Thursday, October 1, 2015

Hello, Crete! [+ My Guide to Greece, Part I]

If you've been following my Instagram and Snapchat, you probably saw that Sean and I are in Greece at the moment. It is absolutely, breathtakingly gorgeous here, and we have been loving every minute of our getaway. Since so many of you have expressed that you'd like to visit Greece someday, I thought I'd talk more in-depth about our planning and our stay in case that's helpful when you plan your trip to this lovely country.

It took us about 24 hours, including layovers, to leave from Denver and finally arrive on the island of Crete. We spent our first night at the Lato Boutique Hotel in Heraklion, getting a much-needed full night of sleep in a comfortable bed. We were up early to head out for a day of sightseeing and making our way to our next destination. We stayed at the Lato for a night on our way out of Crete as well, and I can definitely recommend its yummy breakfast, good location, comfy rooms, and reasonable prices.

Exploring Crete
Tee: J.Crew (I'm wearing an XXSP) | Shorts: 7FAM | Scarf: H&M | Shoes: Joie (so comfy for sightseeing!) | Sunglasses: Karen Walker | Bag: Valentino | Watch: Michele | Earrings: Nadri

On our first full day in Greece, we drove from Heraklion to Chania in a little car we rented. Driving in Greece was a little exciting, especially since we couldn't read the road signs, but it was manageable. One thing to note: you are required to have an International Driving Permit in order to drive in Greece; before you leave home, stop by AAA and pick one up for $15. We also purchased insurance at the rental car agency, something I usually forgo in the U.S., just to be on the safe side. Finding our way around was easy with the Waze app on our phones.

On the way to Chania, we visited Knossos Palace, where we were able to walk around the amazing Minoan ruins pictured below. Knossos was a center of civilation in the Bronze Age, and it is considered to be Europe's oldest city. Much of it was restored by a British archaeologist, Sir Arthur Evans, in the late 19th century, so you can see his vision of what the palace looked like in its heyday mingled with the results of his archaeological excavations.

Restored ruins at Knossos

Knossos Palace Crete

I've always been a fan of archaeology, so seeing this enormous site unearthed was such a treat for me. Other than the incredible ruins of Pompeii and Ercolano near Naples, Italy, it was the largest and most complete I've had the privilege to see. Sean and I had fun climbing around and reading about all the various spaces.

Tam Sightseeing Outfit

Sean @ Knossos

Greece Sightseeing Outfit

A little about what I'm wearing--I always pack comfy flats for walking around when I travel. The last thing I want is a twisted ankle or hurting feet when I'm trying to see as much as I can. I've been wearing these Joie sandals all summer, and they are great for spending the day on my feet. Closed-toe flats would have protected my feet from the dust a bit more, but I liked the breeziness of these sandals considering the warm weather.

I kept things simple with one of my favorite J.Crew tees and a pair of distressed denim shorts, but I added a light scarf to give my outfit a more put-together look and to serve as a light layering piece in case the weather got cold. I usually pack a couple light scarves with me on a warm-weather trip. There are always all kinds of uses for them: plane blanket, beach wrap, eye shade, cover for religious sites, etc.

Skull scarf details

When we left Knossos, we headed west to Chania, a charming town on the northwestern shore of Crete. I had read about the gorgeous old Venetian port and walled city and couldn't wait to see it. Chania didn't disappoint, and we arrived at our hotel there just in time for this stunning sunset.

Chania Old Port

Tam + Chania Old Town

More on my hotel and dining picks in Chania and how Sean and I make sure we stay connected while abroad in my next post! Make sure to add me on Snapchat (username: helloframboise) to see up-to-the-minute photos and videos of my travels.

x, Tam

1 comment:

  1. Your pictures are stunning! Cannot wait to see more.


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