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Situated in the west of Crete, 10km away from Chania, Platanias is a popular holiday destination for couples and families. The population of the town is around 5,000, although this is growing steadily year after year. There are excellent transport links between Platanias and the local airports, which means that you will be able to reach your destination easily. The season runs the whole way through the summer months, from Easter through to October and you can expect temperatures of between 17 and 25 degrees during those times. Many of the locals speak English very well, so there is no need to worry about there being a language barrier when you arrive.
Lying beside the River Lardanos, meaning "Holy Water", Platanias has grown from being an agricultural area to the touristic area which you can experience today. Despite this, there are still many farms in the area and a lot of the produce can be bought in the local shops. The transport links between Platanias and the town of Chania are excellent, with buses running every fifteen minutes, making it easy to visit the surrounding areas.
Platanias is an old, small, traditional town with great views from the top of the hill on which it was built. Although small, the town still offers everything that you might need, including shops, banks, pharmacies and even an open air cinema which is well worth a visit in the evening. There are private children's play centres where children are able to play for a reasonable price. The town also boasts four kilometres of sandy beaches along with a small port. There are lifeguards on duty at all times to ensure visitor safety and beach staff will be happy to help you with anything that you might need during your visit. On the beach, you are able to sunbathe and relax, or take part in some of the water sports which are provided. If you choose to partake in any of these activities, you will be led by a fully qualified instructor, who will ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience. In addition to this, there are a number of beach bars in which you can enjoy a relaxing drink in a quiet atmosphere.
If you prefer to explore the natural wonders of the destination, you will not be disappointed. Orange groves are situated around the river and bamboo grows naturally on the banks. Just one kilometre away from the town, you will be able to find many rare animals and plants in a wild refuge which feels almost tropical. Departing from Central Square is a train which offers two hour tours of the countryside. These tours will appeal to all and are quite reasonably priced and well worth a visit.
There are many hotels in the area, all offering wonderful services and views of both the sea and the surrounding countryside. The most popular hotels include the Aplados Beach Hotel and the Balantinos Hotel. Most hotels offer their own restaurant, in addition to outdoor swimming pools. Some also offer spas and gyms for you to enjoy during your stay. If you prefer to be more self serving, you could try the Platanias Villa. This is a four bedroomed villa with its own private pool. It is 2.5km away from the sandy beaches and it is perfect if you wish to share your holiday with a group of up to eight people.
There are a wide range of places to eat in the town, from classy restaurants to low key cafes. All places are welcoming of families with children and you will be able to request a suitable portion of food for them. Contrary to meal times in the UK, Greek waiters pride themselves on allowing their guests to enjoy a whole evening with them, so a relaxed service is to be expected.
Platanias also offers an eclectic mix of night time entertainment. If you enjoy loud, intense music, clubs such as Mylos would appeal to you. However, there are also low key bars such as Splendid and Tropicano. In addition to these, there are also clubs offering traditional music, such as Mages, which allows you to get a real feel of the local culture. No matter what your tastes, you are sure to find something in the town that will suit you and your family.
No matter what you decide to do in Platanias, you are certain to enjoy your stay. With so much to do and see, it is clear why the destination remains popular with families and couples.