When wedding planning got a little hectic and stressful last year I turned my focus to planning the honeymoon. The initial plan was to go to Belize but then we found this amazing deal for GREECE and couldn’t pass it up!
Destination: Elounda, Island of Crete in Greece
Hotel: Elounda Mare Hotel
Overall Experience: Top notch, A+
Fair warning, Elounda is not the easiest place to get to. We got married in the DC area so headed over from there. It took a flight from DC to Paris, Paris to Athens, Athens to Crete, and then from the airport a 45 minute drive to the resort. In total it probably took us over 12 hours to get from point A to point B…BUT it was well worth the travel time!
We rented a small, much smaller than what Americans consider “compact” car and headed to the resort after landing. It took a few rides around Elounda to actually find the resort, but once we walked in it was pure heaven. They greeted us with champagne cocktails and told us to take a few minutes, relax and enjoy the view. And the view was gorgeous.
The hotel was very nice, we were some of the few Americans staying there. Tons of British families were on holiday. I will say this, it was very expensive at the resort and we ended up spending most of our time visiting restaurants in town instead. That first night we had dinner at the “casual” restaurant…after a salad, two entrees and a bottle of wine our bill was over 200 euros! I know we probably should have expected that, but it was the “casual” restaurant! There was a complimentary brunch though…I wish I had taken pictures of this. The buffet had many different options from meats and cheese to Nutella and croissants.
The hotel had shops, a cute cathedral and a great “beach” area. In Greece there really isn’t much of a beach. You lay on the cliffs and jump into the ocean, there are pool-like ladders built into the rocks to climb out of. It was so different from what I have ever experienced, and very relaxing listening the ocean hit the cliffs. I loved it.
We stayed in a Bungalow with Private Pool. Our room couldn’t have been better, and the maid service was very prompt. If we ran to breakfast they were in and out before we returned. We were greeted with a treat almost every night…arrived to champagne and fruit, another night it was local jam and crackers, and another bread and cheese.
The absolute best part of the resort though was the spa. RG and I made a deal after the first night of very expensive meal! The deal was that if we canceled our reservations at the “upscale” restaurant (RG wasn’t overly impressed with the menu anyways) that we would schedule a couples massage instead. It was by far the BEST massage I have ever had and I could have stayed in the spa all day long. There was an indoor/outdoor pool overlooking a golf course and ocean, steam rooms and sauna, and a relaxation area underneath waterfalls.
Aside from the resort we spend most of our time in Elounda. It was a quaint fishing village, everyone was so friendly and the bars stay open until the last person leaves. We wandered from shop to shop and restaurant to restaurant and tried most all of the places while we were there. My husband is obsessed with Gyros…apparently when he was backpacking through Europe after college that was what he survived on. So we just had to try every Gyro spot in Elounda! Don’t get me wrong, the gyros were good…but I could have done with just one or two on the trip! Besides the Gyros the food in town couldn’t be beat. The seafood was always fresh caught that day and cooked to perfection.
We met a local couple, they were young and had recently relocated from England to enjoy the simple life of Elounda. They took us around to their favorite bars and had us over for a traditional Greek cookout. It made me want to give up my life in the US and move in next door to them!
I hope you enjoyed this…if you ever get a chance to visit Elounda take it, you will not be disappointed!