Crete in the summer is a fresh, luscious olive swimming in the Mediterranean sea. The beaches here are amazing, and a view you could just look at doing nothing.
Having a car in Crete is essential, unless you just plan to lay out on the beach by your hotel, basking in the sun and waiting for mealtime and drinking hour, which probably a majority of the tourists who come here do. But for those who don't rent a car or hire a taxi to drive them around, they are missing the things that have inspired travelers who have written about the island for the last few centuries.
Chania is a modern cosmopolitan city but unlike Athens, which has had periods where it was all but deserted, it has been continuously inhabited since Minoan times.In other words for at least 5000 years people have been living in this city, one civilization following another from Minoan, to Mycenaean, to Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Venetian, Turkish all the way up to its present day inhabitants some of whom share the blood of all these groups. Yes, there could be Minoans walking around the streets of Chania. Unlike Athens which lay dormant for centuries and basically began again from scratch in the mid 19th century, Chania has had a flourishing culture and in the 18th century was an international center of commerce(thanks Wikipedia and our local guide ;)). Chania, a town with a sophistication that would allow them to view Athens as somewhat provincial.
I spend a day at the Porto Veneziano, got a suite on the top floor with a view of the old harbor (photo) and much of the Venetian warehouse district of the old town, which have now been turned into fish restaurants, bars, cafes and cultural centers. The hotel had a cafe-bar with tables and chairs right on the waterfront and a small garden in the back where you could sit if you were tired of boats and sea. Some of the best seafood restaurants were right below us on the waterfront and on a small street called Salpidonas were a number of cafe-bars playing pop and rock music and a small cafeneon at the far end that was more traditional where the local koukloforema and young hipsters would gather every night. I can only imagine what the street is like in the summer.
The island is south of the Peloponnese and north west of the island Crete. It is known for it's rugged coastline and secluded beaches. 2 days remaining in the trip and I selectively chose this as the last stop.
The main reason I went there was to go beach hoping. A beach or two a day and taste traditional Greek cuisine. I have had to learn so many basics of different languages when I wanted to say thank you in Greek I went through 4 different ways before I came up with “Efxaristo". My Greek is terrible but this was easily the worst Greek I have had in any of my visits. :P