When it comes to summer holidays, I can think nothing but Greece. I have to admit I have been to many places twice and thrice but I cannot help it, I love it! I don’t know what I miss more during winter time in the UK; the sun, the hot weather or the warm hearted people at homeland.
This year, a wedding of an old friend was just an excuse to plan a trip to Crete and combine both catch-up with friends and holidays. We spent most of our time in Chania from where we were escaping to explore more of the western and southern Crete.
A day stroll and a night crawl though in Chania is enough to give you a feeling of the multi-cultural character of the town and justify in every little corner its historical background. Start your day with an omelette in a secret quiet urban garden just a few steps from the old port promenade. Stroll and get lost in the pebbled streets with all the small shops selling keepsakes and summer essentials.
If the temperature gets too high, diving into the old port waters is not recommended, just grab a suvlaki and drive a few miles to the east side. Allow yourself to the most breath-taking view over the most refreshing swim of your holidays. Take that breath back (and a few more) and almost rock n’ roll yourself down to the rocky path ; this is Seitan Limania beach and is a definite ‘must’.
By this time, the sun is ready to set and the best spot to see the old town taking its warmest colours is from the top of Profitis Ilias Hill. This is where the Venizelos graves lie and the view over the old town is stunning.
Nights in Crete is all about the local drink, raki. It’s pure Cretan and we loved it. It brings joy and inspiration; this is when you start composing your own ‘mantinada’ and you become a real Cretan for a day or a night.
Try not to party that hard. Crete’s natural beauty is impeccable and the beauty is all over the place. Allow time to get to the beach as the pit stops for ‘rakomelo’, ‘kaltsounia’ and ‘sfakiani pitta’ are obligatory (local traders have their own stalls somewhere on the road and welcome you with a shot of rakomelo from their own production, hick).
More authentic local delicacies though can be found out of the main town. Road-tripping around the municipalities of Chania and Rethymno treated us with unforgettable experience of the landscape and the tastes.
 “Mantinada is the cry of a masculine but sensitive heart: the Cretan heart” said Nikos Kazantzakis explaining the meaning of mantinada for the Cretans.