As Mick was having a boys’ weekend in Krakow I decided to have a girly weekend away with my friend Laurie. Initially we thought of going back to Milan but I managed to grab us a great deal for Crete with RyanAir so I went ahead and booked. We went in May before the high season started and we paid €58 return ticket from Cyprus, I couldn’t believe how cheap the flight was. We arrived mid-day and there were rows of taxis waiting to whisk us to our hotel, so we jumped in to the first one and €20 each and 30 minutes later we were at our hotel, the taxi driver was really nice and she gave a few tips on where to go and what to see. Buses are also available from the airport although waiting times vary and costs €5.
We stayed at the Atlantida Mare Hotel in Agia Marina and it was just beautiful, the hotel apartments were so cute and spotlessly clean. It was self catering so you could make your own brekkie, lunch or dinner if you wanted. The hotel is run by a lovely greek family and they genuinely made us feel very welcome. No breakfast was included in the price but for €42 each for 4 nights we weren’t complaining. After unpacking we went down to the beach, the weather was just perfect we ordered a drink and just chilled on the sunbeds. Wifi is available everywhere including the beach area. There is a bar at the hotel and food is available at any time of the day. Opposite the hotel there are several souvenir shops and supermarkets, we were grabbing delicious sandwiches every day for lunch along with a drink we were paying €5 each. Check out the hotel at www.atlantida-mare.gr
Opposite the beach there is a huge rock called Agii Theodori we asked the hotel if we could take the boat across and explore but we were told that human access to the island is forbidden as the only inhabitants are wild goats. It is really beautiful and great for taking pictures but it’s nice to know that some places are protected and kept in their natural state for the good of the local wildlife.
The following days we really enjoyed Agia Marina and Platanaias which is only a 10 minute walk from the hotel. There were loads of restaurants and the nightlife was great. We ate at Dos Amigos mexican restaurant the first night and the food was yummy we paid €14 each and we left feeling stuffed! The following days we tried various Greek taverns and I must say the food in Crete was so nice and extremely cheap. Put it this way a lunch or dinner can cost you less than €15 a day… but seriously the portions are huge!!
We stumbled across a great bar called the Rock House and we literally went there every night before heading out to the club. The atmosphere and music was second to none. Laurie is a big fan of the old classics and when she saw the amount of vinyl the owner had she was in awe. The owner was an older gentleman but he was the coolest guy we met and boy he knew his music. It caters for all ages and that’s what we loved about this place, we would go back to Crete just for this place, it was so good. The bartender made us some really cool drinks and he was a magician doing his bit too…..he made a €20 note disappear and then reappear in the centre of an orange, it was pretty cool. The Eclipse club is where we spent most of our nights and it was a lot of fun, the atmosphere was great and everyone was there to have a great time and just let their hair down. The music was more R&B but we just loved it.
We tried the fish spa one day and Laurie was freaking out as she could not imagine her feet being nibbled by small fish but she was brave enough and gave it a go, there a loads of fish spas and we paid €10 each for half an hour it was so relaxing for me :))) Laurie had a tattoo done, the artist was really professional and did a great job it cost her €60 which (apparently) is peanuts, so if tats are your thing ….and you happen to be in Crete…….
If shopping is your thing Agia Marina and Platanias have lovely little shops for silver jewellery so Laurie decided to shop for some Christmas presents. there are loads of souvenirs and spice shops too. In Chania town, you’ll find all the main high street brands that you would in most european shopping areas. We travelled in to Chania town by bus from our hotel, it cost us €1.80 each and twenty minutes later we were there.
We loved this placed and we walked around to the main pier and the roads are mostly cobbled stone streets and alleyways.The buildings were quite old and were painted in different colours and it felt that you were in an old Italian village. We shopped for souvenirs, had a delicious seafood lunch by the water for €10 each. The Cretans are lovely and would engage with us especially when we told them we were from Cyprus as the way of life is very similar…..as you’d expect I suppose from two Greek speaking holiday islands in the mediterranean!!
May is a good time to visit Crete as it is not crazy busy, the sea water is somewhat cold still though but it should not put you off as it truly is a beautiful place to visit and we will surely be visiting again and this time I plan to explore other areas of Crete such as Elafonissi Beach as the waters are stunning, Heraklion and Rethymno…..watch this space…… If you plan to go just book it.