The sea colours are not just blue; they are NEON TURQUOISE. Case in point.
The beach pictured above is my absolute favourite, I make it a “pilgrimage to go at least twice every summer” it is called Balos beach and it is a lagoon. It combines fresh water from the mountains with crystal clear sea water from the Mediterranean basin. You can experience everything there; pink sand, crystal clear water, sea life, bright azure skies and that gentle summer breeze that feels just right. The trek to reach this earthly paradise is quite worth it. You first have to drive for about an hour to the peak of the mountain as it is a Natura 2000 protected landscape the road is not developed (I highly recommend a 4×4 for this kind of trip) and then you have to take a scenic trekking path for about an hour that has breathtaking views of the lagoon, while it is scorching hot; the views will most definitely make up for it. What is more, you will find the indigenous Kri-Kri rams there that are nowhere else to be seen, an endangered species. Once you reach all you have to do is… enjoy.
The food is authentic, unique and cheaper than your local Trader Joe’s
Even the street food in Crete is delicious and homemade, so tasty that you will want to have for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Very economical as well; you can spend about 5$ and be fulfilled mind and spirit for the whole day. We have a local street food delicacy called Souvlaki which is hand made pita bread with chunks of warm meat either chicken or pork and filled with fries, onions, tomatoes and homemade yoghurt that you will remember for the rest of your life. And for my Vegans out there not to worry! You can grab a Souvlaki filled with hormone free veggies that are the real deal. Not to mention that most restaurants stay open until 3 or 4 in the morning. Crete is an island that truly never sleeps. (Looking at you New York… “Closes at 09:00”)
The people are the friendliest and full of life and energy.
The Cretans are their own kind of culture; polite, humane and above all friendly. The Greeks have an innate quality we call Filotimo; it is the humane empathy the people feel for the fellow humans. I can guarantee you that if you want to hitch a ride from the street in Crete at least 10 cars or bikes will stop to pick you up. And they will fill you with food as well. The Ancient Greeks had the concept of Filoxenia and that can still be felt today on the island. Every guest is treated with respect and as if they were part of the family.
I cannot urge you more to pay a visit to my island; Crete. ( I heard somewhere airfare is pretty economical these days…)