Friday, 13 April 2012

Things to do in Crete - Aptera Ruins

Aptera is a fanstastic find, although occupied continuously since  fourteenth century BC, it is Roman ruins that currently remain, including a recently excavated Ampitheatre.   It is free to get in, and open Tues-Sun from 8am-3pm.
I saw it last October when it was very open, but this April, after a rainy Winter, it was very colouful but more difficult to wade through!

Will leave you with some pics :)
Ampitheater covered in poppies

Ampitheatre from the bottom














3 chambered roman baths

3 chambers baths roof


















Chuffed to pick up a cannon ball

Cheeky :)


















Nearly lost him!

Ta Aptera Taberna - Recommended whilst staying in Crete

The menu we've never used!
Ta Aptera is, according to our family, the best restaurant we have found so far.  It is a little gem, up in the mountains, around 20 mins from the Villa.  It is very close to the Aptera Ruins, which I will blog about seperately, so it can be visited in conjunction with that day out, or independently if ruins aren't your thing! 

Ta Aptera is run by Chris, an extremely entertaining lady who is the most marvelous cook!  Here you can taste traditional Cretan dishes like no other; Briam, Boureki, spinach pie and her garlic and beetroot is amazing.  All the food is cooked fresh and I recommend you go from the chalked specials board and don't even bother with the menu.  The kids generally eat the meatballs, also on the Specials!  Below are a few pics to whet your appetite!

Garlic and Beetroot in oil, simples



Greek salad

The specials board

Monday, 9 April 2012

Things to see in Crete, English War Cemetary - Souda Bay

Ok it doesn't sound that exciting for a holiday activity, but personally I found it a very moving place and very respectful how beautifully it is kept.  It is sad that there are many tributes to the unknown, but that they are remembered is a fine tribute itself.  Below are some photos, and I am very much of the "lest we forget".
Rows of immaculate war graves

Beautifully kept

 

Amazing backdrop but a reminder of the naval contribution!
There is also a German War Cemetery at Malame, as moving, and even greater in size :(

Places to go in Crete - Limnoupolis Water Park - Chania







Limnoupolis water park is fantastic for adults and kids of all ages!  If you go in the afternoon it is also a bit cheaper, and still left plenty of time for the younger ones to enjoy themselves.  Plenty of pools, and scary slides - ones my 7yo would go on but I wouldn't - and lazy relaxing rivers to ride round in giant inflatable donut thingys!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Things to do in Crete - Wine Tasting

Thanks to the girls trip out last October, we discovered the fab, family-run Dourakis Winery that offered tours and tasting.  I, therefore, had to take Chris back this April and he absolutely loved it.  I was worried that the kids might get bored, but Jasper (7) in particular enjoyed it and asked lots of questions.


For those tasting the tour, it costs 5 Euros, including a small plate of food, some simple yet delicious fare. We had omelette, cheese, olives, ham and raisins.

Adonis, the son of the founder took us round, and it is clear he is both knowledgeable and enthusiatic about the business.  He is also fluent in several languages, as we heard him converse easily with the other guests there. We both found some wine we liked, and at 4 and 5 Euros a bottle, an absolute bargain for the quality of wine it was!

For further information you can contact them direct here.   I would add that their leaflet says opening is from 10:00 to 14:00 and then from 16:00 to 18:30. However, when we phoned they were continuing through the day!

Thoroughly recommended, thank you Adonis!

Some photos of our trip to the Dourakis Winery:
Adonis with wine
Chris with spitoon
Two of our favourites