"2007 to 2010 we travelled around the world in a Land Rover Discovery3.
In 2018 we departed for a second overland adventure with our daughter on board our 4x4 Iveco VM90 camper. Follow our dream here!"
- Vula, Anastasia and Akis -
Crete is an amazing island especially wintertime. Yesterday noon we left Chania for a second time under a light rain. The same morning, weather was crisply sunny. We climbed on the slopes of the White Mountains (Lefka Ori in Greek) and descended the twisty road to Sfakia “country”. The little port felt wet and lonely, most tavernas were closed. At Faros restaurant – which was closed – we were offered a greek coffee and some precious tips during a short chat with the owner. He advised us to drive to Agios Ioannis village – which is a dead end and stay there. We did it. It was a wet and cold night we spent inside our camper.
We woke up under continuous rainfall with our roof window leaking seriously. We wanted to walk to the “Selouda Balcony” but the weather was not appropriate for trekking. We tried to fly our drone on the iron bridge of Aradaina, which connects the rims of a spectacular gorge but it was not possible either. Raining all the time. So we took the twisty tarmac road to the beach and – imagine what – the weather cleared again. It was pretty windy but we took the risk for a drone flight with views to the Libya sea and Gavdos island – the southernmost in Europe. For an hour it felt like springtime. After the flight we drove to Fragokastelo or Castelfranco, e delapidated Venetian castle. It was so windy there you couldn’t stand and the castle was closed. So we decided to proceed.
We drove to the east and after the Rodakino village we crossed Kotsifu gorge, under rain again. Light rain. But as soon as we crossed the narrow road passage we saw the weather getting seriously bad towards Rethimno. Black, menacing clouds promised a serious storm which arrived as soon as we arrived in town. It was so windy that we couldn’t park in the port – you felt that the waves would climb the dock and enter the town. So we found a hidden parking to survive and stayed there for the following two days!
This was a rare weather phenomenon in Crete, which provoked unprecedented damages to the island’s infrastructure. A historic bridge was destroyed by the river’s overflow.
We would like all our followers who took time to write us concerned about our safety. We are safe and sound and calm!
This morning we woke up with a view to the beach of Elafonisi. We actually parked few metres from the water and this place reminded us a remote beach we had found long ago in Mozambique. Its sand is white and thin like powder. We haven’t seen something like this anywhere in Greece, it looked as if we were in Zanzibar!
Water was crispy clear but we didn’t try to swim, as it was pretty cold. Take a look at the photo to understand the feelings we had this morning. After we collected some old plastic thrown to the beach by the Aegean winds we departed to Chania. We had to pay a visit to the doctor at the hospital because Anastasia didn’t feel good but she seems to have skipped the flu for the moment.
Now take a look at the other photo of the day. This is the place where we wild camp tonight. Its Omalos, a mountain plain on 1250 metres altitude, only 4 kms from the entry of the famous Samaria gorge (which is closed this period) and only 40 kms from Chania. Everything is white around, the snow is fresh and thick and white and we are practically on our own in the village.
This contrast of colours and landscapes we experienced today describes in the best possible way not only the island of Crete but Greece as a whole. Particularly during winter this contrast is even more dramatic. We could have a swim and some skiing the same day two hours apart in the same area!
From Elafonisi, Crete
Hello everybody from Crete! We are on the road again after an adventurous departure from Piraeus and two days of unprecedented bad weather in Chania. In total we stayed 26 hours in the ferry for a nine-hour trip, as the Coast Guard prohibited the departure of all ships from the major greek port. It was great for us as we enjoyed hot showers in the luxurious cabin and we were invited for dinner by “Elyros” captain Mr. Polomarkakis. Our trip to Chania was pretty comfortable despite the bad weather.
We arrived in Chania Friday evening and stayed for three nights in the communal parking next to the old town. On Saturday the Venetian town was beaten hard by huge waves and local people seemed devastated as marble plates at the waterfront were broken and the place was full of mud and plastic. On Sunday, weather was finally calm and everybody got to work to bring back the town in its glory. The same evening, Chania was beautiful as ever. We made two new friends in town, Alexis, a photographer from Thessaloniki who got married and lives in Chania and George, the owner of Cretajolic, a new travel agency specialised in eco-tourism.
We were supposed to leave the town yesterday but we needed to enjoy it a little bit more, so we were lucky to wake up this morning under a splendid sun. We took our drone for a flight around the lighthouse and then left towards Kissamos and Balos beach. This is the north-westernmost tip of Crete and one of the most iconic beaches in Greece. We drove up to a point and hiked a bit, so enjoy the pictures of the day. Later we drove to the south and tonight we wild camp with a view to another popular beach – Elafonisi.
We travel again and it feels good!
We are so excited because next week we will depart for a two-month trip at the Aegean islands with the Blue Star Ferries and ANEK LINES Οfficial Fan Page ships. These two companies support our project providing us the unique opportunity to travel to the remotest islands of Greece.
This island-hopping winter tour is a great challenge for the three of us. We approach it as an alternative off-road trip as well as a great history and cultural lesson for our daughter. Our collaboration with @BlueStarFerries and @ANEKLines gives us the chance to design a dream-route to popular and less visited islands and experience their genuine lifestyles winter-time, when mass tourism will not be there. All this with the fastest and most modern ferry boat fleet you can have in the Mediterranean.
In a couple of days we will embark ANEKLines Elyros ferry to Chania in Crete, where we will drive for the following two weeks or so. From Herakleion we will return to Piraeus from where we will follow the Cyclades lines towards Syros, TInos, Naxos, Ios and Santorini. From the majestic volcano island we will sail to Symi for a completely different tour in the Dodecannese. We will actually arrive to Kastellorizo – the most south-eastern Greek island – and then we will hop to Nisyros (where there is an active volcano), to Kalymnos, Astypalaia, Amorgos and back to Piraeus. The ultimate part of our Aegean adventure will be towards the north-eastern islands of Lesvos and Chios as well as to Samos.
Diaries, images and images from this special #TheGreekOffroad will be uploaded on this page, on our website www.theworldoffroad.com, on www.visitgreece.gr as well as on the Blue Star Ferries και της ANEK LINES Οfficial Fan Page.
On Saturday we will wrap up our #IVECO VM90 camper with a graphic adventure designed by talented greek artist GIP21 – aka George Panagiotou.
This is a teaser of our vehicle’s rear view where the people who will be following us on the road will have the chance to see our logo and website as well as our three-word motto – our travel manifesto:
DREAM. EXPLORE. RESPECT. This is exactly what The World Offroadstands for, what we really are as travellers.
We literally DREAM but with our eyes open. We really love to EXPLORE our planet as ourselves. And we RESPECT. We respect everybody and everything but more than anything we respect nature and local people and their cultures.
For more curious observers but only while our vehicle will be still, we inserted a little bit of good memories from our previous life on the back of the Iveco. Let’s say some highlights from our previous The World Offroad expedition and more. What do you think about the concept?