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.


Pages: 1 2


  1. Donny, I didn’t realize you had this blog. It’s fun to read. This one about Crete reminds me of our very first trip to Greece, in the 80’s. Our first island was Crete. We still laugh about so many things from that trip. Like the ferry ride. A large group of backpacking teenagers were having a great time on the boat while we were waiting to leave Pireas. It was obviously there first island hopping adventure also. As soon as we left the large walls of the harbour they all started throwing up over the side of the boat. Quite a scene.
    We mainly used the bus system to travel around Crete. That was a real experience, travelling on those dangerous roads through some pretty mountainous terrain. At one point the bus broke down blocking the road; men got off the bus and out of cars behind us and started pushing. At one town we asked what time the bus left for our destination and the answer was “5 minutes after it gets here”.
    And I loved the experience of finding a room everywhere we went. Most of the rooms we lucked into were very nice tourist rooms, but I remember one where an older greek woman who couldn’t speak English led us to a tiny room that was just like the ones you see in the narrow streets where people seem to live and sleep in one room. Very authentic. She had a place a couple of doors away. I probably wouldn’t stay in a place like that today but it was fun back then.
    Also, the food choices were very different back then. There was no such thing as French fries even. I can still remember our excitement when we found a place that sold barbeque chickens cooked on a spit. To this day it’s still one of my favourite things to eat in Greece.
    One of the places we visited was a town called Matala. It had a quiet little beach with caves in the mountains that surrounded it. Sadly we didn’t even recognize it when we visited a few years later. It was in this town that I was looking at bathing suits to buy when a young boy of about eleven who was working there came up to me and shook his head and led me by the arm to a rack of suits in a much larger size. Haha. And this was also the first place we drank retsina (or what we like to call anti-freeze).
    Those were the good old days. But I must confess, as much as I love a secluded Greek beach, it is kind of nice to have those beach beds nowadays.

    • admin

      March 5, 2015 at 6:07 pm

      Great stories about Crete in the 80s, Cathy! I really wish I had travelled to Greece back in the 80s or 90s — I’ve heard so many interesting and fun stories from people describing what it was like to visit in the days of the drachma and before commercialism and luxury tourism changed the look and feel of many of the islands.

  2. There’s so much to see on Crete that no matter how much time you spend there, it doesn’t feel like enough. Chania and the surrounding area alone is enough for two days! The sun is so intense on Crete that it’s easy to understand why resting in the afternoon is such a big part of life on the island.

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