My life is a real struggle. To keep my hard-earned gold status on Star Alliance, I have to fly to Greece every year. This, obviously is a chore, because I have to eat a lot of food and sit in the sun.
Subscribe to learn more about how I earn miles in a greek airline program, even though I live in Poland.
The first time my wife and I had to complete this particular „mileage run,” her brother was working as a tour resident in Rethymno on the island of Crete. That made it an easy trip to justify! We could have visited Joseph AND earn our status on the way!
Crete is the biggest island in Greece. They have plenty of olive trees, very tall mountains, reasonably friendly sheep, and spectacular beaches. The sandiest and calm ones are located on the north coast – that is where the majority of hotels and towns is, including Rethymno.
The south coast is more rugged and rocky. Like the life of a Polish teenager, it is sharp and devoid of any comfort, soft sand, and all-inclusive resorts.
It has character though, in particular, some of the most exciting geography found on Crete. Joseph has recommended we visit Matala – a charming city by the bay.
And boy, Matala did NOT disappoint!
Since the rocks were easy to excavate, many artificial caves were created. The word is that during Roman times, these caverns were a designated burial place. This story does not really hold together, since the caves clearly have rooms and they are quite roomy for graves.
You could for example sit and work there if you reaaaally wanted to.
Since these caves are so comfy, why not live there?
That is what happened in the 60s. Hippies discovered the (then) secluded Matala, with it’s inviting caves, fantastic beach and the shining sun. Several celebrities spent time in Matala, including Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, and Joni Mitchell.
All was fun and games until the Greek dictatorship in the 70s. Hippies were chased away, and law & order got established. Fortunately not for long.
The hipster vibe is definitely felt throughout the town today. It is the most „Jamaican” place in the whole of Greece. Not in the fake, pushy, buy-Bob-Marley-T-shirts sense (although you can definitely do a lot of that!),
It’s just that the spirit of sixties seem to have lasted a bit longer here… Maybe Greece is a good fit for the free-love-enjoy-the-sun approach to life. Maybe it’s the sun, maybe ther is something in the water. Visit Matala to find out for yourself. You won’t regret it.