Keenan and I just returned from a week long family holiday to the Greek Isles with my older sister and her husband in town from Hong Kong and my kid sister from
who just finished her first semester of nursing school. California
The first leg of our family holiday took us to the largest and southern-most
island of Greece – Crete - which is known for its rugged landscape, famous gorges, hiking, and sun-drenched beaches. Crete is a hiker’s paradise so if you fancy hiking, then you should base yourself in either Rethymnon or Chania for the Samaria Gorge, otherwise, head to the eastern part of Crete and stay in or around Elounda Bay, or as far as Vai.
Scenic views of Crete:
After touching down in Heraklion, we made the obligatory visit to the
, the largest Minoan palace, located about 5 miles south of the airport. If you are an archaeological enthusiast of all things related to the late Bronze period, then Knossos will be your little slice of heaven. But for us, it was a bit underwhelming. My suggestion is to get a guide as the palace isn’t very well signposted, otherwise, you may feel like you are looking at piles of stones and a few reconstructed buildings. Knossos
We booked a 3br-2ba villa with a pool and view of the sea just outside of the Venetian city of
. The villa was well-designed with an open plan kitchen, dining and living room -- perfect for socializing and entertaining. We spent most of our time in the villa due to the dreadful rain. Yes rain in Rethymnon Crete in late May – way to spoil a sun holiday! However as it has been well over two years since we were all under the same roof, we ceased the opportunity for some quality family-bonding time playing board games, following President Obama’s European tour through Ireland, U.K., France, and Poland on the BBC, and BBQed...English-style in the rain!
When it wasn’t raining, we spent lazy mornings and afternoons sunbathing in the garden, explored the town of
Rethymnon Harbour and Venetian Castle:
The Moni Preveli is also worth a visit though I should note that the road up to the monastery is treacherous. Due to its isolated position, Moni Preveli played an important role in Cretan revolts against the Nazis during World War II. There is a statue commemorating the Battle of Crete in 1941.
After spending a few days in Crete, we took a 2 hr high-speed ferry from Heraklion port to the
. More to come from island of Santorini … Greece