Written by Lynsey Oxton
On the look out for a last minute holiday, we found a great deal to the Greek island of Crete – two weeks in a fantastic Lofos Suites villa with a private pool in the town of Aghia Marina. We have stayed in lots of villas over the years but for sea views, this one wins…
The villa was a short 20 or so minute walk through countryside (and poppy fields), down to the main beach which had a spattering of sun beds and beach bars – all of which were largely unused with our trip being out of season. The town of Aghia Marina lay alongside the beach, with lots of tavernas and gift shops – again, less populated in April than it would be in the height of the season.
Having hired a car (possibly the oldest Jeep in town), we took a 15 minute drive out to Chania Harbour. Typically gorgeous (like any Greek harbour), it didn’t disappoint – with impressive boats (old and new) at every turn, quaint gift shops up side streets and a host of harbour side eateries to sit in and watch the world go by. And the colours…..!
Despite it being Easter time, the weather (at least in the second week) got pretty hot! It was hard to get your head around the heat on the ground and the snow up on the mountains (the famous ‘white mountains’) in the distance.
Another ‘plus’ about visiting Crete out of season is the dining experience; not only did we have no trouble getting tables in the best tavernas but we also seemed to be getting the best of the local hospitality! I don’t know if this is normal in Crete, but it was unusual if we did not get offered a free dessert or a carafe of the finest local wine (if not both!). Wonderful! We did have a ‘favourite’ during our stay, chosen due to the stunning food and the warm welcome – Olivi. Situated on a quiet side street, just off the main Aghia Marina front, it was the perfect setting for alfresco dining….
Oh take me back!
I’m no stranger to visiting places twice (if not 10 times) if it is somewhere that draws me in. So, I’d say it’s highly likely I’ll be heading back to Crete again in the future! We found this place purely by chance when we just wanted a cheap getaway – and what a find it turned out to be! Although I can’t be sure, I’m guessing that it could be quite a different place once the masses show up, so when I go again, it’ll be in the Spring.
In the meantime, I’ll just reminisce over the dolmades and the kleftiko!