Long time no see! I am finally back to writing and I am feeling all kinds of rusty so bare with me! I spent a glorious week in Crete earlier in the year and wanted to share a bit of my trip with you. I haven’t actually been on a plane in around 6 years which is so strange as I love to travel (and even have the tourism degree to prove it)
After being diagnosed with PTSD I started to panic about…having a panic attack whilst travelling (theres a sweet irony there right?) and slowly but surely my travel bucket list became less of a ‘must do’ and more of a ‘can’t do’ and in all honesty I just stopped getting itchy feet.
At the beginning of the year I took a tentative step to get me out of my self imposed travel ban rut and hopped on the Eurostar for a long weekend in Paris and it was wonderful.
Feeling brave, I had all of these plans to go to Vegas/San Fran/Mexico (and even Aruba at one point!) before it was kindly suggested to me that perhaps I might want to try somewhere a bit closer to home for my first trip in a while, and so I went for the comfort and familiarity of the Greek islands. When I say I love(d) to travel I’m not kidding around, I spent a whole summer backpacking around the Greek islands on a whim whilst at Uni and fell in love with the people and the breathtaking beauty of the islands, each more stunning than the last.
One island I didn’t get to visit though was Crete, and it’s a strange one because I have visited Greece more times that I can count, travelled to teeny islands and right across the mainland but Crete has never been on my radar. In truth I picked it this time for 2 reasons, the hotel looked amazing and the weather was especially good for early June.
But Crete surprised me, it’s beauty and tragic history resonated in me and I felt a really affinity for the island almost straight away. The Cretans are the most friendly, warm and engaging people of all the islands I have visited and the island itself feels alive, I know that sounds odd but it truly does. It might have something to do with how fertile the island is, Crete produces most of the worlds Greek Olive Oil not to mention a huge amount of oranges, lemons, apples, figs and honey to name but a few.
We stayed in the Chania area, a beautiful city with a Venetian harbour you have to visit. Chania itself would make an amazing weekend break destination, full to the brim with sea front tavernas and bars, amazing shopping and instagram worthy cobbled streets and beautiful buildings, it’s somewhere I definitely want to explore more. We went quite early (something I recommend as it’s busy and v. hot in Chania!) and did the tour bus (cheesy? yes! But the city is big and if you aren’t too mobile the tour is really interesting and you get to see areas such as the war graves and the homes of the rich and famous of yesteryear, not to mention there are a few ‘inaccessible by foot unless you want to be run over’ spots for incredible photos of the bay below.
We jumped off in the old town where we visited the indoor market, stopping for frappes and picking up local spices and little trinkets to take home. After exploring the little cobbled streets filled to the brim with jewellery stores and beautiful locally produced gifts we spent the afternoon sipping coffee in one of the many cafes around the main shopping area, people watching and soaking in the beauty of the island.
We stayed in the Euphoria resort about 20 minutes outside of Chania, it’s a brand new hotel and it’s got to be one of the most impressive hotels I’ve ever visited, everything from the pool which spans the length of the resort (and is one of the biggest pools in Greece) littered with daybeds and jacuzzis built into it’s sides to the swim up rooms just a stones throw from the beautiful private beach. We gorged on greek potatoes, salads and grilled fish (and a desert or 3) before lazing in the sun on our double fronted terrace, occasionally going for a dip in the swim up pool to cool off in the afternoon sun. In the evening we ate overlooking the ocean and then headed to the bar overlooking the whole resort, playing card games and watching the evening entertainment. It was pure bliss.
I had the best time in Crete and really cannot wait to explore the island more, I am excited to visited the pink sands of Elafonsi, to go and see the local Olive Oil being produced and maybe even relive my youth and island hop over the Santorini(!)
All I know is Crete has a little bit of my heart now and I definitely have my itchy feet back.