Whitewash houses, cobbled streets, stunning beaches, authentic Greek taverns and super friendly people .. its safe to say Crete has stole my heart. I had the most incredible 6 days and nights there and can't wait to go back and explore more of the island.
We stayed in Koutouloufari village which is up the hill from the port town of Heronsossis and it was just perfect. The main point of this holiday was to relax and enjoy our time off together which we did whole heartendly but there is so much to do you could definitely make it an active holiday if you wanted to.
The streets alone are an Instagram dream! It was just stunning. So where we were staying was a little village full of cobbled streets, loads of gorgeous restuarants - a foodie heaven if there ever was one. Then next to this village was another Piskopiano - the type of place when you type in Greek village into Pinterest it fills the boards I mean the pictures speak from themselves. All the blue doors ;)
Within these 2 villages there is a lot of culture but if you are wanted to do a lot there are quiet in that sense. There are options to rent quad bikes and cars for a decent price and in Koutouloufari there is an excursion agent called Eye Travel that you can book a variety of trips with.
A 20 minute walk down the hill brings you to Hersonissos and the beaches, if you want more of a nightlife and touristy place this is for you. There is a complex called Star Beach which is free for anyone to use with pools, bars and their own section of the beach however we preferred walking more to the right and finding a quieter beach. Here we could relax, leave our stuff and go into the sea and it wasn't as crowded.
Take a 30 minute walk along the sea front and that will take you to the Harbour which was a lovely place to visit for the views alone and to admire the yachts I would never own ha.
If you are looking for somewhere idyllic and traditional with a hint of tourism if you want it then I would recommend Koutouloufari as it was the place to have the best of both worlds. And you definitely keep active walking up and down the hill to the beach each day. We stayed in Romantica Apartments in a studio with a sea view. It is a small quiet complex, if you are looking for luxury and on hand service this isn't the place however if you just want somewhere to sleep and relax in a quiet atmosphere its fine. We barely stayed there but when we arrived the owner was lovely and gave us a map of places to go and the staff were lovely, and the views were stunning.
Beautiful, they really take pride in their meals and the majority of the places we ate we got complimentary dessert and drinks. My two fave places to visit were:
The Alchemist - if you want a fun and friendly atmosphere this is the place, the waiters will drink the raki at the end of the meal with you. I had the sea bream one night and because we loved it so much we went back and I had chicken souvlaki. Both cooked to perfection paired with sangria you can't go wrong
Mythos - The first place we went for breakfast and I fell in love with the Creatan omelette as well as Cretean krasí (wine) obviously not at the same time. If you go here and are a meat eater Elliot highly recommended the Mousaka, it smelt amazing. Another place with a great atmosphere and friendly waitresses.
Getting local proves to be cheaper such as greek coffee which is served strong and from the pot - you need to let the grounds settle before drinking it.
Eating low FODMAP here was possible but not always easy. Brunch was easier as the omelettes were incredible and you could ask for the ingredients you couldn't have to be removed. Bread is served with every meal but you always opt out or ask to see if they have gluten free bread. I didn't ask as I don't really eat bread anyway but as I know I can handle 1 slice of fresh baked bread I allowed a taste here and there because it was incredible.
When it comes to dinner there is always an option to have grilled fish, chicken and meats which tend to served with veg and potatoes, just be aware of sauces. There is a lot of dairy options so just make sure you know how much your body can handle, the people tend to be really helpful so just ask the question.
Snacks and shops it was harder so I took my own snacks in the form of Pulsin protein bars and bought fruit when needed (and the odd pack of crisps ;) )
This was probably one of my favourite holidays and the reason being because I was happy! That sounds such a trivial thing to say as surely everyone is happy on holiday right? Well this was the first one I didn't prep / diet for, I didn't constantly think about what I needed to eat or when to workout and I wasn't worried about what people thought of me. I lived in the moment and enjoyed what the place had to offer, I worked out when I wanted, slept in when I didn't. We explored and walked the area but also lay on the beach a lot. Tasted and enjoyed the local food and drink as much as possible without feeling guilty. And most of all I relaxed and it felt perfect. We had planned to do a lot more but once there we wanted to soak up what was there and just let ourselves chill. It was definitely a holiday I needed and I loved every moment of it!
Efcharisto Crete you were amazing !