The sun drenched islands of Greece see millions of visitors every year, who come for the rich history of the country, its beautiful beaches and cool crystal clear waters, the wonderful food and culture and the promise of a summer holiday that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Adventure to Samaria Gorge
Hope this little piece will be of some practical use to anyone visiting Crete. My wife and I went to Crete on our last holiday, we were interested in the historical places as well as getting a little sunshine, and a break from the hustle and bustle of London where we live and work.
We chose to go self catering as I am a vegan and it is always a little difficult eating out getting what the body needs The apartment we had was really of a good standard – there was the obligatory pool although we were only a couple of hundred yards from the beach. My only complaint was the cooking facilities which were not adequate for us to cook anything substantial. If you are in the same boat as me and like to cook for your self, check if the apartment has good cooking facilities before you book. We found the local people all friendly and helpful, with most able to speak English. We visited the amazing palace of Knossos, the museum in Heraklion, (the capital of Crete) the Venetian port of Chania and a number of other places all worth the visit.
Chania is a beautiful town.
Then there was a hike advertised – across the Samaria Gorge. The guy selling the hike did not go into enough detail of how tough this hike was going to be. On account of that, my wife and I decided to do it.
Descending into the gorge was incredible – the smell of the cypress trees and wild herbs was a beautiful experience and the scenery was breathtaking. However the reality of what we had committed ourselves to did not hit home until we had reached the bottom of the gorge. If I were to do this hike again, the first thing I would make sure of is to have toughened, comfortable hiking boots. These are essential for anyone out there tempted to do this walk.
Secondly you should be fit for a 19 kilometres trek. In order to catch the return ferry you have to do the walk within a certain time, as the ferry is the only way in and out of the place you could end up being stuck there for the night. There is also a high risk of injury as the terrain is extremely rough, and if you are injured the only way out is by horse or donkey. My wife and I made it in time. However, our legs were aching for at least two weeks afterwards and the first couple of days after our hike we could hardly even walk.
Our footwear was not right for the rough terrain of the Samaria gorge, but having said all that it was a great experience. The gorge was beautiful and we were quite proud of our selves for having made it to the end.
The weather was great throughout our stay. Chania appeared to have the best restaurants, good food and good value for money.
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