We staying here for first 2 weeks in September, it was a late booking, so didn't pay brochure price. We were very happy with the holiday for the amount paid but would not have been happy had we paid full brochure price (just to put the review in perspective) As everyone is looking for something different from a holiday I will try to give the facts rather than opinions
Hotel Location - It is 15 minutes transfer from the airport. That is because the roads wind round the countryside. The airport runway is literally at the end of the beach which is about half a mile or less from the hotel. The flight path runs the length of the beach so you will see and hear aircraft most hours of the day (it is a very busy airport). A busy beach road runs in front of the Taverna/hotel so you will also hear road noise. You can see the beach and sea from some of the rooms. It is set about 150 metres from the beach, but there is no direct route from the hotel to the beach so it will take you about 10 mins stroll to get to either the public beach or Amnissos beach. If you are affected by noise you may wish to keep the windows closed, but if you do this you will need to use the aircon which is charged at 4 euros per day
Hotel facilities - The hotel is a typical greek B&B. The rooms are basic but adequate and the bathrooms small. The rooms were cleaned everyday and were spotless and linen and towels changed every other day. The breakfast is served in the reception sala and was always good, plentiful and fresh served from 7.30 to 10. All the rooms have balcony or veranda but some rooms have much better views than others and it seems to be pot luck. Some of the rooms on one side of the hotel have no views and look out onto thick greenery covering another building, some of them look over the car park while others look out over the garden, pool and the airport and beach in the distance. We had room 205 which had a great view.
There is a taverna and a bar attached to the hotel
Pool - The pool is large and set in lovely, if somewhat overgrown) gardens, but it did look as if it needed a good clean while we were there. There is also a pool bar but that wasn't open while we were there. There are not enough sunbeds and some of them were broken.
Beach - there are 2 beaches, but these are not the manacured beaches you might find in some touristy resorts. They are not cleaned by large hotel conglomerates. There is only one large hotel on the beach (an italian AI) at the far end of Amnissos beach. If you come out of the hotel and turn right and take the first road on the rightyou come to the public beach (one beach bar). If you turn left out of the hotel and take the 2nd road on the left you come down to Amnissos beach, past a very good beach taverna. Here you will find a toilet, shower and chairs and umberellas (5 euros per day for 2 beds and brolly)
Karteros - Karteros is a resort and not a village. There are no village squares or harbour. It is literally a road running past a beautiful bay which has provided a small resort to grow. It is like a typical english seaside resort, in that it is used by greek families coming out for the day or weekend to the beach. I think the Prince of Lillies is the only hotel which provides for English tourists, which means the resort is very Greek, friendly with basic facilities. There is a regular bus into Irakleon 3 euro per person return and from there you can catch buses for further distances. You can also catch the bus in Karteros down the coast past Hersonissos as far as Malia without change. To get to Ag Nic you have to catch a long distance coach which passes at the end of Amnissos beach
Restaurants and Bars - There are only 2 bars both attached to Tavernas. The most popular bar by far is Prince of Lillies where Manos holds court. The only niggle I have with this is that he charges so much for the beer. A large beer in any other taverna (except the one with the bar attached opposit the public beach notice) charge 2.50 e Manos charges 4euro. Wine is a bit more expensive, but not as much mark up as the beer.
There are approx 9 Tavernas in Karteros/Amnissos (the 2 resorts run into each other)
POL serves good food in a very pretty setting with live music and large portions. It is however more expensive than the other tavernas we tried.
Come out of the hotel and turn right and just before you reach the turn for the public bar there is a restaurant which is good, friendly and good prices. The big taverna opposite is more expensive so we didn't try it. Turn left out of the hotel on the opposite side of the road you have 3 tavernas, the first one specialises in fresh barbecued/grilled meat (can't remember the name) but the food is really good and so are the prices. Next you come across Olgas, not much to look at but the food is good and cheap (she also gives you Tzatziki as a starter free and fruit at the end. Katrina, her husband and daughter Demitra make you really welcome. The small Giros place next to it run by George and is wife is also good - not much choice but try the Giros and fries (comes with Tzatziki) and a large salad - that's all you need. George calls his place To Aplo which translated means simple, and as he says it is a simple place for ordinary people - not snooty (as he thumbs his nose). Finally smack on the beach is Amnissos Taverna run by Yianni and his family. The prices aren't hiked at all because of the location and the food is excellent and the atmosphere typically greek and very friendly. The first Sunday we were there he hosted a Greek Baptism party for 40 - if they think it's good it speaks for itself. There are another 2 tavernas further down Amnissos by the beach - we didn't try them as they were more expensive and we really liked the ones I've mentioned.
For Walkers - If you like serious walking you can walk Karteros Gorge which is a 7 mile walk through beautiful scenary (Eli has details)
Staff - All the staff at POL were really fabulous - they even give you Greek lessons if you're interested and they have a good local knowledge.
Karteros will not be for everyone, but we had a fabulous time lazing on the beach, going for walks and most importantly interacting with the Greek people who live and work in the resort. You will received a warm welcome wherever you go in Karteros and while it is not the most picturesque place you will visit in Greece - it really does grow on you!!!!!
Ask for a 2nd floor room - 205 to 202 are good
Brush up on your Greek - you will be rewarded by suc...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.