Crete: Island of Heroes

Crete is one place I never had on my travel adventures list. Beaches and islands don’t intrigue me much. Not a big fan of the oceans. I love photographing them, but that’s it. 

Yes, I know England is technically an island, but that’s different. England is my second home

Nevertheless, I needed a warm place to visit during the fall months, and Crete was the winner. 


Flying direct to Crete was an option, but it was also a logistical nightmare that would be very expensive. 

Therefore, I decided to ‘bookend’ my week in Crete with a layover in Athens. Athens has been a city I wanted to explore, and the logistics nightmare provided a reason to explore the Birthplace of Democracy. 

Following my Athenian weekend, I chose to fly to Crete instead of taking a ferry. 

Have I mentioned I’m not a fan of oceans?

However, if you would like to ferry over from Athens to Crete, it’s simple to do so. A ferry from Piraeus to Heraklion, the capital city of Crete, usually runs from €26 to €300, depending if you’re bringing a vehicle. 

The downside is the ferry takes an average of 8.5 to 17 hours, and usually overnighters. The ferry departs usually around 9 p.m. and arrives at 6 a.m.

As I didn’t have the adventure time to spend on a ferry, a 45-minute flight with Aegean Air was my selected choice. 

Traveler’s Note:

Simply because you were able to do something in one country doesn’t mean you can do that in another country. This is especially true when it comes to airline luggage limits. I witnessed an ‘ugly American’ incident whilst waiting to board my flight to Crete.

The lady was upset because she came to the gate with an overpacked and oversized carryon and the gate agent made the woman check the bag. The lady angrily demanded she be allowed to take stuff out and the agent said that wouldn’t matter, because the bag was too large. The lady then stated “they let me do it in the States,” to which the gate agent politely responded “Welcome to Greece, please check your bag.”

I had to chuckle. The lady knew her bag wouldn’t meet the requirements, yet still argued and made a scene in hopes she’d get her way. Glad the gate agent stuck to the rules and made the lady check the bag. 

The flight was smooth and no hassles at baggage claim. Met my pre-paid taxi driver, then sat back, and enjoyed the ride and beautiful views. 

View from my resort apartment



I selected Village Heights Resorts because it was one the Greek resorts available via my vacation club company Diamond Resorts, now Hilton Grand Vacations

The web site photos of the apartments looked amazingly luxurious. The resort certainly had a ‘Wow’ factor going for it. 

Overall, I enjoyed my stay at Village Heights. Customer service was great. The staff were professional and helpful.

The Main Restaurant by The Pool was good. Plenty of choices and the manager was kind and did his best to make each guest feel special during their meal. 

The resort’s all-inclusive concept was a nice option and reasonably-priced. Going far beyond the ‘unlimited drinks’ concept, the packages allow guests to take advantage of the resort’s numerous dining and activity options.

Considering I didn’t have a vehicle, having a set meal plan was a nice way of knowing I’d have food each night. The resort’s small grocery store was convenient for last minute snacks and water. 

The excursion prices were what I expected to pay, but I didn’t anticipate the resort not offering a credit card option. Not having the option to pay by credit card limited my excursion choices. Kinda sucks that I didn’t have a spare €200 in my pocket for a day trip to Santorini. 

The free shuttle to Hersonissos was nice. Walking along the beach was relaxing.

Now about those luxurious-looking rooms on the web site. Yea, they weren’t very luxurious.  

Granted, my one-bedroom suite came with a fully equipped kitchenette, comfortable and spacious bedroom, as well as a separate living room. Wi-Fi worked well, and there were at least four television channels in English. 

However, the rooms are very dated. There was a lot of wear and tear on furniture, appliances and cookery.

  • Village Heights Entrance
  • #1105 - My suite
  • My One Bedroom Suite

Housekeeping was good, however, the curtains in the room were dirty and covered with food stains. It is very noisy in the evenings with the daily shows, but it ends around 10 pm. 

The dated room aside, the resort is still lovely and a perfect place to relax and unwind.


Officially named Limenas Hersonissou, or Port of Hersonissos, is situated between the Aegean and the Mediterranean Seas. Thus, it features a lovely coastline and is popular among beachgoers. 

The resort offered a free shuttle into town, so I jumped on and went exploring. 

I blew off a day trip to Santorini because it was on the day the cruise ships came in. Still avoiding crowds whenever possible. Plus, the day trip excursion was €200, not including meals or souvenirs.

There are numerous shops offering quality products, and typical tourist souvenirs. There are plenty of restaurants and taverns offering a range of cuisines from Greek delicacies to Irish Pub.

A part of me wanted to visit the Irish Pub, but it was close at the time.

Oh well. When all else fails, there’s always McDonald’s. LOL


One of the oldest and most remarkable museums in Greece, add the Heraklion Archaeological Museum to your list of places to visit when in Crete. The museum features artifacts of the Minoan civilization of Crete. 

Entrance fee is €12; for €20 you can purchase a combined ticket, which is good for one admission per site to Knossos and Heraklion Archaeological Museum and can be used for three days after the first entrance.

I spent about 70 minutes inside. Nice place to walk through and enjoy some history.  

The rest of my visit was spent shopping. Between shopping and capturing beautiful images, I managed to get in a bit of relaxation time.

Me & My Smoothie
Me & My Smoothie


A cooking class is always a great and fun-filled vacation activity. I try to find a unique cooking course on my adventures. Cooking pasta in Italy, making sushi in Japan or dabbling in chocolate in Vienna, a cooking course is always a memorable adventure moment. 

Learning from a local chef won’t make me a master of the local cuisine, but it certainly adds to the adventure, and is always great for photos. 

A Greek Salad course was the selected cooking course for this adventure. I know a salad isn’t difficult, but the passion the chef put into making a simple salad made the final result more delicious. 

Okay, the copious amount of olive oil and fresh veggies helps too.


My adventure continued the next day with a Land Rover Safari through the Cretan wilderness, high into the mountains where only the goats usually vacation.

The experience was so action-packed, I had to write a separate journal entry.


Crete was lovely. I enjoyed the relaxing time on the island. I can’t say I’ll return anytime soon, but when I do, the plan is to hire a car and explore more of this lovely isle. 

Maybe I’ll even pony up the dough for a day trip to Santorini.


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