Destination 3: Crete – 3 Nights

Timeline: September 01 – September 04

Day 10: Arrived to land of “Zorba the Greek”, Crete’s Heraklion port with the Hellenic Seaways fast ferry. It took about 2 hours from Santorini to Crete, and about 45 minutes from Heraklion to the beach resort Creta Maris, where we stayed for the 3 nights. Creta Maris was a beautiful all inclusive resort stretched across crystal clear Mediterranean water, with cuisines focused on traditional Cretan food and live music. Highly recommended for a relaxing beach vacation and sensing Cretan tradition. Spent the evening exploring the resort and dining at “Estia” buffet restaurant, which offered Italian style food and retired the night at the “Romantic bar” which was the main gathering area of the resort where people played cards, lounged, and enjoyed the ambiance. The bar served drinks till after midnight and was pretty lively at nights.

Sea view bungalow room, Creta Marisa Beach Resort

Day 11: Relaxed in the resort all day, spent the day by the water and booked “Platia”, one of the 3 al la carte restaurants, for dinner.

Platia Restaurant, Creta Marisa Beach Resort
A traditional Cretan lamb dish, Creta Marisa Beach Resort

Day 12: After breakfast, rented a car from a local car rental agency right by the resort and headed to the ruins of the famous Knossos Palace which was about 40 minutes drive from the resort, Knossos palace is said to age back to 7000 BC. There was a long entrance line, and there was no online purchasing available for the tickets. Spent the entire morning in the area, very interesting landscape and scenery of hills and olive trees (highly recommended to visit). It is amazing that some pillars are still standing strong and frescos still available. After the tour, had lunch at a close by restaurant which was very touristy and low quality. After lunch, drove back to the resort, returned the car and refreshed for dinner at another al la carte restaurants of the resort. After dinner, walked around the resort and checked out the disco bar, had drinks and closed out the night.

Giant oil jugs, Knossos Palace
Knossos Scenery

Day 13: In the morning after breakfast left the resort to Heraklion airport to depart to the last destination, Athens.

Some tips for visiting Crete:

  1. Crete is a vast island, a solid plan/itinerary will maximize the visiting experience
  2. Always take a backpack with small snack and water when visiting archeological sites as cafeterias are usually located at the main entrances and walks can get long and dehydrating
  3. Although I stayed at an all inclusive resort, I highly recommend staying in a smaller place when visiting Crete and add more adventure and site seeing to your itinerary. Crete is known for it’s extraordinary nature, beaches and caves!

Continue reading our next post on the Turkey and Greece Itinerary:

Destination 4: Athens – 2 Nights