If you had told me that Elounda would be on the top of my family holiday destination list a few years ago, I would have stared at you blankly.
Do you know where that is? I mean, it’s not exactly one of those go-to destinations that you see families jetting off to each summer is it?
“I’m going to Mallorca” – “We are off to Spain” – “It’s Turkey for us”… “lovely, we are going to Elounda”… Erm no. It doesn’t really have the same ring to it does it? But perhaps it should and I’m here to explain why.
If you read my travel posts you will know that I have a real soft spot for Greece. There’s something about the heady mix of endless sunshine, friendly locals and incredible food that just keeps me coming back for more. And Elounda is no exception.
A typically Greek seaside town, situated on the north-western coast of Crete, Elounda is top of our list for an easy going, family beach holiday. This is not the height of luxurious holiday resorts, nor the biggest adventure to be had but what it is is an absolutely superb and relatively undiscovered corner of Greece that is worth a week or two of your time.
So without further ado, grab your passport and let’s head off to the beautiful fishing town of Elounda.
Everything here in Elounda revolves around this beautiful harbour. Incredibly authentic Greek taverna’s are dotted around the harbour waiting to welcome you and your little cherubs with open arms. It’s peaceful by day but lively by night. And I don’t mean Magaluf lively – I mean just enough atmosphere and pizazz to keep you entertained, fed and watered each evening, which is perfect when holidaying with the little people.
We always find the Greek people to be unfailingly hospitable and friendly, particularly to families and this is one of the reasons that we return year on year to this lovely part of the world.
But what is there to do?
Let’s talk beaches. After all, this is pretty much the main part of a decent holiday in the sun.
Elounda boasts a 200 metre blue flag beach (which means it’s really clean) with golden sands that looks out to the picturesque but slight gruesome Spinalonga Island. This island is one of the most notorious in Greece as it was the site of a leper colony up until 1953. Incidentally, you can take a boat trip over to the island, something we keep meaning to do. Historically, it is meant to be a really fascinating site to visit so if you like a side of culture with your Pina colada then this might be worth a trip.
If you want something a bit quieter with less of an imposing view, then I’d suggest heading over to Driros Beach, a short drive away from the harbour. You can actually walk to it and it probably would only take twenty minutes or so but I don’t fancy dragging parasols, picnics and reluctant children all that way myself.
Once you get bored of the beach and cries of “I’ve got sand in my eyes” (only joking, it will be lovely I promise), there are plenty of other activities on offer in this corner of Crete. Not least, Acquaplus – one of Crete’s biggest water parks. Acquaplus is within driving distance and is a fantastic place to spend the day. Kamikaze slides, full on adrenaline and even a chance to get your feet up for a bit are all options at this fun-packed water park. It’s a crowd pleaser for sure.
If you’d be interested in a little culture, a short walk away stands the final remains of the submerged city of Olous. It’s definitely worth a wander up in that direction, if not for the views alone. The kids might even be interested in this bizarre and mystical place. If not, there’s always ice cream bribery to fall back on.
However you do spend your days in Elounda, the best and most unforgettable part is the laid-back atmosphere, the seemingly eternal sunshine, the incredibly friendly welcome from the locals and the feeling that you have well and truly escaped to your own little corner of paradise. Holidays to this corner of Crete are designed to be relaxed and taken at a leisurely pace.
Get on Greek time and enjoy the sun, sea and sand at your leisure – you might even get the chance to read a book or two. Now that, for me that’s the mark of a really good holiday.
If you haven’t added Elounda to your holiday list already, then now’s your chance.
Until next time