How to get to Xerokampos and enjoy the unknown gem of Crete

Are you adventurous? Looking for the perfect spot to relax away from the touristy zones but can’t decide where to go? Let me introduce you to the tiny village of Xerokampos, the South East destination in Crete Island to deserted bays, spectacular views and untouched nature.


1. HOW TO GET TO CRETE
2. THE DRIVE TO XEROKAMPOS
3. HOTEL RECOMMENDATION
4. THE BEACH
5. THE CRETAN FOOD


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1. HOW TO GET TO CRETE

Crete is a charming island and the largest of the Greek Aegean Sea. It is home to wonderful places, all different from each others and despite the development some of them are still intact.

It can take a little while to travel from the west to the east side and you’ll need quite of bit of time if you want to explore the whole island in one go. Try to focus on one area for your first trip and have the excuse to come again to see the rest, there is a lot of amazing things to do in Crete.

There are two airports, Heraklion and Chania, Heraklion would be the most convenient to visit the Eastern part. There isn’t much to do in Heraklion, though it’s great to stop for a couple of nights to see the ruins of Knossos which used to be the political center of the Minoan civilization or walk around the lively city centre and eat tasty Cretan food by the seaside.

The only way to get to Xerokampos would be by car, if you’re not planning to drive don’t waste your time and pick another destination, transportation isn’t great in Crete to travel that far. It is a long drive but believe me it is well worth the trip.

For our trip, we’ve rented a car with Sixt. The process was very easy and quick, we booked online and picked the car up after landing in Heraklion. It was the second time we used the hired company in Europe and were sastified with the service. I’d recommend hiring a small car for better parking and also adding an insurance, it cost an extra 15 euros per day for a full coverage.

Parking in Heraklion can be difficult since most of the hotels don’t have the facility in house. My top recommendation for a secure car park is the City Car Park, it’s indoors and only cost 6 euros for 24 hours, just follow the signs in town and you’ll get there. As you head south to Xerokampos finding a parking spot won’t be an issue at all.

2. THE DRIVE TO XEROKAMPOS

Get rested and be prepared for a tiring but spectacular journey through an untouched scenary. As you drive through some of the prettiest Cretan surroundings you can admire the crystal blue bays, the caves, herd of sheeps, olive farms and traditional Greek villages all around.

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There are two routes that link to Xerokampos, we did both and can’t tell which one we preferred, both were different with gorgeous views along the way.

We travelled through route A from Heraklion with a stop in Sitia. We stayed there a few nights, the beach in Sitia isn’t amazing comparing to what you can see in Crete but it was nice to chill a bit before continuing the journey.
On the way back we went for the route B with no stops, just a lunch break and of course to take photos of the gorgeous landscapes and sea views.

Both routes are pretty similar time wise, it takes about three and a half hours or more to get to/from. Half of the drive on the motorway  is very easy and smooth, the other half gets VERY curvy and steep as your take in the mountains. The good news is that you won’t be bothered by the traffic! Download a good playlist on Spotify for the journey, pack fresh water in the car and for those who get transport sickness don’t forget your medication.

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4. HOTEL RECOMMENDATION IN XEROKAMPOS

We’ve stayed at Liviko view and loved it. We were welcomed by a lovely local host and were offered traditional liquor and homemade food. We booked the sea front apartment which was peaceful, spacious and only a few minutes walk to a beautiful beach.

The village is a wonderful place for serenity and relax time away from the busy lifestyle. Don’t expect much facilities or nightlife at all, there is just a small grocery and a couple of restaurants.  There is an ATM in Zakros, the closest tiny town which is about 10 km away from Xerokampos. Be aware, some places only accept payment by cash so you better planning your trip ahead.

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4. THE BEACHES

There is a selection of pretty beaches all around the bays, all really clean, clear and tourist free. You might see other foreigners in high season but it doesn’t get very busy due to its location. We stayed 5 nights which was enough to explore all the coves. There is loads of spots available to park everywhere and most of the beaches are easily accessible through paved roads and uncomplicated to find, there are signs on the main road that direct you.

Kite surfers? You should head to the far-east beach, it is a good spot with great wind!

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5. THE CRETAN FOOD

Add some flavour to your holidays and enjoy fresh Mediterranean cuisine.

Of course the traditional Greek Salad with homemade feta cheese, fresh tomatoes and juicy cucumber.

The Dakos, pieces of dry and crispy bread topped with fresh tomatoes and Cretan goats cheese, kind of a Greek bruschetta.

The Greek yoghurt with nuts topping and tasty honey.

The Kolokithokeftedes, zucchini balls with tzatziki dip, they’re my favorite!

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Taste the artisanale olive oil from the neighborhood fields, there are thousands of olive trees growing in the island and the Cretan uses it in most dishes.

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“The most inspirational and peaceful place is in nature.

Enjoy the road trip to this little gem and leave a comment if you need extra tips.

Sydney x”

10 thoughts on “How to get to Xerokampos and enjoy the unknown gem of Crete

Add yours

  1. We have been to Crete twice. But only for the day each time. It is on my list of places to return to. Good to know that we would need a car to visit Xerokampos. I do remember the great mountainous and curvy roads we travelled on in Crete. Such great memories of that deep blue water. We never made it to the beach so that would definitely be worth the drive to Xerokampos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Returning to explore deeper sounds like a great idea! Crete is probably one of the biggest island of the Cyclades group with a lot to see. I didn’t get the chance to experience to west side yet and would love to go back for that. Which other part of Greece did you go to?

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  2. Well, I’ve never been to Crete but I kinda like the place. Absolutely! I really love nature! There is nothing more beautiful than the outdoors where you can see the beach, listen to the sound of the waves, see trees everywhere, or watch flowers bloom. It’s a peace like no other and in this busy, technological world that creates so much stress and craziness.
    Anyway, the hotel looks very spacious, the place is accurately described and the view is super amazing! I wish I could come here.

    Would you like to be a friend and follow each other? Please follow me,
    I’ll follow you back. Thank you! ^^

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Rosaline you are totally right nature is everything! I could spend hours just looking at the horizon relaxing my mind. I love to be by the sea side and can’t see myself living in winter places anymore.
      I’d love to stay in touch with you, I’m now following your blog. Thanks for registering to my newsletter too 🙂
      Hope you’re having a fab time in Manila! Cheers!

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  3. As a nature lover this is definitely worth the trip. You’ve shared it like I was transported to this amazing place. Plus the beaches is beautiful too. Hopefully I can visit this place one day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Farrah I’d like to thank you for sparing a few minutes to go through the post. I really loved my time in Xerokampos and I hope I can encourage people to experience Crete beyond the famous towns. Take care!

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    1. From the mountains to the beach Xerokampos definitely has some of the best views I’ve seen in Greece and I’m glad we have cameras nowadays to share to the world. Thanks to you for such a great comment!

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    1. You are totally right, you can’t take a bad picture in Greece.
      Spending a month in Crete sounds like the perfect plan to me! It is a large island that requires some time to be discovered, and if you can I highly recommend hiring a car 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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