Friday, 28 June 2013

Stay and eat at Rooms and Taverna Panorama... with your dog

Rooms and Taverna Panorama should probably be classified as 'dog-tolerant' rather than 'dog-friendly'.
View over Elafonissi Beach from Taverna Panorama 
Last summer, having spent years enjoying the incredible, empty beaches of East Crete, I decided I had to explore the West a little. It was a bad choice to turn up at Elafonissi - one of the busiest beaches on the island - at midday, in late July. We had already been camping the night before. We had a long, sticky drive from the south coast at Rethymnon. We'd had several rows and a long bitter silence. It was just one of those trips.

So when we arrived at the overcrowded car park, hot and tired and annoyed, I just wanted to check in to a room as quickly as possible. 

We went to the nearest Rent Rooms that we found driving back up from the beach. We left Sage in the car when we went to ask if dogs were permitted, which was probably a bit sneaky of us. They said 'yes'. However, there was a look of horror on the faces of the staff when we turned up in the Taverna a few minutes later, with Sage. They told us that they didn't usually allow such BIG dogs to stay in the rooms... they hadn't realised she would be so BIG...etc etc. We stayed, but I was feeling really uncomfortable. Everyone in the taverna was staring at us. Sage barked at a cat and we had looks of disapproval all round and a warning from the waitress.
View from the Taverna Panorama

The food was fine. The views were amazing. The taverna was pretty with lots of plants and interesting decor. We went to have a long sleep in the nice, clean room with air conditioning (55 Euros per night). I was feeling better.
Website for Rooms and Taverna Panorama:

Our exploration of the beach was similarly uncomfortable. We turned up quite late in the afternoon, with Sage on the lead. It's true that there were clearly "NO DOGS" signs all over the place, so we were pushing it. But we wanted to pass quickly and quietly through the sun-bed part of the beach, to go and sit over on the rocks far from anyone else. The guys in the cafes along the beach were shouting at us, threatening to call their managers, generally tutting and swearing and telling us to leave. 

Sage enjoying the sunset from the rocks to the west of Elafonissi Beach
This is a very special beach with a brilliant blue lagoon, white sand consisting of perfect tiny shells, sand dunes with lilies and junipers, and is also a nesting place for the endangered species of sea turtle - the careta careta. All of this considered, it's not a good place to bring your dog. Have a look at the description on the Cretan Beaches website:

We walked on a couple of km around the coast from the lagoon, collecting sea salt from the rocks. Here we could relax a little, there was nobody around, and we watched a beautiful sunset. It could have been any patch of rocky coast anywhere on the island however, I hardly got to see the lagoon or the perfect shelly sand at all. 

Back at the Taverna Panorama that evening. I can't even remember what happened (I think another minor indiscretion with the cat), and more nervous and annoyed glances from the staff, more tuts and warnings to be careful...I felt like I'd walked in with a bear or something. This caused another argument between us as tempers were frayed. I just get tired of feeling like I am committing some terrible crime by being out and about with my dog. 

The following day we walked the other way along the rocks (past the angry swearing cafe guys) and found another quiet spot on the rocks. It wasn't easy to swim here, too many rocks in the water, but I managed to float around a bit and cool off, looking at beautiful Elafonissi in the distance.

I definitely recommend going to see this beach. I don't recommend going with a large dog unless you have found accommodation that is fully dog-friendly in advance. Or maybe with a smaller, 'cuter' dog than Sage. 

View Larger Map

No comments:

Post a Comment