Agia Pelagia (Santa Pelagia) is located 21km west of Heraklion, and 25 km from the airport of Heraklion and 23km from the ferry port. It lays on the west side of a long peninsula, which has many small coves with beautiful beaches.
Agia Pelagia tοοκ its name from the homonymous church, in the Monastery of the Savathiana, ruins of which are found at a a very close distance from the village. The Turks during their occupancy named the Gulf of Agia Pelagia to Tsanak Limani, because the area reminded them of a plate (tsanak means platei in Turkish).
Agia Pelagia, although initially it was a small and picturesque village built from the residents of Achlada village in the centre of a amphitheatric bay, it rapidly transformed into a very popular tourist resort with many hotels and the outstanding Out of the Blue Capsis Elite Resort, restaurants offering traditional and international dishes, cafes, bars, shops, ATMs, taxi, etc. The village is suitable for some very exciting short walks through its invitee little streets.
The main beach of Agia Pelagia is long and narrow with sand and crystal clear greenish waters. The beach is pretty organized and you may find umbrellas, sunbeds, watersports and diving activities (snorkeling and scuba diving). You may also have fun on the various beach bars of or crap a bite on the various seaside restaurants.
From Agia Pelagia it is very easy to access the Minoan Palace of Knossos, the archeological Museum of Heraklion, the traditional villages of Achlada, Fodele and Anogia which are located on the highest mountain of Crete Psiloritis (2.456m high). Also, from Agia Pelagia you can visit the post-minoan graves and the University (Pritanion) of the 4th century B.C. which were found in 1970 at the site Kladistos or Kladotos and support the view that this was the site of the ancient city of Apollonia. Worth visiting is also the nearby cave, with the name “Evresi”, where according to the legend the locals found the icon of Agia Pelagia (Saint Marina). Around 20km aways you may visit also another interesting cave called Melidoni.
One of the advantages of Agia Pelagia’s position is that lies right in the middle of Crete which can operate as your base for mini excursion in order to explore the rest of Crete island.
Watch this sort amateur aerial video of Agia Pelagia