So it's currently July and it is currently raining. Can somebody take me back a week where I was sitting with a large Mythos in 33 degree heat? We have just returned from a week in the sunshine where we spent most of the time laid on a sun lounger just basking in the sun and it was glorious. So let's talk about Crete...
We stayed in a lovely little place called Oscar Suites & Village Hotel in Agia Marina. From start to finish we were waited on hand and foot, nothing was too much trouble and the staff were amazing, even getting us a little cocktail on arrival which after a long flight and the taxi ride over was much needed. With two pools, a beach bar and breakfast included we couldn't fault it. On site was also the Valentino Pasta & Grill restaurant, on our last day we ate here, mainly out of convenience but it did not disappoint.
*Top tip - order a pasta dish to share with sides as there's lots of it*
During our visit we went to a few beaches in Crete, within Platanias and Agia Marina and also a lovely little one in Agii Apostoli. We picked up a huge sandwich and some cheese pies (the best thing ever!!) and headed down to have a little beach picnic, apart from a dog trying to steal my pie - when it comes to cheese the dog was not going to win - we had the best day sunbathing, playing volleyball in the sea (with a few oops moments because I didn't want strap lines) and walking back along the beach calling in a few bars a long the way.
*Top tip - a lot of the beach bars and cafe's have free sunbeds if you are buying a few drinks*
We ventured into Chania a couple of times, it's the 'City Centre' of where we were staying. We attempted to get a bus so we could save money, it was packed and then broke down so taxi's all the way. Chania is a lovely little city, with lots of bars, restaurants and shops we strolled around in the sunshine just taking it all in. The main attraction to Chania is definitely the harbour, its absolutely gorgeous. The first day we went we walked along the harbour and then to the lighthouse, I would definitely take some water as the walk is longer than you think but so worth it. When you get to the lighthouse you can walk up the steps and the view is incredible. Another great experience in the harbour was the restaurants, there is quite a few on there which all serve fresh fish and incredible dishes. We had the calamari and risotto in Glossitses and watched the sunset, it was stunning.
*Top tip - visit the Nautical Museum Of Chania bar, such a lovely building*
I am a big fan of Greek cuisine so I knew I wouldn't be disappointed with the food, I can honestly say we didn't have a bad meal whilst out there. Ranging from fresh shrimp pasta to the $2 Gyros Pitta everything was exceptional. If you're eating out see below the little guide to where to go:
Meat & Cheese Plate
No matter where you eat in Chania, Platanias or Agia Marina you won't be complaining.
*Top tip - do a little research, we found a lot of our restaurants by looking on instagram*
The Water Park
One of the days we decided to be big kids and head to the water park. Imagine my excitement when to get there you got to board 'The Little Fun Train' - and yes this was as fun as it sounds. With a toot toot of the trains horn we trundled off on our little adventure, the train takes you the scenic route so we got to take in all the views along the way, even stopping at a juice farm where we tried fresh orange made that day. The water park was ace; lots of slides, a zip wire and the laziest of rivers made it really worth visiting.
*Top tip - if you go to the water park using the train you get 20% off food when there*
Like a typical tourist area a lot of the shops were supermarkets and gift shops but there's quite a lot more to Crete than it seems. Tucked away in Chania we found quirky jewellery, clothing and homeware shops. I did spot a Vintage shop in the taxi but couldn't find it after we'd stopped. Within Chania there is the market, full of food, leather sandals and lots and lots of spices you get to see the real hustle and bustle it offers. I managed to pick up a gorgeous beaded bracelet in a little jewellery shop in Agia Marina for only $6.
*Top tip - have a nosy round the side streets, this is less touristy shopwise*
A lot of the times when coming out of the heat the drink order was always 'A large Mythos please' however we did get to try some of the Greek drinks:
Septem: a little Greek microbrewery producing seven beers, one for each day of the week, try the Wednesday Wheat IPA - this was Phil's favourite.
Solo: the brewery is located in Crete, a bit pricy in bars but the saison is a delight - again Phils' words.
Tsilili - one of my favourite wine's was the BiancoNero Sauvignon Blanc, deeelish.
Cretan Brewery - you can't get closer than this brewery which is in Chania itself, the pale ale was delicious and you can even go on a tour to the brewery.
We tried lots of drinks whilst there, definitely get out of your comfort zone and try something new, but don't forget you can't beat a Mythos.
*Top tip - visit Rudi's Bierahus for a huge selection from Belgian to Greek*
I really enjoyed our little Crete holiday, you really cannot beat sun, sea, sand and...well beer.
Where are you going/have been on your summer jollies?