A coeliac abroad: Crete

A coeliac abroad: Crete

I am back with a Greek travel post from the beautiful island of Crete! I spent 12 glorious days soaking up the sunshine in Crete. This was my first time travelling to Crete and as always, had so much to explore!

I flew direct from Gatwick airport to Chania International and then had a 3 hour drive from Chania International airport to Agios Nikolaos for the first part of the holiday. There are 4 airports in Crete: Chania International, Heraklion International, Sitia Public Airport and Tympaki Airport which is a military airport belonging to the Hellenic Air Force.

Agios Nikolaos is a costal town and is on the East side of Crete and is known for its tourist attractions such as the Lake ‘voulismeni’ and the archaeological museum. North of Agios Nikolaos is Elounda, which is also a ferry ride away from the island of Spinalonga which has been featured in a number of tv and film series.

I stayed in a beautiful villa apartment called Panorama Villa apartments and the views were breathtaking. I loved having a villa apartment as it is like going home from home.

panorama villa apartments

Agios nikolaos crete

panorama villas windmill

panorama villas crete

Panorama villa apartments in Agios Nikolaos 

The second part of the holiday was in Chania which is the second largest city in Crete and is divided into parts-the old town an the modern city. The old town boasts a beautiful harbour, the old port lighthouse and let’s not forget the venetian buildings. The main square of the old town is called Eleftherios Venizelos Square, also known as Syntrivani. Chania has several museums, art galleries, theatre and 5 cinemas, two of which are open air.

I stayed in the Forum Suites hotel in Chania, 10 minutes away from Chania town. It is a great place for easy access to the town by bus which is right outside the hotel, has a lovely beach opposite and offers a buffet continental breakfast every morning. Rooms were cleaned every single day and sheets and towels were also changed daily. Further out of Chania, I visited a number of beaches, Elafonisi being high on the beach list. It was like being in the Bahamas!

elafonisi beach

Elafonisi Beach 

There is so much to do in Crete, from archaeological sites, museums, villages and monasteries to lakes, gorges and canyons. Chania, Heraklion, Rethymnon and Agios Nikolaos are fabulous cities, each offering something different. Chania is quite quirky, with it’s maze of wonders full of little shops, cosy restaurants and beautiful harbour. I was also lucky to be in Chania at the time of the festival of sardines, where there was lots of Cretan dancing, food, live music, fireworks and did I mention food??

Heraklion Museum

Heraklion Archaeological Museum. 

Agios Minas

Agios Minas 

Knossos palace

Knossos Palace 

Kotsifos gorge church

A little windswept at Kotsifos gorge 

crete holiday

Sunset in Chania Town 

Zorbas beach Crete

Zorba’s beach and below the windmill taverna opposite the beach. 

windmill taverna at zorbas beach

Agia Triada Monastery

I might get myself one of these skirts! Agia Triada Monastery  

Lake Kournas

Just chilling at Lake Kournas

beach at chain

Letting the waves roll in! 

taverna Thalassa

Taverna Thalassa. The sea bream was amazing!

cretan salad

Greek salad

chicken souvlaki

Ladokolla restaurant in Heraklion 

grilled chicken

Ladokolla restaurant Heraklion 

Rethymnon boasts a large strip on the seafront that seems to go on for miles and miles and is packed full of 5 star plush hotels and expensive restaurants.

In Heraklion, I visited the Archaeological museum which is definitely worth a visit. Again, it is a busy city, even in September.

Places of interest would definitely be Lake Kournas, Knossos and the gorges. Knossos should be on your list of to dos. We were lucky that the weather that day was very mild. But be warned the ‘throne room’ was nothing spectacular.

I am exhausted and need another holiday very soon! Crete is wonderful and caters for everyone. It is also very family friendly and there are lots of child friendly restaurants and places to visit such as the aquarium. Foodwise, I am a big meat eater so obviously ate more meat than anything else. There are quite a lot of options for people with coeliac disease, you just have to be vigilant when ordering. A lot of restaurants that I visited understood the severity of Coeliac disease and were quick to check and double check for me. I ate lots of souvlaki on the stick, lamb chops, Cretan Greek salads and homemade chips, as well as incredibly tasty sea bream. Not forgetting of course lots and lots of watermelon and other fruit!

I was really impressed with Crete and would definitely travel there again. I found that the big supermarkets such as synko did have a gluten free section, it was small but it’s a start. I couldn’t find gluten free bread anywhere so I did bring my own as well as biscuits and snacks for the car journeys. I travelled around a lot on this holiday, so I would suggest hiring a car if you want to explore!

See you soon beautiful Greece!

Check out my Crete Video!

Opa!

 

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2 Comments

  1. 21st September 2017 / 4:47 pm

    Beautiful pictures! Most restaurants are very accommodating to those with allergies but you always want to err on the side of caution. And if you can bring your own snacks it’s a plus.

    • 21st September 2017 / 5:51 pm

      Thankyou very much Nick! Crete was beautiful will definitely go there again!

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