Crete’s beach resort where families come first
Domes of Elounda, in the Gulf of Mirabello not far from ritzy Ayios Nikolaos, opened seven years ago and keeps expanding. Owned by a Greek doctor and built from scratch, it spreads over a huge amount of ground and is the new kid on the block when it comes to holidays specifically targeted at families.
When the resort is full, there can be 400 people here, billeted in apartments, duplexes and modern villas reached via electric buggies of which there never seem to be quite enough.
The provision for children is outstanding. Allowing for a tantrum or two, you can drop off a child aged three months at the crèche and pick him or her up again at tea-time. Then there are all sorts of ‘Kid’s Clubs’ for the five-12 year olds; a special games hall for teenagers; a watersports centre; boat rides; four restaurants and I count at least six swimming pools.
Choose your apartment with care. The best come with haunting views of Spinalonga, a fortress island founded by the Venetians in 1579. It proved to be impregnable and was only handed over to the Turks by treaty in 1715, some 50 years after the rest of Crete had surrendered. But its reputation suffered during the first part of the 20th century when it became a leper colony – the last in Europe – long after drugs to control the condition had been found.
Boat trips to the island come and go from Elounda and from the little hamlet of Plaka, a pleasant walk from the hotel, where there are a couple of decent fish restaurants.
Far more seasoned fans of Crete than me will tell you that the best of this island remains still largely undiscovered – and that you should get on with discovering it.
Daily Mail Travel