We'd been up to the start of the Samaria Gorge (an astonishing place) and it was a cold day by Cretan standards for early May. Add 4000 feet of altitude and a brisk breeze and it was perishingly cold. After the sightseeing and taking photographs we wandered off in the car looking for a lunch stop and came across the Neos Omalos.
We walked in to the restaurant and were immediately cheered by the large open fire burning sizeable olive logs. Not what you'd expect in Crete in May but as I said - it was a cold day. The owner and family were charming and friendly and we ordered the recommended bean soup (for a cold day :-) ) which we shared, and a lamb casserole plus roast chicken dish for main courses. The impression of fresh and freshly-prepared food was heightened by the lady sitting by the fire with a large bag of "horta" - wild herb and plant greens - which she was picking through and preparing. The plant life up on the Omalos plateau would make it easy to find such things if you knew what to look for. Keep you fit doing it, too, I imagine.
Simple food, well prepared, tasty, and greatly enjoyed. Along with the bill came two whole oranges on a plate with two knives; what a simple and completely delicious end to a welcome meal.
Wandering round the building a little (OK, looking for the loos) I have to say the accommodation wing is spotlessly clean and nicely presented. This is basically a travellers' / hikers' hotel as you'd understand from its location, but it wouldn't, I think, disappoint for a short stay. The loos, by the way, were spotless - like the rest of the place. Good stuff!
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- Also Known As:
- Neos Omalos Hotel Crete