Everyone loves a holiday where they can switch-off and let the universe take the wheel. Nothing to plan, nowhere to be, just an opportunity to appreciate a moment to breathe. In Crete, the Almyrida Residence has everything you could possibly need under one roof. There’s something to do for the whole family and there are ‘half’ and ‘full-board’ options so sticking to your budget is simple and easy. What was particularly magical about this experience was the diversity that Crete had to offer. From incredible food to breathtaking beaches, there was nothing that wasn’t completely accessible by car from our home-base. Looking to live your best beach resort life? Look no further than Alymrida Residence.
We drove in Friday afternoon from Chania, eager to spend some time by the beach. Travel blogging is intense when it comes to content creation and everyday we would be on our feet for at least 7 – 8 hours. When we arrived, we easily slid into a free parking spot by the front door of the residence. There were cars, but it wasn’t overly packed as mid-April is still considered low season. When we entered, we were immediately greeted by a wonderful hostess who was originally from Germany, but had a wealth of experience in hospitality all around the world so she spoke better English than me (it’s not hard haha). The lobby was colorful and spacious with a little library for all to enjoy. We relaxed with a welcome drink – our choice was hot water with lemon since we were feeling under the weather – and then we were taken up to our suite. Our suite was immaculate and spacious. We even got two balconies with a seaside view! The beds were spacious and delicately organized on the top sheet were rose petals and a welcome card. It was clear from the start that we were going to love it here.
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If you stay at the Almyrida Residence, just outside of your front door is Almyrida Beach! If you’re into water sport (like wind-surfing or jet-skiing), the wind perfectly hits the beach for some serious surfing. There are also small lagoons that are protected with rocks and barriers for children to splash around in. There are loads of restaurants to choose from along the beach and you can easily hop back-and-forth from your room. Almyrida Beach is ideal for families with children. We weren’t able to enjoy any of the water options as we were both quite ill during our vacation (it happens). We were bedridden for our first afternoon, but we were greatly taken care of by the staff as they brought up several rounds of hot tea with lemon for us.
The management at the Almyrida Residence is incredibly friendly and international. Everyone we spoke to was originally from Crete, but they were all very well-traveled and spoke 2 – 3 languages; we immediately connected over similar travel stories and fond memories as travelers do. Furthermore, there were lovely personal touches throughout our stay, such as: daily swans constructed out of towels (s’cute), a complimentary bottle of wine for us to celebrate privately, and every morning, the staff already had our ‘hot water with lemon’ waiting for us at 8am as we were both a bit ill and regularly ordered it.
You can really feel the friendliness of this resort. People are always willing to help. There’s also a really inclusive feeling to the place as there’ are loads of parties and live events happening during the week. The Almyrida Residence gets that different people have different needs and they’re always willing to accommodate.
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We were perfectly located in the middle of the north coast of the island along the E75, which is the lifeline of Crete, and made great use of our rental car each day. We used Expedia to rent with Alamo. With Expedia, we were able to rent a car for 7 days for about 90 Euros (insurance included). However, it should be noted that Americans cannot drive in Greece without an international license. Don’t make the same mistake as I did!! There’s also free parking for those who need it at the Almyrida Residence.
I purchased the ‘Greece’ Lonely Planet and this is what I used to plan the majority of our trip. All of the major recommendations are up-to-date and you’ll have information on all sorts of details that are not necessarily online. Because Crete is more of a ‘word of mouth’ type of environment, I found it a bit difficult to search on Google for details about local eateries as most of the Google Maps reviews are dominated by typical tourists with meh taste in food (lol).
Each morning, after an incredible brunch at the Almyrida Residence, we would head out in our little car in search of adventure. The main highlights were the following beaches, which are both easily accessible.
1. Balos Beach: A bit off the beaten path, be prepared to drive on a dirt road along a cliffside for at least 30 minutes. Then you’ll take a small hike down for 2km. Seems excessive, but the lagoon is like nothing I’ve ever seen before! Go early and beat the crowds for the most epic Instagram photos!
2. Elafonisi Beach: Do you like pink sand and stunningly clear turquoise water? Of course you do! Drive through the gorge to Elafonisi for the afternoon and enjoy incredible views. Small warning – this is definitely a tourist hot spot so it’s in your best interest to go early and rent a beach umbrella/chair for a small fee.
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Experience everything I did whilst you’re in Crete. All you need to do is click the ‘[ ]’ button on the right to download my Google Maps Layer. Or you can click this here to download instead.