After a little walk though the Heraklion nightlife, it was early to bed.
Craving a little sun & sand, we made a plan to catch the early bus to Matala beach. A few reviews online assured us it was one not to miss.
At first, we debated renting a car and driving, but when we realized the bus was 1/3 of the price – and we could avoid the crazy Greek drivers – we happily decided it would be our method of transportation.
Through the mountains we went, twisting and turning with each tight curve. We reached the beach and were greeted by the ancient caves.
Apparently back during the hippie era, the hippies used to live in these caves. Now an archeological site, the caves form the cove and protect sun bathers from the wind.
We grabbed a bottle of water and headed to the shore. Throwing down our things and kicking off our shoes, we headed in for a swim.
The water was a bit colder than we initially expected, given all the people floating around. But, once you got used to it, it was refreshing. We jumped in the waves and tried to avoid getting a mouthful of salt. I was not very successful at this…
After a bit of a swim we headed back to the beach to get our tan on. We lathered on a bit of sunscreen and cole grabbed his book while I turned on my iPod. Admiring the view, I was totally relaxed.
After a bit more tanning, swimming, and snoozing we decided to explore the town. We had read about another nearby beach with a “bunga bunga” bar and thought we would check it out.
We first went to explore the caves, but were each too cheap to pay the 3 euro admission fee. So we took a picture and left. They were pretty cool but it was too hot for climbing anyway.
The little village was full of shops and tiny restaurants by the water. The roads were painted with colourful designs, and there were all sorts of peace and love messages written along the walls.
Guarding the entrance to the village was a massive tree, carved with old faces.
We saw the sign to Red Beach and figured we would see what everyone was talking about.
Little did we know, it was a bit of a hike…. In the 40 degree weather, although the hike was only maybe 15 minutes, I was taking a break every few steps. I couldn’t have been happier when we reached the crest of the mountain, knowing it was downhill from there (until the return journey).
I will admit you get a pretty beautiful view..but I probably wouldn’t do it again.
The sand was a reddish colour (thus the “red beach”) and was so hot you had to wear shoes. Sweaty from the hike, we ditched our stuff and headed in for another swim.
Once we got out, we realized it was a nude beach…
We tanned a bit more than headed back for a drink before the bus ride home.
Sleeping most of the way, we arrived back at the hotel bronzed and hungry.
I didn’t take many snaps at dinner, but I did take one of this amazing soufflé. Moist, rich, and warm – the table beside us must have been jealous of ours faces since they immediately ordered one afterwards.