Postcards from Crete

It was a last minute flight I caught to Chania, Crete in August 2013. I carried one hand luggage of 5 kg and I had no idea what I was going to do there, neither where my hostel was. As it turned out, the whole Crete adventure was one of the most exciting and surprising things that happened to me that summer (more in my next blog posts). I was seriously blown away by the scenery and landscape of Greece, its crystal clear turquoise water, soft white coarse sand and blue sky. Here are some of my photos from Chania, Rethymnon and Heraklion I would like to share with you.

Postcards from Chania

Chania is located on the North Coast of West Crete. It features a perfect combination of stunning beaches, high mountains, deep gorges and small fertile plants.

The church in Chania, Crete

Local church in Chania

City center of Chania

City center of Chania

 

Chania is a very historical place with the fast-growing tourist industry. It is considered to be one of the most picturesque cities of Greece for the sake of its Venetian Harbour and the Old Town.

Fountain in Chania, Crete

Fountain, Chania

The Old Town, Chania

Chania Harbour

Chania Harbour, Crete

Chania Harbour, Crete

 

Nowadays, Chania is the second most populated city on the island, a city which has preserved its traditional architecture and most of its monuments from Venetian and Turkish times.

Lovely balcony in Chania

Lovely balcony

Local market in Chania

Local market

Venetian Harbour in Chania

Venetian Harbour

 

Chania is also famous for its the narrow shopping streets and waterfront restaurants.

Dry octopus in Chania

Dry octopus

Venetian Harbour in Chania

Stunning Venetian Harbour

 

The Chania harbour is wonderful and at any particular time of day the light produces a different result, creating a very romantic atmosphere.

Venetian Harbour

Venetian Harbour

Dry fruits sold at the Venetian Harbour

Dry fruits sold at the Venetian Harbour


 

Heraklion

Heraklion is the largest urban centre in Crete, the capital of the region and the economic centre of the island. It is commonly known for its Knossos Palace which survives from ancient Greek references to the major city of Crete.

Ancient painting on the wall in the Palace of Knossos

Ancient painting on the wall, the Palace of Knossos

The ancient ruins, the Palace of Knossos

The ancient ruins, the Palace of Knossos

The Palace of Knossos

The Palace of Knossos

Ancient writing on the stone, the Palace of Knossos

Ancient writing on the stone, the Palace of Knossos


 

Rethymnon 

Rethymnon is located on the north coast of Crete, between Heraklion and Chania. It is the third largest city of the island and is a fascinating combination of old and new- the Old Town vs. the New Town.

Local church in Rethymnon

Local church

Charming restaurant

Charming restaurant

The Harbour

The Harbour

 

Rethymnon is claimed by many to be the artistic and intellectual capital of Crete and is rich in culture and history.

The Venetian Harbour

The Venetian Harbour

The Venetian Harbour

The Venetian Harbour

A fridge magnet in Rethymno

Rethymnon is famous for its long sandy beach that stretches for miles towards the east.  Here you can find plenty of local hotels, bars, restaurants, shops and services catering for the summer tourist! Don’t forget to get a waterproof camera when you go snorkeling.

The church in Rethymno

The church in Rethymno

Delicious pastries in Rethymno

Delicious pastries

Blossoming flowers, Rethymno

Blossoming flowers

Street art in Rethymno

Street art

A beautiful beach in Rethymno

Beautiful beach!

 

Have you ever been to Crete? What was your first impression of Chania, Rethymnon or Heraklion?

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{ 50 comments… add one }
  • Chris & Angela Tieland to Thailand October 30, 2013, 1:54 am

    We love Crete. Chris traveled there when he was in lived in Sicily since it was just a short flight away. They water is gorgeous and the people are friendly. We have been talking about going back for a while now. Great pictures by the way…stunning.

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder October 31, 2013, 2:04 am

      That’s true. Locals were extremely kind and friendly to us! Thank you!

      Reply
  • Rika | Cubicle Throwdown October 30, 2013, 3:08 am

    I love the photo of the beach!! I’m very protective of my personal space at the beach (must have something to do with living on an island where cruise ships stop…ugh…) and that looks like a good solution!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder October 31, 2013, 2:03 am

      I fell in love with the beaches. I did some jogging there and sunbathing :)

      Reply
  • kami October 30, 2013, 8:39 am

    I’ve been planning to go to Greece so many times, especially that flight prices are so tempting, yet I haven’t ended up there yet. But it’s pretty high on my list and I’ll do my best to hopefully visit it next year! And after seeing these pics I think Crete might be a really good choice!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder October 31, 2013, 2:02 am

      It’s a great choice! Rayanair has really cheap flights from Wroclaw, so you definitely gotta go there!

      Reply
  • noelfy October 30, 2013, 10:55 am

    My arrival in Crete was also unexpected!! We supposed to dock in Athens, but back in 2010 it was a huge strike in El Pireus Athens port and we had to divert last minutes…Our guests were so upset! But I was amazed but the opportunity of visiting Chania, even last minute and sacrificing sleeping hours as usually!! Well worthing!!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder October 31, 2013, 2:01 am

      Wow, that must have been an awesome journey! I didn’t make it to Athens unfortunately. The flights were expensive and the ferry was overloaded with tourists. I didn’t have enough time either, preferred to see some places in Crete! :)

      Reply
  • The Guy October 30, 2013, 1:25 pm

    Wonderful pictures Agness, it looks stunning in the sunshine. Also great to hear that an impulse trip turned out to be so rewarding. I look forward to your future articles on Crete.

    I wish I could pack as light as you!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder October 31, 2013, 1:59 am

      Many thanks! Cez taught me how to pack light and yes, random decisions often turn out to be the best ones! (especially when it comes to travelling).

      Reply
  • santafetraveler October 30, 2013, 3:30 pm

    Great photos! Makes me feel like I’m there with you.

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder October 31, 2013, 1:58 am

      Thank you! That’s what I wanted to do – take you all with me!

      Reply
  • Dana Carmel @ Time Travel Plans October 30, 2013, 6:02 pm

    Great pics – especially the ones of the Venetian Harbor. And those pastries look delicious!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder October 31, 2013, 1:57 am

      Thanks! These pastries were so good, especially with iced latte :)!

      Reply
  • Stefania - the Italian Backpackers October 30, 2013, 6:11 pm

    Hey, beautiful photos! I like the ones about the market in Chania. Unfortunately when I was there (just one day) the weather was so-so. I had planned to stop in Rethymonon on my way to Heraklion, but I ended up having a late night and therefore not an early start as I had wished. I had a lovely time in Heraklion anyway: the night life isn’t so bad at all!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder October 31, 2013, 1:57 am

      Thanks Stefania! The best time to visit Greece is definitely summer, although it was a bit too hot in August. Heraklion was great indeed. I missed out Athens though, not enough time.

      Reply
  • Marinela October 30, 2013, 7:15 pm

    The blue in these postcards and pictures is just out of this world!!!!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder October 31, 2013, 1:56 am

      All Crete is about blue and white colors :)

      Reply
  • Rachel M October 30, 2013, 11:26 pm

    Excellent pics … something about the church exterior ..

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder October 31, 2013, 1:55 am

      Thank you Rachel!

      Reply
  • Kymee Martinak October 31, 2013, 2:40 am

    Great stuff, and no I have not been there. I am having to be there vicariously. ;O)

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder November 2, 2013, 4:07 am

      Thanks Kymee. You definitely need to go there one day, absolutely stunning! (hope the photos prove it :)).

      Reply
  • Mary {The World Is A Book} October 31, 2013, 2:50 am

    Gorgeous photos! What more can you ask for – stunning scenery, architecture and beaches and all those delicious pastries. This is a beautiful, underrated gem.

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder November 2, 2013, 4:07 am

      Thank you Mary. That’s so true. Crete makes all your dreams come true :).

      Reply
  • Franca October 31, 2013, 7:37 am

    I still don’t understand why I haven’t been to Greece yet, what am I waiting for????

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder November 2, 2013, 4:09 am

      Don’t ask me! :P Take Dave and go there right away!!!

      Reply
  • Jessica Wray October 31, 2013, 10:03 am

    Looks fab! I can´t wait to go to Greece!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder November 2, 2013, 4:20 am

      Awesome!

      Reply
  • Mike October 31, 2013, 4:28 pm

    Hi Agness, I’ve never been to Crete but with the weather turning colder here it looks sooooo inviting right now! Those ancient ruins look amazing! Wow, the history…I love stuff like that always. I would want to eat outdoors at one of the tables at that restaurant and have a pastry most definitely! Awesome photos :)

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder November 2, 2013, 4:22 am

      Thanks a lot Mike. Crete is hot all year long so when you start freezing book your flight to Greece and here you are!

      Reply
  • Colleen Brynn October 31, 2013, 7:17 pm

    Venetian Harbour looks so beautiful and cozy and magical!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder November 2, 2013, 4:22 am

      It looks even more beautiful when you are there and look at it :). STUNNING!

      Reply
  • [email protected] November 1, 2013, 1:17 am

    Hi Agness,
    I haven’t been to Crete but I’m definitely going there sometime! Keith and I got married in Santorini and our plan is to go back to Greece during one of our anniversary trip. And we would like to spend sometime in Crete during that trip. Thanks for this lovely photo essay. The photos are gorgeous and very inspiring. It’s also nice to learn about some of the different villages in the island.

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder November 2, 2013, 4:25 am

      What!? Did you get married in Santorini? I’ve heard a lot of nice stories about this place. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to go there :-(. That must have been an amazing wedding. Thank you xx

      Reply
  • Jess @UsedYorkCity November 1, 2013, 5:27 pm

    Lovely photos! I traveled there in 2008 and absolutely loved it! I was surprised at all the stray dogs on the street, which seemed to be the norm in Athens, as well.

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder November 2, 2013, 4:25 am

      Looks like everyone loves Crete, including me!

      Reply
  • Zara @ Backpack ME November 2, 2013, 4:47 am

    I have never been to Crete but after looking at your photos I could picture myself there right now!
    So incredibly picturesque!!
    I have a thing for places by the water..

    Reply
  • Kathryn Burrington November 2, 2013, 10:22 am

    I’ve been to Crete a couple of times but it was a long, long time ago. Really longing to go back as I loved everything about it. Food, people, scenery and the history, oh and did I mention the food!
    These are lovely photos that bring back happy memories. Are you on Flickr, by the way?

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder November 3, 2013, 1:31 am

      Yes, I also found Crete a perfect place. No, I’m not on Flickr. Just joined Pinterest and Stumble Upon so I need to get more familiar with them first :).

      Reply
  • memographer November 2, 2013, 4:47 pm

    I’ve never been to Crete. Your photos are very inviting, Agness!
    The Dry Octopus, however, doesn’t look pretty :)

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder November 3, 2013, 1:33 am

      You have to go there one day, no excuses!!!

      Reply
  • Heather November 5, 2013, 12:59 am

    This brings back so many awesome memories! We spent a week in Chania and fell madly in love with the place. Every day at sunset, we had cocktails at the little bar in the old fortress across the harbor. It was magical!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder November 5, 2013, 1:31 am

      Chania was amazing!!

      Reply
  • Caitlyn November 9, 2013, 5:26 pm

    Looks so lovely, I’ve never been to Crete but it’s been on the list for a while! What I would do for that blue sky and sun now!

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder November 10, 2013, 2:13 am

      I would do many things you don’t wanna know about :D:D!

      Reply
  • Tracy November 13, 2013, 3:44 am

    Wow! Great photos!!! Love all the colour of the buildings surrounding the Chania harbour. We hope to visit Crete on our next trip to Europe :)

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder November 13, 2013, 8:26 am

      Thank you! You really gotta make it there one day.

      Reply
  • Lesley Peterson November 14, 2013, 2:35 am

    Lovely photos, Agness. If there’s anything more photogenic than the Venetian Harbour, it must be the palace at Knossos, or those beautiful parasols on the beach!

    Reply
  • Lesvos rent a car March 5, 2014, 9:57 am

    They water is gorgeous and the people are friendly. We have been talking about going back for a while now.

    Reply
    • Agness Walewinder March 6, 2014, 2:12 am

      I know!!

      Reply

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