Usually I write all about food and business. Today I am putting on the travel bloggers hat in order to share with you my long bank holiday weekend away in Crete where I stayed at the beautiful Daios Cove.
Having not taken a holiday in quite some time, a few days break was very much needed. For a lot of people, going away is the most relaxing thing they can do. For me, it often makes me more anxious. I think this happens for two reasons; Firstly, I don’t love leaving the business as I like to be fully on top of things at all times and secondly, eating abroad because of my food intolerances can be pretty tricky. However, after a very VERY busy year, I recognised how important it was to take some time out. So, I decided to look at some resorts where I would be able to truly unwind and still eat well.
Greece is somewhere I have always wanted to travel to for a relaxing holiday due to their unbelievable clear seas, beautiful coast lines and delicious fresh food. I had only ever been to Greece once before. It was to Mykonos on the year I finished my A-Levels. I went with 18 girls. You can imagine that this one week trip was anything but relaxing!
When I came across the Daios Cove hotel in my search for a respite, I immediately knew I needn’t carry on looking. I arranged a trip immediately (and was very happy that because of the bank holiday Monday, going away for five days only meant two days off work. Phew!
Heaven washes over you as soon as you walk into the main entrance of the resort. The view is breathtaking from the first second. Check in is completed on a high level of the hotel in an outside area overlooking the cove. I wished I was moving in rather than checking in at that moment. We were given a cold refreshing drink and a cold towel and we were then shown around the resort.
The resort is vast, and set on many levels. To get from the main area to the rooms, you can either take a buggy, gondola, or brave a very steep climb! We travelled up the windy hill with our suitcases in a buggy and were shown to our room. Once again, walking in we were immediately amazed by the view. We had our very own infinity pool on the balcony which looked out onto the cove. Just wow. We also noticed the size of the bed. It could fit four people at least! I love a big bed, so I was very excited about this!!!
We had three full days at the hotel, and two half days. Since our trip was short we wanted to really make the most of just relaxing rather than packing it full of activities. The activities available to us were endless; snorkelling, olive oil tasting, yoga, pilates, hiking and much more. We decided to opt out of most of those things as the activities such as oil tasting and hiking took place quite some distance away from the hotel, and I wanted to spend as little time as possible in a car. So we spent all of our time at Daios eating, swimming, spa-ing, and beaching!
There are a number of restaurants in the hotel. Our favourite by far was the Taverna. As mentioned above, I wanted to go to Greece because of how fresh the produce is there and how simply they prepared the food. I have to admit, after the first lunch at the Taverna, we then had every lunch there, and one dinner! The menu was vast and varied, and I had absolutely no problems at all even with all my food intolerances eating most of the dishes. They were hugely accommodating to me having to request my ‘no wheat, no dairy, no onion or garlic’. What was extra special about this restaurant were the waiters. We were served by the same people at every meal. They remembered all the intolerances so I didn’t have to ever go over them, and they were just so helpful and friendly. The highlight here was the traditional Greek Salad. I think they were the best tomatoes I have EVER had. SO fresh and full of flavour! I also loved the wine they served there. I had a glass of rosé with every lunch whilst I was away! The view from the Taverna was also breathtaking as it was situated at the centre position of the cove, just a few levels up from the beach. It was a divine place to be able to enjoy a good meal.
We ate breakfasts on the pool level at the Ocean restaurant. There was a buffet and an a la carte menu at breakfast. You could pretty much order anything you wanted. You can imagine my excitement when I found natural nut butters, dried fruit and sugar free and all natural cornflakes at the buffet. I am quite easily pleased when it comes to breakfast. I love nothing more than cornflakes and cold almond milk which is exactly what I had each morning! They also had a great selection of fresh fruits and juices and smoothies.
We went out for all but one dinner so that we got to know Crete a little better. The highlight was visiting Elounda which was a lovely town where we enjoyed an exquisite meal.
During the days, we spent most of our time at the beach. The sea was perfectly clear and swimming in it was so dreamy! You could see an abundance of fish under you at all times, which I love. We snorkelled, went on pedalos and enjoyed reading and listening to podcasts on the beach. I couldn’t remember the last time I had been somewhere so beautiful and just had the opportunity to chill. It was perfection.
One morning, I was lucky enough to have a private cooking lesson with the head chef of the hotel who talked me through and showed me how to make a couple of their most traditional dishes. Being the lover of food that I am, this was definitely a highlight!
On our last day, it unfortunately was very stormy and quite chilly. So, we decided to pamper ourselves and get some treatments at the spa and enjoy the spa facilities. It was probably the best head and neck massage I have ever had. I felt truly relaxed after that. The spa facilities themselves were fantastic, especially the steam room! I felt so energised and refreshed after 20 minutes spent there.
I didn’t use the gym facilities because I really wanted to give my body a rest from all the cardio I normally do, but I did have a good look around the gym which was spacious and full of fantastic machines. I decided instead to go on a jog around the resort one day, which was definitely another highlight for me. Those who know me, know I am not a natural runner, but I do like to try very rarely! I think it must have been the view that kept me out and going for so long. I just couldn’t get enough of the outside space at the resort and wanted to keep going on forever! I jogged at sunset and the views as you turned every corner were startling.
The time to leave came round all too quickly. I would recommend the resort highly for a long weekend away in Crete. I would especially recommend visiting the resort when we did in May. It was such a beautiful temperature and not too busy! I would also highly recommend it to people with children (not that I have any). I would say that every other guest there had children which is a big sign of how child friendly it must be. I know from being an aunty that my little nieces and nephew would have loved it there as would my sisters!
Want to find out more about Daios Cove?
Nightly rates at Daios Cove are from €230 (£202*) in a Deluxe Sea View Room on a half board basis. For more information or to book visit: daioscove.com or call +44 20 3807 1418.
*Price in pound sterling accurate according to today’s exchange rate.