After numerous autumn holidays in the Canary Islands we decided on a complete change for 2015 and booked a two-week break at Vritomartis, our first visit to the beautiful island of Crete.
After a scenic trip over the cloud shrouded mountains from Chania we glimpsed our destination far below – Vritomartis, an oasis in the beige barren landscape. The friendly welcome and thirst quenching orange juice gave us an early taster of the kindness of the Sfakian people that we would experience over the next two weeks.
Our bungalow was beautifully located with stunning views from the balcony of the sparkling Libyan Sea and the island of Gavdos is the distance.
Outside our front door was the pool and sunbathing terrace with the spectacular Lefka Ori Mountains in the background.
We had decided that we would make the most of our stay and signed up to two organized trips as well as exploring the local area ourselves by hire car. Below is detailed some of the delights of our fantastic holiday.
Hike through the Imbros Gorge
Despite starting our hike in cool drizzly conditions (more like we are used to at home in Wales) the sun soon came out for our 3 hour hike through the spectacular gorge, expertly led by our guide Sophia.
The hike ended with a very welcome refreshing Mythos beer!
We spent the next few days lounging in the sun at the pool and at Filaki Beach including joining in Sophia’s Aqua Gym and Boules before we embarked on our next adventure:
Naturist Boat Trip
After an early breakfast, seventeen of us boarded the Hotel Bus and set off for Chora Sfakion harbour where we boarded our little boat for a trip to the western deserted beaches of Sfakia.
After an hours sunbathing taking in the wondrous views as we headed west, we arrived at our first stop just west of Agia Roumeli – Domata Beach, which was beautifully located under towering cliffs. We dived into the warm sea and swam ashore whilst our skipper Manos carefully loaded refreshments and other essentials into the waterproof bags. We spent a delightful hour ‘alone’ at this superb location.
After re-boarding we headed back along the coast to Agios Pavlos Beach not for from the mouth of the Samaria Gorge. Whilst some of our party headed for refreshments in the shack, we lazed in the sun and bathed in the sea cooled by icy spring water from the White Mountains. We also visited the ancient church of St Paul built right on the beach. All too soon it was time to re-board and head off for lunch at Loutro.
Lunch at the immaculate isolated village of Loutro was excellent, with a lovely selection of Sfakian dishes washed down with lots of wine and raki. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed. – especially Manos who seems to like his grub!
Mid-afternoon and it was time for us to head off again, this time for our last scheduled stop at Sweet Water Beach, where we snoozed on the beach before returning to Chora Sfakion after what had been a fantastic day trip.
That concluded our organized trips, as we now had use of a hire car from Sfakia Tours.
Over the next few days we got to see some lovely parts of southern Crete.
Our first day saw us initially visit the isolated village of Anopolis, high above the Libyan Sea. Here we noted that the land was greener and allowed for agriculture to flourish. The narrow road took us onto the Bailey Bridge at Aradena Gorge, where it was quite unbelievable to see tourist coaches cross such a narrow, slender looking bridge.
We retraced our steps taking in some breath taking views from the road back to Chora Sfakion. We followed the road around the coast, passing through villages that time had apparently forgotten. We ended up by spending a glorious afternoon at the beautiful naturist sandy beach at Orthi Amos, near Frangokastello. Here the sea was shallow and the water warm. The beach was very tranquil with few visitors.
The following days saw us head further east following the winding road through sleepy villages where even the dogs, goats and sheep seem to move at a reduced pace. As planned we arrived at Souda Beach for our first stop – this was a lovely naturist beach close to the coast road. We bought lunch in Plakias and spent the afternoon on the fine sandy naturist beach at the far end of Plakias Bay.
We also visited Mikro Amoudi naturist beach, which was beautiful but became very full as the day progressed. We returned to Plakias Bay which was less crowded.
Towards the end of our holiday we hiked early morning from Vritomartis via Chora Sfakion to the Illingas Gorge.
This gorge was as impressive as Imbros but was totally deserted, with the exception of the goats. We walked up the gorge for an hour to the first rockfall when we decided we would re-trace our steps (clothes free) for a refreshing dip in the sea at Illingas Beach.
Unfortunately when we reached Illingas Beach the sea was a bit too rough to bathe, so we walked back to Chora Sfakion where we enjoyed a cool beer by the war memorial on the harbour before catching the midday bus back to the hotel.
What a fantastic holiday, which gave us an introduction to the quiet life in Sfakia. After sun filled warm autumn days we were blessed with beautiful sunsets and warm evenings for enjoying an excellent selection of food and wines on the terrace.
Many thanks to all at Vritomartis – we’re already looking forward to our next visit at the end of June 2016.
Huw and Sandra from Neath, Wales
This article participates at Vritomartis Winter Contest – Share Your Cretan Naturist Experience! If you also want to take part at our contest and win 300 Euro in Prizes all you got to do is follow these 5 simple steps! http://blog.vritomartis.com/share-your-cretan-naturist-experience/
Do you want to learn more about Vritomartis Naturist Resort and live the Vritomartis experience yourself? Visit our multilingual website vritomartis.com