Monday, July 1, 2013

Yamas from Greece

"We drink champagne cause we're thirsty."

For Chris' golden birthday and entering a new decade - we choose to ball out in Chania & Platanias, Greece (on the island of Crete). What could be better than bidding your 20's farewell and entering into your 30's in a new country - especially when that country is Greece.

Thanks to Ryan Air, we get there Friday night & check into our home for the long weekend, Minoa Palace Resort and Spa. Living it up 5 star status. Thanks Mom & Dad for making it so special!

Champagne upon arrival and cheese plate and other snacks curtsey of  Mom & Dad
Rose Petals on the bed - nice touch!
The view from our balcony
Pool with a beach view
Minoa Palace - view to the beach from the walkway
Pool Bar at Minoa Palace Resort & Spa
Minoa Palace Resort & Spa

Our first day we beach it. The Aegean Sea is warm, salty, blue and oh so inviting.

Beach view at the hotel (to the left)

The beach view at the hotel (to the right)

In the afternoon, we catch the bus from Platanias to the historic Chania. The bus comes right in from of the hotel and costs 3.80 euro for both of us. It takes us to the bus terminal in Chania which is a great location to walk into the historic area. Our suggestion is just to walk as much of Chania as possible. The streets are beautiful. Go get lost.

Stopped for an ice coffee in this beautiful cafe garden

Streets in Chania
Streets in Chania

Streets in Chania
Streets in Chania
Doors in Chania

Streets in Chania

Street shopping in Chania- don't mind if I do

Streets in Chania

Streets in Chania
Streets in Chania
View of Chania
View of Chania
Streets of Chania
Doors in Chania
Streets in Chania
Streets in Chania

Explore the Chania Harbor's Lighthouse - a nice place to ponder on life

The Chania Lighthouse
The window to the world
Sunset over Chania

Chania Lighthouse and Boat
Dinner in Chania is like walking the gauntlet. You can't look at a menu without someone explaining how fresh their food is, some even go as far as bringing out the live lobsters. We get it, it's fresh. We enjoy walking the harbor and the marina - looking at menus, observing the other people eating there and moving on till we find just the right place. It's like a science.

Chania Harbor lined with restaurants
Chania Harbor lined with restaurants
Chania Harbor
We end up at the best place - Ta Neopia near the marina. It had all the makings for a perfect dinner: locals eating there, local music (accordion), a customer dancing to the music, no one bugging us to eat there, simple but inviting - the place sold itself.  In Crete, there are these greens called, Mountain Greens. They are a staple in their cuisine - come with zucchini and potato, serve with olive oil and lemon. Also, just looking into the harbor, you can see the sea urchins so uni is a must as well and we can't pass up fresh fish - swordfish is in season. The meal was complete with watermelon, Raki and some chocolate cake.

Mountain Greens
Baked Feta (delicious)
The restaurant
Dinner is served
Uni in olive oil and lemon - the ocean bursting in your mouth
Two thoughts: 1) Greek wine is actually really good. 2) Pretty sure Greek olive oil is the best I have ever had. Italy and Spain have nothing on the Greeks.

Our favorite hidden gem in Chania was a little square filled with cafes. We stopped there earlier and decided to go back before catching the bus back to Platanias.

Music, drinks, dancing in the square
We time it perfectly for the stroke on midnight to be off the bus in Platanias and start a bar crawl back to the hotel.

We recoup by the sea the next day - sun bathing, swimming... We go for a walk along the beach, headed toward Platanias, to the rock jetty/harbor.

For dinner, we decide to stay in Platanias and hit up Mylos. It is an old water mill converted into a restaurant. They have great outdoor seating.

A little about Platanias - it is much more of resort town with lots of restaurants, a main square area, tourist shops selling anything from rafts to jewelry to water/wine. For this trip, it was nice to stay at a resort near the beach and go into Chania for visits.


After dinner, we come back to find a little chocolate cake in the room for Chris' birthday.

Make a wish
We cap off our last day there with beach and sun in the morning (got get as much beach in as possible before going back to Poland) and then head into Chania one last time to walk around, trinket shop and enjoy one last Greek meal before we head home.

I opted for the cliche place with the blue chairs overlooking the water

Travelers Notes: Bus from airport to Chania is the best route and the cheapest option (something like 1.90 euro pp). For us, we arrived late and just wanted to get to the hotel so took a cab - it was 45 euros. If you are staying in Platanias, it is nice because the bus runs all night so if you want to stay in Chania at night, you don't have to take a taxi back. We would definitely recommend visiting Crete to anyone interested.

Read our review of the Minoa Palace Resort and Spa on Trip Adviser 

1 comment:

  1. Loved the photos of Greece. My favorite is the back of you looking at the sea. Beautiful photo. xoxo Mom