Here we are, living in Crete since 5 months and we are just loving it! Okay, we have to admit the last month had terrible rains (yes it does rain here too, believe it or not) but there are many reasons why it is worth living here on this magnificent island. Every place has its pros and con’s (the drivers here are dreadful but the people we met till now are so kind). So, here is a list with things we love in Crete:
1. Fresh Food!
Everywhere in Greece you can find good food. This is true. But here it can be amazingly fresh. The first thing we arranged here on Crete was where to get eggs, olive oil, cheese, tomatoes (we hope to have our own soon!) and honey (some of the basic aliments as you can see). Now we have ‘a guy’ for everything and every time we need something we know where it can be found. The products are tasting so good that when we visit Belgium, we are kind of astounded to taste the carton flavoured tomatoes. The difference is huge. And if you do not have ‘a guy’ for these things there is an open market every single day in Chania with all the fresh products you need. Sometimes we can not find certain aliments on the market (in Athens there is always a bit of everything) but then you realise that it is probably not the season. For the rest if you are looking for the best Cretan dish it is: Dakos! If you haven’t eaten a dakos, you haven’t been in Crete. Our favourite Dakos place is Petra. It is huge and so yummy!
2. The beaches
To name them all would be impossible and some of them are a couple of hours drive (but totally worth it). Here we want to write down those that we love to go to if we have only a limited amount of time. First of all we have Agii Apostoli. There you can find 2-3 beaches around the little church. From the church itself you have an amazing and absurd view over the beach and the mountains. In winter it is incredible because the mountains are covered with snow. Kind of surreal. The beach is perfect for winter swimming. After the swim you can jump in one of the little cafés on the beach and warm up if needed.
The second beach on our nearby-list is Loutraki. There you have great sun beds where you pay your coffees and can have the sun beds for free. They are situated on the grass (I know weird concept) but actually perfect for those who don’t like the sticky sand on their body. The view is calming and relaxing.
And then last but not least (okay there are many more but like said above, it is impossible to write them all down. Maybe in a next article 🙂 ) we have Seitan Limania beach. It is kind of a small beach and you have to hike a bit down to get to it. But it is so worth it! Bring an umbrella because there is no shade and don’t be afraid to jump off the rocks!
3. Snow (yes believe it or not)
This was really surprising for us. We went living more in the south and what do we discover? There is snow here in winter! We absolutely love it! Last week we went for a snowbal fight in Omalos and had a great time being cold and snowy. If you ever decide to visit Crete in winter, don’t be afraid, there is always something to do, like playing in the snow.
4. The view
Almost everywhere you go there is an amazing view. Even the airport has a beautiful view of the mountains. On the picture you see us at the Samaria Gorge. We are planning to hike this one this summer. If you are coming to visit us, let’s do it together! Bet we will have amazing scenery around us.
5. Peace and quiet
We both come from a big city. Brussels and Athens are the complete opposite of what you will find in Chania/Crete. There is much more peace and calmness here. You actually can let your mind rest for a while without having 1000 of distractions around you. If you want to have some rest in your mind and body, this is the place to be. We absolutely feel more healthy living here also. In Athens everything took us a lot of time and before you knew it the day was over. Here we have the time to do some sports, eat healthy and take care of ourselves. An amazing feeling!
6. Everything is nearby
That is really handy. Wherever we want to go, it is stone’s throw away. We have now our bikes and we go cycling to the city center. It is finally possible to just go somewhere for only a short time because yes we can. Whatever it is: the market, the café, the restaurant, the people, the beaches,… everything will be in a nearby distance. Even the other side of the island is only a couple of hours drive. If you want to go somewhere never think about the distance, it will be doable!
7. A small car can get everywhere
We just bought our little ‘Ferrari’ (a red Peugeot 106 of 20 years old) and we are just loving the fact that we can drive everywhere with it! It is not a powerful car but our last road trip proved that you do not need big cars to go everywhere. We went all the way to the most eastern point of Crete (we are living in the west side): Kyriamadi. We thought it would be nice to visit a winery on our route and so we did. We put the address of Rous in google maps and started driving. Little hint: Do not follow google maps (there is an asfalt road in stead of the road google gives). We went through some rough roads with our small car and got stuck in the mud and on rocky roads. But we got out of it without any scratch! The car (and ourselves) are in one piece. Just to let you know that the road is not always the best but the impossible is possible when you have to do it.
→ This is what our car looked like after our rally race through the muddy roads!
One beautiful and incredible fact is that everyday you can do another hike. We went a couple of weeks ago with Eos hiking club of Chania to the mountains and it was absolutely amazing! You just call them. They tell you when and where they meet and off you go with the bus all together to the hiking spot. You meet lovely new people and just enjoy the great scenery all along the hike. We are ready to go again and again and again and …
There are lot’s of other things we truly love about this island like our house and our little garden, having lovely people around us, meeting new people every day, our future own bio garden … The list is endless. So if you ever hesitate if it is worth it (whatever the season) to come and visit Crete, just give us a call and we will know how to convince you!
Have an amazing weekend you lovely people and don’t forget that it is the small things that make the bigger once complete.
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Greetings and enjoy the lovely small video Aurelie made of our move to Crete (Click on the image below).