Chania Prefecture, Crete Island
Actually Elafonissi is the name of the little island situated in front of this long narrow strip of sand. They are separated by a shallow canal of water, walking on it you will wet just your knees. The sand is clear and pink somewhere because the coral powder. On the island you will find more pink and if you will walk enaugh you will reach some secluded part that look as your private cove.
Please play attenction to the sign and avoid to walk on the flowers and plant that grow on the sand, they are protected as the whole island is a natural park.
And.... PLEASE don't abandon your trash there!! it is a paradise corner, we MUST preserve it!
From Chania bus station i caught the 08.30 bus to Paleohora. Fare was 13 euro return. Leaving Chania on the north coast of Crete the bus travels through the holiday resorts in the flat country side till it reaches the mountains. Terrific scenery, the bus descends into Paleohora. A small town with lovely scenery and beach. The bus returned at 1200 or 18.00. Paleohora is on the south coast of Crete in the sea of Libya. This trip was in May 2007.
Paleohora is a place you must visit while on Crete. The village has a laid back feel with numerous activities for people of all ages. Your days can be filled with hiking, snorkeling, swimming and/or working your tan at the beach, and shopping for handicrafts. There are also opportunities for SCUBA and eco-style excursions. The Small Garden restaurant was one of my favorite places to grab a nice dinner. Third-Eye Vegetarian Restaurant is another excellent option and often offers life local music. Camping and hotels are available for an overnight stay.
The White Mountains (Lefka Ori) make up for the largest and most impressive mountain range in Crete. They're not really high but look wonderful, especially on the blue sky background. The tallest peak is Pachnes (2453 m).
I wish I could visit one of those tiny peasant houses down there some day...
A nice village with lovely sandy beaches. It hosts (probably) the only vegetarian restaurant in Crete. Paleochora is easily accessible both from land and sea. It's quite popular among tourists.
At present Paleochora is rapidly growing to meet tourists' demands.
Come to Paleochora and enjoy its pleasant atmosphere, the beach and the views. And the vegetarian restaurant ;-)
The way to Kastelli Kissamos (love the sound of that name) took us through lush scenery, though those yellow scrubs actually were spiky in spite of their soft look. We had to slow down when some sheep and goats were on the road and acted like we were interfering them! But then we were on holiday and were in no hurry...the sun was shining, it was warm, scenery could not have been better and there were no other people in sight....just perfect!
We hired a car for three days and headed for the south (Kalives is in the northwest part of the island) and drove through the mountains and three different zones. First through the olive groves, then bare mountains with very small bushes and hardly any other plants and finally to the area where pines and other dry soil plants grow. We were amazed that within such a short distance (less than 100 kms/65 miles) there were so many different sceneries. We reached the small town of Hora Sfakion and headed o the Samaria Gorge. We knew that we couldn't go down there, because after the winter there was too much water and mud, but we wanted to see it at least. We also knew that my sister in her wheel chair wouldn't be able to get there. We drove upwards around the mountain and the road was quite narrow, but I wasn't afraid. The view from the mountains was absolutely breathtaking! The road got narrower and narrower and finally ended - we were lost! We turned back and stopped by a house and I went to ask for the road. The young girl knew some words of English and she said that one can only get there by boat. At least I thought so. We had a packed lunch on the field and continued our trip. We stopped to ask an eldery lady for the road and used sign language and showed the map and she asked us: "Don't you speak English?". What a relief! She confirmed that there's no road to Samaria Gorge from there, only by boat, so we drove back to Hora Sfakion, where we swam and did sun bathing. In the shallow sea it was quite warm to swim and we really enjoyed it.
After my daily morning walk we headed towards to Kastelli Kissamos. We stopped for ice cream in a small picturesque village and we were disappointed because ice cream they had was exactly the same as we can buy here in Finland (I noticed the same last year when I was travelling in Europe that they sell same kind of ice cream everywhere and I'd like to taste the local ones. In Bulgaria they seemed to think that my friend and I were crazy because we wanted Bulgarian ice cream, though they had fine western ones, too!). Next stop was the monastery of Gonias, which was quite nice, but nothing really special. One of the brothers told us about the monastery and he asked my son about his name and held his arm around his shoulders. Poor boy whose shoulders were burnt!
my son wasn't vat the time very fond of sitting in the car and Monday had been a long day, so on Tuesday we stayed in Kalives, when my sister and her partner left for the eastern part of the island. In a way I would have liked to go with them, but when I saw how much my son enjoyed his day with me I didn't have any regrets. What did we do together? We went swimming three times, we went shopping (my son used to love to go shopping, when we bought something for him, but when I chose the post cards he got bored though it didn't take more than 10 minutes) and took some walks in the surroundings. My son bought two Finnish lures there and a computer game, which he played in the patio of the hotel, while I wrote some cards. It was a nice, lazy day, and I enjoyed it, though I thought I wouldn't have liked that kind of day. Through Kalives runs a small river, in which water is very clear and we watched fish swimming there every time we crossed the bridge. My son used to like fishing and was interested in everything which has something to do with fishing. I don't know what fish they were, but they were dark and rather big and seemed to be "talking" all the time! There were also some eels in the river and ducks and other birds swimming there.
Somewhere in the mountains we stopped for dinner in a small restaurant. The owner, a lovely old lady, served us well and we had tasty fish and asked if we could take a photo of her. She accepted and sat by me and held her arm around my shoulders. It was so wonderful and I think that she was the most wonderful person we met on Crete.
My sister, my son and I took the guided walk in the village, but my sister's partner prefered to stay in the hotel and sleep. Our guide, a young man called Timi, who on day of our arrival didn't want to "see" us (I think he was in a panic because he has just finished his education and didn't know how to handle the situation with us not having the rooms we were promised), turned out to be a lovely guide, who knew very much about the history of Crete and which pleased us even more knew very much about the flowers, plants and trees of the island. He showed us the church, which was closed then and took us to a chapel (also closed) in the garden of which grew lemon and orange trees in full bloom and fruit. Really nice indeed. Through narrow streets to the hill, which was very steep and I wouldn't have been able to push my sister all the way up there, but our neighbours from the hotel, two brothers in their mid-50's, helped us and they actually did most of the pushing and at what speed. One could have thought that they were in their 20's! The climbing was worth it because from the hill we could see over the village and far to the sea. Very beautiful indeed. We learnt about the plants, too. Timi told which were used as herbs, which were used for medicine and which were used to make alcohol, it was all very interesting. We could easily see that he was very interested in the nature and valued it and treated plants and animals with respect, which we found really charming indeed.
On the last day we had the car the partner of my sister drove my sister, son and I to the village of Vamos (7 km/4 miles from Kalives), where we had planned to walk. When we drove there I realized that we could never have walked there, because it was all uphill and pushing my sister for seven kilometers would have killed me! First we walked a little bit in Vamos, which was even smaller than Kalives and there was not much to see, and then began our walk back. It was such a fine day and there was so much to see. Different flowers, trees, small houses etc. but as I had suspected it was bit boring for my son, who didn't complain, but I know him. Then we saw a l green lizard, which had gone to an empty Coca Cola can and couldn't get out. mt son helped it tenderly to get out of the can, though it wasn't very easy, because the poor lizard was very much afraid. When it got out of the can, it ran into the grass immediately. Anyway this incident gave him something to think about and he walked nicely back to the village. It was easy for us because it was all downhill, but not too steep, as then it would have taken all my strenght to keep the wheelchair in nice speed.
Lonely Planet says that it’s one of the loveliest beaches in Crete. I personally was a bit disappointed – it was overcrowded and the ‘pink’ sand that was promised was barely noticeable. But the drive to the beach made it worth a while…. Only way to get there is over the mountains and the road goes by the sea so breathtaking scenery is guaranteed… Maybe if you’d stay there overnight (camping forbidden) then you’d have a chance to enjoy/explore it in privacy and find more than I did…
Located at Souda Bay on the Akrotiri Penninsula, on the way to Chania's airport, the Allied Cemetery is the burial ground for over 1500 British, Australian, and New Zealand soldiers killed in the Battle of Crete. It is a very well-maintained site and well worth a visit if you're in the area.
The Monastery of Agia Triada (Holy Trinity) is situated about 15 kilometres northeast of Chania on the Akrotiri Penninsula, not far from the airport. The main church of the monastery was built in the shape of a cross and has a round dome and two side chapels which are dedicated to Zoodochou Pigi and to Saint John the Theologian respectively.