Panormo holidays have the family-friendly formula sussed. It's nice and quiet, and stocked with a toddler-approved beach.

Pocket-sized Panormo

This blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town is stashed away on the north coast of Crete. Lots of holidaymakers in these parts tend to head straight for the likes of better-known Rethymnon or Heraklion. But, in recent years, Panormo’s started to build up a fan base of in-the-know families, who come running for its peachy beaches and laidback outlook on life.

Kid-friendly coastline

Panormo means ‘sheltered harbour’ in English, and this teeny retreat sure lives up to its label. The go-to strip of sandy beach, called Limani, is protected by a pier on either side. Acting as beefed-up bodyguards, these wooden jetties keep the water swimming pool-still, making it ideal for armband wearing little’uns. Soft sands and an onslaught of sunbeds polish things off.

Relaxing evenings

Nightlife also follows the family-friendly theme. After dark, the done thing here is to take a stroll along the seafront, munch on meze at a traditional taverna or sit back with a tot of raki in hand. That said, you can easily hail a cab to Rethymnon, 15 minutes down the road, if you decide you want a more lively night out.

A hit with history buffs

You can’t come to Crete without taking a peek at the Palace of Knossos. This royal complex was built thousands of years ago, way before Rome’s Colosseum even had a blueprint. It was home to the powerful King Minos, and is full of tales of Theseus and the Minotaur. You’ll find it just outside of Crete’s capital, Heraklion, an hour’s drive away.

At a Glance

  • Take the tots for a paddle at Limani Beach
  • Catch the sunset from a seafront taverna
  • Get a handle on Greek history at the Palace of Knossos