Crete The biggest, beachiest + most delicious Greek island

Notes from the road

I’m a little bit anal-retentive.

Think classic type-A Virgo personality; a chronic planner who keeps lists of lists. It’s not always a good thing, but over the years I’ve learned how to relinquish control thanks to travel. There’s nothing quite like it to teach you that letting go leads to the best experiences. Except, that is, when you’re turning 30 in Chania and want to eat at the most beautiful restaurant in Crete on your birthday.

Months before this particular Greek Island trip I knew I wanted to dine at Thalassino Ageri to bring in my next decade. When I saw the Google image preview I actually laughed; the setting is just so absurdly stunning. Wooden tables are set with blue chequered tablecloths on a calm inlet, surrounded by abandoned tanneries that glow golden in the waning caress of the sunset. Had I not flagged it early and booked in advance, I wouldn’t have sat at one of those tables eating sea urchin swimming in local olive oil, mountains of mussels and whole baby calamari.

We also wouldn’t have stopped at any of the picturesque, family-run restaurants in the hills on the way to one of Crete’s many day-trip beaches, sunbaked beside friendly goats, found out where locals eat offal or realised that the best bougatsa shop is actually down the road from the one everyone goes to. Sometimes being a bit of a control freak has its perks. Luckily for you, I’ve already done all the research.

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