Traveling with a Toddler – Crete, Greece: Elafonissi Beach

This morning we awoke around 8am and slowly started our day. We’d stopped at a small market yesterday on our drive here to get some essentials for the house. As I mentioned, Villa Irene is beautiful but remote, with only a few restaurants nearby that are open since it’s off-season.

Our only alarm clocks were the sunrise and #1 toddler

We spent a bit more time this morning playing in the swing set while Amir planned navigation for our drive to Elafonissi Beach. We’ve learned to take screenshots of Google Maps and save them to your smart phone to ensure you have a map even without internet or cellular service.

Along the way we met some sheep. #1 Toddler was happy to place the “bahhhh” sound with the real thing.

Seaside chapel

Elafonissi Beach is world famous, a usual player on those infamous Top Beaches in the World lists. Its pink sand and crystal clear water are unique. In the summer it’s quite crowded, but today it was just us and the kite surfers.

The beach was warm but super windy. I can’t imagine it’s this windy year round or you’d never be able to keep your beach blanket in one place.

After watching the kite surfers do some flips, we walked the beach and collected a few shells. The wind was getting the best of us and threatening to knock over #1 Toddler, so we decided to wrap up. We took a last survey of our private beach and headed to the car in search of lunch.

Kochilas Tavern near Elafonissi Beach

Our AirBnB hostess, Maria, gave us lunch recommendations. We opted for Kochilas Tavern due to its proximity to Elafonissi and robust menu of fresh seafood.

Elderly Greek men sit and enjoy drinks and conversation

We picked a table near the window. There’s a lovely patio open during the high season. The waitress greeted us and was immediately smitten with #1 Toddler. She brought her a toy truck and a high chair. Everywhere we’ve gone, the people have been so welcoming to a toddler. We’ve not once felt put out, even when she’s spilled or dropped things.

Monster truck and seashells, the perfect toy combination

Amir and I always like to divide and conquer a menu. He selected the fresh fish, while I opted for the grilled octopus. We knew chicken souvlaki would be a hit with you know who. We went 3 for 3. Winning.

Grilled local fish, vegetables and hand cut fries
Grilled octopus, vegetables and hand cut fries

To drink, I ordered a Fix beer and Amir a Greek soda called Gazoza – think Sprite meets bubblegum flavor.

We ate everything on our plates, but I was craving just a little something sweet. We asked our waitress (who by the way turns out to also be the chef and owner) about dessert. She mentioned something about yogurt and glaze, and returned 5 minutes later with 3 plates – Greek yogurt with sour orange topping and Kataïfi, a straw-like filo pasty with walnuts, honey and spices. Oh, and two shots of raki. This woman was my new best friend.

Raki and Greek yogurt with fruit topping
Kataïfi

We settled up and headed back to Villa Irene. The drive back was beautiful but uneventful. My two other travelers both took 3 hour naps while I caught up and wrote yesterday’s post. We had planned to take an afternoon walk to explore the area right around Villa Irene, but the day got ahead of us, and the sun was soon setting.

2 thoughts on “Traveling with a Toddler – Crete, Greece: Elafonissi Beach”

  1. Yummy food ! I think Kataifi is the same as Egyptian Konafa. I must ask Amir.
    Loved the sheep and yes, ‘baaaah’ is an important word for Evie, I agree !
    I fervently believe that money spent on Disneyworld is far better spent on this type of cultural adventure. Evie is learning to love History and what is important ….and having a lot of fun doing it.

    Like

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