A meal with a view – Best locations in West Crete

To stay with food and eating places I’d like to get your recommendations for the places that offer the best views to go with your meal.

This time let’s go beyond Chania to western Crete in general (I guess that’s anywhere to the West of a line drawn between Rethymnon and Plakias) and include restaurants, tavernas, beach shacks and cafés (if they serve snacks). Obviously the food needs to be OK (but that’s a given  almost anywhere in Crete) but let’s have the emphasis on location, great views and special surroundings.

I don’t think that it is possible to post photos in the comments section but if you want to email a photo to illustrate your comment you can email it to webmaster@west-crete.com (please write ‘A meal with a view’ in the subject line).

This time I won’t suggest any favourites. I might do later in comments.

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39 Responses to A meal with a view – Best locations in West Crete

  1. Carole says:

    O.K. my geography is absolutely awful but we will highly recommend Michalis at Kamisinia Crete, and also Captain Fidias in Sfinari where we have had the most yummy meals for the last 8 years – cannot be faulted

    • Jean says:

      Do you mean Kamisiana? Could you maybe say where it is? I am not having much luck locating the place exactly. I know Sfinari, on the West coast of the island.
      It would be nice to say why they are such great locations.

      • Carole says:

        yes it is kamisiana go through maleme, then through tavronitis and just follow the signs, it is on the right hand side of the road, down a bit of a bumpy track – why is it nice, well Maria the wife cooks all the food, they do a yummy goat stew, brilliant rabbit stifado, and if you are really lucky, they will have a bit left over from their traditional sunday lunch to offer you on the sunday evening, and of course many many glasses of raki!!! – Also very nice starters, again cooked by maria, and really yummy deserts, especially the figs taken from Michalis farm in Chania – well as to Captain Fidias in Sfinari, well that it is a totally different story, as we have been going there for some years now, last year, “captain fidias” whose sons go out fishing to catch the fish that they cook freshly to order for lunch – you choose what you want from the enormous fridge, offered that my partner could go out with his sons fishing, and said that our family could stop with theirs for a traditional meal. – We had the lobster, and although was expensive was so well worth it.

  2. Rafal says:

    Great views, but quite high prices, are in restaurant in Botanical Garden (17th km on the National Road of Hania, Fournes, Omalos). You can always take a walk by the paths of the garden and then eat (or in different order).
    Second place is quite near the first one. It’s a small place where you have similar views and you can eat very nice meal for a good price. It’s situated a little closer to Rethymno (going by the National Road) and it’s less then 1km from Botanical Garden.

    • Jean says:

      The botanical garden is not on the National Road but on the road to Omalos. Yes, it is a pretty place.
      I can’t think of another place near the botanical garden so I am not sure about which second place you mean.

  3. Yorgos says:

    The harbor front restaurants at Chora Sfakion and Loutro are hard to beat for both views and quality of food but even more important is the groups of people that one can meet and befriend and eat, drink and talk together till late at night. It is at these places that a visitor can experience the true Cretan hospitality that goes beyond the quality of food and service, it is the opportunity to form a “parea” with others that would remain in your mind more vivid than the food or the views of the restaurant.

    For “parea” I will not try to explain but would refer you to this link:

    http://constantinealexander.wordpress.com/2008/06/17/definition-of-a-parea/

    Might be over the top but it can explain a lot of things.

    • I totally agree with Yorgos, but would like to add a tavern Agia Roumeli. Especially “Paralia” (with Nikos and Manolis) and “Pahnes” with a surprisingly tasty salads and charming Stelios and his wife. It is here that you can always meet a lot of interesting people.

  4. Kate Hanlin says:

    If it’s views you’re after then not that many places beat Kefali on the road to Omalos or the taverna at Psychro Pigadi.

    • Jean says:

      Yes it’s views I am after on that one. Is Kefali the taverna on the small hill above the road a little bit after Lakki? If so, yes it’s a pretty good choice.

      • Kate Hanlin says:

        That’s right but Psychro Pigadi is equally stunning, although the road up to it can be a bit hairy at some points.

  5. Yorgos says:

    A few years ago, walking from Theriso to Meskla, I can across the small village of Zourva with a small tavern with great views, Aimelia’s. I just had a rest and a drink so I cannot vouch for its food but the views were splendid, down to Meskla, Lakkoi and beyond. Reviews by other indicate that the food is also very good so I must visit it again one day, by car this time.

  6. Apostolos says:

    The list is long, but I will start with two personal favourites: “Aimilia” (or “Emilia”) in Zourva and “Dounias” (or “Ntounias”) in Drakona. Both are traditional “inland” Cretan tavernas. The latter is more creative with its cooking, while the former relies more on typical recipes. Both great though, with fresh local ingredients. The location is very nice in both (mountainous landscape only half an hour from Chania), but perhaps even nicer in “Aimilia”. Steep, forested mountains towards the south and the foothills + the valley towards the south.

    • Jean says:

      Two recommendations for “Aimilia” and I don’t know it? I must go there soon, especially as it is almost in my backyard.

  7. carol says:

    mine used to be the panorama at malaxa. you could watch the boat leaving from souda, home cooked food and great company. sadly, the panorama closed a few years ago.

  8. Krzysztof says:

    Stavros- Thanasis and Zorbas; Sfinari- Thalami ; Kolimbari- Plaza ; Frangocastello- Milos and Flisvos

  9. Hannes says:

    Sfakian cheese pie with honey at Marmara in Sfakia after a hike from Roumeli. Unbeatable!

  10. Eva says:

    Falasarna – Taverna Sunset (I would recommend the octopus salad); Sfinari – Sunset (fish); Kato Rodakino (Koraka Beach) – Nikos and Anna; Taverna Livaniana – is anybody running it at the moment?

  11. Eva says:

    I forgot VRACHOS STO KYMA in Ravdoucha – beautiful sunsets over Gramvousa

  12. Jill says:

    As you head over on the road into the Askyfou Plateau from the north (by car or bus from Chania), the first taverna on the left is the Panorama which, as the name suggests, has a wonderful terrace with views south across the plateau, with the Turkish fort and eastern White Mountains on the left, Kastro’s three peaks over to the West. The food is very good traditional Cretan and has even won some awards. Their own wine is also delicious! You can sit outside, but if windy etc, the terrace has huge sliding glass panels so you still get the great views from inside!

    • Jean says:

      And they are open in the winter, at least at weekends, which make it a good place to stop on your way back from the mountains.

  13. DavidA says:

    I would put forward Nikos and Anna taverna at the Korakas end of Rodakino. You sit by the sea with a wonderful view over towards Tris petres and the coast all down towards Aghia Galini as you face east: the food is delicious and extremely reasonably priced.

  14. DavidA says:

    Milia. As they used to say in the old Michelin guides – worth the detour. Zoran and his team produce superb dishes of organic food at this most unusual location: the view from the restaurant is over the valleys and mountains and of course as there are no roads nearby the only noise you hear is the occasional high-flying airplane. I always find myself leaving having also bought some of the delicious products of the place including the unresiny but different retsina they make as well as the sublime balsamic vinegar. Even the bread is made on the premises: it must be marvellous to stay there in winter with no electricity and wood -fired stoves in the stone bungalows. The price of the food is NOT extortionate either.

  15. DavidA says:

    Panorama Taverna on the outskirts of Spili: wonderful food and reasonable and the view……

  16. DavidA says:

    Walk through the town from the North and on leaving on the southern side…there it is on your right.

  17. Karen Angus says:

    I got married in the most beautiful place in all the world … To KYMA taverna Maleme , the view is breathtaking and a millionaire couldn’t have a better one … The Koutsogiannakis family are wonderful people and are great hosts….

  18. Julie says:

    A little late, but I can’t resist. Finix, I’m here right now, gazing through the arch at the sea and the rocky peninsula at sunset, working my way through a jug of raki and a mountain of watermelon. First day here. Bliss. 🙂

  19. Jack & Chris says:

    How about Zorbas Taverna in Kalives. The Taverna is in the square overlooking the main church and serves exceptionally good Greek food. The tables are outside on the square.

    Jack & Chris

    • Jean says:

      In a square in a village….I am not sure that this would count as ‘best views’ but I suppose that it’s a matter of taste (pun intended).

  20. Jack & Chris says:

    Sorry, I mean’t the view was of the church, not the square. Nice to think that you can be fulfilled in mind and stomach at the same time. I do hope that some of your contributors give the taverna a try if they are Kalives way.

    Kind regards

    Jack

  21. DavidA says:

    SPILI: in the centre of the town , immediately above the fountains (literally) is Plateia cafe. The food is superb and the quality high and the prices low. The view through the plane trees of the surrounding country is lovely. This cafe is owned by the the people who own the Panorama: the Panorama is closed for the season but this is more than a feeble next best. it is good value and worth a visit.

    LIGRES October 2. 34 degrees. Villa Maria The only two customers at lunch time . Magnificent view of the beach; the food excellent: green beans cooked in tomatoes as ever, then small deep-fried fish and then free dessert of melon, peach and grapes. What not to like?

  22. DavidA says:

    Frankokastello:
    To my shame, I have only recently discovered the excellent taverna Vatalos at the western edge of the unlovely development that Frankokastello has become. Its siting is very pleasant with a view down to the beach and the food is truly excellent, in my opinion. It is a genuine family business: warning: the portions are NOT small! The quality is excellent and the prices very reasonable. Strongly recommended.

    KALLIKRATIS
    We always enjoy calling in at Janina and Babis’s cafe, the first cafe you get to when you have come up the road from Patsianos to the plateau of Kallikratis. They are hardy souls, being about the only people to live there all the year round. Janina sells the best Greek coffee I have experienced in Crete, her excellent home-made lemonade as well as organic wine. They also run http://www.wildherbsofcrete.com as they prepare herbs by hand (the flavour seems to us to be much more intense than the packets you can buy e.g. in Chania market) , make soap and also sell very high quality honey as well as jars of home-processed olives flavoured with savory. The cafe is eclectically decorated with skulls of sheep and goats as well as having its own distictinve tables and benches. The cafe is built around a large rock. Behind the cafe is the house they have built over the years and they now have a few rooms to let. As every drop of drinking water has to be brought up from elsewhere, it really is quite an effort. They seem to be making very much of a go of it and if readers of this blog have not explored the Kallikraits plateau or seen the orchids at Asfendou, they have a treat in store.

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