Crete: One of my favorite trips ever and one of a few places I would probably come back. The most “greek” and authentic greek island I’ve been to…
Crete: One of my favorite trips ever
Of course, when you get close to the big cities like Heraklion, Ag.Nikolaos etc – 90% of population are the tourists. But when you drive to the east– you get to see small traditional greek cities with local products, culture and people. And this is what I loved the most.
Where to stay:
Yannis Retreat: small local and family owned. Far away from all major cities it is simply a piece of quiet heaven.
About Yannis Retreat:
- You need to book in advance, normally they get full very quick.
- Driving from Heraklion to Kato Zakros took 5h instead of 3h according to GPS. Island is quite mountainous and the roads are full of curves, but if you go slower it´s ok.
- Yannis Retreat is very quiet, for a romantic get away or quiet family vacation, or just to enjoy yourself. You have no activities close.The owners were super friendly and left us a welcome basket with local seasonal products. Whole retreat has around 6-7 houses, each with small kitchen(with fridge), bathroom, balcony- terrace. The territory is beautiful, full of plants, trees, hammocks and greek decorations. When you walk/drive closer to the beach you can find several restaurats there. They all have deckchairs at the beach. And when you order a lunch at one of them – you´re normally offered to use them for free all day, as their custommers. Lunch would hardly cost us more then !40 euros for two people!, including fresh fish (different every day, depends on what the fishermen get), homemade wine, local fruits and salad… it was unbelievable. Everything so local and tasty.
- The closest supermarket was in Zakros and it looked very local and small, yet they had some amazing fresh yogurts there.
- The only drawback for me was the absence of a sand beach. However, the place is so peacefull and quiet, no words to describe it.
- rent a car and drive around the island
- one day for Heraklion: visit Archeological Museum, city center, have a long walk on the pier close to Heraklion fortress (carefull with waves pounding onto the pier), have lunch/dinner with a view at Herb´s Garden
- one day for Agios Nicolas: lunch by the beautiful lagoon, shopping
- spend a morning at Vai Beach with its huge palm forest and buy some local bananas(must go there earlier, after 11 a.m its too crowded)