Crete

Crete Travel Blog

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Our Villa

Our flight was on time and there was no hassle at the airport so we were able to get to our Villa by mid afternoon.  I was located in the small village of Plaka, which is a 10 minute drive from the seaside town of Almerida.

One of the highlights of the holiday was walking the Samaria Gorge (see account below).  For the rest of the holiday we mainly lazed about and did a bit of sightseeing.  One day we drove to the south coast of the island, taking a spectacular road over the White Mountains, to see a ruined castle.  There was also a really nice beach there where we had a quick swim.

We also went to Lake Kournas, an inland freshwater lake, where we hired pedal boats for an hour.

Sunset from our balcony
  It was really scenic here and we could have easily stayed longer.

We took two visits to the town of Chania, spending some time looking around the old harbour, shopping and taking a trip on a glass bottom boat.  Although we could see plenty of small fish on the boat trip it was far from exciting and nothing compared to other trips we have taken in the past.  Still, it is always nice to be on a boat.  We took a longer boat trip on our last day, which stopped at a small village on the way and was a really nice end to the holiday.

The rest of our time was spent lazing around on the beach or in tavernas at Almerida or at our villa, where we had a small swimming pool and also the Beijing Olympics to watch (go team GB!).

As usual in Greece the weather was hot and sunny.  It wasn't excessively hot though so I never felt like the heat was really getting to me except on the last few days when the cool breeze that had been present since we arrived dropped completely.

  

Samaria Gorge Trek
The Samaria Gorge is located in south-west Crete and at 16km long is the longest gorge in Europe.

Castle in Chania town
  It begins at an altitude of 1250m and ends at the shores of the Libyan Sea in the village of Agia Roumeli.

To get to the start of the gorge we went by coach, which left at 5:30 in the morning.  The drive to the start of the gorge was spectacular as we wound up through the White Mountains and we began the walk at about 8:30.

Old harbour in Chania

The first few kilometres were steep and tough on the knees but once we were right down at the bottom of the gorge it levelled off a little and walking was much easier.  The weather forecast had predicted a heat wave of over 30°C but luckily it never got this hot and for most of the walk it was hot but not excessively so.  As we wound our way down the gorge we would occasionally cross the river, which at this time of year is no more than a trickle but during the winter months I'm sure it is quite a torrent.

The first (from the top) 13km of the Gorge are part of the National Park and it is the last of these 13km where the gorge becomes only 4m wide and rises up 500m.  This was the most spectacular part of the walk.

Once out of the National Park the scenery is less interesting and when we arrived in Agia Roumeli we had a quick drink (a pint of freshly squeezed orange juice) and then went for a swim in the sea.  We then had a 45 minute boat ride to a small village where the coach picked us up and took us back to where we were staying.

The walk had taken us 7 hours including rest breaks and the next day my legs were very sore.  Part of the reason for this is that it is all down hill so you use the same muscles all the time so they don't get a rest.

nomaden says:
nice pictures! :)
Posted on: Aug 28, 2008
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Our Villa
Our Villa
Sunset from our balcony
Sunset from our balcony
Castle in Chania town
Castle in Chania town
Old harbour in Chania
Old harbour in Chania
At a Taverna
At a Taverna
Taverna View
Taverna View
Lake Kournas
Lake Kournas
Lake Kournas
Lake Kournas
Entry ticket to the Samaria Gorge …
Entry ticket to the Samaria Gorge…
Entrance to the Samaria Gorge
Entrance to the Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Piles of stones in the Samaria Gor…
Piles of stones in the Samaria Go…
The river down the Samaria Gorge i…
The river down the Samaria Gorge …
Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Bridge to the ruined town of Samar…
Bridge to the ruined town of Sama…
Resting along the Samaria Gorge
Resting along the Samaria Gorge
Pack horse in the Samaria Gorge
Pack horse in the Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Narrowest part of the Samaria Gorge
Narrowest part of the Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Rock formation in the Samaria Gorge
Rock formation in the Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Bridge across the river in the Sam…
Bridge across the river in the Sa…
Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Goats at the end of the Samaria Go…
Goats at the end of the Samaria G…
Squid at a taverna
Squid at a taverna
Moon
Moon
Taverna view
Taverna view
Goat on a cliff
Goat on a cliff
Goat
Goat
Goat
Goat
Castle
Castle
Castle
Castle
Castle
Castle
Inside the castle
Inside the castle
View of the beach from the castle …
View of the beach from the castle…
Inside the castle
Inside the castle
On some ruined steps in a castle s…
On some ruined steps in a castle …
Inside the castle
Inside the castle
Castle
Castle
Castle
Castle
Boat
Boat
Taverna
Taverna
Church in the mountains
Church in the mountains
The White mountains
The White mountains
Taverna View
Taverna View
The White mountains
The White mountains
Glass Bottom boat
Glass Bottom boat
Flower
Flower
Flower
Flower
Swordfish
Swordfish
Beach in Almerida
Beach in Almerida
Rethimno fortress
Rethimno fortress
Rethimno fortress
Rethimno fortress
Entrance to the fortress
Entrance to the fortress
Rethimno fortress
Rethimno fortress
View from Rethimno fortress
View from Rethimno fortress
Along the fortress wall
Along the fortress wall
Rethimno fortress
Rethimno fortress
Rethimno fortress
Rethimno fortress
Rethimno fortress
Rethimno fortress
At a taverna
At a taverna
Fish in the sea
Fish in the sea
Fish taverna in Rethimno
Fish taverna in Rethimno
Statue in Rethimno
Statue in Rethimno
Caves
Caves
Croatian coast form the plane
Croatian coast form the plane
Croatian Coast from the plane
Croatian Coast from the plane
European city from the plane
European city from the plane
A circular rainbow and the planes …
A circular rainbow and the planes…
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Crete
photo by: szu