Sunday 14th August 2022
My Shortest Moving Day So Far
Usually, taking another ‘hop’ on my island-hopping expeditions involves a ferry and a good couple of hours of travelling. I’m leaving my Stalis hotel today and relocating to…the village next door! Yes, that’s right, I’m heading to Crete’s party capital, Malia!
I explained the logic behind this move in yesterday’s update, so I won’t repeat it here, but I’ve booked a week at what I’m hoping is a fairly low-key hotel – Yiannis Manos – outside of the main resort centre.
Breakfast and Bus
Keen to savour the delights of the amazing breakfasts at Minois Boutique Hotel, I had a relaxed start to the day and took my time eating before heading out to the pool. I’d asked for a late check-out and was able to keep my room until midday, so I sunbathed until 11 am before returning to my room to shower, get changed and pack my luggage.
The next bus to Malia was due at 12:30, so I had a cold Mythos and chatted with the owner of the hotel before heading down to the main road to the nearest bus stop. The bus was a few minutes late, but by 12:40 I was on board the air-conditioned coach for the very short ride to the neighbouring resort.
Unfortunately, Yiannis Manos is quite a walk from the main road where the bus dropped me off and it was the middle of a very hot August day. I tried to walk at a steady pace but was soon pouring with sweat as there was little to no shade on the small roads out to the hotel.
Yiannis Manos Resort Hotel
The walk ended up taking about 15 minutes but felt longer in the heat of the midday sun. I felt a sense of relief as the hotel entrance came into view, especially when I saw the two large pools! I resisted the temptation to dive straight in and headed to the reception to see if I could check in immediately.
I was in luck and my room was available early, so after the usual check of my passport and filling out a few forms, a lady showed me to room 121 at the back of the hotel. I dropped off my luggage and headed straight back to the pool for a refreshing swim.
Late Lunch Surprise
Realising I hadn’t eaten since breakfast and it was approaching mid-afternoon, I walked over to the snack bar to see what food was available. To my surprise, the menu was vast and very reasonably priced. I ordered a beer plus a cheese and pepperoni toastie, not wanting to overeat and spoil my dinner. It was simple food, but very tasty – much better than I was expecting for a relatively cheap hotel.
Being a Sunday, I had no work commitments again, so after lunch, I was back at the pool for more sunbathing. The hotel was fairly busy but, as I had anticipated (/hoped), a decent proportion of guests were families and couples of varying ages. One group of teenage/early 20s guys were a bit rowdy, but in general, it was pretty chilled. The main pool area is large, with a generous amount of grass surrounding it with sunbeds, so it didn’t feel crowded.
I stayed at the pool until 6ish, then went back to my room to shower and chill before dinner. I had a quick look on Google maps for restaurant ideas before heading out to dinner. The walk into the main part of Malia took about 10-15 minutes along a quiet-ish road that runs parallel to the coast. In the heat of the day, I expect the walk would be a little unpleasant but as I set off into the evening sun it was a nice relaxing stroll.
The road into Malia from the hotel took me to a busy intersection with a McDonald’s on the corner – not a sight I usually see in Greece, but you’ll be pleased to hear I avoided popping in for a Big Mac! Instead, I turned right towards the coast and browsed the menus at several tavernas as I passed.
The Red Lion stood out immediately as being quite popular but with a friendly atmosphere and decent – if not exactly traditional Greek – menu. I managed to get a small table and enjoyed a fantastic meal of barbecue ribs plus a carafe of red wine.
Party Time…or Bed Time?
I had no urge to stay out and experience the nightlife, knowing Malia’s reputation for its hectic party scene. Instead, I strolled back to the hotel, stopping at a mini-market on the way to pick up some breakfast bits and another couple of protein drinks.
Back at the hotel, it was still quite busy with lots of people eating food – I think they offer a half-board option, so lots of guests will get dinner included. I considered having a beer at the bar but was quite tired from all the sun exposure and chose an early night instead.