Now that the holiday season is over and done with, I’m so excited to switch gears and start sharing my travel adventures and guides with you! 2015 was the best year of my life for travel (and I feel really blessed that 2016 is shaping up to be a similarly adventure-filled one!) and if you followed my Greece adventures along on Instagram, you would know it goes without saying that my visit to Crete was a major highlight for me. In fact, Crete is so special to me that I’m going to break it down into three posts (where to stay, what to do and where to eat!) since quite frankly, it’s basically its own country and deserves the extra content. So without further ado, click though to discover my accommodation recommendations after the jump!
Matt and I have only had the most amazing experience staying at Airbnb (we stayed at the most perfect apartment in Lisbon and after that leg of our trip, we became steadfast Airbnb loyalists) so in researching Crete, we realized that having our own space and being able to drive around on our own would be best-suited for an island that really must be explored.
There were so many great places in Crete to pick from but after falling in love with the snapshots from Chania and quickly realizing that the west coast of Crete seemed to be our jam (more on all the amazing beaches there in my next post!), we decided to focus our search in that area. It was right around that time I stumbled upon Villa Sofia and it immediately caught my eye. A full house with tons of room (you can easily sleep 5 if not more), in a perfectly situated space just west of the Venetian town of Chania (near tons of beaches and fantastic villages) and with some really beautiful patios, I kind of fell in love with it right away. With a few mouse clicks, we booked it.
While I was expecting a lovely space, I was not expecting to literally fall in love with the warmhearted, truly kind people behind the space. Sofia and Lefteris made us feel like we were family from the minute we stepped up to the house (even more beautiful and lovely in-person), taking us through all of their recommendations (food, beaches, cafes, etc) and writing each down or passing us the business card for each, making us a full lunch knowing we’d be hungry after our journey, offering us a beautiful and incredibly thoughtful welcome basket (complete with olive oil and raki Lefteris himself made), and so, so much more. It was beyond touching and we immediately felt as if we were being so well taken care of and welcome in our temporary home.
There are some really beautiful hotels in Chania but I can’t stress enough that having an Airbnb and driving ourselves around (big thank you to Dimitris of AutoRentals Crete for the fantastic car) made a world of difference in our experience of the island. I really believe in booking with Airbnb anywhere you are, but there are some places in particular where an Airbnb is the only way to stay (Crete, Maui, etc).
I’ll delve more into what made Crete so magical in my next post in this Crete series but please, if you’re even remotely thinking of going to Crete (and you really, really should), do yourself a favour and stay with Sofia and Lefteris at Villa Sofia. You will not regret it. Oh, and did I mention that they came at the end of our stay with them to give a parting gift of olive oil soap (which sits now on my sink, I wash all my fruits and veggies with it on Sofia’s recommendation), Cretan herbs you can make your own tea with and more fabulous tokens from their beautiful island? And that we still chat too! They are truly new friends of ours and I can’t wait to stay with them on Crete again.