Chania: Breathtaking scenery!
Although I have spent all my summers in Mykonos since I was six, I love Chania, especially in the winter. The scenery of Chania in the winter is breathtaking. I love sitting in the Port of Chania where one can enjoy amazing food looking at the sea with snowy mountaintops in the background.
In 2006, I met my husband on another trip to Thessaloniki during the film festival. Having already spent the New Year in Chania, specifically in the Milia Mountain Retreat, I suggested we spend it there together. Milia is an authentic 17th century mountain settlement which has been transformed into an eco-friendly tourist complex. The philosophy of “back to basics” has found true meaning here in its simplicity, harmony, clean air, warm hospitality, relaxed atmosphere and home-cooking. Milia is open all year round. Within 9 months we were married.
The limpid, blue-green waters will remind you of an exotic paradise.
During this trip we spent the first day of the year in Elafonissi, a tiny island with white sand, separated from the shore by a lagoon no more than a metre deep. The island is less than 200 metres from the beach and you can easily walk there through the warm, shallow water of the lagoon. On reaching the island you will discover lots of tiny beaches on its south coast. White though the sand may be, in many places it has a pinkish hue due to the thousands of broken seashells it contains. The limpid, blue-green waters will remind you of an exotic paradise. Imagine all this in January without a soul in sight.
I love most Cretan dishes. Amazing snails; great locally grown vegetables like ” askolibroι” and “stamnagathi;” fresh sea urchins, which they serve cleaned in a deep plate with olive oil and lemon; “staka, a thick cream served with grilled game; wonderful pilafi, the cretan version of rissoto. I really cannot choose any one dish from Crete because I love them all.
In Chania one can find amazing ceramics, bowls made out of olivetree wood and also the best knives. There is a whole area in the Old Port called “machairadika,” which comes from “machairi” the Greek word for knife.
I would love to go to the Prespa Lakes region, a place where nature, art and history come together in and around the lakes. Prespa is a transboundary park of great significance due to its biodiversity and endemic species.The mountains are one of the last European homes of brown bears, wolves, chamois and wild boar whilst the lake host breeding colonies of Dalmatian and White Pelicans as well as pygmy cormorants.