A day in the life of my “Crete – An Aegean Odyssey” tour

Daylight streams through the curtains as the ducks on Lake Voulismeni in Agios Nikolaos, Crete, bellow noisily demanding food from the lone fisherman tending his nets.

The first day of my Crete – An Aegean Odyssey tour has begun.

We head off to the local town beach for an early morning swim in crystal clear turquoise waters and then a traditional Cretan breakfast of local yoghurt with thyme honey and walnuts, Greek coffee, fresh orange juice and a home-made spinach pies… still warm from the oven.

A quick shower and change and we’re off early to the fishing village of Plaka to catch a local fishing boat the to the Island of Spinalonga – a barren, dry, rocky outcrop in a strategic location at the mouth of the port of Elounda. Relics of Venetian and Ottoman occupations and more recently, the remnants of the last leper colony in Europe, lie jagged in the desolate landscape.

Our guide expertly leads us into the shaded areas around the island as she passionately talks of the island’s extraordinary history of occupation, triumphs, sadness and tears. It’s a very sobering journey, yet somehow uplifting thanks to the breathtaking views and vistas – a very strange juxtaposition.

After a couple of hours exploring and contemplating (it’s a visceral experience), we make the short trip back to the mainland to shop and then languish over a very, very leisurely lunch right on the water’s edge overlooking the bay and the island.

Positively dreamy!

We casually dine on locally-caught octopus, calamari, whitebait, barbounia (red mullet), salad and potatoes all washed down with hima (the local, unbottled wine). This is followed by fresh fruit and raki (a traditional, alcoholic drink, aka firewater) generously given to us “on the house.”

To say we are soporific and content to just sit and dream, would be an understatement!

However, the pellucid waters of the bay beckon, so we change into our swimmers and make our way through the next taverna to the warm shallow waters below.

Like kids, we splash and laugh as we swim out into the deep blue-green.

This is perfection and time seems to stand still!

Then, as the sun begins to sink we tumble into taxis back to Agios Nikolaos, the salt drying white on our skins.

Time for cocktails on the beach in another bay, this time framed by mauve mountains. Mojitos are the choice of the day and remain so for the next 13 days of our culinary and cultural tour of Crete.

As Day One comes to a gloriously happy end, everyone is more than content and want more of the same the next day. I promise them new adventures every day – all just as good, but all very different.

All just as delicious.

And all just as happy.

The refrain “Well Frannie you have outdone ourself today, what more can you possibly do tomorrow?” is repeated daily for the next 13 days… until sadly we come to the end of the tour.

To say I’m so thrilled to be able to show people my little piece of heaven and so happy that it resonates with everyone, would be an understatement.

That’s why I do what I do – take people to Crete to show them what makes this Greek island like no other.

The Cretan landscape, the people, the food, the culture, the hospitality, the generosity and the friendships forged are like nowhere else in the world. For the island changes people and they all vow to return – which they do again and again.

So join me for your own Cretan adventure in 2020. Let me give you a once-in-a-lifetime experience on the Greek island of Crete.

Bookings are now open!

“Travelling with Francesca to Crete was a life-changing experience – her knowledge, passion and insight into Cretan life made our trip one our family will never forget. We will return!”
Celia Harper – 2015

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  • Valerie Muir January 20, 2020   Reply →

    Kataplyktikos i kori mou – your invitation to join you is more delicious and astounding than ever. I hope the bookings are still pouring in! xxxcxx

    • Francesca Muir January 21, 2020   Reply →

      Thank you so much Mum – I knew it would resonate deeply with you, Love you xx

  • Pamela Rennie January 20, 2020   Reply →

    Lovely Frannie – my gosh, the colours, landscapes, foods, wines all look spectacular – And nice to see Deirdre and David! Sounds magnificent. Will spread the word. Hugs. P. xx

    • Francesca Muir January 21, 2020   Reply →

      Thank you, Pam – here’s hoping to see you here one day – we will have such fun exploring and eating and exploring and eating some more! Hugs xx

  • Roslyn Jolly January 20, 2020   Reply →

    It all sounds glorious, Francesca! Wonderful that you have brought this dream to fruition.

    • Francesca Muir January 21, 2020   Reply →

      Thank you, Roslyn – it really is a dream come true… here’s to your dreams in 2020. xx

  • Geoff Bull January 20, 2020   Reply →

    It looks wonderful and so tempting to see and experience it all again.

  • Yvonne Payne January 20, 2020   Reply →

    A wonderful post – I am sure you will have people queuing up to join you – perhaps this is the year we will both be in Crete at the same time. Love from a grey and wet Kritsa… but the sun will soon be back. Yvonne X

    • Francesca Muir January 21, 2020   Reply →

      Thank you, Yvonne – Yes here’s hoping the Gods align this year and we meet again. Hope the sun shines through for you soon. Though the rain must be very welcome. xx

  • Steph January 21, 2020   Reply →

    This post is certainly NO exaggeration – I was fortunate enough to join Fran on her Cretan adventure. Utter luxury in all respects. For anyone wanting 2 weeks in a coach with 52 other passengers, itineraries that allow up to 15 minutes at each “site” and group meals that make airline food look attractive – this is NOT your tour. If you are wanting to experience a unique island with someone who knows & loves it and has lived it; every day a new experience which is NEVER rushed, leisurely meals and plenty of free time, then this really is your trip. Don’t procrastinate – life is not a dress rehearsal.

    • Francesca Muir January 21, 2020   Reply →

      Thank you, Steph for this amazing review – we had so much fun, didn’t we? And so many laughs. Here’s to happy travels always xx

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