In June, Jan, my parents and I went off to Crete for one week. The first new thing was, we’ve both never been to Crete before. The second new thing, this was my first vacation with my parents since high school. And the third new thing, it was an all-inclusive holiday which we had strictly avoided until then like the devil fears holy water. Let’s say we were biased!
We won’t go into detail with our prejudices. What counts is, despite a few small things we were totally happy with everything and how it went.
We stayed in the hotel Rethymno Village in Platanes, which is a 15-minute drive from Rethymno. It has more than enough parking spots and if you decide to go by bus, you can buy the bus tickets in the hotel and go to the nearby bus station.
The food at the hotel was very good and the staff was really friendly; the beach was just a 5-minute walk from the hotel. All in all, we were happy with this hotel and can recommend it to you.
There’s actually not much to tell about Platanes. It’s a nice vacation village with some shopping, restaurants, and bars. As in any of those kinds of places, the minigolf course was the place to be and Jan the big winner of the night.
To sum it up: Not spectacular, but nice. (I doubt people coming here are searching for spectacular.)
The Old Town of Rethymno
If you want to have more action, go visit Rethymno. On top of having more shopping opportunities, there’s a huge choice of restaurant and bars. They sell cremes and lotions with snail extract and donkey milk everywhere and of course, I had to buy it. And thank God it was not a bad buy and I would also buy it again.
Rethymno is also called the Venice of Crete and it becomes clear around the harbor. The Old Town is beautifully decorated and has many winding alleys. During the daytime there’s enough shadow in the alleys, in the evenings we could enjoy it even more.
Our two highlights were, on the one hand, the Market held on Thursday near the Church of 4 witnesses. Seeing my mother bargaining there was my personal highlight. There are many things to buy here: clothes, bags, shoes (of course, mostly fake stuff) and anything to eat. We bought lots of olive oil.
The chaos here is perfect and combined with the heat and claustrophobia, you might get a little bit impatient or even have a panic attack. In the end, it was a fun thing to do. So forget what I was just saying.
The other highlight was watching Yiorgos Hatziparaskos making delicious baklava. This guy has been making baklava the traditional way for probably 100 years now and contributes to the people’s happiness. His gorgeous wife Katerina is always by his side helping him. On many occasions, his son is helping out as he’s already of a certain age. Nevertheless, we couldn’t say no to the sugar bombs and they were absolutely delicious. This is definitely the place to be if you’re searching for the best baklava. We took a lot with us. You’ll find him near the old mosque.
If you want to know what else we did on Crete (despite barbecuing ourselves in the sun), look out for the next post!