31st January 2017: I've recently enjoyed a trip to Crete with Saga Holidays where I was excited to learn more about this beautiful island. With Crete’s temperate climate, the country is still warm towards the latter part of the year with temperatures between 25-30 degrees making it comfortable enough to explore the island in the October and November months.
Santa Marina Beach Hotel
So, on a recent trip to the island with Saga, we arrived at Chania airport at 11.15am, after a very early morning flight from Bristol, and transferred to the lovely Santa Marina Beach Hotel for our first night.
This hotel has a lovely beach-front and outdoor eating area, it is completed by a wonderful a la carte restaurant and large annex area that can be reached via a small tunnel.
Heraklion Archaeological Museum and Knossos Palace
The Heraklion Archaeological Museum, world famous for its masterpieces of Minoan art, was our first tour of the day. This was followed by a visit to Knossos Palace, the legendary palace of King Minos and where Theseus is said to have slain the Minotaur. Dating back to 2,000 BC, it was excavated at the beginning of the last century and gives a vivid picture of Minoan civilisation.
Royal Mare Thalasso Resort
Our next 3 nights were spent at the Royal Mare Thalasso Resort, a beautiful 5 star holiday which was 98% full, yet never had the feeling of being overcrowded due to its beautiful spacious setting.
Pottery and wine tasting
We enjoyed a visit to a local pottery workshop where we had a demonstration and a chance to try our own skills. I am afraid mine were not too good! A tour around Peza Winery was also included which included wine tasting; I’m not afraid to say, I was quite good at that!
A trip to the lovely, picturesque village of Elounda should not be missed on your trip to Crete. It was from this pretty village we sailed across to Spinalonga Island, a former leper colony from 1903 - 1957, made internationally famous by Victoria Hislop's 'The Island'.
I would certainly recommend a leisurely lunch indulging in some Greek Meze while you're there. I would most certainly return to this island, the hospitality we were shown was amazing!