50 Countries travel blog

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Crete island

Greece, Travel guides

The less known Crete

I just got home from Greece last night. I’ve been to Greece once before, to the lovely island of Santori, so the journey didn’t get me closer to my goals of 50 countries. But of course travelling isn’t only about going to new countries and I really enjoyed the trip.

Asi Gonia travel guide

If you read my last post about the ultimate travle guide you will be looking for at timeframe for the guide and little info about the purpose of the trip. We went 30.9 to 7.10.18 and focused on local living, relaxing and a bit of hiking.

We flew to Crete on a 3 hour flight with Norwegian – it’s one of my favourite budget airlines since they offer fair prices and an all right comfort.

Airport in Crete with a lovely clear sky.

I travelled with my husband, parents, sister and brother in law and their 1.5 year old daughter.

The planning

The trip was a birthday gift from us to my mother and we did the planning ourself. Since I’ve been to Greece before we didn’t really have any concerns because we new the country to be an easy destination.

We debated between choosing a Tui Resort to have everything at hand for all 3 generations. But we decided to try our first Airbnb and im so happy that we did!

Booking Asi Gonia Villa

We choose the Villa Asi Gonia because it offered 5 bedrooms and 4 baths which was a perfect size for us and the house looked well kept, which is not always the case in Greece. The pool was a must since the house was situated 45 minutes from the beach and we were hoping for 25 degrees. The owner Georgia had great reviews so it felt like safe choice.

Rent a car

We rented 3 small cars so everyone could go do what they wanted during the week. I can really recommend renting a car since there are so many beautiful places to go all over the island. There are lots of mountains on Crete, so rent a car with automatic gear!

It was my first time renting my own car abroad. We rented via www.sixt.com and it was quite easy. I was a bit nervous but the locals don’t drive like maniacs and the roads are in good condition most places. They do get narrow and a bit bumpy in the mountains but we didn’t have any problems.

Asi Gonia Village

The village is located about 1 -1.5 hours from the airport in Chaina. There is a small supermarket that sells a bit of everything (except for meat) and one tavern where you can eat dinner. There are more taverns in the village, but they seem to open/close at random or didn’t have chairs for 6 people at once. There is currently only one Airbnb in the village and no hotels, so you really get to experience local cretan living.

The locals are very friendly and would stop to ask if we needed a ride when we went hiking (completely without speaking English) and an elderly lady stopped us on the street and gave us 3 eggs (also without speaking english)

Where to eat

Most nights we made dinner at home or eate at the local taverns. For lunch we were usually out exploring the area and found local taverns. The prices varied a great deal! In Asi Gonia we got 4 starters, 4 main courses and 8 large beers for 45 euro. In Plakias we paid 100 euro for 4 starters, 5 sodas and 5 lunchdishes. All in all the prices ranged from fair to very cheap. In Rethimno we ate at Bario which had great food, a cool design and friendly staff who gave us delicious desserts for free. Most places we were offered a bit of cake or fruit after we paid – the Greek people are very friendly.

What to do

It’s the perfect place to slow down. We did yoga on the terasse, read books and played games. We drove to Plakias and ate lunch one day. It’s a small town by the beach and many of the taverns had stunning views but there isn’t much else to do than eat and enjoy the beach.

Rethimno is the cultural centre of the island and it’s one of the biggest cities on the island. We walked by beach promenade into the little harbour that’s filled with taverns and even a pirate ship. The old part of town is quit charming with narrow streets but also filled with tourists.

We hiked a bit in mountains and the Asi Gonia area offers some steep hiking rutes but the views are spectacular, the air is clean and you rarely meet other people. I would love to come back and spend the whole week hiking, hopefully one day I will. If you wanna stay at the Villa Asi Gonia you can book it here

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