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“WILD FLOWERS AND THE TASTE OF THE REAL CRETE”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Elounda

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Fredrikstad, Norway
1 review
3 helpful votes
“WILD FLOWERS AND THE TASTE OF THE REAL CRETE”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 27, 2011

CRETE – WILD FLOWER TRIPS.
A group of 9 norwegians had some wonderful days in Crete for Easter in 2011.

Before we left Norway, we contacted Julia Jones, if she could be our guide for 2 days. We wanted to have an excursion to the orchid rich fields and the fields with wild flowers at Crete for 1 day. We wanted her also to be our guide in the Plaka, Spinalonga and Pano Elounda for 1 day.

Here is what we got:
Day 1 .Orchids and other wildflowers – Spili and the surroundings.
Julia came to our villa in Prines, and we all started the excursions in a late Minoan Cemetery. Here we found a wealth of orchids, hyacinths, cyclamen and many other wildflowers at our first stop. Julia had a lot of interesting information for us, not only about the flowers of Crete, but she also knows a lot about the culture, nature and history of Crete. We stopped to botanize at her “secret places” for flowering plants, before we ended in Spili for lunch at a taverna. We all enjoyed her company and her information a lot! After lunch we went up in the mountains, a short drive above Spili. This area is one of the most orchid rich areas on Crete, and together with Julia we were able to see a lot of the orchids, wild tulips, anemones and other endemics which were in flower. After a drive in this beautiful landscape we ended our spring flower finding trip in Spili, in a charming taverna in this picturesque village. A wonderful day and we were all very happy with our guide and what we’ve seen at the trip. A trip where the photo opportunities are endless!
Day 2. Plaka – Spinalonga – Pano Elounda.
We’ve all read the book “The Island” of Victoria Hislop, so we wanted to go to Spinalonga. Julia met us in the city Agios Nikolaos where she had a very nice surprise for us! She guided us to a unique park and a museum of Cretan herbs and essential oil. The name of it is “BioAroma” and is a newly-founded production unit of essential oils from wild organic Cretan herbs. The raw materials, which BioAroma use, are either wild herbs, which are collected from the Cretan mountains, or herbs, which are cultivated organically. The essential oils are extracted with the method of the stem distillation, in stainless steel distillers in the lowest pressure and temperature. We had a delightful walk through the unique herbs of Crete and got a lot of information about their therapeutic characteristics. The herbal garden and the folklore museum was a very interesting and fun experience!!
A short drive from the museum we came to Plaka village, well known from the book. Plaka is a quiet village with a few tavernas and cafes by the waterfront. With Spinalonga in view, and a crystal clear pebble beach, it was a perfect place for lunch!
After lunch we had a boat trip to Spinalonga. At the island it is a 400 years old Venetian fortress with a lot of interesting history, and it famous for being the last active leper colony in Europe.
After this trip to Spinalonga we went to Pano Elounda, the village that was used for the filming of The Island for Greek tv. Julia has her home in Pano Elounda so we went to her house looking at her work. She portrays the Cretan flowers and plants in watercolour studies. Wonderful drawings and paintings! We met some of her good friends in her neighbourhood, a wonderful taste of the real Cretans. Very nice people with a great hospitality! At the end of the trip Julia went together with us to a local taverna for a great traditional meal.

We’re all very grateful for an excellent guiding and for Julia’s nice company. We are also very impressed of her knowledge about the flowers of Crete and very thankful for the wonderful way she let us get “the taste of the real Crete”. THANK YOU JULIA!

Hallvard.

Helpful?
3 Thank Haro_sunndal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Darvel
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 helpful votes
“Elounda, my second home”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 12, 2011

Just wanted to let everyone know what a beautiful place Elounda is. It may not be everybodies cup of tea but you will know as soon as you arrive.
You have tranquility, beautiful restaurants, bars and beaches which aren't too lively, although some can be if you like that sort of thing.
Mostly it is a chillout village with everything you need, friendly locals, delicious food, good vino, cocktails and everyone is part of the family.
Elounda really is a second home, hope you find it too.
Restaurants to mention are The Lotus Eaters, Olondi, The Tryst and Kantouni. These are just a few of the great places to eat in Elounda. If I carried on this note would go on and on.
Hopefully this is of help to some people.
Bythe way I have been going to Elounda for nearly 15 years sometimes twice a year.
There must be some attraction.

Helpful?
3 Thank Angie97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Isle of Man, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 helpful votes
“Elounda - Lovely relaxing corner of Crete with plenty going on!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2010

(I will try to keep this as short as possible!):-

My husband and I have just returned from Elounda... it was one of our best holidays abroad in 20 years and I will definitely return there one day (the world is a big place but I will prioritise this one!)
We stayed at the Portobello apartments on Beach Road opposite the beach - this (we thought) was definitely the best place to stay although maybe not the cheapest but they have great staff who don't pester you, clean spacious rooms, fab air conditioning, with the best views in Elounda from all of them.
There are enough restaurants in Elounda to have a different experience every night but my two overall favourites were the Ferryman and a taverna up the hill at the end of the beach called Kanokoye (something like that anyway) which is well worth the walk and a great experience - these two restaurants are at complete opposite end of the scales but you'd have to experience them for yourselves to know what I mean! Cyprianas and Oceanis truly deserve a mention also.
Most definitely the best bar to visit in Elounda is Rudi's Music Bar (they also serve food during the day) opposite the Municipal Beach - this is a great bar run by a lovely northern guy called Paul where ska music is played so if the Specials/Selecter/Trojan music etc is/was/will be your thing then you'll be in your element in here!
The beaches aren't the most exotic in the world but they are relaxing and the sea is great for swimming in. If you can muster up enough energy to walk over to Kolokitha you can find your own private place to sunbathe and swim.
Anyway, said I'd keep it short so you'll have to discover the rest for yourselves - if you decide to go here have a great time and don't miss the 3 hour trip on the Happy Train - well worth it! :-)

Helpful?
1 Thank apples9910
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
townies leeds
Level Contributor
93 reviews
65 helpful votes
“Elounda-small, quaint and beautiful”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2010

Elounda is a small town with friendly locals who, surprisingly, all seem to speak english. It was a pleasure to visit this area which we thought was the best we had seen to other places on our transfer. The sea is perfectly clear and warm and you have a choice of sand or grit beaches. At nightime, Elounda is a riot of coloured lights which look pretty reflected on the water. There is a choice of good bars and restaurants and although they obviously want your custom, they don't bother you as much as in other places abroad. As someone on a first time visit to Crete, I enjoyed all the different things in the souvenir shops, a lot of local craft and good prices. Further afield is Aghios Nickolaus which is bigger than Elounda but again centres around the harbour-lots of restaurants and bars and a larger variety of shops-well worth a day out-about 16 euros in taxi from Elounda but there is a service bus which runs frequently.

Helpful?
2 Thank TowniesLeedsLulu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cheshire
Level Contributor
8 reviews
10 helpful votes
“scooter bar elounda”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 12, 2010

Rudi's Bar is a scooter bar so if you love scooter music and a nice chilled beer opposite the beach this is the place to go.

Helpful?
4 Thank janeelounda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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