Elounda, Crete

Although it feels like a lifetime ago, in August we spent twelve nights in Crete in the lovely harbour town of Elounda. It was our first holiday with entourage (grandparents and an auntie!) and I’m not sure we will holiday without them from now on. Built in babysitters are the way forward!

Elounda is an hours drive from Heraklion airport but I think its worth the drive, past the bright lights and English breakfasts of Malia and driving along a gorgeous coastal road. We got a taxi from the airport which cost €75 but you can also book cheap car hire and drive the beautiful route yourself.

Elounda is a harbour town centred around the town square, although it has a touristy feel to it with knick knack shops and a number of bars and restaurants it still retains an authentic Greek feel to the place. My favourite place to go each day was a small bakery just a short walk from our apartments where we would buy delicious pastries for breakfast and the most amazing home made ice creams.

We stayed in the Palemilos Apartments. The apartments were clean and spacious and a good base for the holiday but the highlight was the owner, Poppy who went out of her way to ensure we had an enjoyable stay. This included making us home made pastries and cakes! The apartments are well situated just off the main road but set back well enough to be nice and peaceful whilst being a 5 minute walk from the shops, restaurants and beach. The apartments didn’t have a swimming pool but we used the pool at the Corali Studios and Portobello Apartments which was a lovely friendly place that welcomed us as non-residents and the friendly owner even picked figs from his tree to give to us.

Before we went to Elounda I read The Island by Victoria Hislop (a great read) which is based on Spinalonga, an Island just off the coast of Elounda. We visited Spinalonga one day, its a short boat ride from Elounda and costs €10 per person. Spinalonga is an island steeped in history and is a lovely place to spend half a day, although be careful not to go on a windy day – I got thoroughly sandblasted!

Elounda has a small beach which is quite nice. There are stones in the water but if you stay right next to the pier then the bottom is sandy although be careful of the flesh eating fish that like to nibble any unhealed cuts you have – it doesn’t hurt but it is a bit strange. A regular visitor to Elounda told us that the fish weren’t there in June though.

Elounda was a lovely relaxing holiday and thanks to the built in babysitters the Man and I got to do things on holiday we haven’t done since the Boy was born, like swim in the sea on our own and read a whole book and go out for late night cocktails!

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