Saturday 10th July 2021
Escaping the Wind…or not!
The strong winds we’d been experiencing over the past two days showed no sign of easing today. To avoid a repeat of yesterday’s itinerary, we decided to use the hire car to explore some of southwestern Crete. As I’ve mentioned, this was my first time in the area despite having visited the island many times.
My parents suggested we visit Frangokastello, which is further east along the southern coastline, and then take in some other places on the way back. Although Frangokastello is less than 50km east of Palaiochora, no direct coastal road exists. The only way to reach it involves driving north towards Chania, east across the northern highway and then turning south again across the island. It’s a 2.5-hour drive, but the long journey was fine as we planned to make a day of it.
The drive south from Chania was through some pretty mountain roads. Traffic was almost non-existent, something I find hard to get used to compared with British roads. As we neared Frangokastello, we stopped at a high viewpoint over the south coast, but it was so windy we could barely open the car doors! When we finally arrived in the village, we were disappointed to discover that one of the main sights, the Frangokastello fortress, was closed for renovation. We still enjoyed a stroll around for photos of the area, including the nice resort beach:
We contemplated having lunch in the village, but options were limited, so we decided to backtrack to Hora Sfakion first and see if we could find somewhere nicer.
A few kilometres west of Frangokastello lies Hora Sfakion. It’s well known for local ferry connections and is popular with hikers, especially those tackling Samaria Gorge.
It’s a strange village, nestled into a small bay harbour, but it has quite a nice vibe and a good selection of tavernas and shops.
We ate pork gyros at a snack bar and then strolled around before returning to the car for the homeward journey. Our intention was to stop in Chania as we would be driving past it anyway, even though I’d visited it on a previous trip during a sightseeing drive across the island.
It was busy in Chania despite the pandemic and its effect on tourism. We walked around the harbour and stopped for coffee and ice cream at a nearby cafe.
Back to Palaiochora
By the time we’d arrived back in Palaiochora, it was a little after 6 pm. We returned to our rooms for a quick rest and shower, then met for dinner, this time trying a taverna called Angel (opposite Aristea, where we had eaten on our first night).