Heading to Crete: From Gythio to Kissamos

My sister and I traveled from the Peloponnese to Crete two days ago, making our way across the sea by ferry with our ochre beast.

Our ferry left from Gythio, a lovely port town (to which, as a side note, Paris whisked Helen for a honeymoon en route to Troy):

The Gythio-to-Crete ferry only runs on Wednesdays, so if you want this as your departure point, you have to do some careful planning.

We had an easy ride, particularly because we chose to spend a few extra Euros to ride in the nearly-empty business class cabin:

It was great to kick back on comfy sofas and get some rest, though it was impossible to engage in any business: the business class section offers neither outlets nor wifi.

To get to Crete, the ferry stops at Kythira, an island that is near and dear to our hearts …

… and Antikythera, a tiny island that one map calls “spot of wild goats.”

We arrived at Kissamos, Crete, at about midnight, and drove about 15 minutes to Falassarna Beach. This was our view when we awoke:

Falassarna is a true beach-lover’s beach: soft, golden sand, waves that are fun but don’t feel dangerous, and a shore that goes on for a full one and a half kilometers.

Everyone is here: it’s a see-and-be seen beach, a family beach, a volleyball beach, a beach with cabanas (40 Euros per day) and umbrellas (20 Euros for the front row; 10 for the back) that seem to stretch on forever. If you want a true vacationer’s beach, this is your spot.

For lunch, we drove into Kissamos and ate at Plaka, a tavern that looks out over Plaka Beach:

Everything we ate was fantastic, but the mussels in ouzo and white wine were the start of the show. We also had our first introduction to Cretan salad, which is essentially a Greek salad with soft mizithra instead of feta. We’re both big fans.

We ran errands in Kissamos, which has to be one of the friendliest towns in Greece. The guidebooks tell you to avoid it because it’s not architecturally or culturally interesting, but it’s a wonderful place to go if you need to see a Greek doctor about an allergic reaction (who charges you nothing for the consult) or stop by a pharmacy or a grocery store.

Our drive into the mountains took us through hundreds of acres of orange groves, so we were excited to find a taverna selling bottles of brightly-colored fresh orange juice.

The road then wound up, up, up, passing through small villages and more groves of oranges and olives. We wished we’d had more time to visit the enchanting town of Lakki:

We did stop to take a picture of this unusual statue of three warrior generations of Crete:

Our final stop was an Airbnb in the area of Omalos, which is a mountainous region filled with goats and sheep.

It’s so beautiful here!

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