Iceland: The Golden Circle!

We did this route coming from the west and stayed in a hotel near Gullfoss but these three sights are often visited on a day trip from Reykjavík. While Reykjavík is a lovely small city we would definitely recommend trying to see some of Iceland’s incredible countryside if you are able to at all. This circle (or triangle) consists of three main stops, Þingvellir ,  and Gullfoss.

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Þingvellir (Thingvellir) was our first stop – a national park which lies on an intercontinental tectonic plate where the national assembly, or Althing, met for 800 years from 930AD. It’s a UNESCO world heritage site and we had a lovely stroll down along the rift, overlooking the plains of the grass covered lava fields. We spent a couple of hours here, there are lots of walking paths and the views are stunning.

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Next stop was the Geysir fields of Haukadalur, where the  impressive Strokkur came to the boil every 5-10mins.

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A short trip down the road is the very impressive Gullfoss (foss are waterfalls), where we were able to walk along the boardwalk overlooking the falls but the lower section was closed off due to weather. The power of the water was palpable and the view spectacular. There is a big tourist café and shop by the carpark if you need to stop to get refreshments or random souvenirs!

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Let us know if you’ve traversed the Golden Circle or if you have any questions about our trip!

 

Cilian and Chloe

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Jökulsárlón

Jökulsárlón is a glacier lagoon located about 200km east of Vik. It is a stunning landscape; the glacier is melting into the lake, which is at sea level so the ice drifts out to the ocean and then is washed back on to the black sand beaches!

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It really was a beautiful place. There are boat trips that go out on the lake but we were too early in the season and they hadn’t started yet.

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IMG_0327The road from Vik is the main ring road and was in good condition. The drive brings you through the desolate lava fields of Eldhaun, a remnant of the enormous volcanic eruption in the 18th century. There are lots of other places to visit off the main road (such as hiking in Skaftafell) but we ended up spending so much time in Jökulsárlón that we didn’t stray off the main route though there were still some nice stops!

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This was one of the most incredible places that we saw in Iceland and was worth the day round trip from Vik and is a must see if continuing your journey east!

 

Cilian and Chloe

Iceland: Itinerary

One of our favourite trips of the last few years was our  week  in Iceland in April 2016. It is a stunningly beautiful county, with an interesting history and everyone was warm and friendly. We did get very lucky with the weather – it was cold but clear skies on all but one of the days – that day the rain and cloud cover was so heavy that the stunning vistas we had enjoyed from the car for the previous few days were entirely obscured. This is our general outline of the trip with a  few more posts to follow.

Flights: We flew from Dublin direct to Keflavik Airport, which is about 40 mins drive  south of Reykjavík, with WOW. They charge for large carry on as well as hold luggage and we got one of each bringing our total to €660 or €330 each. The flight was only 2 and a half hours and we were met by our car hire company at arrivals.

Car Hire: We booked with Greenmotion through rentalcars.com at a cost of €382 for the and our pick up was straightforward, their lot only being a short drive away. Our first, and one of only two negative experiences of the trip, occurred with the negotiation of the excess fees, which was both stressful and unexpectedly pricey. They required a deposit of ISK290,000 – about €2,500! We also didn’t upgrade our excess cover (partly because a chunk of the money we had planned to use was now tied up in the car deposit). This meant that we couldn’t leave the car at the airport with the keys in (the lot wasn’t open for our early morning flight), so we had to get the car back the evening before we left. The deposit is mentioned on the Greenmotion website in fairness but wasn’t in the rentalcars confirmation.

There was also a lot of emphasis on the possibility of damage to the car due to Iceland’s extreme weather conditions. It really is an incredibly windy place and there is a chance of volcanic ash windstorms which can cause damage to the body work – I have rented cars all over the world and this was the first time I felt nervous leaving with a rental car!

Greenmotion advised us to check http://en.vedur.is – the national weather service updated regularly – which was incredibly useful and reassuring – as we said we had great weather when we were there and the bad day was wet and cloudy but no doomsday ash! I dropped the car, unscathed thankfully, to the Greenmotion Reykjavík office on the Saturday. I did have to wait for a while as an unfortunate Chinese man was trying to sort out the issue with his car that had been damaged during his trip. One of the car doors had been caught in a gust of wind – the door had bent back on itself and one of the windows had smashed resulting in few thousand euro worth of damage. I felt very sorry for this poor guy and it showed that their scaremongering wasn’t entirely about getting us to pay for extra insurance!

The guy behind the counter was very pleasant and dropped me back towards my hotel which went some way to assuaging the general unpleasantness of the initial rental experience. He told me that every kid in Iceland learns to always hold the car door when it’s opening and closing as the wind is so powerful and gusty.

So if you’re going to rent a car make sure you’ve read all the small print! I’m not sure if the excess is worth it if you’re appropriately cautious but always hold the car door!

Driving in Iceland: We were in a Hyundai i40 and it drove just fine. Driving is on the right side of the road. There is a main ringroad which encircles the entire island and we never ventured too far from that. Some of the inland roads were still unpassable when we were there and there are plenty of 4 wheel drive only areas but we stuck to the main arteries and the driving was mostly pleasant. There is a huge tourism industry but we went in a relatively quiet month and at times had the roads to ourselves. There are lots of speed cameras about and these were well marked. The landscapes were otherworldly and by driving ourselves we got to see a huge amount in a short space of time.

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Accommodation: We booked everything through booking.com.

Fossatun Country Hotel: We stayed one night in this lovely chalet style accommodation for €85 which included breakfast. The rooms were warm and clean and overlooked a beautiful river. There was a hot tub which we enjoyed under the stars. There was a lovely dining room and the hosts served a very pleasant dinner as they played their collection of vinyl records!

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Hotel Gullfoss: One night with breakfast cost us €118 and though half the hotel was under construction our room was clean, warm and the restaurant was nice.

Grand Guesthouse Gardakot: Our room here was lovely and cosy and there was a gorgeous living area with cooking facilities (which we only used the fridge to keep a few beers cold!). A delicious breakfast was served around a big communal table where we met the other guests. Two nights cost €290 so it was one of the pricier options but was only a short drive to Vik.

Skuggi Hotel: This is a modern hotel with stylish bar and lobby area. It was very central and cost us €287 for two nights.

Money: Everything was expensive in Iceland, even by Irish standards. We found a nice pizza joint in Vik which we ate in twice and as the hotels were isolated we ate in their restaurants a few times. 100 Icelandic Krona is about €0.85.

Language: Being a large, fair, bearded Irishman with probable Viking ancestry a lot of the locals approached Cilian in Icelandic but after brief bewilderment everyone spoke perfect English!

Itinerary:

Day 1: After getting our car we drove north, straight past Rejkavik and on to Borgames which is about a 90min drive. We visited the Settlement Centre which had an interesting exhibition on the Sagas that make up so much of Icelandic history. We went to Hraunfossar Waterfalls, where the water seeps out of the rocks, and then spent the night at Fossatun Country Hotel where we were lucky enough to see the Northern Lights in the distance on our first night!

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Day 2: We left Fossatun and headed East to see the Golden Triangle of Thingvillier, Geysir and Gullfoss. This is often done as a day trip tour from Rejkavik and they really are spectacular. We will post soon about this well worn but well worth tourist trail.

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Day 3: Vik was our destination and we enjoyed the waterfalls of Selijalandsfoss and Skogafoss and the Skogar museum along the way. We stayed for two nights in Grand Guesthouse Gardakot which was lovely.

IMG_0213Day 4: This was a day of a long drive to Jokulsarlon and back to Vik – it was absolutely worth the drive through the desolate yet stunning lava fields and we have a post here about it.

Day 5: We drove from Vik to Rejkavik and this was the day of absolutely awful weather so we didn’t see much en route. It was still raining when we got to the Blue Lagoon but that didn’t stop us having a wonderful relaxing time – despire somebody taking Cilian’s pair of shoes and leaving him with one that was way too small!

Day 6: The sun came out again and we walked all over Rekjavik and we will have a post on it here soon!

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Day 7: Very early morning flight – there was a shuttle bus service from our hotel which got us there just in time after a truly wonderful trip!

 

Let us know if you’re planning a trip – we really couldn’t recommend it more highly as a place to go with some truly unique landscapes and lovely people!

 

Cilian and Chloe

Monart; A Luxury Irish Hotel & Spa Break

We’ve stayed in a lot of high quality and beautiful hotels throughout Ireland over the years but for some reason we had never made it to Monart. That is, until my birthday a couple of weeks ago.

If ever there was place for celebrations, it’s Monart. Set on its own enclosed grounds in the lush Wexford countryside, you’re buzzed in at the gates and met at the door, where your bags are taken and the car whisked away and parked for you. That’s a good start right there!

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At the front is the old stone house- this isn’t used for accommodation but instead houses a selection of sitting rooms and the library.

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Connecting the old house with the new is a glass corridor and then an airy and open foyer where we were checked in with a plate of blondies (like brownies but with white chocolate) to greet us.

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The hotel has lots of very cool touches around the place, including the big tree staircase (above) and this metal horse sculpture:

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And then to our room itself, which was spacious, comfortable and luxurious:

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That bed is bigger than our actual bedroom at home.

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Cilian had remembered to bring Champagne as part of our birthday celebrations and that was there to greet us, along with these fellas, that hung out on our decking, regularly popping up whenever we got back to the room. Very cute.

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We spent a lot of both days at the spa (there’s strictly no photos there so you’ll have to imagine that part), using the pool, the various heated rooms/sauna etc, before getting back massages, which were really good!

Everywhere is set up for complete relaxation- nooks and crannies to chill out in with herbal tea and fresh fruit. The main hotel and spa are wifi free- if you want the internet you have to go into the old stone building for it. It’s quite freeing not having internet access actually. We mostly left our phones in our rooms , except for when I wanted to take photos of food, etc:

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The food in the main restaurant is absolutely stunning. We ate there one night, as part of our package and ate in the bar the other night, which was also exceptionally good. As if we weren’t full enough, we also had afternoon tea:

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And of course, cocktails!!

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We also did lots of walking on the grounds, which are beautiful and there’s lots of relaxing flowing water sounds- this place really is a retreat from the outside world. It’s expected that you wear your robes everywhere (except for dinner), so you can genuinely just lounge around in pure comfort during your stay.

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We got lucky and found a two night midweek special, including one nights dinner and two spa treatments with full access to the pool and spa. That offer doesn’t seem to still be available but there’s other options HERE if you’re interested in checking in and checking out mentally for a couple of days!

We loved our stay in Monart; great food, a relaxing spa, beautiful grounds, a technological detox and luxurious rooms for lounging in.

Have you stayed in Monart? What’s your favourite Irish hotel destination? To the comments!

Chloe & Cilian

 

 

10 Foods You Need To Try In Crete

Food in Crete is slightly different to what you’ll find on mainland Greece. This is, I’d imagine purely a regional differences thing and what harm?! There’s still all the classic Greek meals with a Cretan twist- more delicious food to try.

  1. Greek/Cretan Salad

So this is an obvious one because Greek salads are renowned but the real deal is even better than you think! Your standard Greek salad will have fresh salad-suitable veggies; tomatoes, cucumber, red onions and peppers. Often there’ll be olives in there too and lastly, a big slab of creamy feta cheese on top. Over that, olive oil and some herbs. There tends not to be lettuce of any variety in this version (so it’s quite different to what we’d have at home).

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The Cretan version, appears to be a “chuck everything in the fridge in” type of thing. There’s everything from potatoes, croutons, capers, eggs, onions and avocados alongside the usual Greek salad base in these (not all at the same time, mind- in different restaurants versions there can be anything!) After we tried it once, we had to get it again and again. It’s delicious.

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2. Moussaka

This is also an obvious one, cause it’s probably the second meal you think of when you think ‘Greek food’. A traditional Greek dish, that has similarities to lasagna, Moussaka is alternate layers of minced beef or lamb in a tomato based sauce, aubergine and a creamy béchamel sauce, topped with cheese. It’s usually served in individual baked containers with bread or salad on the side. A word of warning with this one- it’s super filling! If you aren’t that hungry, share this and a Cretan salad between two of you and you’ll be happy out!

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3. Fresh Seafood

Practically everywhere we looked in Crete, there was fishing boats, so it was high on our food list to try lots of fresh fish. A couple of places had prawns on the menu, but when we asked we were told they were frozen. If you ask for what the fresh fish is, you can get a good idea of what’s on offer.

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4. Anything Aubergine related.

I’ve mentioned Moussaka already and as aubergine is a common vegetable in Crete, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding them in lots of other dishes too. These three specifically were very good; Imam is a stuffed aubergine dish with tomatoes, onions and a local cheese, usually feta. This is then baked and the aubergine becomes soft and melt-in-your-mouth. Melitzanosalata is the middle photo, it’s an aubergine dip with garlic, lemon juice, red onion and pepper. We were served it with capers and crusty brown bread. It’s incredibly moreish. Lastly there is another baked aubergine, tomato and feta dish with another local cheese over the top. I can’t recall the name of this one but it’s pure comfort food. You need to try all three! If you see the word “aubergine” on a Cretan menu, get whatever it is. Trust.

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5. Dakos or Greek Bruschetta

This is basically is the Greek version of everyone’s favourite Italian bread & tomato starter. With this, the norm is crisp, twice-baked bread slices, topped with fresh tomatoes, olives, red onions, occasionally cucumber, mixed with red wine vinegar and olive oil and finished off with lots of crumbled feta. Yum.

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6. Lamb

I don’t eat lamb but Cilian does, so he was in his element in Crete, where there tends to be lots of lamb, chicken and seafood on the menu. It seems mostly to be cooked classically in olive oil and herbs in a clay dish called Kleftiko, except for the second photo where it was baked in a parcel with potatoes and other vegetables.

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7. Meze

This is similar to tapas or antipasti and you can order all of these individually as starters also. In there you can see the afore mentioned Dakos and Melitzonsalata, alongside stuffed vine leaves (stuffed with rice, garlic and herbs), hummus, tzatziki, the two pastries are Kalitsounia– one is filled with spinach (although these can be any green vegetable), while the other is filled with cheese.

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8. Greek Desserts/Breakfasts

I’m putting these together because the breakfast I’m about to tell you about is basically a a dessert. Don’t give out to me, Greek peeps! I am of course, referring to Greek yoghurt with honey and walnuts. Don’t even bother recreating this at home, you won’t find yoghurt, honey or even walnuts that are comparable to what you’ll get in Crete. Coupled with a a strong coffee, it’s the best way to start the day.

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Dessert wise, we never actually ordered any from a menu, it seems to be the case that every restaurant serves you something sweet along with a lethal shot of raki after your main meal, completey gratuitously. This was a seriously lovely touch and it meant we got to try lots of really good Cretan treats. Our favourites were this crepe sandwich; filled with a soft sweet cheese and honey. My god, this was good. Buttery and crisp and sweet. So, so good. The Greek delight (rose and citrus flavoured) was also delicious.

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9. Chicken Souvlaki

Not to be confused with Gyros, another popular meat item (that’s more street food, like a kebab), souvlaki is any meat with vegetables (often peppers), on a skewer, grilled. These are quite simple really, but with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a salad (ignore the few sneaky chips), it tastes healthy and filling.

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10. Greek Wine

Although we drank a lot of Raki (similar to Italian Grappa and just as lethal) after every meal, we really enjoyed the Cretan wine that was available. Our waiter explained that because of its high altitude vines and grapes grown alongside herbs, this particular wine has a pleasingly unique taste. This obviously differs from region to region but any we did try were really good.

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Although there’s plenty more we could talk about here, that’s our top 10 for Cretan foods you must try! If we’ve forgotten anything you think is a glaring omission, please do let us know in the comments!

Chloe & Cilian.

A Week In Crete! Next Stop; Rethymno

You can read about our stay in Chania HERE, how we got to and from each of our destinations and the general plans that we recommend you make for this sort of trip HERE. For now though, I need to tell you all about Rethymno, a tale of two towns! (Dickens must be rolling around in his grave right about now).

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The two towns I’m referring to are the Old and New Town. We stayed in the new area of Rethymno, on the seafront. While it was lovely waking up to the sound of the sea every morning and the breeze through our patio door at night certainly cooled our room, the general vicinity didn’t have a huge amount of atmosphere. We half put this down to the fact that again, we were a little early for the Summer season but aside from that, it felt like even when busy, it would have been very touristy and perhaps, lacking in a bit of soul (because of this, all the photos we’re featuring here are of the old town).

The beach itself is lovely and there’s a fine amount of loungers out every day for your eh, lounging pleasure, plus the promenade is a really pleasant walk. We ate in a nearby Thai restaurant for lunch one day and repeatedly drooled over a Haagen Das only ice cream bar (we never actually ventured in, I feared we wouldn’t be able to leave if we had) but other than that, we very much focused our time on the Old Town, which is a maze of cobbled streets, orange blossom trees, quirky shops and packed restaurants.

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Just before we hit the start of the old town, still on the beachfront, you’ll find some very trendy (we’re in our early to mid 30’s, please don’t mock us for the use of the word “trendy”) bars with loud dance music, fancy decor and a lot of youths (ditto the word “youths” for no mocking, please). We avoided those as it’s not really our scene. Instead, we explored the narrow streets of the Old Town and sought out good food and wine. We did this later one evening so much of the shops were closed, but came back a bit earlier in the afternoon the following day to do more than window shop.

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We ate in great restaurants both nights, check out 1600 Raki Baraki for a traditional Cretan meal, in lovely surroundings:

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Annoyingly, I can’t recall the name of the other place but to be honest, everywhere looked good and there are plenty of 4 and 5 star reviews on Trip Advisor for many great place to eat in Rethymno.

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If you’re not after a big meal, there’s lots of crepes, gelaterias and bars to tempt you in also. We both loved the Old town of Rethymno. If we were staying there agin, I think we’d still stay on the seafront because the walk to and from the Old Town was actually lovely. Plus, where we were located provided us with a good base to take road trips to the nearby ruins of Knossos (we’ll come back to that later on, there’s too many photos for one blog post!), so it worked out quite well for us. Our next and last stop is Plakias, which is probably our favourite of the three!

Have you visited Crete? Anything else you would recommend to do in Rethymno?

Chloe & Cilian.

A Week In Crete! First Stop; Chania.

This was our most recent holiday so it’s probably the best place to start. In April of this year we took a week off for our first trip to Greece (note; we still have never been to the mainland and Crete itself is supposedly a different kettle of fish altogether). These posts will be a bit more in depth about the places we stayed in Crete, following on from the itinerary post we wrote HERE. We felt this would be more helpful as generally in most relationships, there’s a holiday planner (Cilian) and a holiday fun person (Chloe). Guess who wrote this paragraph?!

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We flew into Chania airport, to the North of the island. Chania itself is quite a nice town so we had arranged to stay there for two nights. We hired a rental car from the airport and drove about 30 minutes to arrive to what was a bustling nighttime scene.

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We were booked into the Favela Boutique Hotel and were greeted by the lovely owner, Georgia, along with a four poster bed, a little balcony and a welcoming plate of bread, olives and Tsipouro (super strong Cretan alcohol. Get used to it, by the end of your holiday your blood-Tsipouro levels will be sky high).

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We were tired but hungry and headed out in search of food. That particular evening the restaurant that had been recommended to us was fully booked, so we wandered, taking the atmosphere in, while eating big old slices of take away pizza, which were delish, if not particularly Cretan in nature.

The following day, we headed straight to the famed Venetian harbour to explore in the sunshine. It is really beautiful around here, and probably what you picture when you think “Greek harbour”; really sunny, bright green/blue water, fishing vessels and rows of restaurants, enticing you in with the promise of good food and wine.

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We walked right around the full stretch of the harbour and back again, past the Maritime museum, which was unfortunately closed (it would reopen for the start of the tourism season, even though it was already quite busy around).

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From there, we walked through the narrow streets to the shopping centre of the town. This was mostly window shopping because it was a Sunday, everywhere was closed for the day (fear not, I took mental notes and we returned the next day so I could scope out prices). This was a great little walkabout as there was lots of colourful shopfronts, gelato stops and cats lazing in the heat.

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At that stage we were hungry and allowed ourselves to be talked into sitting out on a terrace for big glasses of beer and some food. We decided on a Greek salad and Souvlaki (skewered chicken. We’ll have a separate post on Cretan food, with WAY more detail) which were delicious and a nice way to while away the afternoon.

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On the way back to our hotel we popped into a tacky souvenir shop for our obligatory Christmas tree decoration (we get one everywhere we go so our tree will eventually be overrun with them!) and then back for a little siesta. Cilian was less up for a nap than I was and so he popped down to the Archeology Museum, handily located on our street. This was a couple of euros in and was a small exhibit but with impressive artefacts.

We headed out again that evening, in time for the most beautiful sunset ever, before sitting down for a really good seafood meal by the water.

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We tried a Cretan produced wine also, which was really good and stopped off on the way home for more gelato (pistachio & nocciolato. Delish). After that, we could just about manage to climb the hotel stairs and fall asleep.

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The following day we had a last stroll around in the morning after having breakfast. I had a mission to find reasonably priced Korres beauty products (you can read about that on my beauty/lifestyle blog HERE) and we found a pharmacy that had most of the range for 20% off. Score. We also had a look in a supermarket where we got some olive oil and sweets for people back home.

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We headed out from the main hub of the town to spend a couple of hours on the nearby Notis beach; reading, swimming, eating Haribo and generally relaxing.

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And that was that for Chania. We really enjoyed our stay there. If we were to make one complaint, it would be the difficulty in finding parking and the somewhat erratic driving around us, which took a bit of getting used to.

If you haven’t yet, have a read of our previous post on our Crete itinerary; how to get there, get around, where to stay and how much it costs. You can find all of that info HERE.

Next stop, Rethymnon which will be our next post!

If you’ve been to Crete and want to add any travel tips or you too prefer archeological museums to napping (it’s a niche group), hit us up in the comment section!

Say hello, we’d love to hear from you!

Chloe & Cilian.

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A Week in Crete: Itinerary

So this is for the planners! We have a running joke about how much Cilian and his family like to plan and we thought we’d start some of our posts with a general outline of our trip and some of the travel basics like flight costs, car hire etc.

So we went to Crete in the first week of April 2017, the tourist season was just getting started. Lots of places were still renovating but there was still plenty open and it was generally a bit quieter and a bit cooler (18-24C) than the main season. The locals thought we were crazy for swimming in the sea but though the water was a little cool to get into we thought it was very pleasant (compared to the Atlantic anyway!). Springtime also meant an abundance of wildflowers and an impressively verdant countryside with a backdrop of snowcapped mountains.

Flights: We flew with Ryanair from Dublin to Chania, the second town in Crete, in the middle of the north coast. With a checked bag each it cost €390 return. The flight was long, almost 5 hours, so it was quite late when we got in.

Car hire: We normally book through standard on-line rental sites but this time we went for JustRental, a Greek car rental company and we were very happy with them. Not only were they cheaper than the bigger international companies but they didn’t hold anything against our credit card when we got there. We paid €171 for a new Hyundai i30 for the 7 days. A very pleasant gentleman met us with our name on a sign when we arrived and the car was parked outside arrivals. Return was easy, there is a car park a couple of km down the road that you return it to (“after dropping off your lady”) and there is a shuttle bus to get back to the airport.

Driving in Crete: So driving in Crete is a bit of an adventure – we kept mainly to the major routes but in the south of the island in particular we were on quite small, bendy and sometimes steep roads. These roads are worth it as some of the views are spectacular and it was great to see the small villages and wonderful countryside.

There are plenty of traffic cameras about so we kept to the speed limit but at times it seemed like we were the only ones! We just did what the locals did and used the hard shoulder as an extra lane on the bigger roads to allow people to pass.

We had downloaded GoogleMaps of the island on to an iPhone but this led us astray a few times as some of the roads it tried to bring us on were 4×4 only. It was easy to follow the signs to go the slightly longer but less treacherous / passable way.

Parking in the bigger towns was a bit of a hassle, particularly when we arrived into Chania on a Saturday night as our hotel was right in the middle of the old town on a limited access street.

Accommodation: We booked everything through booking.com – we had looked at AirBnB but the prices weren’t really any better and we had more flexibility regarding cancellation and choice of hotel with booking.com.

Chania: Favela Boutique Hotel €106 for two nights, no breakfast

Rethymno: Poseidon Hotel €80 for two nights, breakfast included

Plakias: Skinos apartments €210 for three nights, no breakfast

Itinerary:

After arriving in Chania we went straight to the Favela Boutique Hotel. Our host met us at the place and the room was lovely with a balcony overlooking the busy street. It could get a bit noisy at night but that didn’t bother us as we were out late anyway. We would definitely recommend – only real downside was the parking but we managed to get a spot about 750m away and could walk down with our bags. We have the low down on what we did in Chania HERE.

After checking out we spent a few hours on Notis beach before driving about an hour east to Rethymno. This was dual carriageway most of the way.  There was a nice beach across the road from the Poseidon hotel and we could see the sea from our balcony. The rooms were small and basic but clean and the breakfast was nice. It was a pleasant 20min stroll into the main old town and we have a post about Rethymno here.

On our second day in Rethymno we drove to the historical site of Knossos which was where the Minoan ruins were discovered in the early twentieth century. This took about 90 mins each way – we found the site a little underwhelming and we have more of that here.

Our final destination was Plakias but first we took a detour to the very interesting Monastery of Arkadi, about 30mins up some steep roads from Rethymno and we have our post about it here – we thought it was definitely worth a visit.

The journey to Plakias brought us through some fantastic country side, including Kourtaliotiko Gorge which was a worth a stop for some photos.

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We stayed in the beautiful Skinos apartments, just outside Plakias. This was our most expensive place but it was worth it – the sound of the ocean lapped into our bedroom and the views on our own private terrace were phenomenal. It was only a short stroll into the town but it really felt like it was out of the way.

During our stay we visited Prevail Monastery and spent a few hours on gorgeous Souda beach, a short drive away and also visited Schinaria beach which was beautiful with a spectacular approaching drive.

We had a late flight back on our last day so after returning to Chania we went to Ancient Aptera which was definitely worth a visit and had some stunning views.

We returned the car with ease and were home in Dublin about midnight after a truly wonderful holiday! We loved the friendliness of the people, the food was fantastic (see here) and though we did loads we also had plenty of time to relax.

We hope thats helpful and if anyone has any questions or comments leave them below and we’ll help if we can!

Cilian & Chloe.

That First, Difficult Post

Hello! You might know me from such blogs as Nurse Fancy Pants Blog, where you’ll find a healthy dose of beauty, books, lifestyle posts and up until now, travel.

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I’m Chloe, a 30 something year old nurse (unsurprising, given that blog title) and I’ve been an avid blogger for six years now. In that time, I’ve learned a lot about writing and photography, as well as travel but mostly what I’ve learned is that my husband Cilian (a 30 something year old doctor- yes, we are *that* cliché) is the best at planning and implementing holidays. Oh and, his photography skills are much, much better than my own.

It occurred to us recently that we should combine our skills and so, we bring you Eat, Drink, Travel and Be Merry, our joint travel and food blog.

We have many trips of old and future plans to talk about and we’d love for you to join us on our adventures.

Until then,

Chloe & Cilian.