We will never forget the time we spent in Elounda in Crete, it was a perfect holiday. The Elounda peninsular is an ancient place, with a depth of history both of us knew something about and were keen to explore. Its earliest known settlement was the city of Olous, whose people were at war with the Dorians for centuries. Later, the Venetians colonized Elounda and in the early years of the last century it had a grimmer past as a holding centre for lepers en route to the leper colony on the nearby island of Spinalonga. In more recent times, Elounda has become world-famous, as a top holiday destination, visited by many who find its breath- taking beaches and luxurious seaside resorts the ideal venue for a well deserved holiday.
We flew out of Gatwick and took a hire car from the airport at Heraklion. The drive down to Elounda took us about ninety minutes on good, modern roads and through some wild, exotic countryside. Thankfully, the car was air conditioned, as we travelled at the height of the Cretan summer and it certainly was hot. Our excitement grew as the miles sped past, until finally we arrived at our destination and found the hotel we’d booked on the Internet – the Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel.
It was simply stunning, with an indoor luxury pool, private beach and a lounge where a pianist played most evenings. There was a gym, a sauna and all of the other facilities you would expect in a top-rate hotel. An added bonus was that residents could also use the nearby Porta Elounda Golf and Spa Resort. We played golf together twice, in the relative cool of the morning and enjoyed it tremendously.
Our hotel sat right on the edge of the beautiful Aegean Sea and the views over the nearby coastline were simply stunning. The inside of the hotel was equally inspiring, with a sophisticated feel, subtly re-enforced with natural woods and an elegant ambience finished in warm, neutral colours. The suite we stayed in was luxuriously excellent, complete with a lounge area and terrace and its very own heated pool. It was spread over two floors, had around 80 square meters of living space, air-conditioning, a satellite TV and minibar and a plush marble bathroom.
As we sat out on our terrace that first afternoon, we could not believe our luck. Home seemed a distant memory as we sipped a drink and let our eyes feast on the beauty of the Sitia Mountains and Mirabello Bay that lay over the clear blue sea before us. That night we treated ourselves to dinner at the hotel’s plush French restaurant, one of the finest in Greece and made our plans for the days ahead of us. It was a perfect start to what turned out to be a perfect holiday.