A Flavour of Crete – May 2016

Last week Steve and I revisited the beautiful island of Crete for an all too short seven night holiday. Once again we stayed at a villa in the traditional village of Vamos, which is located midway between Chania and Rethymnon. The closest good beaches are 8km north at Almyrida or 10km east at Georgoupoli, and bustling Chania itself is a 30 minute drive northwest. From the terraces of the villa we enjoyed magnificent views over greenery and tiled rooftops to the Lefka Óri (White Mountains), which are typically snow-streaked from December to May, and of the bluest of blue seas on the other side.

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We rented The Old Bakery, a delightful villa with private pool from Vintage Travel

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We explored the island in a hired Jimny Jeep, which was perfect for the terrain

Flowers and churches are two defining images of this beautiful island

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We enjoyed a healthy diet of perfectly cooked fresh fish with crispy skin, tender and succulent Souvlaki, and delicious light spinach and cheese pies among other local dishes. Meals were always accompanied by salads, and preceded by Meze dishes including tzatziki, bread and olives. Every meal ended with a complimentary drink of raki, and often cake or a dessert. I preferred the honey flavoured raki , as I found it sweeter and less harsh. Chilled water is always served free of charge which is a welcome touch. Eating out was reasonable in Crete, and on average we paid around 40 Euros for a typical main meal with appetisers and drinks.

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We drank lots of  thirst-quenching Mythos beer whilst basking in warm sunshine

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Steve relished a plate of snails served eau naturelle at the local Coffee and Ouzo bar ‘ALL TOGETHER’
Steve experienced Cretan tradition first-hand at the Vamos Snail Festival. Every year the village holds a culinary celebration where the locals cook up snails and wash them down with raki and red wine.

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I found Baklava too sweet for my taste, but I loved the frappes!

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We usually ended up at our local bar ‘All Together’ in Vamos, where the welcome and hospitality was second to none 

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We paddled in the sea on the pristine and extremely beautiful beach at Elafonissi

The beach of Elafonissi is on the south east side of Crete and well known for its pure white sands. In certain light, you can see the pink sand of Elafonissi said to be caused by the coral that over time has been broken down by Mother Nature. The beach is mainly sandy with small rocky outcrops and it was the perfect for an excursion, and the highlight of our holiday. Granny Apples says “We are very tempted to return to Crete again in 2017”

 

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