This was the most unassuming, beautiful, restful spot one could imagine. An hour from the airport through hilly countryside and quiet villages takes you to this wonderful place in the middle of Crete, among mountains and olive groves with the most amazing views from your bedroom balcony on waking. Eleonas is a treasure, peaceful and with amenities like air con, swimming pool and fantastic Cretan traditional cooking. They love children which was a bonus and helpful with anything you need. Great value too, you can book per night. There is also a lovely lake, walkable and quaint village with tavernas for a local treat. Pure simple bliss.
Pitsidia, Crete. A village to open you up and re-affirm what you have always believed life should be like. Chancing upon a Cretan means, at the least, a friendly ‘Cala Mera’ and a wave, sometimes an invitation to come in and drink tea. Bars and Cretans really move the welcoming spirit another notch; if the owner is not around then customers are trusted to simply help themselves and pay their bill later that day or even the next. The most seductive Cretan music just helps to confirm what you have always wanted to believe – that life and people are beautiful.
Google map: bit.ly/xP652a
Literally anywhere on the south west coast of Crete; a mix of bustling little ferry 'ports' (Sfakia, Ag. Roumeli etc.), bijou mini-beach resorts (Loutro), deserted beaches with nearby basic rooms and authentic tavernas (Licos, Phoenix). Just sit back and relax watching the crazy hordes head off to the Samaria Gorge and guessing which ones will be half dead by the other end having never walked to the supermarket let alone tackled a challenging lengthy hike wearing flip flops!
Start off on the harbour side at Chorio Sfakion (Sfakai) but be sure to buy ferry tickets from the office near the bus stop first.
Idyllic Elafonisi is the sort of beach that dreams are made of. Soft, white sand; warm, shallow waters; a little islet that can be swum or waded to. Thankfully, it's also very isolated. People do know about it, but as the only ways to get here are by a lengthy drive along windy low-grade roads through the hills, or a relaxing boat ride (far preferable), numbers are limited. You won't have the beach to yourself but neither should it be overrun. The perfect place to relax in the warm Mediterranean sun.
Elafonisi is at the far south-western tip of Crete. There are regular boats from nearby Paleohora.
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