Thursday, August 15, 2013

Summer vacation part 2 (Greece)

After the first portion of our summer vacation we spent a few nice sunny days in Finland with a few of my cousins from the United States and later got ready for the main highlight of the summer, a trip to the Island of Crete.  Greece had been on my wish list for many, many years and for some reason we had never made it down there.  There are so many possibilities in Greece and various Islands to explore, it was overwhelming just trying to decide on the best itinerary for a one week trip.  After doing our research on the Greek mainland and many of the Islands, we decided on the largest of the Greek Islands (Crete).

Crete offers so much variety for the visitor and it seemed like the best choice for a family with younger children.  Sure there are more romantic smaller Islands to explore as well as the main land with it's distinct culture and many archaeological wonders like the Parthenon.  With the Greek crisis still going on we had no interest in going to Athens for now and wanted to avoid the smaller, touristy Islands like Mykonos, Naxos or Santorini.  Crete features a bit of everything, gorgeous beaches, special Cretan food and wine, many archaeological ruins from the Minoan era and gorgeous canyons and mountains.  Our family stayed at a Scandinavian sponsored resort near the city of Chania.  The resort had a mix of Swedes, Finns, Norwegians and Danes.  I think I was the only American in the entire resort and our kids were probably the only children who spoke English.  That wasn't a problem and the Greek staff was very friendly and curious about our mixed Finnish/American family.

During the week we visited two of the most well known beaches on the Island (Elafonisi and Phalasarna).  We also journeyed half way across the Island to visit the famous Minoan ruins of Knossos which feature ruins of a civilization that dates back as far as 3400 BC!  It was amazing to think about a civilization even older than the Greek and Roman periods while I was walking around their ancient city with my family.  We also spent a few days exploring the famous city of Chania which features a wonderful old town and Venetian port from the 16th century. However, perhaps the best part of the trip was just relaxing around the sandy beaches and swimming pool while soaking in the sun and enjoying the wonderful Greek food and drink.  In comparison to Finland where it costs roughly 100 euros for our family (4 total) to enjoy a decent dinner with food and drinks, it was about half of that or 50 euros total.  I am still going through Greek salad burnout now, but while there I was thoroughly enjoying those tasty fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and Feta cheese in the classic Greek salad.  The week was very special and raced by quickly, but the pleasant memories are forever burned into my mind.  Crete is a special place and I definitely plan on returning to Greece in the future.

Stayed tuned for the final portion of our summer vacation, part 3 which will be featured in my next blog post! 


  1. I love islands on Greece, it is always sunny. I also been in island of lopud, but it is in Croatia, also known as country of islands.

  2. Great article!! Discover exciting things to do in Santorini!