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Véronique tells us about her stay in Crete with her compact stand-up paddle board. Prepare your luggage, it will make you want to go!
This summer we had the chance to go to the sun and get away from it all. We love Belgium! I'm a huge fan of the SUP spots that my little Kingdom has to offer, but we needed a change of scenery and some sun! So, off to Crete!
Every year, it is a heartbreak to leave without my board when I take the plane, because I know that I will have much less opportunity to go out on SUP. I then become dependent on rentals, if any, and this limits me a lot in discovering the waters of the country I'm visiting.
This year, for the first time, I could take my board in my suitcase. And when I say that, I mean it! My Itiwit Compact went IN my suitcase. I put my clothes all around it and checked in my travel bag at the airport!
My board is so small that it doesn't take up more than half of my travel bag. There's still room to be pretty!
So here I am in Crete, ready to rediscover this island. I had already visited the "Island of the Gods" about fifteen years ago, but, this time, my board allows me to discover it in a completely different way.
Off to the beach of Agiofarago, known as one of the most beautiful beaches in the south of Crete with its crystal clear waters and white pebbles.
But what is really worthwhile here is when you arrive at the beach. It can be reached through the gorge of the same name. Agiofarago means Holy Gorge. This name comes from the fact that in the past, hermits lived in its rocks. It is said that hermits can still be seen praying on the beach. Keep your eyes peeled!
To find this beach, you must first drive to the gates of the gorge. For culture lovers, the beautiful monastery of Odigitria is on the way and well worth a stop.
After this monastery, the road is no longer paved. The adventure begins on a winding and stony road! You can stop at the first car park or continue on to the entrance of the gorge. Depending on the car park you choose, it's a 30- or 50-minute walk to the water.
To be original, we parked between the two car parks on the side of the road. When you don't know, you improvise! So we walked for 40 minutes; a perfect warm-up.
Just before entering the gorge, we found a cute little food truck serving snacks and cold drinks. Last stop for refreshment! We enjoy a falafel wrap and drink a good iced coffee. We are now ready to set off on our journey. Off to the coast!
From here the ride to the beach is absolutely beautiful! Despite the heat and the 3 km to go, my 7 kg board in its bag is still super easy to carry without suffering!
On the way, we are surrounded by high vertical walls, olive trees and small caves where hermits used to live. The view is breathtaking! Near the finish, we pass the monastery of Saint Anthony, half embedded in the mountain. Beautiful!
Finally, the long-awaited arrival on the beach, framed by two beautiful hanging rocks.
Because of its position, the sea is calm even in windy conditions. Ideal for stand-up paddle boarding. The beach is natural without any infrastructure, which I love!
As soon as we arrived, I immediately inflated my board to explore the surroundings. The water is transparent and turquoise. A nice little arch on the west side of the beach catches my eye.
I do not wait a second after inflating my board to go out on the adventure.
I think I passed under the arch at least 10 times having fun with the current!
We spent the afternoon on the beach, sunbathing, swimming and especially SUPing! The Compact is ideal for catching small waves.
The water is clear. With a mask and a snorkel, you can admire the sea bed.
The way back is just as beautiful, with the little goats accompanying us on the way. I recommend this little escapade to all SUP and nature lovers!
For the rest of the trip I had the chance to discover other beautiful places by stand-up paddle board, to access magical beaches or small isolated islands. A final favourite is Lake Kournas, a little paradise for windsurfers and turtle lovers.
Now that I have my Compact board, I won't consider leaving without it. She and I are ready to discover the waters of the world. So what are you waiting for? The world is your oyster!