Crete, Part VI – The Video

The day before our flight back to London we had a 3 hour drive ahead of us. This is what I was referring to when I said flying to Heraklion is not the best option to visit the West of Crete.

me on the bed tiredWe tried to make the most out of the drive back and added a pit stop to jump in the sea and to have lunch.

Still the drive was long and we were tired of spending so much time inside the car.

When we finally reached our accommodation in Agia Pelagia we just wanted to rest. We had our own little apartment and a balcony with sea view and laid in bed for a little while before heading to the swimming pool.

Dinner was at a beach nearby and we did enjoy the friendly service and the chat  about Crete with the waiter.

agia pelagia swimming poolAfter a good night sleep and breakfast by the swimming pool we gathered our stuff (that was all over the place after just a few hours of arriving there) and packed our bags.

The airport was a short drive away. We returned the car and got our camera case and spare battery back (after a lot of waiting and explaining).

Even with only one battery the entire time we filmed a lot of our time in Crete. Enjoy the holiday video below.

Costs’ details if you’re curious about it:
Apartment = £57 per night inc. Breakfast

Crete, Part V – Elafonisi and Kedrodasos

sfinari beachIt was time to head South to meet another star of Crete, Elafonisi. On our way down there we checked out Sfinari which is a beautiful and almost deserted pebble beach. There the waves make a cool sound when they hit the pebbles.

The next accommodation was promising as they call it “luxury” villas. It is located in the middle of nowhere about half an hour drive from Elafonisi. We got there around lunch time. The swimming pool by our room was really cool and the views impressive but the room was so old and tacky. As that was not bad enough there was a dead bird hanging from the ceiling in the bathroom!

We left quickly to go grab lunch before some beach time. The golden hour at Elafonisi was amazing. The place was busy but still beautiful. Elafonisi is famous for the pink sand, you can even see signs that warn you that it is illegal to take some home. There is a long stretch of sand and rocks to discover past the busy area and that is totally worth your time.

beautiful Elafonisi beach        lady in Elafonisi beach

It was a long day and we needed a shower and dinner. Unfortunately in the meantime we found out that the air conditioning was broken!

swimming pool at luxury villasShowered and feeling fresh I went to speak to the reception to get help. Well the guy tried the same we had already done and asked us to allow half an hour for it to magically start working. Of course that did not work so I went back there to tell him. He suggested a fan! I said that would not do as the night was too hot. He went away to figure something out. When he got back to me he said they had another place free and we could move if I was happy with it. I walked in the dark at 10pm through a narrow road following this guy. Then he opens a gate to another swimming pool and shows me a 2 bedroom massive villa. He sheepishly asks if that place is OK. I said, YEAH!

After that we rushed to get dinner as there aren’t many places around there and we did not want to starve until the next day. The dinner was good and so was the service.

Next day we got back to the same restaurant for breakfast, they serve a good hotel style breakfast.

kedrodasos beachThe second beach of the area to explore and my favourite was Kedrodasos. It is a less known beach, on the wild side and very quiet. Good for swimming but with more waves than the typical Crete beach.

On the way back to our massive villa with private pool and the best view of the whole place we grabbed take away lunch to eat by the pool. The afternoon was spent there enjoying our free upgrade.

Costs’ details if you’re curious about it:
Double room (shared kitchen) = £77 per night exc. breakfast

In Part VI: The Video

Crete, Part IV – Kissamos and Balos

We did not want to leave Giorgi’s Blue Apartments. We ended up checking out at the last possible minute after spending the morning in the sea.

ravdoucha beach looking greatAs suggested by our host we drove to Ravdoucha beach for a quick swim and lunch. Apparently Ravdoucha is not a very touristy place so we enjoyed the quietness there.

After lunch we headed to our next accommodation. We were looking forward to get there as it looked great in the pictures.

Well, the pictures did not show off the busy road just outside the apartments or the outdated bathroom therefore we were slightly disappointed.

After having to call the host to let us in and him not finding the spare keys anywhere we headed to Falassarna to relax.

falassarna beach at golden hourFalassarna is a long stretch of sand easily accessible by car and if you drive further down once you lay down on the sand you can only see the dunes behind you.

The next day Balos was in our plans. After a lot of time spent researching the best way to get there and a breakfast discussion on the subject we decided to take the car route.

Balos is without doubt the most famous beach in Crete.

the most famous beach in crete balosThe road there is not an easy one and it gets quite busy. The scenery is out of this world and driving past goats is quite cool too.

Once you are done with parking the car a long walk awaits you to finally reach the famous patch of sand. One of the good things about driving/walking there is that you can see Balos from the hill.

all smiles overviewing BalosThe walk is so long that you can actually get on a donkey instead of walking! The beach itself is a cool stretch of pinkish sand with super clear water on both sides.

I understand all the hype about this place as it is absolutely stunning but I would not do it again if I am just looking for a day at the beach.

For dinner we had some delicious Greek food at a nearby restaurant and I got drunk on the local beer.

Costs’ details if you’re curious about it:
Double bedroom = £53 per night exc. breakfast
(there’s a link but I would probably not stay there again)

In Part V: Elafonisi and Kedrodasos

Crete, Part III – Chania

cute umbrellas along the strip in Georgioupolis on the way to ChaniaOn the second day we headed to Chania.

Two hour drive away was Georgioupolis beach where we stopped for a quick swim before lunch. A very picturesque little place with cute umbrellas along the main strip by the beach.

Refreshed and well fed we resumed our drive to Chania.

swimming pool and sea view at Georgi's Apartments in ChaniaAlmost an hour after that we reached our accommodation. A beautiful spacious apartment with all the trimmings located by the sea and with a very decent swimming pool.

Undoubtedly one of the best places we have stayed at. Perfect for a chilled holiday.

Later we went for a walk around the place to take some golden hour pictures and had a homemade dinner at the apartment while we watched YouTube.

The next day we were out exploring the beaches in the area. Stavros, Seitan Limania and Marathi.

Seitan Limania the most amazing turquoise water in ChaniaAll worth a visit but Seitan Limania is specially beautiful and has the most amazing turquoise water. Unfortunately I was too lazy (and a bit scared) to go down the hill to reach it. Maybe next time.

We had lunch at Marathi’s beach and sat almost on the beach. It was a busy place with a cool local feel to it and the food was good.

In the afternoon we walked around Chania. It’s a beautiful town worth a few hours of your time.

We spent the rest of the time diving and swimming in the private little patch of sea by the apartments. Only being disturbed by an unknown sea creature that decided to nibble on my back! Even made me scream.

To recover from the scary incident I laid down sunbathing with the most amazing sea view.

Costs’ details if you’re curious about it:
Apartment = £88 per night inc. breakfast

In Part IV: Kissamos and Balos

Crete, Part II – Heraklion

The day had come and we flew to Heraklion. London is just a 4 hour flight away from warm Crete.

We got there around 11pm and rushed outside to pick up our rental car. We had selected the cheapest/smallest car available but we were given a mini van! After getting our stuff in it we decided to request another car. They had one old automatic white Peugeot 107 and we took it!

All the rental cars seemed pretty old and worn out.

Thankfully the hotel was a quick drive away and I made sure parking was available when booking.

We were quite hungry at this point.

We found the hotel! But no parking… I quickly ran in there to ask about the parking. Had to wait as the receptionist was busy on a call. Once that was out of the way he kindly wrote the name of the parking down and provided useless instructions on how to get there.

After driving around for a bit we found the parking. It was pitch black in there. And we carried our bags through dark alleys in a new city.

The room was decent and the hotel very central. Once we dropped our bags we were desperate for food.

We had no clue where we could have dinner after midnight! So we decided to walk to the city center and hoped for the best. A few places were closing. We kept walking until we found the cutest outdoor restaurant area and luckily they were happy to serve us! The food was delicious and the portions very generous.

Belly full we walked back to the hotel through these streets that reminded us of Athens.

After a good night sleep we woke up to a busy roundabout view with a little bit of sea in the background. The breakfast was super nice and on the top floor the view was considerably better.

Once we were gathering our stuff to leave the hotel we realised the camera case and the spare battery were missing.

They were left behind in the mini van! We called the rental car place but the mini van was already rented out so we couldn’t go get our beloved camera case and the much needed extra battery anytime soon.

Costs’ details if you’re curious about it:
Flights (Easyjet) = £380 return for two
Hotel = £47 per night
Car rental (Sixt) = €25 per day

In Part III: Chania and the evil sea creature

Crete, Part I – Planning

Ana walking in Balos beach2016 was a tough year but I didn’t let that stop me from exploring new places.

So the last holiday my tonsils went on was Crete in September 2016 (in October I finally got my tonsillectomy after years of having tonsillitis).

As it was a new place for me a lot of planning went into it. Booking flights, 5 places to stay (around the must go to beaches) and sorting the car rental.

I usually book the flights first  and this was done roughly 3 months in advance.

We flew into Heraklion which was not ideal as all the “best” beaches are located further west of the island.

It was worth it for the amazing food though. And Heraklion is a nice little town.

We had 8 nights to explore Crete and I will tell you how we spent our time there. Hopefully this will inspire you and help you if you are considering a visit to Crete.

I will also share the not so great experiences we had while on this Greek island.

In Part II: Renting a car in Crete and 1 night in Heraklion