With 16 and 10 year old children to entertain we were looking for a family beach holiday in Crete and on the Internet we stumbled across Kalamaki Apartments in the village of Kalamaki southern Crete and it turned out to be a superb find. The pictures of the apartments looked amazing but the reality was much better than photos can show.
The owners of the apartments, Renata and Michaelis, stayed up to 1am to welcome us from our late flight and thoughtfully left some wine and cold beer in the fridge which was really appreciated! The occupy the top floor of the building which is great as they were always available if we had any questions about the apartment or local area but they left us to ourselves otherwise.
The two bedroom apartment was immaculately finished and perfectly clean. It was built to the highest standard with top quality fittings and fixtures including very effective underfloor cooling and electric shutters that can be closed to keep the sun out and rooms cool at when needed or at night. The view from inside the apartment is amazing with an uninterrupted view of the sea from most rooms through full width sliding glass doors and glass walled balconies. No need to stand on the balcony to look at the sea. The apartment had everything we needed including coffee maker, washing machine and dishwasher and the wifi kept everyone happy too!
The apartment is directly in front of the quieter end of Kalamaki beach, slightly raised, with just a small quiet track between it and the beach. Within sight of the apartment is a small restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. As with all the beach front restaurants near by they provide thatched style beach umbrellas and reclining beach chairs available to use for free. I am sure they appreciate it if you buy the occasional drink or snack though.
The beach is sandy and clean with plenty of space and rarely busy. We enjoyed snorkelling near the waters edge and found several types of fish. At every place you leave the beach you will find a simple shower provided to wash the sand off as you need it. Brilliant.
Kalamaki itself is, for us, the perfect size and level of development. It is small enough to feel authentic with friendly locals and enough restaurants and small shops to provide all you need (small supermarket, bakery, souvenirs, beach stuff) but not over developed. We took a day trip to near by Matala with its ancient caves carved into the coastal cliffs, which made a nice break but we much preferred the feeling of Kalamki as a place to stay.
Overall the best European holiday we have had. Fantastic apartment, beautiful location. We will be back!