|On the hike from Agios Ioannis beach to the |
We went for a live concert in one of the small tavernas. Unfortunately, I can't find the name of the taverna, as it was definitely NOT dog-friendly. It was situated away the beach, 200m into the village. It proved a problem that we had the dogs with us, when we tied them up outside they were barking and disturbing the music, we got in trouble if we had them (sitting quietly) inside. There was no outdoor space to sit with them. In the end we had to leave them in the car. Apparently they had received complaints in the past.
We camped that night on the beach. Sage was there with her friend Mayia, and the two of them ran around all night too excited to sleep. At least the beach is quite contained and they didn't go far.
There are rent rooms in Agios Ioannis but I did not ask whether they allow dogs.
|Sage and Mayia with a friend on the beach at Agios Ioannis|
In retrospect, we should have left earlier in the morning, as the path is fairly exposed for most of the way and it turned out to be quite far. At our hungover pace, I think it took us almost 2 hours to get there (and 1.5 hours back). There were some spectacular views along the path though, every few metres we went there seemed to be another, more secluded, even more beautiful cove - perfect for free camping.
|On the hike to the Monastery|
|View from the Chapel of Agios Antonios|
|On the hike to Koudoumas Monastery|
|Resting on the beach below the Monastery|
Arriving back at the beach at Agios Ioannis, we sat at the taverna nearest to the sea (again, I don't remember the name!!) where they were more than happy to let our dogs stay with us. In fact, they didn't mind that we let them loose to wander about on the terrace.
Sage really enjoyed this trip. As well as sleeping on the beach, being allowed freedom to explore with her friend, and a long hike through the mountains, there was also a huge amount of bones to chew on after we finished our post-hike steaks.
In fact we did this trip twice. The second time was later in the year, sometime in late July. The beach was very crowded with lots of families and it turned out to be a very bad idea to take Sage there. There was no shade and the pebbles were burning her feet. Everyone glared at us if she went near the water so she couldn't cool off. We spent the day huddled under umbrellas, or drinking coffee in the tavernas - she was hot and bothered and bored. I would not recommend this particular beach in July-August, especially as there are many smaller, quieter coves to explore around the coast.
By the way: while searching for the tavernas online, I noticed this area is popular with climbers. The Climb in Crete website suggests various routes of different levels of difficulty:
Also of interest in the area is the church of Agios Ioannis (a short walk west from the village), which is also built inside a cave. This church preserves some beautiful Byzantine wall paintings
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