I first came across the beauty of South Crete in April 2006, as part of a yoga teacher training. I always felt Crete was too far away, too long, too much hassle to travel to, before I actually made the trek to the breath-taking beaches of the southern coast.
It’s admittedly a long trip (6-9 hours by boat but for the right price a mere 45 mins by plane from Athens). As a Greek who loves to travel, I must sheepishly admit that I’ve not seen enough of my own country. I am trying in small ways to change that.
Visiting Triopetra and Agios Pavlos changed my whole outlook on Crete and opened my heart to one of the most rugged, wild beauties of the Mediterranean and Libyan seas. Crete is a society, culture, and land quite independent of all other parts of Greece. It can quite easily sustain itself, with its rich diverse climates providing, avocados, bananas and tropical fruit, as well as cheeses, meats, grains and wild herbs never to be seen anywhere else in the country.
Crete is a mystery, a healing renewing place full of misfits, vagabonds and people who decided that the big city life isn’t for them. The locals are a guarded, strong-willed people. They are incredibly proud and protective of their land, and they have legends, stories and history to prove of their resistance to invasions of all kinds. After their hard exterior melts into a smile and when you get to know them, they are the warmest, loving people you will ever come across. They embrace you as one of their own, and even after a seven-year absence those same faces were happy to see me as I them.
Crete is a mystery, a healing renewing place full of misfits, vagabonds and people who decided that the big city life isn’t for them.
I stayed for four days in this beautiful paradise, far away from the overcrowded city and the aggressive mentality of urban living. I learned to let go of my phone, my worries, my watch and just be in nature; with the blanket of the stars as my backdrop.
Sfakia and Sweet Water Beach August 27th, 2017 : My first evening at Sweet Water beach I stayed at a wonderful newly renovated little boutique hotel in the center of town. After finding my dear friends who I had not seen in almost seven years, we watched the sun set and the evening sky reveal every constellation visible to the human eye, the moon, Venus, the big dipper all there in full clarity away from lights and buildings. I first experienced its grandeur in 2007 and my last time in 2010 during a yoga workshop I taught in Sfakia. I wasn’t prepared for the life changing experience I was about to have and I wasn’t prepared to fall in love with this magical land.
This place moves you too connect with your higher self. Stripped of all noise and distraction this town is for when one is ready to be one with nature. Sleeping on the beach one evening is highly recommended. Just make sure you get plenty of bug spray and a good sleeping bag. The water coming up from the rocks is drinkable
On the last day of my trip I took the walking route to Sweetwater beach at 7:00 am. The sun was already warm and the shade provided some comfort on the way to the beach.
I left this beautiful place with my heart full and my mind at ease. It’s a destination not for the faint of heart. This place will change you and transform you in ways you may not immediately understand. For those wanting to go beyond the beaten paths of Mykonos and Santorini… southern Crete is one of the jewels in the crown of Greece.