A couple of weeks ago I wrote all about our amazing holiday to Crete with Villa Plus. I wanted however to write a little bit more about some of the fun things we got up to as I thought it might help if you are planning to go to Crete either with or without children. We knew Crete was going to be lovely before we visited, but we didn’t realise just what a beautiful island it is and just how much there is to do there. Of course it is the largest of the Greek Islands, but it is also absolutely stunning and we had a great time exploring while we were there. We felt we did the perfect mix of having relaxation time and also getting out and exploring.
Here are 5 things we really enjoyed doing while we were there…
Our Villa Plus rep actually recommended we head to Falassarna which is over on the West side of the island. It took just over an hour from where we were near Chania, but I would 100 percent recommend a trip. It’s a really lovely sandy beach perfect for families, with lovely clear, turquoise waters.
We actually went just to go and see the sunset so didn’t spend the day at the beach- our rep told us that it Falassarna had a reputation for beautiful sunsets as the sun set into the sea- and she wasn’t wrong. We headed there around 4pm and went for dinner at a gorgeous little restaurant overlooking the beach, appropriately named ‘Sunset’, before heading down to the beach to watch the sunset. It was beautiful and one of the highlights of our time there. It was the most stunning sunset I have ever seen and I had tears in my eyes sitting there watching it with the people I love most.
Again our Villa Plus recommended we go to Lake Kournos (she was very knowledgeable and had lived on the island for years). Lake Kournos is the only freshwater lake in the whole of Crete and it was beautiful. It was the perfect spot to go somewhere a little different, there are some restaurants on the edge of the lake, a little spot you can hire a sun lounger (although it is quite stoney so not a beach as such), and you can also swim in the lake and hire Pedalo’s.
We hired a pedalo big enough to fit the 7 of us and we had so much jumping in and out of the water- even the girls were doing it which I thought was very brave of them! I personally don’t think you would want to spend a whole day there, but it was perfect for the morning. We stopped for an ice cream at one of the lakeside restaurants before heading home, and we all said that it was the favourite day of our holiday.
We had originally decided to go to Seitan Limania beach which is a very popular beach on instagram for its crystal blue waters and it’s secluded cove, but after doing some research and realising there was a very steep walk down to the beach which some people even stated was a bit risky, we decided that it was a silly idea with three children. We decided in the end to go to Marathi Beach and I am so glad we did, it was one of the most beautiful beaches we have ever been to.
Quiet and secluded with not even a hint of a wave, the water was crystal clear and calm making it perfect for swimming and paddling. It was sandy and small, and literally just perfection. We went on a weekend very early and after a while it did start to get busier with mainly Greek locals, but it still didn’t feel over crowded. You can hire sunbeds for 5 euros a day and there’s a couple of restaurants next to the beach as well, plus a shop where you can buy ice creams and drinks etc too.
We were only planning on staying a couple of hours but we ended staying all day because it was just so lovely. Normally I am more of a pool fan with the kids (because you know sand and children don’t always mix) but actually we found it a bit more relaxing with Wren because it meant he could just play in the sand all day long and we didn’t have to keep stopping him going near the pool etc.
Marathi Beach is beautiful and a perfect day out and I 100% recommend it.
Chania is situated on the north coast of west Crete and has been called the most beautiful city on the island, and it is clear to see why. It is also one of the oldest cities as well and the city is made up of the Old Town, which is mainly where we went, and the New Town which is where you will find all the newer shops you would expect.
There is a gorgeous harbour full of little water side restaurants and bars, with beautiful views out to sea and the city’s famous lighthouse (which is definitely worth a photo or two) in the distance. We wandered around here for ages, taking in all the colourful buildings and pretty lights, plus the kids loved looking at all the buskers playing music and people selling those funny pieces of tat that you can only seem to buy on holiday. We had dinner in a traditional taverna over looking the water before heading to a little frozen yogurt and ice cream shop that seemed to sell about 100 different toppings.
We found out about Koutlalas Beach purely by chance after a lady who follows me on instagram recommended it and we realised it was a few minutes from where we were staying. A tiny tiny beach that is actually more shingles than sand, we headed there at sunset mainly to take some photos. It is a steep walk down the cliff to get there (but not so steep it would be considered dangerous as there is a narrow road the whole way down), you can also drive but we decided against it as that looked a little scary.
It would be a perfect place to spend the day, but it is pretty remote (no shops or restaurants). However it was the most perfect place to watch the sunset and sitting there watching the sun go down with nearly all of my favourite people is something that will stay with me forever.
We were so surprised by just how beautiful Crete was. Don’t get me wrong of course we knew it was going to be lovely, but it really was just stunning and we wish we had more time to explore. There were just so many beaches we wanted to visit that we didn’t have time to, because we wanted to also relax and spend time in the villa too.
We had the most incredible holiday and Crete is definitely a place we would like to visit again, it was perfect for families and our villa was stunning. It was one of the best places we have ever visited.2