JUN 12,2012 - JUN 19,2012 (8 DAYS)
So we landed in the airport around 11:00, and by a unanimous vote decided to rent a car instead of shllepping around with the luggage and all. we went outside the airport, and after a quick investigation discovered that the local agencies offered a much cheaper deal than the international ones. We got a nice Nissan Micra for 31 euro per day, gas not included, and headed on west to Chania.
We drove on a curvy road with the sea on our north, along the side of mountains and downward close to the water, and than back up again. The sea was glittering and we took our the time, and arrived to Chania only in in the afternoon. We park the car in Talo park, very close to the Venetian harbor, and went out to get ourselves a hotel.
The Venetians, during the 13th century, bought Crete from the Marquis of Montferrat, Who led the Fourth Crusade, which ended with the fall of Constantinople. But after a short time the army of Genoa, with the help of local Cretans, conquered Chania and took control of the city. It took the Venetians 20 years to get the city back, and after that episode they ruled the city with a tighter feast. The Venetian harbor was built between 1320 and 1356, and was used for commerce and to secure the control of the Sea.
There are a lot of nice restaurants by the Harbor, which offer special menu for a good price. We ate at Zepos, mainly because it was more full and we tend to trust the crowd's judgment when we know nothing ourselves. And the crowd was right: we ordered some mixed souflaki, a fried fish with olive oil and oregano and a tomato and sea fruit pasta, and they all tasted great. good atmosphere too.
The old town around the Venetian harbor is very picturesque, and you can see a lot of buildings that survived from Venetian era. It’s a labyrinthine of alleyways, and you can stroll there almost all day long. There are a lot of small hotels in the area, and we stayed in one of them. in a very nice room with a balcony overlooking the harbor.
Elafonisi is a small island connected to Crete by a shallow reef, and you can cross it when the sea is calm. The water is clear, turquoise, and the beaches are with pink coral sand.
Elafonisi is protected by an EU environmental program, as it should be, since the place is a real paradise. I talked to an American couple there, and they said that they have been to the Caribbean and Hawaii and Elafonisi is a worthy advisory. We spent all day just lying on the sand, getting in and out of the water and just relaxing.
Plakias is a village on the south coast of the Crete, and is surrounded by mountains to the north and the Sea to the south. There are a lot of taverns by the beach, and you can go a bit up the mountains for a splendid view.
There are some very nice beaches in the area, ideal for swimming or sunbathing. We also heard there is a nudist beach at the far end of the bay, but we never got around to checking it out.
Malia is a small town on the northeast coast of Crete. We Stopped there after visiting the Minoan town ruins 3 km to the east, and were amazed by the amount of youngsters, mostly British, celebrating like it’s there last day on earth. Lots of clubs, lots of pubs, lots of noisy groups of teenagers drinking and laughing. There are some fine sandy beaches as well, starting from the bottom of the strip and continuing to the East to the Minoan palace.