Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Stalida Crete

Crete has been my dream for years and this year we were finally able to go there. Also our vacation this year was special because it was the first vacation with our child. Crete is the biggest greek island and one of the most beautiful. It has not only sea and beaches but also beautiful high mountains and large cities and ports. Our trip started as usual in the Bratislava airport, where we embarked for Crete. Our flight took us over the azzure greece sea, the sun sparkling on the water and here and there, like lost in the sea the beautiful greek islands. Just before we started the descent in Crete, the wonderful island of Santorini appeared just under our window in all its beauty. We arrived in the Nikos Kazanthakis airport in Heraklion at noon and there a bus was already waiting to take us to our hotel. The road to the hotel curved and took us along the sea and the mountains. The island is beautiful, full of mountains and valleys, beautiful beaches. The soil is a special pinkish color and some of them covered with green forests of olive tress or small bushes. Small villages full of white houses apear from timeto time and also churches white with blue roofs. On the top of the mountains there are anthenas or crosses.

View od Stalida resort from the bus
Our hotel was located in the resort of Stalida and it is called Katrin and Bungalows. There are many white houses and gardens spread on a large area. The hotel and the houses are wonderfully white and covered in beautiful violet flowers coming down from the walls.

Entrance to the hotel

There are 2 pools for adults, one for babies and a small kiddie pool with a mushroom with our daughter loved and we used all the vacation. The hotel also a has a playground for children, an animation team who sang and played with the kids every evening.

The big pool
The playgroung
The kiddie pool

In the restaurant the food was delicious and variated every day, especially the greek specialities. My favourite was a cretan cheese pie which was served every morning at breakfast. I also liked that the fruits and vegetables were from local farmers and providers. I have to admit that the fruits and vegetables in Crete are amazingly good: the melons are red and sweet, tomatoes are huge and my daughter simply loved the peaches and grapes. The fruit shops on the beach were simply a mouth watering experience.

Fruit shop

What i did not like about the hotel was that it was located pretty far from the beach. In  order to get to the beach you had o either cross a pretty busy highway or go under a very ugly and filthy tunnel underground and then walk to the beach. However the walk was worht it. The Stalida beach is one of the most beautiful and  longest i ever saw. The beach is covered with golden sand, fine and warmn ad soft to the touch. There are hundreds and hundreds of multicolored umbrellas spread on the sand and the price is very good comparing with other greek islands.The shops all around the beach are full of children's toys for water, so i had no problem buying a baby bucket set. Then we spend many hours sitting on the wet sand, with the warm waves touching our feet and watching our kid making sand cakes, playing with her shovel or carring water from the sea in her little bucket or spraying us with her water pistol.

 Stalida beach
Relaxing n the beach

Muticolored umbrellas
Sunset on the beach

The sea is perfect, clean and clear, it is the ideal pleace to go on family vacation. The water is not deep and you can walk a long way into the sea and still touch the ground. It is ideal for small children who don't know how to swim or don't swim very well. There was a lot of running and jumping in the small waves by our child. The sea has an amazing azzure color and sometimes it changes colors depeding on how the sun shines:from wonderful clear blue, to the gree emmerald when the sun shines through the water and the shiny grey when it cloudy. The waves are small and warm and they break foamy on the shore.There is a beautiful view from the water, you can see the whole golf and the hotels on the beach, the mountains surrounding the city, and on top of it a monastery.

 Waves crushing n the shore

Walking along the beach
 View of the beach
Water sports

Along the beach there is a long street full of hotel and shops and it is considered the main  treet of the Stalida resort. The buildings on the main street are painted in white or white with blue shadess, balconies or winddows. There are hotels eeverywhere, some luxurious, some simple ones, motels and apartments to rent.

Along the main street
Map of Stalida resort
 Along the main street

There are restaurants everywhere with different specifics. There are pizza places, italian and chinese restaurants, but the majority are the greek specific restaurants. All of them have beautiful teraase with blue chairs and wonderful inviting menus. There are gyros and hamburgers, souvlakies, tzatziki, olives and  salads, sea food, fried fish many fruits and ice coffes everywhere.  Most of the terasse are with view to the sea and you can enjoya nice meal or an ice coffe while watching the white ships pass like ghost on the blue sparkling clear water of the sea.

 Traditional restaurant
Modern restaurant
Restaurant by the beach
Menu offers

In the middle of the Stalida resort there is a small beautiful square full of pubs, terasse and restaurants. In the middle of the square there is a very small and old stone church, the Agios Ioannis. In front of it is a small chapel with icons where you can stop and pray.

Agios Ioannis Church

Inside the church
Restaurants around the church

 The square around the church
The shops on te street are full of everything you need in a vacation: swimsuits, summer hats, water toys  for children, cold drinks and snacks to eat. There are supermarkets from where you can buy food and small shops full of postcards and souvenirs, beach towels and book about Crete or the famous Nikos Kazantzakis books. But the most attractive are the traditional greek or cretan poducts: pottery, sponges, broideries and clothes, greek cheese and sweets.

Shops along the main street

Traditional Cretan shop
Stalida is a small resort however it is the perfect location for families. There is everything you ever wanted from a vacation: good hotels, plenty of restaurants, shops, ATMS and pharmacies, a beautiful beach and nice places to walk.

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