Crete at October Half Term with Teens

Returning to GK Beach Hotel in Crete in 2020

4th time lucky and we finally made it to Crete. The hotels got more expensive each time we cancelled and the kids got bigger and bigger so we decided the best way to go was Airbnb to have enough space, and how lucky were we to come across this amazing property with a fabulous hostess, Errika.   The photos don’t do justice to this unique and beautifully situated house with incredible views and a ten minute walk to the village of Malame. We were also provided with fresh fruit and cake and the local tipple and 2 surprise meals to keep us going during our stay.

Because of baggage issues in the UK we went with a carry on case each thankful our Airbnb had a washing machine. Even my sixteen year old daughter managed this challenge ! We didn’t realise security didn’t open until 4.30am at Heathrow Terminal 5 so we had 4 very dull hours having arrived 7 hours early for our flight. Top tips would be to print your boarding passes( the scanners were not accepting the PDFs on our phones and the security peeps were unforgiving. )  Also not to waste your money on the Club Aspire Lounge as the breakfast was unimpressive. We had Amex Platinum passes so did have free access and the adults managed to get a couple of Bloody Mary’s each. 

We failed to arrange transport from the Airport so were fleeced by a cab firm. And our hire car booked well in advance turned out to be a scam so we hired from a local dealer. 75 Euros a day for a tin box which transported us around the island but the car and our fellow drivers and the state of the roads meant you needed nerves of steel. 

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Travelling with three teenagers brings new challenges. The need for many lie ins, perfect WiFi and rest days following any excursion for bribery sake. Also they make tricky customers for photos.

The local town had several restaurants but we struggled to get a meal for under 100 euros as everyone needed steak so there was a fair bit of supermarket visits with home cooking required. We were able to walk down from the Villa thankful for the respite of air con fuelled by the solar panels while the rest of the UK baked in 40 degrees with no respite. 

We had our mandatory boat trip to Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa Island. I had forgotten about the swarms of tourists that descended on these beautiful spots in their droves. Boat after boat of people everywhere. But we managed to find a quiet spot for the kids to swim while I obsessed about shade and sun cream.

Our hire ‘car’ gave us the freedom to explore and we headed into Chania for a wander thru the streets and markets and managed a couple of beautiful churches without too many complaints. 

Our biggest adventure and achievement which none of us will forget was the trek through the Samaria Gorge. A long day from bus to 18km walk to boat to bus to home. Memorable by the uneven path, incredible scenery  and despite careful footing I managed to walk into a tree and fall over twice. Regardless of a sandstorm the kids had a much needed swim when we arrived in the town of Asia Roumeli to ease aching limbs while I recovered with a large wine or two.

Our final trip to the Therisso Gorge was not for the faint hearted as our hire car stuttered it’s way up and down the mountains past the grazing goats to a little town with the almost amazing yoghurts and cheese pies. 

Although it was one of our most expensive trips to date ( well deserved after 1000s of vaccinations delivered!) we had a fabulous visit with card games galore, a few photos and memories of a post covid adventure had by all.

For more amusing stories of travels with teens, do follow Ailsa and family on their instagram account

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Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!

Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.

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