While I was watching the rain dripping down on my window, my look was gazing into the immense Mancunien grey sky, memories of the Cretan beaches came flooding back.
Because the memories are precious times, time shared with my family, narrated to my friends by the fireside or immortalised by photographs I want to share with you today.
Turn on the heating in your house, have an ice cream and follow me on my Cretan journey to the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen.
Situated on the extreme South West of the Island, Elafonissi beach is a paradise for little ones and grown-ups alike. Imagine yourself walking in shallow waters surrounded by mountains and you will have the setting of Elafonissi. This beach is accessible by car with shaded parking. It is possible to walk to the small island in front of Elafonissi beach through knee-high water. The huge beach (nearly empty in May) is often crowded during the summer. The natives advice was to walk a little bit further and go to the neighbour beach, which is supposedly as nice as Elafonissi but less busy.
On the North West of the Island, Balos is only accessible by boat or after several hours hiking in the mountains. We chose to visit it by boat with in the same time a stop to Gramvoussa Island. And we were not disappointed, except the flock of retired French people who found that Crete was not as France, the excursion was magic. The beauty of the place amazed us. After leaving Kissamos port, we went to Gramvoussa Island where it is possible to climb upto the old castle and have a panoramic view of the Cretan coast. Then the boat took us to Balos. The lagoon with its shallow waters and pink sand is separated to the turquoise sea by a strip of land the whole closed by the mountains.
Stavros beach located on Akrotiri peninsula, next to Chania, is very famous thanks to the film “Zorba the Greek”. This smaller beach, at the foot of the mountains, is steeper descent than the others beaches and less suitable for the children. The bars and restaurants around the beach have a link with “Zorba the Greek” and offer some fresh orange or lemon juices.
As I adore reading and not having seen the film, I bought the book in English in Chania. Zorba the Greek was written in 1946 by Níkos Kazantzákis, who is a Cretan author and whose grave is visible on the rampart of Heraklion. You can read on the headstone: “I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free” from his essay the Ascese. Zorba the Greek is a classic and will bring you back to the ancient Crete. To be read before or after visiting Crete.
Preveli beach or Palm beach
Preveli beach situated in the South of the Island, in the Rethymnon area, has the pretty name of Palm beach due to the multitude of palm trees growing along the river which comes from the mountains. The beach is accessible by car but you will need to walk for around 10 min from the parking area to the beach and the road ending to the beach is dangerous. It is also possible to come by boat from Plakias or Agia Galini, or for the braver ones, like us, you can arrive on the beach after a 4 hours walk from the village of Drimiskos. The beach at the end of a small gorge will give you a feeling of remoteness.
The Red beach at Matala
Matala town, in the south part of the island, in the Heraklion area, is the last town on the road. The isolation of this town, the suffocating heat and the lack of charm do not help the visitors to stay more than one afternoon. The center of Matala is packed with small shops and hippie restaurants. The red beach is only accessible to the explorer after an ascent and descent of around 30 min. Take walking shoes with you and some water. You will be able to buy some cocktail, at the beach bar. The right side of the beach is for nudists and we found the sea too rough to swim.
I hope you have dreamt for a moment. For more pictures go to my facebook page teabeestrips.
Which beach in the world did you enjoy the most?