It’s not everyone’s cup of tea to join the hordes of night-clubbers heading to Malia. If you’re looking for a more relaxing and peaceful holiday in Crete, then the pretty resort of Sissi fits the bill. This charming, low-key fishing village is the perfect spot to soak up some Mediterranean sunshine, enjoy some family fun and treat yourself to the delights of Greek cooking. Rather than nightclubs and bars, all you’ll find in Sissi are tavernas, sandy beaches and bright blue sea. It’s chill-out time! Sissi is that dream Greek destination you imagine during those cold and wet English winter days.
A string of surrounding pebbly and sandy beaches make Sissi a great spot for a family holiday. Kids can splash around in the sea, while more adventurous holidaymakers can take advantage of the watersport options available. This is the place where you’ll get that picture of dad looking scared as he takes off on a parasailing adventure. There are plenty of souvenir shops and boutiques to pick up that memento of your trip to Sissi. When the sun goes down, picture sipping on a glass of Cretan wine while making your way through a delightful Greek salad. There are plenty of interesting day trips within easy reach of Sissi too. You can visit the ancient Minoan palace of Malia, head on a boat jaunt to the island of Spinalonga or explore the typically Greek village of Agios Nikolaos.
Just a few miles east of Sissi, Vrahassi is like a time machine into the traditions of village life in Crete. There are quaint village squares, cobbled winding streets, windmills and water fountains. You can also visit an old monastery within a short drive of Vrahassi.
If you’re looking to explore life under the ocean, then Milatos is an ideal spot for snorkelling. Milatos is surrounded by small strips of sandy beaches and rocky coves. They’re great to float around, armed with a snorkel and a mask. Milatos is also fab for a wander. There’s plenty of excellent fish tavernas, a port and cute village homes. Your friends will all be jealous when you share the photos on social media.
It’s a great idea to hire a car on your holiday in Sissi and explore the surrounding area. There’s plenty to see. Even driving with the top down and the Mediterranean breeze brushing through your hair is fun. The village of Agios Nikolaos draws large numbers of visitors, simply because it has been untouched by the tourist trade. Families and couples love this taste of traditional Greek life.
Minoan Palace of Malia.
The remains of ancient civilisations can be found at several sites across Crete. The Minoan Palace of Malia is the closest to Sissi and takes visitors more than 3,000 years back in time. You can wander around the ruins just as it was when first uncovered by archaeologists.
If you’ve packed your sea legs, then a boat trip to the island of Spinalonga is a great day trip. Ferries can be caught from Agios Nikolaos, Elounda or Plaka to reach Spinalonga, which is also known as Leper Island. Until the 1950s, lepers from Crete and across Greece were isolated in quarantine here. Don’t worry, there’s no chance of catching leprosy today! But you can take a tour of the ruined buildings and see how these people lived.
The coast around the village of Milatos is brilliant for snorkelling, but there’s also the Milatos cave to explore. Put on a sturdy pair of shoes and switch on the flashlight on your smartphone, before heading on a short walk into the cave. It’s pitch-black inside, but you can explore its nooks and crannies. There’s also a plaque honouring the memory of Cretans slaughtered by Turkish soldiers as they hid in the cave.
Beaches in Sissi
Many of the beaches around Sissi are pebbly, aside from a few sandy strips. There is a small beach near the harbour with a few umbrellas, calmer waves and showers. It’s straightforward to reach some sand though. Head east along the coast to find the beaches of Boufos and Avlaki.
Expect hearty, delicious food on your trip to Sissi, together with fresh grilled fish straight from the Mediterranean. Stews such as the Greek favourite stifado can be found on most menus. Stifado is usually made with rabbit, cooked slowly with tiny onions and roast potatoes. It’s absolutely scrumptious. Another of Crete’s most popular dishes is the tako - a bread that is similar to a barley rusk. It’s soaked in olive oil and tomato after being softened in water. It’s very tasty and helps the digestion. To wash the food down, you’ll often be given a complimentary glass of the local raki spirit. It’s definitely only a drink for the brave!
Restaurants in Sissi
Many locals in Crete head to Sissi to take advantage of the resort’s range of fish tavernas. They can mostly be found on the pier, with fish going straight from the boat to the grill. One of the golden rules is to keep an eye out for where the locals are eating. You can be confident that the restaurant is going to be a good one.
Pick a sunbed, find a good book and have your eye on an appealing taverna. A trip to Sissi is all about relaxation and treating yourself in a traditional Greek resort. It’s a chance to chill out in one of the prettiest and tranquil destinations in Greece. To book your holiday to Sissi, easyJet holidays offers the best way to get to this must-see destination. The best bit is that you can save on your holiday when you book your flight and hotel together with easyJet holidays. If you’re still browsing, then take a look at our other destination guides to Crete.