The Scotsman Travel: A visit to Daios Cove, Vathi, Crete
A short ride from the bustling town of Agios Nikolaos, it is a pinch yourself kind of a place and the second most expensive resort ever built in Greece – it even has its own helipad.
This is Daios Cove, an unashamedly five-star resort in Vathi, northeast Crete, the largest of the Greek islands.
A quick Google of online reviews gives you an idea of how special this place is. Spread over five levels, the complex is served by a funicular and the sprawling resort offers 39 villas and 251 luxury rooms and suites. Despite its size, it manages to maintain a village feel, with interiors designed using natural materials and staff being attentive but not over the top.
Restaurants include the Pangea, an international buffet-style venue and the Taverna, where local seafood and Greek salads are the stars of the menu.
A Finnish sauna and steam baths are also on offer, along with a variety of massage treatments and special ice showers. There are opportunities for scuba diving, tennis, fitness training and private outdoor yoga and pilates sessions, but for many guests simply relaxing on the resort’s sandy beach with views of the attractive private cove will be top of the list of activities.
As well as winning plaudits for its luxurious facilities and thermal spa experience, the resort is also very family friendly, with cleverly timed children’s pyjama parties offering adults the chance for a quieter dinner For the convenience of guests who don’t fancy the short but steep labyrinth-like hike back to their room, there are club cars (posh golf buggies) to take the strain. I was staying in a seaview room, one of many with a private seawater pool, and it was spacious, with king-sized bed, lounge and dining area.
In nearby Kritsa, a handsome, hilly Cretan village with winding cobbled streets and quaint boutiques offering olive soup, a local speciality of thyme-infused honey and other souvenirs, along with shops selling quirky fashion and jewellery. Outside sit little old ladies selling the weaving, lace and embroidery for which the island is so well known. Kritsa is an easygoing place, and despite tourism being the economic mainstay of the island it also has a thriving agricultural community producing olives, grapes, fruit and vegetables, including tomatoes, cucumbers and courgettes. The region has also taken advantage of the recent explosion in popularity of avocados.
Nightly rates at Daios Cove are from €252 in a Deluxe Sea View Room. To book, visit daioscove.com or call +44 20 3807 1418.