Explore the area
The central beach of Agia Pelagia. It is sandy, with umbrellas and beach chairs, plus water sports and diving centres, which offer beginners’ courses. The bay deepens relatively fast, but in the middle of the beach there is a long and narrow rocky plate which provides a small area safe for children. There is a good selection of tavernas and cafeterias along the beachfront. A small beach on the peninsula of the Capsis Beach Resort. It’s a nice, but tiny beach, with just enough sand for about four or five people to lay down their beach towels. You can get there by swimming or by peddle boat. To find it you must look at the centre of the peninsula for an inlet with steep sides and green waters.
The Ligaria beach, east of Agia Pelagia. This one is also sandy, with umbrellas and several tavernas. The bay is smaller, but it is also protected from the north winds, and rent-rooms are available. The beach of Made. You can get here from the Ligaria road, but it is not particularly attractive. It is used mainly by the locals for tying up their fishing boats. A big hotel imposes above the bay.
The Psaromoura beach. Another rather small beach, preferred by locals on weekends. There are umbrellas, but it is not protected from the north winds, and the water can get choppy. To find it, continue on the road after the Capsis hotel, but you may have to ask a local for accurate directions.
Mononaftis beach, west of Agia Pelagia. This is a lovely small cove with umbrellas, restaurants and hotels, but it is not protected from the north winds. The beach is beautiful with sand and pebbles, but, here too, the water deepens rapidly. The tavernas which surround the beach create a claustrophobic sensation which is soon forgotten as you immerse yourself in the pleasurably cool waters.
Knossos, the famous Minoan Palace is only 25 km away. The village of Rogdia, high above the bay, stands out for the unique view it affords of the cove below and the entire city of Heraklion in the distance. The tavernas offer good food, along with the beautiful vistas, and they attract the residents of Heraklion along with the tourists. The village streets are narrow, dotted with traditional Cretan homes, and there is the Monastery of Savathiana, which is one of the most beautiful Cretan monasteries.
The area of Agia Pelagia is almost totally owned by people who came down from the high village of Achlada. Visit this quaint village situated on top of the mountain over Agia Pelagia, offering an incredible view of the Fodele bay and the sea beyond. Heading west on the national road from Agia Pelagia, turn off at the sign for Fodele village.
Fodele is known as the birth place of painter Domenicos Theotokopoulos, better known as El Greco. The house where he was born is now a museum, featuring copies of his work. Visit the Melidoni cave. Drive past Bali (west, 20 km) and then turn left to Melidoni. If you like diving, Agia Pelagia is a good choice both for snorkeling and scuba diving.