa therapists.


Watch the sun go down from the deck of the hotel’s new Sunset Lounge.


Sample the cuisine that makes locals among the longest-­lived people in the world at organic restaurant, Xasteria.

Sunday, 9am

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Tee off at Crete Golf Club. (Hersonissos 70014; tel: 28970 2600,; nine holes €50, clubs €20, cart €20).


On the way back to Amirandes, explore Agia Paraskevi cave, a complex of stalactite-­studded grottoes.


For a grand finale, dine on the floating deck of Minotaur restaurant. The menu is modern Italian with a Greek twist.

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• Jet2 ( and Easyjet ( fly from Edinburgh to Heraklion, a two ­hour drive from Vamos. Ryanair ( flies from Glasgow to Chania, 45 minutes from Vamos. Car rental with Europcar ( costs around £35 per day. Further information:

• Robin Gauldie is the author of DK Eyewitness Top 10 Crete, published by Dorling Kindersley.