My Holiday Experience In Chania, Crete

Wednesday, 7 November 2018 Chania, Greece

Hi guys it's been a while I know, probably the longest time I haven't blogged in a while. I'm sorry, trying to find my love for blogging again. I feel like there has been a decline in readership, are you still reading blogs? I'd love to know in the comment section below... 
Now let's get into this!

If you've been watching my instagram lately, you would have seen that I recently visited Greece. I visited the beautiful island of Crete and stayed in a small historic town called Chania. Prior to visiting Chania, I'd never heard of the town before, however, done a little research (let's put emphasis on "a little research" as I'll be coming back to this point later on) and it seemed like a place that I would want to visit...

Hotel Samaria
On Wednesday 3rd October we arrived at Chania Airport and had our hotel transfer waiting for us. We had planned a stay at the 4* Samaria business hotel in the centre of Chania Town, located around 20 minutes away from the airport which was very convenient for us. Once we arrived at Samaria, we were greeted by the lovely hotel staff who quickly checked us in and had our room ready...

Our room was incredibly clean, nicely furnished and some lovely touches were added. Rooms are equipped with:

* Comfortable beds/pillows
* A sofa area
* A shower and a bath (I'm not sure if this in the case in every room)
* TV
* Blow-dryer
* Fridge topped up with up with water daily
* Complimentary fruit & wine on arrival
* Complimentary sweet treats

For the two nights we stayed here, we had such lovely breakfasts by the pool area where you're spoilt for choice. Breakfasts consist of cereals, fresh fruits, cakes/pastries, cheeses, hot breakfasts, hot drinks and juices/smoothies. Everything basically!

On one afternoon, we also decided to sunbathe around the pool area. It's small but peaceful and very relaxing. Towels are provided so you don't have to worry about packing one. 

The pool area on a cloudy morning

The pool area on a sunny afternoon
Day 1 & 2 exploring
Our first two nights in Chania were very laid back and quite. I was personally exhausted from being up and down back in London, so didn't mind so much at this point. Going back to my research point, I barely did any research on Chania before I arrived which is very unlike me. My friend mentioned "going with the flow" on this holiday prior to arriving and I thought, you know what, why not? I'm always SO organised when travelling so why not have a laid back one in Crete? Come to find out... Crete is one of those destinations where you plan whole itineraries for (haha we were soon to find out).

So we spent days 1 & 2 just exploring the main town (think Marrakesh streets without the hustle and bustle), the harbour where all the restaurants are and the local shopping facilities.


Photos taken on an iphone 8 not edited)

Day 3 
It was time to check out of the beautiful Samaria hotel and into our Airbnb. Overall we had a lovely stay at Samaria and wished we stayed here for the duration of our stay (you'll understand why reading on).

Our First AirBnB
We chose a lovely apartment 10 minutes away from our hotel & our host even came to pick us up which was a lovely gesture. The Airbnb was located in a nice quiet neighbourhood which seemed safe at first. Going back to our research point, we didn't realise that it would be best to drive in the area we stayed in for convenience and safety purposes. On this night we went to Amphora Restaurant The food here seemed to be a big hit with the Swedish tourists so we decided to try it out. The food wasn't AMAZING, but it was fresh and tasty (just wasn't seasoned to how I'm used to but that was to be expected).

Day 4 
We woke up pretty early this morning and decided we wanted to go to the beach. There are loads of small beaches dotted around Chania but honestly they seemed quite neglected, not all are clean or safe to be on. We wanted to go to Elafonissi Beach (the famous pink beach that you've probably seen all over Pinterest) but missed the coach at 9:30am. :( We decided to go to Falassarna Beach instead, a beach we hadn't researched much but was told it'd be nice. The trip cost us just under 20 euros for a return and the journey time was about 4 hours total there and back - yep a hefty 4 hours! I was so disappointed when I realised the main (nice) beaches were so far away... But was so grateful to have visited at least one of the well-known ones.

Because of the journey time, our day was just dedicated to travelling and spending around 2-3 hours at Falassarna. The beach was sooooo beautiful, the waters were clear, sands super soft and the weather was really good on this day. We paid around 7 euros for the sunbeds (I can't remember if this was together or separately) and before we knew it, it was time to go. Once we got back to our area, we decided to grab something to eat from a local restaurant and bakery, then called it a night.

Day 5
After a bit of a manic day, we decided to use day 5 for content. I'd taken some pictures here and there but didn't have a full on content day, which I needed because I had soooo many outfits with me and hadn't posted much. We decided to take some pictures near the airbnb as the area was pretty, and then had around 2 more outfits to shoot in the main town. This day I have to say was my favourite. I felt like the day had direction since we planned what we were going to do ahead of time. We had gotten to grips with the area, started to explore even more and decided to spend our whole day being out. We came across the beautiful Casa Delfino and dined near some of the boutique hotels in between alleys.




Photos taken on an iphone 8 not edited)

We ended our night with a walk to the Lighthouse of Chania where we watched the sunset which was breathtaking. Unfortunately on this night, we witnessed a videographer fall off the side of the walls (en route to the lighthouse) whilst shooting a music video (it looked like), and seemed to have injured his head pretty bad. From what I could see there was some blood on the floor, I honestly felt bad and shaken up for him.

It was about 8pm and we decided that we wanted to stay in the town a little longer so got some ice cream to stretch out our evening. On our way back to our Airbnb (using the local buses), laughing and joking walking up the road that led to our apartment, were two guys who tried to attack me and my friend...

The Incident
Can I just say, prior to visiting Crete I only had a great image of Greece. I visited Mykonos for about 5 days last year and fell in love. However, this time round felt so different. Long story short, as we were walking to our Airbnb two guys on a motorbike drove up behind us (greeting us) then proceeded with some sexual remarks. We greeted them back because we didn't want to be rude and thought they were perhaps a part of the community, but as soon as we heard the sexual remarks we just carried on walking. One of the guys then gets off his motorbike and starts to walk towards us unzipping his pants. We both start to panic and scream at the top of our lungs, trying to get help from the neighbours. Again long story short, we managed to get away and reported the incident to our neighbours, Airbnb owner and most importantly the police. I don't want to go into the story too much in my blog post (flashbacks and all), but that was the most scariest experience of my life. I honestly thought we were going to die that night. After the incident, we rushed back into our airbnb and both were just crying all night, we were so shaken up. We told the neighbours, spoke to our airbnb host who reported the incident to the police and came to look over the area. At this point, I wanted to go home.

Day 6
After a horrible end to our night, we spent hours in the morning searching for a new place to stay. Airbnb got in touch with us via a tweet I sent and offered to pay for the two nights we stayed at our new place. We moved into our new Airbnb which was even more central than the hotel but SO SMALL, not ideal for two people in my opinion, but we were just happy to be alive and safe.

We had to wait until our Airbnb was ready so checked into 13 Sweeties and Salties for some Brunch. I had a really nice bowl of pasta, a smoothie and Cretan pies (if you ever visit Crete you have to try these).

After checking in and getting ready, we decided to take some more photos to take our minds off the incident and then went for dinner at Il Padrino (an Italian restaurant, we needed comfort food) along the harbour which was lovely. We had a moment to reflect on the incident overlooking the harbour and honestly just felt so grateful to be okay.

Day 7
Our final day. Again after a horrible day 5 we decided to make the most out of our last day. Despite everything, I really felt sad to be leaving. We arranged to go on a boat ride but had just missed the boat (just our luck), so we waited for the next one and were told they cancelled the trip. At this point we just had to laugh it off, Honestly. We took a stroll along the sea pathway and headed to a local beach, we met some tourists from Amsterdam who took the cutest shots of us and just continued taking pictures/videos. Again, we watched the sunset and went for dinner back at Amphora.



This was a bit of a long post right? *Takes a breather*

You guys know I like to keep it 100% honest with you... Crete (especially Chania) is not a place I would recommend. This was definitely my least favourite holiday and I've travelled quite a bit. Crete is the largest of all the Greek Islands, and more historical compared to other Islands such as Mykonos and Santorini so don't expect all the pretty buildings. Overall, I felt underwhelmed whilst in Chania and came home feeling that way too. After this incident, I wouldn't want to visit Greece again. I know these things can happen anywhere and you can never be "too safe", but this is just how I feel at this present moment unfortunately.

Before I end this post, I want to share a few tips with you:

When going away, always....
* Do thorough research on the area you're staying in. Try to make sure your hotel/apartment is close to the main part of the town/city you're staying in
* Get the contact details of the Local British Embassy prior to visiting your destination (just in case you need it)
* When travelling to places at night just use Taxi's (make sure you're using official taxis and not random cabs plotted on the streets.. Oh and forget the bus especially at night!)
* When choosing places to stay, make sure it's on a main road and not on hidden streets for safety reasons obviously
* If you can, hire an official tour guide that can help with organising activities/accompanying you on them
* Most importantly be aware of your surroundings!

I hope this post helps somewhat for those of you planning trips to Greece in the future and doesn't put you off too much. Remember this is MY personal experience and my own personal views, there is good and bad everywhere we go. Until next time...

Lots of love x


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