Two hot days on Crete

beach on Crete

Fodele beach on the north coast of Crete, about 25 km west of Heraklion. It was empty when we were here in 2004, but I’ve seen recent photos showing the beach lined with umbrellas and lounge chairs.

 

Frostbite flashback: We had perfect hypothermia weather in Toronto today. Although it was gloriously sunny, the outdoor temperature was a frosty minus 24 Celsius — minus 40 with wind chill.  My face nearly froze while I was walking outside this afternoon, and for some reason I started remembering our one and only brief visit to Crete back in early June of 2004. Perhaps I was subconsciously trying to warm myself up by thinking about being somewhere hot instead of standing on a city street corner, shivering in the firm grip of a frigid Arctic air mass.

Once back home, I sorted through photos we shot while on Crete. There weren’t many pictures to review, primarily since we had a whirlwind visit of just three nights and two full days. (It didn’t help that a malfunction with my camera’s memory card wiped out dozens of images we did manage to shoot.)

We were in Greece on our first-ever island hopping holiday, a 2-week package tour that took us to Mykonos, Rhodes, Crete, Santorini and Athens. It was a great introduction to Greece, but the Crete segment of our itinerary was way too short and rushed. On an island as vast as Crete, two days gives you time to merely glimpse a few sites and attractions. With a visit so short and hectic, there’s no opportunity to soak up the island’s atmosphere, or to experience the local life and culture. Nevertheless, we felt our fleeting look at the sights and scenery was better than not making it to Crete at all. Next time, we’ll follow the advice of regular Crete visitors who advise spending one, two or more weeks just to explore one specific part of the island.

Click on the link below to continue reading my mini trip report on page 2, where I have posted a few of the photos we shot during our quick stop on Crete.

 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Pages: 1 2

A day in Chania, from sunrise to sunset

Chania harbour at sunset

This sunset view from the harbour capped off Irina Golubeva’s visit to the charming town of Chania on Crete

 

Dream come true: Travel writer Irina Golubeva says she had long dreamed of waking up before dawn in Chania, so she could explore the Venetian-era town’s narrow streets and cobblestone lanes in solitude. 

 Her dream came true when she got to spend a day there last summer.

“Chania is a great mix of Venetian, Turkish and Greek cultures. One can find the magnificent Venetian harbor here, old Turkish baths and Mosques, and Greek hospitality,” Irina said in a photo report published on the TripTemptation travel website.

Click here to see Irina’s photos of the town that locals call “the pearl” of northwestern Crete.

A stylish roadtrip on Crete

Agios Nikolaos Crete

Agios Nikolaos is an “arty, leisurely and sleepy town” where visitors “will feel unbelievable charm and calmness,” travel writer Alina Lisina says.

 

Hit the Cretan road: What’s the best way to see Crete, the biggest island in Greece? By car, of course, and preferably in a convertible — so you can “enjoy the taste of the Island and of the fresh sea breeze while driving along the picturesque coastline,” travel writer Alina Lisina advises.

In her view, Crete is not just another Greek island — “it’s more like a small country where you can find anything you want. ” Best of all, it’s “so fascinating and diverse that you can spend weeks here” without getting bored or feeling like you’ve had enough, she notes.

Alina, the founder of TripTemptation.com, took a road trip on Crete last summer and posted a photo report on her website. Click here to view her photos and see why she enjoys the island she describes as a “patchwork of splendid beaches, ancient treasures and landscapes, and unbelievable tasty food combined with the genuine Greek hospitality.”

25 tongue-in-cheek reasons why you shouldn’t visit Greece

Messinia Golden Coast

“Mediocre” views, like this one of the Messinia Golden Coast in the beautiful Peloponnese region of mainland Greece, is one reason why BuzzFeed recommends that travellers stay away from Greece. This striking photo is from the fantastic Visit Greece photostream on Flickr.

 

Just stay home: Are you tired of winter? Could you use a good chuckle? Want to see some superb photos to inspire your next trip to Greece?

Then click here to view the tongue-in-cheek photo feature 25 Reasons You Should Never Visit Greece, which was published this week on the news and lifestyle website BuzzFeed.com.

Featuring gorgeous photos from Visit Greece and other sources, the article addresses a number of modern “myth”conceptions about Greece, considering whether Athens “isn’t really that special,” if the country’s beaches are truly only “average at best,” and whether the views, scenery and sunsets in Greece are worth seeing at all.

The BuzzFeed piece gave me a much-needed good laugh today, while the spectacular photos took my mind off the snow and deep-freeze temperatures outside.

If you want to forget winter for awhile yourself, and learn 25 reasons why you really should visit Greece as soon as possible, be sure to check out the article.

 Windmills at Chora on Amorgos

Hectic places, like this crowded hilltop with windmills near Chora village on Amorgos, is another reason why travellers might want to avoid Greece, according to the website BuzzFeed.com.

More weather woes as wind & waves thrash the Greek Islands

Little Venice Mykonos

Surf sprays high in the air as gale-force winds whip waves against the Little Venice seaside area of Mykonos Town on February 10 2015.  This photo was posted on Facebook by Funky Kitchen restaurant.

 

Portara monument Naxos

The ancient Temple of Apollo monument on Naxos is barely visible as winds carry sea spray up and over the Palatia peninsula. This amazing shot was shared on Facebook by βασιλης φραγκουλοπουλος.

 

Wild winter: While it was the ongoing economic turbulence and political bluster in Greece that made headlines around the world this week, surprisingly severe winter weather conditions in many parts of the country were just as wild, crazy and unpredictable.

For several days, and especially on February 10 and 11, Mother Nature thrashed many of the Aegean islands and parts of mainland Greece with an unusually vicious torrent of wind, waves, rain, sleet, snow and cold temperatures.

The latest barrage of bad weather came slightly more than a month after a similarly brutal storm system brought icy temperatures, freezing rain and heavy snowfalls to many of the Greek Islands in early January (see my posts Wild winter weather wallops Greece and Snow scenes from the Cyclades to view photos and videos that were shared on social media during and after that storm).

 

Acropolis and Odeon of Herodotus Atticus in Athens

Snow falls on the Parthenon (top) while two pedestrians walk past the Odeon of Herodes Atticus next to the Acropolis in Athens. Flowmagazine posted this photo on its Facebook page February 11.

 

This week’s weather disturbances dusted Athens and surrounding areas with light snow, while various islands including Skiathos, Samos, Karpathos, Crete, Naxos and Tinos experienced either light flurries or significant snowfalls in some regions, particularly in mountainous areas. Freezing rain accompanied chilly temperatures in many places.

But it was relentless gale-strength winds that wreaked the most havoc, flooding popular waterfront tourist areas on Crete, Samos, Mykonos and Naxos.

Gusts registering force 10 and higher on the Beaufort wind scale raged across the Aegean, pushing powerful waves against coastlines, ports and harbours. Particularly hard-hit were the Chania harbourfront on Crete, the Little Venice seafront of Mykonos Town, the Naxos village of Apollonas, and the Long Beach area of Kokkari village on Samos, where seawater surged ashore, flooding streets, shops and restaurants and leaving muddy debris — and even the bodies of drowned animals — in its wake. The winds and water also caused extensive damage to the port of Evdilos on Ikaria.

Chania Crete floodwater damage

Waves and water damage at the Chania waterfront on Crete are shown in these photos posted to Facebook by βαγγέλης διαμαντακης 

 

Please click on the link below to continue reading page 2 of this post, which includes more news, photos and videos of storm activity and damage on several islands.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Pages: 1 2

A beach tour on Karpathos

Click the arrow to watch Marco Corradini’s video showing scenes from some of the best beaches on Karpathos

 

Beach guide: I have mentioned before that Karpathos is on my “must see” list of Greek Island destinations. I’m even more keen to visit Karpathos after discovering an excellent video tour of the island’s beaches today.

Entitled Karpathos, Greece: The most beautiful beaches, the 9-minute clip by Marco Corradini will introduce you to many of the island’s more than 50 scenic beach areas. Marco’s tour focusses on beaches in four main regions of Karpathos. Besides giving wonderful views of the strands, coastlines and the gorgeous turquoise and cerulean sea, Marco provides information on how to reach the beaches, describes if they have a sand or pebble surface, and notes if there are any facilities nearby, such as tavernas.

Marco calls Karpathos an “island of incomparable beauty, with high mountains and beautiful beaches with crystal clear water and amazing colors, the ideal place for a relaxing and exciting vacation!”

Fingers crossed I’ll find out for myself sometime soon.

« Older posts