The Beaches of Crete

Crete was our crap shoot at the end of the trip. We both wanted to visit another island, I was in favor of Santorini but it looked a lot like Mykonos so Corey talked me into Crete. The downsides were that it was far away, about as far as you can get from Athens and still be in Greece, and that it’s a huge island so we had to choose what parts we wanted to see. But then the guys who worked our hostel in Athens heard we were headed to Crete and gave us all kinds of recommendations of where to stay and what beaches to visit so we decided it would be worth it. We got a ferry from Mykonos (5 hours!) and landed in Heraklion around evening on Monday.

Heraklion is a big messy city with a gorgeous medieval wall running along the bay

heraklion

We were only here one night so I have very little to say about this city except… street art! I liked this little guy.

heraklion

The next day we got on a bus and headed to our real destination, the town of Chania in the upper west side of the island. We literally got off the bus, went directly to the airport, rented a car and headed straight to Elafonisi Beach. We didn’t have much time here and didn’t want to waste it.

It was only 72km from Chania but the roads were narrow

Crete

And windy

Crete

And it took awhile. Like 2 hours. Ish. Fortunately we had tunes and snacks

Oregano lays

And gorgeous views

Crete

And nothing to do but drive; so we did.

Elafonisi is counted as one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. It did not disappoint

Elafonisi beach

That sand is pink!

IMG_2160

Crushed coral I believe. And the water is the clearest I’ve ever seen anywhere. We sat on the beach for hours, I think I read a little bit and just stared at the ocean. The water was chilly so Corey got in. I did not.

Corey at Elafonisi

We drove home after a few hours and enjoyed a delightful dinner in Crete

Crete

And collapsed at our hotel. We stayed at the Splanzia Boutique Hotel and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Corey said the real subtitle of our Greek vacation (right behind “Beer and Cats”) is “Why are we not staying here longer??” and I said it the most about Chania and especially the Splanzia.

My room was so beautiful, especially in the morning light

Splanzia Boutique Hotel

and I even enjoyed some coffee on my teensy balcony

Splanzia Boutique hotel

And a massive breakfast spread with the best Greek yoghurt I’ve ever had in my mouth, covered in local honey.

Greek yoghurt

Thus fortified, and with a flight to Athens late that afternoon, we got back in the car to hit one more beach. Falasarna.

Falasarna beach

Falasarna was my favorite.

Kaitlyn at Falasarna

The water was crystal clear and warm enough to swim, I loved these beach chairs

Falasarna beach

And I spent a sizable amount of time just sitting. Drinking beer. Looking at the ocean.

Falasarna beach

Definitely amongst my top #5 favorite vacation activities.

But sadly we couldn’t stay so we packed up our wet clothes, shook off our sandy feet and headed for the airport. Corey assured me we wouldn’t be the smelliest kids on the plane because “it’s Europe and it’s the height of backpacker season.” He wasn’t wrong.

And that was the last of our Greek vacation. Corey flew back to the states at the literal crack of dawn and I followed at a more civilized hour. I was sad to go and I’ll be so pleased to come back.

Greece is so easy. It’s easy to get there, easy to get around, the people are friendly and welcoming, everyone speaks English and there’s something for everyone. If you feel like you need a Greek vacation, I think you probably do.

If I manage to get my act together, I’ll do one more post with a few of my favorite memories/pictures from the trip.

2 thoughts on “The Beaches of Crete

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