May 8th, 2010
It was another beautiful clear day in Crete – is there ever any other sort? We had had our fill of the beach and sunbathing for a while (and truth be told, I was a bit sunburnt) so we decided it was time to explore some of this wonderful island.
Not wanting to deal with crowded buses and jostling queues, we thought we’d opt for the total freedom of a rent-a-car so we could go wherever our fancy took us. Crete is a big island with loads of history and gorgeous beaches so we decided on a 3-day rental and explore as much of it as we could.
We walked down the main street of Chersonissos and looked at the advertising boards until we came to a deal we liked. The cars outside looked new, clean and gleaming. We walked into the rental-center-crete.com office and were met by a smiling young man who immediately introduced himself as Harry, shook our hands and asked us to take a seat.
It was so easy – as there were four of us, we didn’t want to be uncomfortable so we went for a Peugeot 207. We showed our driving licenses and passports, filled out the paperwork and we left with the keys in our hands. It was great to know we were fully insured even for tires, which I heard later was unusual.
We decided against a GPS because we just wanted to follow our noses. If we got lost, we figured that would be half the fun. We set off towards the west of the island for the first day to explore Rethymnon and Hania. What a different world completely. With the mountain ranges always to our left and the sparkling blue sea to our right, we were in heaven. The closer we got to Hania, the more alpine the scenery and there were thick forests of pine trees amidst the orange groves and olive trees. The car ran like a dream.
On the first day, we managed to check out Hania and Rethymnon with their Venetian ports, neo-classical buildings and market places. Altogether a different scene to the east of the island and really beautiful. Between the two cities, we stopped for a coffee in Georgioupolis, a small village shaded by enormous old eucalyptus trees and a long wide sandy beach that seems to stretch for miles.
On the second day, we went east to Agios Nikolaos with its picturesque lake in the centre of the resort. Because it was still early, we decided to go the whole hog and do the entire stretch to the east until we reached Vai, the palm beach. Wow. What a journey. Thank goodness we chose a decent car because we really needed the horsepower to get around the mountain bends. But what a drive. There are so many gorgeous places tucked away in Crete that you would really only get to see them if you weren’t bound by timetables and excursion schedules.
We got home really late and all we were good for was our beds, but we slept dreaming of the world we had conquered that day. I must admit we got up late the next day so we decided to take it easy. An hour’s drive took us through the middle of the island to the south and we lazed around the resorts of Agia Galini and Matala. So much more laid back and we stumbled across some beaches that were totally deserted. Wonderful.
We got back to our resort and had to give the car back – but we did so reluctantly. We think of it with great affection as it took us to places we still dream about. Rental-center-crete.com gave us great service and we felt we were in good hands which is what you need when you are in a foreign country. We will definitely go back next year and we are already planning a crete car hire which places to explore and book a car with rental-center-crete.com . Maybe we’ll take a jeep next time and really get rough. We’ve got Harry’s email – it might be time to send him a message and arrange it.
Did you enjoy Crete car hire was an amazing experience and have you been on a holiday in Heraklion, Greece?
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