Crete 2016 Blog 3 Elafonissi, Milia, Zouvra, Theriso Gorge


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June 16th 2016
Published: June 16th 2016
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Sunday 12thJune: a late start as we headed west to have a look at the beach at Elafonissi and hopefully an eco-resort called Milia up in the mountains on the way. I set the Garmin satnav for a town called Elos which was the only place listed on the satnav’s memory that was on our route (the multiple spellings of the Greek town names in English limits the satnav’s usefulness). All went fine until we were about halfway when we were directed off the main road up a narrow country lane through olive tree plantations up onto a ridge from where we could see the main road down below, and which we later rejoined. The only explanation seemed to be that the route the satnav had selected was marginally shorter than the main road, even though the preference entered on the satnav was for the faster route. So relying on our large scale Michelin map we found Milia (Mila on the map and not mentioned at all on the satnav) and had a delicious lunch of home grown vegetables beautifully cooked and presented. Down the mountain from Milia and even further down to the coast at Elafonissi, a shallow lagoon with
Where we were:- Where we were:- Where we were:-

On a narrow country road/lane up on a ridge overlooking the main road
pink tinged sand; and hundreds of cars in the car park: this being the favourite Sunday destination for many of the locals living in north west of the island. Because the lagoon was quite shallow the water was warm – even by my timid standards – and we spent a couple of hours on the beach and paddling in the sea. We started the journey back to our hotel at 6pm, allowing us plenty of time to get back before dark (around 9 pm). The return journey was uneventful except that we, and several other rental cars were unnecessarily diverted through the little town of Elos as a modern bypass (several years old at least) was not indicated on either the satnav or our map. However this didn’t cause much of a delay and we got back to our hotel in good time.



Monday 13th June: having had enough of longer distance driving for a while we went with our guide book recommendation to have a look at the countryside inland from the tourist strip along the coast where we’re staying. Good call. Nice quiet country roads, orange groves and pretty villages. Lunch of homegrown vegetables at
Where we should beWhere we should beWhere we should be

Down in the valley on the main road
a quiet taverna in the foothills of the mountains then up the mountain road to a tiny hamlet called Zourva, over 2,100 feet / 700 meters high, with spectacular views over Chania and the coast just 8 miles to the north – somewhat spoilt by the overcast weather. Then down the mountain into another valley called the Theriso Gorge, not as spectacular nor nearly as deep as the Imbros Gorge but this one had a good quality road running through it which made for a pleasant drive down to the main coastal highway. An easy drive back, just 10 miles including a diversion to have a look at a Minoan tomb near the German Military Cemetery at Malame (I wonder what the many German visitors feel when they come here, as their forces took horrific casualties during the invasion of Crete and stirred up a real hornets’ nest of rebellion as the Cretans didn’t take kindly to occupation)





Tuesday 14th June: Repetition Time as a return trip to the beach at Elafonissi was the plan, including another visit to Milia for lunch and a diversion to Kissamos to get a SIM card for my laptop dongle as the hotel’s internet connection had failed – hence the absence of blogs. We drove firstly to Kissamos to buy the SIM card and although we had been told that there was a Vodafone shop in the town we didn’t know where. We figured that it would probably be along the main road through the town, and so it proved. But in order to provide me with the SIM and access to the internet they wanted to see my passport: driving licence not acceptable. So we headed off empty handed to Milia for lunch: this time staying on the main road and avoiding the Garmin recommended “short cut”: and made much faster time. Lunch at Milia was as good as on our previous visit. Then off to the beach at Elafonissi where we once again enjoyed the warm waters of the shallow lagoon. Back to Agia Marina, this time taking the modern bypass past Elos despite the sign saying indicating that it’s one kilometre longer than going through the village – it isn’t (probably a plot by the Elos taverna owners to lure unsuspecting visitors using rental cars and relying on out of date maps and unreliable Garmin satnavs into their clutches). An easy drive back to Agia Marina followed by a particularly indifferent dinner at the restaurant across the road from our hotel. When the waiter asked if we’d enjoyed the meal (Mousaka) and was told “not particularly”, his response was not a grovelling apology but: “That’s our most popular dish”. So us ignorant peasants obviously don’t understand that real Mousaka should taste like damp newspaper. We have a lot to learn.

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Milia eco resortMilia eco resort
Milia eco resort

The view from the restaurant
Milia restaurant happy customerMilia restaurant happy customer
Milia restaurant happy customer

The boureki was outstanding. All ingredients from the resort's garden
On the way from MiliaOn the way from Milia
On the way from Milia

The main road is somewhere, way down in the valley
Boureki a la MiliaBoureki a la Milia
Boureki a la Milia

Sliced potatoes, zucchini and feta cheese: baked to perfection
ElafonissiElafonissi
Elafonissi

One of the nicest, and most remote, beaches on Crete
ZouvraZouvra
Zouvra

Up in the mountains a tiny hamlet of may 12 houses, including a taverna


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