Crete 2018: Travel Diary.



On Tuesday 23rd October, myself, mum, dad, brother & sister set out on our 2nd family holiday of the year to Crete for a week. We stayed at the Iberostar Creta Panorama, everything about the hotel exceeded any expectations I had.  First impressions of the hotel were very very good. Reception was decorated in wood and marble with a huge chandelier and tables of fresh flowers everywhere.  It was fancy looking yet still managed to give a comfortable feel.  I was amazed to discover how insane the wifi was, usually the deal when you go on holiday is that there is always wifi but its usually not great or only works in certain areas. However here it worked at full bars throughout the majority of the hotel which is completely crazy considering how big the hotel grounds are. It was also so good I barely had to use any of my data, only turning it on when we left the hotel, which is amazing!  





Day One:

We arrived at our hotel at 1:30 am exhausted and slightly delirious after travelling all day and then a two hour transfer from the airport and were welcomed with glasses of champagne before swiftly been taken to our rooms by golf cart. It was fancy looking yet still managed to give a comfortable feel. The rooms were spacious and clean, and flannels were provided in the bathroom which I thought was a nice touch. I also managed to unpack before I went to bed which I was impressed with as thats so unlike me, and there was so much storage space which made it even easier. 

We woke up and headed to breakfast and I'll say it now, quite possibly the best selection of pastries from a hotel that I've ever had. There were so many choices, the usual cooked breakfast options, usual cheese and meats selection, about 5 different flavoured yogurts and a pancake station. They even had three different types of non dairy milk, almond, coconut and soya! Being all inclusive it's buffet style including hot and cold drinks but a jug of coffee was brought to your table every morning anyway which was a really nice touch. 

Our first day was rainy and cold but I didn't mind at all. We spent the day exploring the inside of the hotel before we settled in the lobby to play card games and drink cocktails, much to my amazement the cocktails came with real fruit on the side! I sound like a fruit nerd but on all inclusive you're usually just given the minimum. There was also a huge choice which was nice but I happily tapped out at 2 as I'm a lightweight these days. Lunch was very pleasing with plenty of options for me to eat (I'm a vegetarian) Salads, pasta, potato dishes, soups, a selection of cheeses, pizza etc. The rest of the day seemed to speed by, filled with more rain, card games and reading! 

Dinner came around very soon with dishes pretty similar to lunch just on a bigger scale with more options which was nice. One slight criticism I have is that the food labels definitely weren't right 100% of the time, as a moussaka was labelled with the veggie sign but then above said it had meat in. The desserts were incredible, every night there was mostly the same selection but with a few other ones that seemed to be on rotation. There was baklava every single dinner and lunch time which I was super happy with, as it was delicious, there was also an ice cream bar with around 5 different flavours and plenty of sauces and toppings.


Breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert.




Day Two:

We woke up to no rain but lots and lots of wind, so we decided to explore the grounds of the hotel which were huge! After lunch and a couple of cocktails we took the bumpy little land train down to the village of Panormos, which was around 20 minutes away. Once we got there we quickly realised that there isn't actually much to do, there were a couple of open small shops but that was about it, we ended up walking around having a bit of an explore, watching the insane waves crash against the sea walls (pictured below), getting slightly drenched in the process and stroking tons of cats. An hour was plenty of time to explore so we hopped back onto the land train and headed back to the hotel for a nap, or in my case to finish my second book of the holiday. 

The hotel grounds.

Panormas Village.





Day Three & Four:

Day three was a good day weather wise but not a good day for me I woke up feeling really ill with a horrible throat thing. With around 6 different pools to choose from, we chose one of the quiet ones to set up and ended up staying at the same one all week! I lazed around the pool, managed to get hold of some tablets for my throat but ultimately had to just go back to my room to read and try to rest.  

Day four and I woke up still not feeling great but better than the night before. I spent pretty much the entire day lying around the pool reading, eating and drinking iced tea. This was also the day that I started getting bitten to death by mosquitoes and ended up finishing the holiday with a total of 25 bites. 



Day Five:

Finally feeling better, we decided to catch the bus into Rethymno, I'm not sure if it was the fact that it was Sunday or just Greek timing but we ended up having to wait about an hour for the bus and then had around a 50ish minute ride there. We got off the bus and walked further into the centre and suddenly realised we couldn't of picked a worse day to visit. It was anxiety central for me at least, as the streets were lined with tons of people and hundreds of school children dressed up and soldiers in uniforms and guns and loads of police everywhere. The majority of shops also seemed to be closed. We walked around the beach front and then deeper into the town centre, into the pretty little back streets and eventually stopped to get a drink in a cute little restaurant called "O Psaras" which served a delicious iced coffee and had super friendly staff.

We got back to the hotel just in time to watch the sunset and then decided to have an early dinner as we had missed lunch due to all the shops being shut. We ate dinner and then went to the 'Almost ABBA' evening entertainment, which was surprisingly very good. In fact all the entertainment was really good, the entertainers were pretty damn talented. We finished off the evening with lots of uno, and I actually managed to win multiple games. 








Day Six & Seven:

Day six was our last full day, and I woke up with six more bites! We decided to spend it just chilling round the pool. I started my forth and last book of the holiday and yet again ate way too much food. 

Day seven and we weren't getting picked up until 7pm so luckily we had most of the day to enjoy. We spent the morning packing up our room and moving our bags and cases into my parents room as we had late check out assigned to their room only. We then took a short walk to a couple of shops just up the road from the hotel entrance, to pick up some souvenirs to take home. I picked up some bracelets, crackers, garlic olives and obviously some baklava. Once we were back at the hotel we grabbed our usual spots around the pool and just tried to enjoy our final day. The day flew by and soon enough we were quickly eating our very last meal and getting on the coach for our 2 hour journey to the airport. Just like that the holiday was over and we were on the plane and landing back in Bristol.


It's been a week since we got back and I'm still wearing my all inclusive band as I refuse to take it off and go completely back to reality. Although I'm off to Vienna on the 9th so I'm not totally going back to reality yet. I had such a wonderful time in Crete, and could not recommend the hotel enoughI definitely miss eating baklava and tzatziki everyday.

Where have you been on holiday this year? Would you recommend it? - Anna x 

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