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I’m going to be honest with you and say that I hate wintertime in Washington. I’m sure most people can agree with me as the endless grey skies, the cold, the rain, and sometimes snow (especially snow this year!) can be so mentally exhausting. In the past, every time winter came around I used to just hole up inside and not do anything aside from going to the gym. This wasn’t very healthy physically or mentally and especially since the winters here can be a very depressing time, I knew that I had to start changing up my mindset and attitude about how I approached the winter season. I also wanted to be in better hiking shape by the time warmer weather came around so last year I started hiking in late winter and decided it wasn’t so bad. This current winter season I hiked all winter from December to now and I gotta say it was such a blast! I actually hiked more than I did in the fall which surprised me (definitely gotta make up for that this year!).

I still can’t believe how many adventures we went on this season and the solitude that comes with winter hiking is truly phenomenal. On the popular trails you’ll still get some crowds but not anywhere near the summer crowds and if you start very early you’ll easily be able to get the trail all to yourself for quite awhile! We did a great mix of lesser known trails and popular trails this season and it was great to cross off some of the highly trafficked trails I’ve avoided all these years. I’m excited to share some of my favorite hikes this season and I hope it helps you plan out your hiking adventures next winter! I love how the trails change each season and each season has its own unique beauty and perspective so if you are anything like how I used to be in the winter, I encourage you to get out there next winter season! Hopefully this post will help inspire you!

(*Disclaimer: I want my opinions and photos to inspire you but please still do thorough research on your own before heading out to the trails. Most of my fellow Washingtonians know this website but for anyone who doesn’t and those who are not from Washington and are visiting the area, I highly encourage you to look up all of these hikes on the Washington Trails Association website or All Trails and always try to read several of the most recent trip reports you can find to get a feel of the most current conditions!*)

Hummocks/Boundary West Trail (Mileage varies, no passes required)

This was probably one of my favorite hikes of the season! It’s no secret that I love the Mount St. Helens area and the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and if you’re looking for solitude in the winter these are great areas for it! It’s easy to find solitude in either area in the summertime as well (just avoid the big visitor center area trails) so winter time is a piece of cake if you’re trying to find peace and quiet. I personally think Mount St. Helens is underrated and I think the whole Mt. St Helens Volcanic Monument Area is really beautiful. I get that it can be a little repetitive in the scenery if you do a long hike out there, especially in the summer when it’s dry and “barren-like”, but I love seeing how much life has already returned to the area and I just think it has such a unique kind of beauty. If you are looking for something different though, then definitely come in the winter and even better when some snow is forecasted to fall! It completely transforms the landscapes here and gives it such a different kind of character.

You can start off at the Hummocks trailhead and just do the short loop ( 2.4 miles roundtrip) if you prefer something easy or if you have small children with you. The view of Mt. St Helens is supposed to be great on a clear day. We had no such luck and could only see the base of Helens but we’ve seen the view many times so it wasn’t a big deal to us. We had never seen this area covered in snow so that was the real treat! If you want to extend the hike then you can continue on to the Boundary West Trail which you will see a sign for. You can take this trail all the way to the Johnston Ridge Observatory or just turn around at any point. We didn’t go all the way to the visitor center but ended up with about 6 miles roundtrip. This was such a great experience for us and it was made even better by not seeing another soul on the trail (except for birds!). If you’re looking for solitude and something different definitely head out this way next winter.

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Autumn in the PNW is an absolutely magical time of year. I honestly don’t know what season I like better, summer or early fall! The colors come to life on the trails and are bursting with endless tones of fiery reds, deep oranges, and vibrant yellows. This year I actually didn’t get to go out on the trails in fall as much as I would have liked. Work got very busy, holidays had my schedule full, and the change of seasons had me battling a long cold so hiking kind of slipped through the cracks unfortunately. I’ve actually been hiking a lot more this winter than I have in fall funny enough, but I intend to make up for fall this year! I only have 4 highlights to share for this post but will also do a little mini list of hikes that are great for fall colors in Washington and that I plan to do this year! Here were my 4 favorite fall hikes of 2018!

(*Disclaimer: I want my opinions and photos to inspire you but please still do thorough research on your own before heading out to the trails. Most of my fellow Washingtonians know this website but for anyone who doesn’t and those who are not from Washington and are visiting the area, I highly encourage you to look up all of these hikes on the Washington Trails Association website and always try to read several of the most recent trip reports you can find to get a feel of the most current conditions!*)

1.) Sheep Lake (3.6 miles roundtrip, NW Forest Pass needed)

This hike was the perfect introduction to the magnificence of fall hiking in Washington. There were plenty of colors on this trail from the very beginning and a beautiful and very cool view of the Chinook Pass very early on. The trail is only 3.6 miles roundtrip and I think it is a great choice for families if you want to bring your children along as the gain is minimal and gentle. This hike is incredibly popular in the summertime but in the fall the traffic reduces, especially if you go on a morning that is off and on raining like we did! The lake itself is gorgeous with so many red and orange colors surrounding the green tinted lake. You can camp here and in the summertime I hear it is hard to find a quiet spot but in the fall we only saw one camping group and they looked like they were having a great time enjoying the solitude! You can also make this hike longer by doing the Sheep Lake to Sourdough Gap portion which will make the hike about 6 miles roundtrip versus the 3.6 miles and gives you a view of the lake from above. We were going to do that but I was still battling a horrible cold and the rain wasn’t helping so we skipped it this time around. You can also do Naches Peak Loop as the trailhead is right near Sheep Lake’s trailhead. Naches Peak loop is another popular trail and also a great hike for fall colors. It has a nice view of Mt. Rainier and Tipsoo Lake makes for great pictures too!

An endless sea of colors!
The lingering haze made for a perfect moody setting

2.) Norway Pass (4.4 miles roundtrip, NW Forest Pass needed)

If you’ve been following me on social media and/or you are a loyal reader of my blog, then you are well aware of my love for the Gifford-Pinchot National Forest and the Mount St. Helens National Monument area in general. I feel it is so highly underrated, and although quite barren, there’s so much life that has already grown back and it makes for such a unique experience. Also, if you do the trails away from the visitor centers you’re guaranteed to find some solitude! Norway Pass is a must-do fall hike for gorgeous colors, peace & quiet, and most likely you’ll also be blessed with some great weather in the fall! We went in late October and it was so hot and sunny out (but always be prepared for bad weather) and the trail was bursting with a plethora of beautiful fall colors. We only saw two people on the trail on the way up and then never saw them again. On the way back we only saw three people going up! There are other trails to branch off to if you want to make it a longer hike but we were more than content with having this gorgeous viewpoint pictured below to ourselves. Bring plenty of water as the trail is extremely exposed (as to be expected in this area) and although the gain is only about 860 feet, the heat can make it feel a lot harder at times.

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Ahhh, summertime in the Pacific Northwest. The best time of year for a Washingtonian hands down and dare I say we have the best summers than anywhere else?! It’s no wonder tourism spikes during this time of year for us where we have some of the best weather around. Not too hot, not too cold and activities in nature are boundless if you’re into that sort of thing…which I am! I love our diverse landscapes and honestly if we could somehow defy the laws of nature and also have tropical white sand beaches I would definitely continue making Washington my homebase for the rest of my life! Although I try to hike year-round in Washington, there’s no doubt that summer time is the best time to get on the trails. This next series on my blog will be highlighting some of my favorite hikes of 2018 by season starting with my favorite season of all…summer! This post is long overdue and I’m sorry to any loyal readers that are a bit annoyed with my sporadic posting times. One of my 2019 goals is to get onto a more consistent posting schedule.  I also hope to continue doing this round-up of seasonal hikes/adventures each year and my goal is that it helps inspire any fellow Washingtonians to get out there more and inspires everyone to explore their own homes as much as they possibly can! So let’s just jump right into this recap!

(*Disclaimer: I want my opinions and photos to inspire you but please still do thorough research on your own before heading out to the trails. Most of my fellow Washingtonians know this website but for anyone who doesn’t and those who are not from Washington and are visiting the area, I highly encourage you to look up all of these hikes on the Washington Trails Association website and always try to read several of the most recent trip reports you can find to get a feel of the most current conditions!*)

1.) Colchuck Lake (8 miles roundtrip on WTA, but most likely more)

A very well-known (and loved) hike in Washington and for great reason. Chances are you have seen the iconic pictures of Dragontail Peak situated amongst those incredible clear blue waters and/or have already done this hike! The lake is part of the Enchantments permit zone and the mileage is just short enough to be an easy enough day hike to get a taste of what the Enchantments have to offer. I had been wanting to do this one for years but wanted to time it out just right to try to get a little solitude here and somehow it worked! We decided to do it as my birthday weekend hike back in August and I took the Friday off which I think was a great call because from what I saw on trip reports, no matter how early you go on a weekend it still might not be good enough to escape the masses. I was also worried about the weekdays as I heard it still gets pretty busy. I can’t blame people though because this hike is such a dream come true and the lake is even more gorgeous in person. Chances are when you arrive the lot will already be pretty full from all the backpackers. We arrived around 7:30 A.M. and I was very worried when I saw all the cars but we only saw about 4 little groups (mostly couples or trios) on the way up and once we arrived we had our pick of some of the most prime spots around the lake. It was absolutely magical and such a quiet and peaceful morning! We lounged around the lake for an hour and a half before more groups started showing up. I even went for a dip and it was freezing but I think if the day was a little hotter I could’ve swam for awhile! This was also during the time all the wildfires were happening and I’m not sure how but we just got so dang lucky on this weekend. We went on a day the smoke had cleared up considerably so we got great views on the trails and at the lake that people just a couple weeks before did not get to enjoy at all based on trip reports. We also picked the only sunny day that weekend as it rained off and on the next 2 days and was very cloudy. This combined with the almost non-existent crowds on the way up was the most perfect experience and my favorite summer hike by far. We saw a lot of people on the way down but that’s to be expected.

In terms of difficulty the hike itself wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be to be honest. I think I let the trip reports scare me but I handled it very well and we made great time. It does get very steep and rocky towards the end and that could be hard on your knees going up and down if you have issues in that area. I’m not saying it was a cake walk I’m just saying when you read reports about a hike to always be prepared but also never underestimate your own abilities! Sometimes I think platforms like Instagram make a trail very popular and you get a lot of beginners (which is great!) that come on the trails and may be the ones leaving the reviews of how difficult and rough it is but in actuality it might just be moderate for you. As long as you’re prepared gear wise, going at a pace you’re comfortable with, and enjoying the nature around you it should be a wonderful experience no matter what and once you get to the lake you’ll see that it was worth all the sweat and exhaustion! Keep in mind that the road to the trailhead is pretty rough with a lot of potholes but I saw all kinds of cars making it, just drive slow and be aware. WTA lists the hike at 8 miles but if I’m remembering correctly my Fitbit had clocked our mileage at around 10 miles roundtrip.

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Ahhh, summertime in the Pacific Northwest. The best time of year for a Washingtonian hands down and dare I say we have the best summers than anywhere else?! It’s no wonder tourism spikes during this time of year for us where we have some of the best weather around. Not too hot, not too cold and activities in nature are boundless if you’re into that sort of thing…which I am! I love our diverse landscapes and honestly if we could somehow defy the laws of nature and also have tropical white sand beaches I would definitely continue making Washington my homebase for the rest of my life! Although I try to hike year-round in Washington, there’s no doubt that summer time is the best time to get on the trails. This next series on my blog will be highlighting some of my favorite hikes of 2018 by season starting with my favorite season of all…summer! This post is long overdue and I’m sorry to any loyal readers that are a bit annoyed with my sporadic posting times. One of my 2019 goals is to get onto a more consistent posting schedule.  I also hope to continue doing this round-up of seasonal hikes/adventures each year and my goal is that it helps inspire any fellow Washingtonians to get out there more and inspires everyone to explore their own homes as much as they possibly can! So let’s just jump right into this recap!

(*Disclaimer: I want my opinions and photos to inspire you but please still do thorough research on your own before heading out to the trails. Most of my fellow Washingtonians know this website but for anyone who doesn’t and those who are not from Washington and are visiting the area, I highly encourage you to look up all of these hikes on the Washington Trails Association website and always try to read several of the most recent trip reports you can find to get a feel of the most current conditions!*)

1.) Colchuck Lake (8 miles roundtrip on WTA, but most likely more)

A very well-known (and loved) hike in Washington and for great reason. Chances are you have seen the iconic pictures of Dragontail Peak situated amongst those incredible clear blue waters and/or have already done this hike! The lake is part of the Enchantments permit zone and the mileage is just short enough to be an easy enough day hike to get a taste of what the Enchantments have to offer. I had been wanting to do this one for years but wanted to time it out just right to try to get a little solitude here and somehow it worked! We decided to do it as my birthday weekend hike back in August and I took the Friday off which I think was a great call because from what I saw on trip reports, no matter how early you go on a weekend it still might not be good enough to escape the masses. I was also worried about the weekdays as I heard it still gets pretty busy. I can’t blame people though because this hike is such a dream come true and the lake is even more gorgeous in person. Chances are when you arrive the lot will already be pretty full from all the backpackers. We arrived around 7:30 A.M. and I was very worried when I saw all the cars but we only saw about 4 little groups (mostly couples or trios) on the way up and once we arrived we had our pick of some of the most prime spots around the lake. It was absolutely magical and such a quiet and peaceful morning! We lounged around the lake for an hour and a half before more groups started showing up. I even went for a dip and it was freezing but I think if the day was a little hotter I could’ve swam for awhile! This was also during the time all the wildfires were happening and I’m not sure how but we just got so dang lucky on this weekend. We went on a day the smoke had cleared up considerably so we got great views on the trails and at the lake that people just a couple weeks before did not get to enjoy at all based on trip reports. We also picked the only sunny day that weekend as it rained off and on the next 2 days and was very cloudy. This combined with the almost non-existent crowds on the way up was the most perfect experience and my favorite summer hike by far. We saw a lot of people on the way down but that’s to be expected.

In terms of difficulty the hike itself wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be to be honest. I think I let the trip reports scare me but I handled it very well and we made great time. It does get very steep and rocky towards the end and that could be hard on your knees going up and down if you have issues in that area. I’m not saying it was a cake walk I’m just saying when you read reports about a hike to always be prepared but also never underestimate your own abilities! Sometimes I think platforms like Instagram make a trail very popular and you get a lot of beginners (which is great!) that come on the trails and may be the ones leaving the reviews of how difficult and rough it is but in actuality it might just be moderate for you. As long as you’re prepared gear wise, going at a pace you’re comfortable with, and enjoying the nature around you it should be a wonderful experience no matter what and once you get to the lake you’ll see that it was worth all the sweat and exhaustion! Keep in mind that the road to the trailhead is pretty rough with a lot of potholes but I saw all kinds of cars making it, just drive slow and be aware. WTA lists the hike at 8 miles but if I’m remembering correctly my Fitbit had clocked our mileage at around 10 miles roundtrip.

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Ahhh, Athens. Some people love it, some people hate it. If you’re headed over to Greece soon you’re more than likely going to be near the city at some point in your trip and in my opinion it is definitely worth checking out Athens, at least for a day or two. If you have more time, even better. To be honest I hate crowds and city life in general but I was very surprised with how much I enjoyed our time in Athens, a city full of old world charm and history combined with a modern youthful crowd and interesting older spirits. Keep in mind that I do realize the time of year we visited (May) as well as the amount of time we spent in the city played a key role in that and I feel that if we visited in the peak of tourist season and stayed for a week or more I probably would have a slightly different opinion, but overall I really enjoyed this city. It was very easy to explore and walkable, the locals we interacted with were super friendly, and of course the main attraction…the history! The history you read about in books growing up and never think you’ll actually get to experience in real life. This alone made everything worth it to me.

Now if you’re only in Athens for a couple days then it’s a no-brainer you have to at least check out the Acropolis. So here’s your choice when you buy your tickets; You can either buy entrance to the Acropolis and its slopes for 20 Euros per person or buy a ticket priced at 30 Euros per person which gives you admission to 6 other sites as well as allowing a duration of 5 days to complete your tour. The sites included are as follows:

Acropolis of Athens (and North & South Slopes)

Ancient Agora of Athens

Hadrian’s Library

Olympieion (Temple of Zeus)

Roman Agora of Athens

Kerameikos/Archaeological Museum of Kerameikos

Archaeological Site of Lykeion

This is definitely the way to go if you have more than a day in Athens and allows you to explore each one in-depth and at a slow pace, but even if you only have one full day you could still get at least half of them done since they’re so easy to walk to. The price is still a bargain even if you don’t get to go to all the sites vs buying the single tickets for each one. We had 2 ½ days in Athens so naturally we went with the more expensive ticket and we went to 5 sites out of the 7. We skipped two due to time and wanting to relax more but we did see one from the outside gates which we snapped a picture of while we were taking a break and the other one we just never made it to. Below are a list of the sites, brief descriptions, and some photos.

1.) Acropolis and slopes

Pretty much everyone knows about the Acropolis so I won’t say too much about this magnificent site but you can’t go to Athens and miss the Acropolis, you just can’t! I never dreamed I would see this incredible archaeological site in person and it was worth every penny, especially if you are a history fanatic. It is amazing how intricate and detailed each structure is and I’m in awe that they’re still standing. Do take the time to explore the slopes as well and don’t just come for the Parthenon. There is so much to see at this extraordinary site so don’t sell yourself or your money short! I enjoyed walking around the slopes down below and really admired the huge walls surrounding the site. Also a quick tip on crowds at this location. Crowds are usually a mood killer for us as I’m sure they are to most people, and yes there are definitely crowds here but try to plan accordingly and you’ll most likely be rewarded for it. We visited in May and got there about 20 minutes after opening (the site opens at 8 A.M. from April 1st – October 31st and at 9 A.M. from November 1st – March 31st) and there weren’t any crazy crowds at all! Just a handful of people as you can see in my photos and it made the experience 100x more enjoyable not bumping into people and being able to take your time without feeling that chaotic rush a bustling crowd always gives off. A bus was starting to arrive as we purchased our tickets so again try to go at opening time. Going early or near closing time is definitely worth it. Also random tip but don’t jump up and down for photos. We saw a couple doing this and one of the employees stopped them because the dust, dirt, and rocks being kicked up is not good for the structures and their preservation.

One of the many awesome views
View of Temple of Zeus
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Crete is Greece’s largest island and if you think you’re going to cover a lot of ground in a week, I’m here to tell you that it may feel like it but you’ll have barely scratched the surface of all the wonderful places that Crete has to offer. We spent a week in Crete and absolutely loved it but I do wish we were able to spend substantially more time there. This second part of my Crete series will be featuring our favorite towns and historical sites we were able to see during our time there. If you’re interested in some Crete beach information you can check out my first post in this Crete series by clicking here. I hope this mini guide will help you start planning your dream trip to Crete!

Old Town of Chania

First up is the Old Town of Chania which I’m sure you have no doubt heard about and have seen pictures of during your research of Crete, and for good reason. This is a must-see location during your time in Crete with its charming streets and alleyways. Take the time to walk through and admire the beautiful architecture and historical structures and definitely be sure to check out the Venetian Harbour and lighthouse. When we went to visit the town I was unfortunately not feeling very well and couldn’t stay out very long. If I could re-do it all over again I would have spent more time exploring every nook and cranny that I could and visiting more shops. I also would have enjoyed a nice long meal along the harbor. Visit Greece has a short and sweet article laying out all the different areas in the town to explore which you can find here. If your homebase is on the east side of Crete than I would recommend the old town in Rethymno for that charming atmosphere.

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Ahhhh, Crete. A beautiful and vast island that I feel truly has everything to suit anyone’s traveling tastes. Whether it’s authentic old worldly charm and a plethora of history, excellent beaches, traditional villages, party towns (not my taste but they exist), incredible hiking trails, unique landscapes, scenic winding roads for your next roadtrip, and so much more…there is guaranteed to be an adventure just made for you in Crete. Crete was the 2nd portion of our Greece trip and it did not disappoint. We had originally planned on visiting 2 other islands in the Cyclades but I am so happy we went with this route. I loved our taste of the Cyclades and Milos was picture perfect but Crete offered a completely different experience that I really don’t think you can get at any other island. Crete is also the largest Greek island and the 5th largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. A week is hardly enough time to even scratch the surface of all the things this island and its people have to offer but we did our best attempt at a well-rounded experience. We also got sick during this portion of our trip unfortunately which changed up our itinerary quite a bit and affected how much we were able to explore but I hope that the next couple posts in my Greece series will at least help you get a skeleton of an itinerary going for your future trip! At the end of this post I’ll also do a quick little feature of the place we made our homebase in Crete if you’re interested in finding a unique but centrally located place to stay at.

First things first of course is the beaches!! If you’ve been a reader of my blog you know that I’m a beach girl to the core and most of my trips revolve around being near the beach or any body of water I can swim in. Crete has plenty of gorgeous and diverse beaches to choose from that it was hard to even narrow down what spots to check out! We were based in Platanias which is about 25 minutes from the old town of Chania so most of our adventures were west coast based and this is how we chose to narrow down our beach spots. Here is a quick summary of 5 beaches we were able to check out around the west and south coast of Crete:

Falassarna Beach (West Coast)

First up is my absolute favorite beach that we visited on the island and also one of the most famous beaches of Greece. According to my research it’s been voted as one of the best beaches in Crete and a top 10 in Europe. The beach is very long and big and because of that it doesn’t feel crowded even in the peak of tourist season. Falassarna is actually more like a series of beaches and there are different sections from the large sandy beach to a small pebble beach. Unfortunately we didn’t explore all the different areas. We went to the main and most popular beach (Pachia Ammos) because it is very sandy and the biggest and longest section. We quickly settled in because we were ready for some fun in the water but I definitely regret not checking out other parts of the beach as well as the ruins of the Ancient City of Falassarna nearby. If you have time or are able to come back more than once I would definitely take the time to check out the other beaches. The best thing about Falassarna is the beautiful clear blue-green waters combined with the soft sand underneath your toes when you’re in the water. There are some good sized waves here which to me makes it a lot of fun but I know some people enjoy very calm waters so keep this in mind. A con of this beach is that it can be very windy which can be hard to enjoy sunbathing when sand is blowing in your face. On the day we went it was a little overcast and windy but it was still beautiful and fun to swim around for a couple of hours. The beach also has umbrellas and loungers and a small restaurant that will deliver food and drinks to your lounger. We ate at the restaurant and I really enjoyed the vibe. Everyone was super friendly and it was a cozy spot with good music playing. The food and drinks were also very good, probably a bit pricey but great for the convenience and proximity to the beach. There is plenty of parking and a few bathrooms as well. I wish we had more time to spend another beach day here when it was a little more sunny because the pictures I have seen are absolutely stunning. There is white and pink-ish sand that give off a gorgeous color in the water and sunlight and I also hear this beach is one of the best places in Crete to catch a spectacular sunset. Spend a day here with your friends or family, you won’t regret it! Side note: We only took pictures of this beach on our cellphones and the Gopro. Really regretting not breaking out the Nikon but like I mentioned earlier it was an overcast day so it probably wouldn’t have done much good anyways!

Definitely have plenty of Greek frappes!

Balos Lagoon (Northwest Coast)

You’ve probably seen plenty of images of the shimmering turquoise waters of Balos contrasted against the pink-white sand. The striking color of the water is even more breathtaking in person! Balos Lagoon is a must-see, even if you don’t spend any time at the beach which was the case for us. Balos Lagoon can be accessed by car and a small walk down or you can take a ferry. The road to Balos is approximately 7-8 km of VERY rough gravel road. There is a small entrance fee to the road and while the road isn’t the worst I’ve ever been on I would definitely take your time going up, especially in a rental car. The views you’ll get of the bay of Kissamos help make the ride bearable and there are also plenty of goats along the way. There is a parking lot which gets very packed as the day goes on and I’ve even read that people often get blocked in! Thousands of people visit Balos so try to go as early as possible if you want to visit this place with less crowds, especially during peak tourist season. Once you get parked you’ll walk down approximately 1-2 km to the beach which can be tough coming back up in the summer after playing on the beach all day, with all your gear in hand, and in the scorching heat so keep this in mind when you’re packing for the day. There will be plenty of goats on the trail down as well. Since we were limited on time and also since we were both sick we decided to just walk down to the viewing point of Balos to get some pictures. We ended up choosing Falassarna for our actual beach day because we knew that Balos has shallow calm waters and we really wanted to swim and play in some waves. We also didn’t want to be around too many people and already got there later than we had intended (around 11 AM) and the crowds were already growing rapidly. This is a great beach though for families due to the shallow waters, I just knew it wouldn’t quite fit the bill for our one full beach day on the west coast. Definitely check this place out though whether it’s spending time at the beach or just stopping to enjoy the view. You won’t be disappointed!

Preveli Beach (South Coast)

Preveli is located along the south coast of Crete near the Preveli Monastery and was definitely one of the most unique beaches we visited on the island. When you see the beach you’ll wonder if you are even still in Greece or if you’ve been transported to a tropical paradise elsewhere. The beach has a small palm forest of Theophrastus palm trees with a milky green river lagoon running through the forest to the sea. Definitely take the time to walk through the forest, as if I really had to even suggest this! It is so much fun to explore and such a unique experience. There was a fire in 2010 that burned most of the palm trees but they have since recovered. The beach itself is sandy but the ground is rocky when you’re actually in the water. The water is a beautiful dark blue color and very cold and refreshing. There is one canteen on the beach for refreshments. There are 3 ways to access the beach. The first is to drive toward the Monastery following signs for the beach. Google Maps should pull this route right up. You’ll eventually be led to a parking lot area and from there you’ll descend the rocky cliff steps to the beach (takes approximately 15-25 minutes depending on fitness level). The ascent back to the car is pretty steep so it’s best to visit this beach as early as possible to beat the heat. Another reason why it is best to visit early is because it can get very crowded and it is not a very big beach. There is also another route that will cut out the steep climb back and takes only approximately 5 minutes to get to the beach but it lacks the views you’ll get from the other route. Based on my research this shortcut is found on the dirt road leading to Drymiskiano Ammoudi but we didn’t attempt to find the shortcut as we wanted the views so I would do further research if you would like to take the shortcut route for the exact location of the path. Lastly, you can also take a boat ride to the beach. I wasn’t aware that boats came to this beach and it kind of bummed me out to see 2 super full boats pull up and unload a massive amount of people and seeing that more were coming. We came early around 9 am and the beach was so peaceful and quiet with only a small handful of people. When the boats started arriving a couple hours later we decided to pack it up and call it a day. Total bummer though. I understand the hike down isn’t feasible for everyone but man do those boatloads of people take away the charm, ha. Either way I would highly recommend checking out this beach, just come as early as you can! If you have time check out the monastery as well, which I wish we had done but I didn’t feel appropriately dressed so we skipped out on it.

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