In Greek, ‘kokkini’ means ‘red’, while ‘hani’ is an old Turkish word that means ‘inn’. With hospitality literally written into its name, you’re assured of a good time on your Kokkini Hani holidays. A few kilometres east of Heraklion, this former fishing village is now a beloved rest and relaxation spot for families and couples looking to enjoy slow-paced Cretan life. The undisputed star of holidays to Kokkini Hani is the beach – a long golden sand affair sprinkled with wild cypress trees and palms that sway gently in the breeze.
With its backdrop of rugged hills, the village itself is delightful, full of narrow streets and shaded squares. There are tavernas and cafés where you can sample thick Greek coffee, and low-key evenings can be spent at one of a clutch of little bars listening to Cretan music and sipping shots of raki. For a peaceful break, nowhere does relaxation quite like Kokkini Hani.
Step back in time
Niros, an archaeological site of a Minoan village dating back to 1600 BC, is a must-see. Take time to explore the ruins, which are thought to have been the home of a high priest.
Take a village walk
Afternoon is the best time to take a stroll through the charming traditional village of Kokkini Hani. Be sure to visit its church, which is hewn into a rock.
Head to the pier, where you can cast a line and wait for a bite. Even if you’ve never fished, it’s fun to watch the experts.