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Greece

Crete: Seitan Limania

If you are dreaming of the bluest water and the most unusual beaches, then look no further. Crete is the place for you!

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As we flew south from Santorini, the first thing we noticed were patches of stunning, turquoise sea surrounding the island of Crete. One of my all-time favorite beaches was Seitan Limania (aka Stephanou Beach). I’d read about it while researching for our trip and from what I could tell, it was a local secret; slightly off the beaten track and required a hike-in. Frankly, it looked too good to be true in photos. I simply had to see it for myself! 

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Although it seemed complicated to find, it wasn’t really. We followed the directions from this site and they were spot on. My advice is to head towards the Chania Airport, continue past it to the village of Chordaki, then follow the road until you start seeing signs for “the port.” Eventually you’ll arrive at the top of a hill and from there you can see the inlet. After a couple of serious switchbacks, voila! You are at Satan’s Beach.

HA! Almost.

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When I got there, no one else was around and it was kind of hard to tell where the path lead to the beach. I decided to head to the canyon to the left of the parking lot (see above) and hike down that way. WRONG. It got me there, but was much crazier than the actual trail, which is on the right hand side of the parking. Whichever way you take, it’s steep but not especially challenging. Here’s the proper trail…

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Although I went on my own, I wish I had brought the children. They would’ve loved it! There were other kids there and lots of people were climbing up and jumping off of the cliffs.

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The more I travel, the more I seek out those one-off, different places and this beach was no exception! It felt so exotic and special. It is a must-see on Crete! I will never forget it. 

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Santorini / Part 1

The first travel magazine I remember reading was when I was around 15 years old. Long before I’d dreamed of being a photographer, the cover caught my eye and the photos inside were seared into my memory for life. They were of Santorini; purple-tinged images of quaint, white cave houses and tiny alleyways perched on a cliffside. I thought, “I must go here one day.

A decade later, I started traveling to Europe, but by then, other locations had jumped in the queue of “Places to go” and Santorini was knocked back several spots. The funny thing about life is that experience sort of changes everything. By the time I finally made it to Greece, I’d already been to one of the most beautiful places on earth the year before… so it had to compete with Positano and the Amalfi coast, which is next to impossible in my book! Is this to say Santorini isn’t charming and lovely? Not at all. It is absolutely photogenic… in places.

We rented a cave house in the village of Oia and after touring the entire island, I can’t imagine staying anywhere else. Oia is the depiction of Santorini that everyone knows and loves. Sadly, it’s not the most accurate representation of the rest of the island. Every afternoon and evening, the appeal wore off as cruise ships let loose countless groups of obnoxious tourists with cameras, numbered signs and selfie-sticks. Hundreds of people flooded and congregated the quaint alleyways vying for the best photos until the sun went down. It made me embarrassed to be seen with a camera.

I still managed to find my repose. Thanks to jet lag and sick children, I was awake more than asleep. While everyone else slept, I was up early, coffee in hand, climbing to the terrace above to watch the sun rise over the sea and slowly illuminate the houses on the hillside. After coffee, I ran and climbed the myriad of dodgy steps and trails that laced along the cliff through the old pedestrian houses. The only other living things I came in contact with were stray dogs and cats, as most tourists stayed on the main paths above. I found peace in these winding passageways throughout the day and they will forever be my favorite part of Santorini. Although the rest of the island wasn’t quite what I expected, I was able to experience that magazine cover in person — in the wee hours of the morn, lavender-lit and tranquil, just as I’d imagined it would be.

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