Less than an hour drive from Rethymnon and Heraklion (22 km and 55km respectively) lies the pic-turesque, fishing village of Panormos; a must-see for travellers who want to experience the authen-ticity of Cretan seaside life and revel in the unspoiled landscapes.

Start your day with a refreshing swim: protected from the waves thanks to the area’s natural har-bour, the calm, clear waters of Panormos’ two sandy beaches (Limanaki and Limni), are beckoning swimmers of every age.

A walk at the village’s cobblestone streets afterwards will eventually lead you through the remains of the medieval Genoan fort towards the basilica of Agia Sofia (5th centu-ry AD), one of the largest churches of that era in Crete.

Take in the history of the place; then let your senses guide you back to one of the village’s tavernas for a meal to remember. When it’s almost dusk, head to the lighthouse at Hondrocavos cape (about 800 meters from Panormos). It’s the perfect backdrop for a sunset – so perfect, no Instagram filters will be needed.