A Very Sunny Holiday in Domes of Elounda, Crete

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Jess, aged 13, writes: When I found out that we were to be travelling to Domes of Elounda in Crete for our summer holiday, I was really excited. We don’t usually visit sunny countries, let alone “luxury” resorts, so I couldn’t wait to relax in the sun, go swimming in the sea, and eat loads of delicious food. However, I didn’t realise that it was going to be so much better than that…

 

We stayed in a family suite, and it was lovely. The rooms were large and spacious and upon arrival after midnight, we had sandwiches and fresh fruit in our room in case we were hungry! The bath products smelled amazing, and there was even a hot tub outside (though it took us a while how to work out how to use this!)

The view from our villa was gorgeous!
The view from our villa was gorgeous!

The view from our villa was gorgeous, and was so fantastic that it made its way onto our Bests of 2015. We arrived at Domes of Elounda late at night, so we couldn’t see anything out of our window until the morning. When I woke up and opened the curtains, I audibly gasped as the view was so stunning – the sea was a beautiful vibrant blue, the sun was high in the sky, and the famous island Spinalonga was in the middle. I ran into mum and dad’s room, basically commanding them to draw their blinds as it was just exquisite!

There were so many different food choices at Domes, and everything we tried was delicious. My favourite place was Topos, a fish restaurant beside the sea. We loved the fresh fish and mezze (especially the fried courgette with tzatziki). The food tasted so fresh, and it was miles nicer than the Greek restaurants in London. We also loved the Minoan cooking, which is made outside Topos once a week. Everything is cooked outside in Minoan-style ceramic pots, and there was lots of bread, soup, meat, and salads.

The food at Domes was all delicious (everything in the picture above is from breakfast!)
The food at Domes was all delicious (everything in the picture above is from breakfast!)

The main buffet is named Tholos, and the breakfasts there were amazing. There were smoothies, cooked food, fruit, and looads of delicious cakes. They also made special food for Robert as he has allergies, which we all really appreciated. The buffet had special themed nights, such as fish night, Cretan night, Middle Eastern night, Greek night, and Italian night, but our favourite was Asian night due to the scrumptious curries. Mum and dad also had supper at the à la carte restaurant, Anthos, which they really enjoyed (and which was adults only!)

The beach at Domes of Elounda was one of the nicest I’ve ever been to: the view was magnificent, it was quiet, there were lots of places to sit (including some shade which we all appreciated), and there was the bar and the Topos restaurant nearby. The sea was fantastic; it got deeper and deeper very gradually, so we could wade in really far and go swimming. When you looked down, there were plants and possibly fish beneath you, and the water was so clear and blue. Some days, we spent our entire time at the beach as it was so lovely!

The beach was gorgeous, sunny, and quiet.
The beach was gorgeous, sunny, and quiet.

There was a water sports centre on the beach, and Robert was really looking forward to having a go. He went water skiing and says: “it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done, it was so amazing and I want to do it again”. Dad and Robert also went canoeing in the sea, and we all took a speedboat to the island of Spinalonga, which was so much fun.

Robert adored going water skiing.
Robert adored going water skiing.

We also spent lots of time by the swimming pool, which was absolutely massive. There was a special pool just for the adults, but (obviously) we didn’t go in that one…

The Soma Spa at Domes of Elounda is luxurious, and there is even a special menu for kids. I enjoyed my watermelon facial, and mum and dad loved their massages. Domes also has lots of other activities in the resort, such as play rooms for kids (including table tennis and video games), private tennis lessons, and a magic show. All of these aspects made our visit even better.

Robert had his own private tennis lesson!
Robert had his own private tennis lesson!

We went on two trips during the holiday – one to Spinalonga, and another to Knossos. Robert has written about Knossos here, as there was so much to see that we think it deserves its own post! The palace of Knossos is a beautiful ancient palace, which proves that the Minoan civilisation actually existed. During our visit, we saw incredible murals, antique vases, and archaic architecture. It was utterly fascinating, although it was really hot…

The Palace at Knossos, Crete
The ancient Palace at Knossos

We also took a speed boat to the island of Spinalonga, which only took five minutes. This was so much fun, and I loved having the wind in my hair and seeing the water splashing around us. Spinalonga has a very long and interesting history – throughout history, it has been a leper colony, a fort for defence, and a refuge for Ottoman families fleeing Christian reprisals.  We spent about an hour exploring the island: climbing up old buildings, visiting an old church and a haunting cemetery, and then relaxing in the shade under trees. It was picturesque, but simultaneously so strange to think of such a pretty place being almost a prison to those with leprosy.

Exploring Spinalonga was a strange experience - it was fascinating, but also very sobering.
Exploring Spinalonga was a strange experience – it was fascinating, but also very sobering.

In conclusion, we adored our holiday at Domes of Elounda in Crete. Everyone was just so kind and friendly, everything looked and felt so luxurious, the food was delicious, and there was just so much to do. If only we could go back…

Disclosure: we were very fortunate to be hosted at Domes of Elounda, although they had absolutely no input into this piece. Rooms start from £120 per night for sea view suite, including breakfast and taxes. We flew to Domes via Easyjet and (because it was summer!) flights were not cheap – around £500 each. One upside was that we flew via Sovereign Holidays, which meant we had lounge access – a real boon as the flight was delayed!

More by us:

Travelling Times: Our Top Places to visit in 2015

A day in beautiful Broadstairs, Kent

 

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37 Responses

  1. Tina

    This sounds like a brilliant place for the whole family. I love the way that you have explained why you all enjoyed it – you, your brother and your parents. It looks beautiful. I can see why you’d like to go back!

    • Jess

      Thank you for your comment! We had an amazing time – it definitely makes a change from rainy London…

  2. Jen

    Wow, just Wow. This looks like a fantastic place that ALL my family would love. I have never been to Crete

  3. Mums do travel

    This looks like a wonderful place to stay. It’s great that the spa offers treatments for kids, and I’m glad that Robert enjoyed water skiing .

  4. Bear and Cardigan

    I loved Crete! I am going to look at this holiday as I am just looking at a holiday for this year. I really didn’t like Knossos though. Sorry to say, it was mostly modern reconstruction. It was a shame because I have wanted to go there since I was little and learnt about the Minoan’s in school. I am glad you loved it though.

  5. Esther

    Wow! This looks really beautiful. It tells me I need my own luxury holiday. Beautiful holiday and pictures indeed.

  6. Kara

    Crete is almost the only Greek Island I have not been to, but I love it over there – everyone is so relaxed and friendly. Fingers crossed we get to go one day

  7. Jon

    This looks brilliant – love the idea of waterskiing and canoeing. My boys would really like this.

  8. Elanor

    Wow, this looks like a fantastic place to visit! I love finding out about history, so the palace at Knossos would be top of my list of things to do 🙂

  9. Nell@PigeonPairandMe.com

    Jess I think you need to persuade your Mum to take you on more holidays to hot places! You’ve done a fantastic job of making us all desperate to visit Domes of Elounda. I love the video too, especially the clip of you and Robert speeding along the water together. Fantastic post.

  10. Lucy Zelazowski

    What a beautiful resort, looks impressive. I love all the extras you received in your suite. Nice to hear its decent size accommodation, always help for family stays.
    I love you video, you must be super proud of daughter she done a fantastic job. x

  11. kirstie

    Spinalonga is firmly on my list after reading the brilliant Victoria Hislop novel. I think I now need to prioritise!

  12. Trish

    Like Kirstie, I have been keen to visit the area, and Spinalonga in particular, after reading Victoria Hislop’s novel. What a treat for you all. I could just do with some Greek sunshine right now.

  13. Aparna

    Hey Jess,
    truly amazing post…
    well at the age of 13 you are just awesome.
    I hope you enjoyed skiing, the video created was fantastic really loved the experience you people had together.
    Keep posting 🙂

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