Crete is impressive. Not only is the island the largest in Greece, the unique ecological diversity and historically rich caves and alleyways provide grounds for exploration of both self and physical environment. Here, stones carry stories of brilliant civilizations and the ground is worn with footprints from those who walked long before us. Beaches, mountains, valleys and gorges define both the people and landscape of Crete, making for a variety of experiences and tasty cuisine.
Our first morning on the island I awoke before the sun and grabbed my camera at first light to hit the cobble stone streets of Douliana, a teeny tiny traditional town in North Western Crete. Surrounded by olive trees, covered in roses and kumquats, the winding alleyways lead to hidden doors and floating conversations.
In the afternoon we went to the beach to standup paddle board with Paddle Board Yoga. The water was so incredibly blue and cool, I’d never felt anything quite like it.
At dinner, we were introduced to Cretan hospitality at it’s fullest. Our hosts ordered plate after delicious plate of the regions finest fare — everything was made that day and picked not far from where we sat, including the wine and raki.
I will never forget the moment I met Anna ZorZou. She walked out of her room with incredible curls and a tube of chapstick. “This is for you” she said mid-embrace. Her radiant smile is contagious and we spent the day wandering our way to the beach, stopping to admire the olive trees and mountains in the distance.
Our trip to Crete was full of exploring, laughing, scheming yoga schemes and finalizing plans for the upcoming Yogaworks retreat.
*Photos by Sasha Juliard
Advice for those who go…
1. Visit Satin’s Bay and go skinny dipping in the vast aqua blue.
2. Finish everything on your plate as your Greek mama tells you so.
3. Wake up early and explore on your own, the space for discovery and solitude is both humbling and inspiring.
4. Try everything from kumquats off a tree to raki. It is all worth it.
5. Allow yourself to fully step into each moment with the people you meet, they will melt your heart and open your eyes.
If you’d like to take a yoga teacher training in Greece, join YogaWorks from August 30-September 26. Find out more here!
Nicole Lindstrom is a writer and traveler based in New York City. She is the creator and editor of the online travel guide GLDMNE (@gldmne) and producer of the Wanderlust Festival Speakeasy Lecture Series. When not traveling with the festival, Nicole continues to travel around the globe.