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Will Crete Be Everything I Dream of? 

Will Crete Be Everything I Dream of? 

Several years ago I was handed a novel. I was off on a jolly to our usual Cornish retreat, Crantock. With 2 children and a bonkers spaniel I gave little hope of having any free time to read, but it came with glowing personal recommendations from my mum and sister, so took just incase.

It was mid April and we’d bagged a bargain caravan break in the school holidays. Nothing glam, but it gave us the chance to break away from the norm and spend time as a family, the boys loved our mini getaways more than anything. I worked on a term time contract and the crippling school fees meant anything other than staycations in the UK was financially out of reach.

So off we set, laden with everything but the kitchen sink, as you do when holidaying in your own country. And it wasn’t too long before I could take the opportunity of 10 minutes peace to read a few pages as the boys fired up their Nintendo DS.

The rest is history.

As we hurtled down the A38, I was already dreaming of  blue sunny skies and a warm breezes,  drinking Ouzo and snacking on olives in a Greek taverna as the words from Victoria Hislop’s novel, The Island,  transported me so beautifully to the village of Plaka in Crete.

The historic novel, with a sad and moving story about the leper colony on the island of Spinalonga, created pictures in my mind which the unusual hot April sun helped cement. I was there, standing on the pebble shore, the sun on face, warm sea at my toes, watching the row boat make the short journey from Plaka to Spinalonga with passengers who would never return.

I can’t really tell you much more about our week away as I took every spare moment to bury my head in the book.

And ever since I’ve yearned to see the island, to find out if the pictures I have in my head bare any resemblance to the places described. I would visit the small hamlet of Plaka, take the boat trip to Spinalonga and experience the laid back Cretan days.

why I want to visit Elounda in Crete this year (and you should too)

image courtesy of

Staying in nearby Elounda, a small fishing town on the northern coast of Crete, my family and I could spend long, lazy days on the sandy beaches or exploring the harbour. Our holidays are about doing our own thing, in our own time and not getting drawn in to overly tourist or commercial attractions. Elounda seems to offer just want we crave.

why I want to visit Elounda in Crete this year (and you should too)

image courtesy of

With historic sights to see such as the huge abandoned windmills on the Spinalonga peninsula to the submerged ancient city of Olous and the ruins of the Minoan Palace of Malia. The lively bars and tavernas should keep my eldest teenager happy, a gentle and less intimidating introduction to holidays night life. While my 2 younger boys could make the most of having mum and dad relaxed, stress free and all of us creating memories we’ll all hold dear for many years to come.

And me? Aside from the historic places I’ll tick off on my must do’s, what else would I like to do on my perfect break to Elounda?

Why I’ll probably just read a book.

why I want to visit Elounda in Crete this year (and you should too)

image courtesy of ice

This is my entry to the dream destination giveaway, to validate my entry I must nominate 3 other bloggers, so I’m choosing Mummy Tries, Cornish Mum and Budding Smiles

Mami 2 Five


  1. 14th January 2016 / 8:37 am

    I love it when books do that. I’ve not read The Island, but I really want to now! Good luck in the comp x

    • 15th January 2016 / 11:58 am

      It’s a lovely novel, I’m really hoping to visit Spinalonga one day just to see if it’s how I pictured it.

  2. 17th January 2016 / 11:55 am

    I know Crete really well through my day job in travel and as The Island is one of my all time favourite books, I can fairly confidently say that you’d love it! It’s beautiful and historic and warm and pretty all rolled into one. Elounda is lovely, and it’s easy to escape the tourist traps. Wishing you a successful entry in the competition! #SundayStars

    • 17th January 2016 / 1:19 pm

      That’s exactly what I need to know. I don’t like doing the typical tourist things as they always seem do staged & fake.

  3. 17th January 2016 / 12:44 pm

    I worked in travel for 6 years before doing what I do now and took advantage of the massive discounts. We’ve been to greece as a whole a lot and it’s stunning! I’m confident you’ll have a gorgeous time – just don;t forget to invest in another book xXx

    • 17th January 2016 / 1:18 pm

      That’s so good to know, I’ve been to Corfu & loved it. I’ve just got a yearning for Crete right now.

  4. 17th January 2016 / 6:23 pm

    I love The Island by Victoria Hislop. Such a beautiful book and it really does transport you to Plaka and Spinalonga. Mr H went there on a family holiday many moons ago and had a fabulous time. Beautiful weather and wonderful scenery. My parents recently went too and had an amazing day on Spinalonga. My mum desperately wanted to go because of the novel and she wasn’t disappointed. Good luck with the competition and I hope you get to visit Crete soon. Hugs Lucy xxxx

    • 18th January 2016 / 7:49 am

      Thanks Lucy, it seems to be a really populat book & ive had some really great comments about others visiting Crete which is really promising

  5. 17th January 2016 / 6:26 pm

    Sorry, I should have said, thank you for linking up with #SundayStars. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  6. 18th January 2016 / 10:22 am

    Crete is high up on our list too. I’ve heard so many good things about it from other parents and everything I’ve seen and read about it looks beautiful. One day … #sundaystars

    • 18th January 2016 / 10:27 am

      The photos I’ve just seen look amazing and just to rub it in, my mum booked up to go there yesterday after reading this, I should have put how much I wanted to go with her!

  7. Nicole (The Brightness Of These Days)
    18th January 2016 / 9:08 pm

    This sounds a bit ridiculous in the context of my post to #SundayStars but I’ve been to Spinalonga & it’s really beautiful. I’ve not read the book so can’t say how it compares but it’s a lovely trip. Crete in general is so nice & the food’s great. Some of the local wine (bio-organic I think they were calling it) is fab too. Enjoy! Good luck with the competition.

    • 19th January 2016 / 9:20 pm

      Thats so good to hear, my Mum’s actually just booked up there after reading all these positive comments. I’d thoroughly recommend reading the book now you’ve been there.

  8. 22nd January 2016 / 9:45 am

    Oh what a lovely post. And what a beautiful sounding island too. I’ve never actually been to Crete itself but I adore Greece and it’s islands. After all, it’s where I met my (british – haha) husband. I just love holiday destinations which ar pretty much the same as they were 50 years ago. Unspoilt. The fishing villages and harbours especially. It’s true escapism at its best.
    Good luck with your entry. And thanks for linking up with #sundaystars
    Steph xx

    • 22nd January 2016 / 1:34 pm

      Thanks Steph, that’s the appeal for me too, seeing the oldies say out side their houses and the real side of Greece is lovey

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