Crete was stop two on our honeymoon, and we stayed mainly in Chania, with a day trip to Elafonisi Beach and one day spent in Heraklion, where we caught our ferry to Santorini. Our two main takeaways: Crete is beautiful and the food is SO GOOD! Here’s a photo from Old Town Chania (the main area was pretty touristy, but just look at it! What tourist wouldn’t want to come here?):
The view from our hotel window:
We were still feeling jet-lagged, but cappuccino freddos helped:
Snacks! (This is a sesame bread ring, which, though bagel shaped, tastes like a delicious ring of bread, not a bagel.):
Kalstounia, or sweet cheese pies, are traditional to Crete:
Sampling Cretan wine by the water!
Andrew had to try a local craft beer (his verdict: it was just ok!):
It was a bit overcast and gray for most of our stay in Chania, but we explored the beautiful nearby beaches anyway, found a lot of sea glass, and even did a bit of swimming!
We had a very memorable dinner at Tamam, a restaurant located in a former Turkish bathhouse that was built by the Venetians in the 1400’s, then taken over and altered a bit during Turkish rule in the 1600’s. It was so neat to enjoy our dinner in this location, which definitely still looks like a bathhouse and doesn’t appear to have been renovated much since the 1600’s either! We enjoyed imam bayildi (an eggplant dish which translates to “the imam fainted,” which apparently he did after tasting this dish because it was so divinely tasty), lamb meatballs, and one of the most delicious salads of our entire trip, which was composed of shaved vegetables, walnuts, and fresh cheese mixed with dried fig paste:
For our one very warm and sunny day, we took a bus to the indescribably beautiful Elafonisi Beach. This photo doesn’t really even capture it, but you get a bit of the idea:
On the bus ride there, we ate pastries—a spinach and cheese pie, and a pastry that was basically a buttery dough ring filled with Nutella. We ate them up before I could snap a photo! On the beach we had a picnic of bread and local cheeses after a few hours of swimming and hiking.
Back in Chania, we found a new favorite restaurant! Chrisostomos was so good, we actually went there for dinner twice during our stay in Chania. The view was of a parking lot, not the beautiful waterfront visible from the trendier restaurants, but we didn’t mind. The food was amazing, and I still think about it at random moments over a month later! We got excited and ordered too much food. First visit:
Dakos (Cretan rusk bread with tomato, fresh cheese, olive, and oregano:
Snails with rosemary and vinegar (so so so delicious, and look, these snails are in their original shells, how about that?!):
Giant beans with local smoked pork (this was Andrew’s favorite):
Braised lamb with wild greens and a creamy sauce:
We were really really really full, but oops, complimentary loukoumades and raki!
Rabbit! Plus delicious thick-cut fries that soaked up all of the meat juices and fat.
This salad was also really tasty, with walnuts, hard cheese, scallions, and pomegranate seeds. Those are mini dakos on the side, not steak tartare!
Retsina. Wine made from “the tears of the pine”:
Sunset in Chania:
Hey, it’s us!
Soon we were headed to Heraklion, where we stayed for a night before catching our early morning ferry to Santorini. We explored the Venetian fortress while ominous clouds gathered.
And we enjoyed some delicious food at Peskesi Restaurant.
And rooster pasta!
I’ll be sharing photos from Santorini and Milos in my next post. See you soon for that one!