Arthur à vélo sur la route de Platanos, Crète

Day 109 to 151: winter in Crete

Hello everyone !

After a short moment of absence, let’s go back to the different adventures that marked this end of the year during our time in Crete of this bike trip. Here’s a little video of the key moments of these last weeks:

After cycling along a small stretch of the coast, from Chania to Heralion, we decided to spend the winter in Crete. Indeed the island is very attractive with its mild climate, a pleasant pace of life and friendly people.

Arthur had to return to France for a week (to empty and give back the keys of his apartment). So Yasmina had to stay in Crete with the bikes and things.

A few people told us about “workaway”: a website on which people propose to offer accommodation and meals in exchange for 4 or 5 hours of work per day. So we sent some messages through the website and it was done! We found a workway in Kampos! Village of 50 inhabitants, in the mountains, 400 meters above sea level. We were staying at Apollo, a 58-year-old therapist from South Africa but of Cypriot origin. So we gave him a hand to harvest the olives and plant some vegetables.

Arthur à l'entrée du village de Kampos, Crète
Arriving in Kampos
Arthur, Yasmina et Apollo devant la maison à Kampos, Crète
The house and Apollo, our host

With us, there was Andra, a young Romanian of 25 years old. We spent the whole month of December at Apollo. We ate really well there, we went to the village’s tavern almost every night, at Leftheris and his son Manolis (here everyone is named Manolis) and we had almost no work to do. When Arthur’s got back from France, we spent Christmas together with Andra’s mother who especially came from Romania to spend the end of year holidays with her daughter.

Repas de Nöel à Kampos avec Apollo, Andra et sa mère Carmen
Christmas Eve !
Fishing on Christmas Day
Arthur et Apollo à la plage de Kampos, Crète
Christams day at the beach
le 25 décembre 2017, jour de noël, dans la maison à Kampos, Crète
Gathering in the kitchen with our neighbor

Although the house was quite old, a bit crumbling and not heated (we were really cold sometimes!), we keep good memories of this experience in Kampos with Apollo and Andra, two people with a big heart. But after more than a month here, in this eccentric place, we decided to leave. First of all, we headed to the city of Chania to spend New Year’s Eve.

Leaving for Chania
Yasmina à vélo sur la route de Platanos en Crète
Panoramic break
Arthur à vélo qui a pris en stop un jeune albanais sur son porte bagage arrière
Arthur took a hitchhikking young albanian guy on his bike
Réveillon du jour de l'an dans les rues de La Canée, Crète
Festive New Year’s Eve in the streets of Chania
Soir du réveillon du jour de l'an dans les rues de Chania (La Canée) en Crète avec Sam un américain de Floride rencontré sur couchsurfing. New Year's Eve in the street of Chania in Crete with Sam, from Orlando,Florida, that we met on couchsurfing.
We spent the New Year’s Eve on the busy, festive streets with Sam, a young american from Folrida, on vacation, who contacted us on couchsurfing.
Arthur et Sam le 1er de l'an 2018 sur le port de La Canée, Chania, Crète
On the port, the 1st of January, with our friend Sam.
Arc en ciel à La Canée, Chania, Crète
Rainbow over the city (Chania)

Then on January 3rd, we went to Paul’s house, a 38 year old british guy. Here we have a fully equipped house with all the necessary comforts. There is also a large garden with olive trees, some geese and chickens, a cat, a dog, a vegetable garden and the view of the white mountains. And above all, the sun! That we did not have very often at Apollo (because we were on the wrong side of the mountain)!

Eco-retreat terrasse
Lunch time !
Vue sur les montagnes depuis la maison de Paul, Eco-Retreat, en Crète. View of the white mountains in Crete from Paul's house, Eco-Retreat.
View on the “White Mountains” from our house.
Déjeuner à la taverne à Armenoi, en Crète, avec l'équipe de Eco-Retreat, janvier 2018. Lunch at the taverna in Armenoi, Crete, with Eco-Retreat team, january 2018.
Lunch at the village taverna with our new team.


We are close to the main road, we have easy access to the beach (about 40 minutes by bike) and to the big cities Chania and Rethymnon.

In the morning we work from 10am to 2pm: Arthur and Jeroen, a young Belgian, take care of pruning the trees, Yasmina takes care of the vegetable garden and the housekeeping.

Récolte des olives à eco-retreat, Crète
Harvesting olive trees at Eco-Retreat, and then we savor the delicious homemade olive oil !

Once the work is finished, we go fishing at the beach in Kalyves village. Although we don’t catch lots of fishes, Arthur does not give up and brings us some pretty fish from time to time.

poissons pêchés à Kalyves par Arthur
Two fresh fish for dinner (one from the sea, one from the river)!

For our first weekend, Paul took us all near Elafonisi, a beautiful beach in the south of the island, where we camped.

Week-end à Elafonisi
Week-end in Elafonisi
Yasmina sur la plage à Elafonisi, Crète
We enjoyed the place out of season, without all the tourists an the crowd of summer !
Baignade matinale dans la mer près d'Elafonisi, Crète
Morning swimming, water is pretty cold though !

In the coming weeks, we will certainly continue to work at Eco-retreat, wait for winter to pass and once the time has come, why not hit the road again: towards Turkey!

But stay connected, we will keep you informed of our next adventures!

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