Whatever the question, YAMAS (cheers) is the answer

Read about how we travelled to Malia, Crete and got introduced to the most crystalline waters we have ever seen, took a driving tour through the rugged canyons, but most of all experienced a hospitality like no other.

We conducted our study on Greek culture in Malia. And we started off on a sailing yacht! An ideal way for traversing the north coast. We were greeted with a pure Greek coffee while stepping onto the brand new 12.35 meters long Malia Yacht. Legendarily beautiful and exclusive.

First, we paid a visit to Malia Island which has a small church nestled in the centre – undeniably enticing. We cruised between countless semi-deserted beaches and villages that time forgot. Our favourite one was Skagiado – fantastic for a long swimming stop, the waters had never been clearer and our eyes were resting on watching the life go by in tiny traditional white washed villages from afar. We continued our sailing trip towards the beautiful caves at Chersonissos where we spent some time fooling around and jumping off the yacht. We had our lunch stop here, which was also the first time we got the real taste of the Greek culinary – shrimp pasta and a cold beer with a raki on top. We concluded our day with driving off to the sunset, feeling like we are the only people in the world. We could have stayed out on the deck forever. We felt like we were hugging the coast and what a beautiful view it was. Still thanking our skipper Manos, he did an excellent job, and Despina, she took care of us at all times. They showed us that happiness is being on the water, definitely!

Brilliant summer weather, excellent views with a population dedicated to the very pursuit we meant to learn in one week: a never-ending love story with food and raki, continued on the land. We were staying at the Sunshine Hotel in Malia, just recently renovated. The owners took us out for a dinner the very first night (and each following as we kept on extending our stay because of how much fun – and good food – we had). Something we are always in search of when traveling is a good food and plenty of it and, oh, we found it here! We found it so much that you couldn’t possibly keep us away. All of it – the olive oil, the honey, the vegetables, the fruit—comes from the farm. Everything that doesn’t come from the sea, anyway. We had tasted everything from saganaki (fried cheese) – all kinds of cheese really, spanakopita (spinach pastry), soutzoukakia (meatballs), roast lamb, specialties like dakos (rusks topped with tomato, olive oil and cheese), grilled octopus – every possible seafood that we know exists, home produced wine and raki. Seduced for life with what’s surely the world’s most underrated cuisine is the least we can say.

But let us emphasise on the raki. Before traveling to Greece we have read in Lonely Planet that if there is one word that describes this country, it would be – Yamas (cheers). It is something so specific about their culture it’s even hard to explain! …While you eat and drink, it means you don’t drink, because you eat… You get me? Probably not. But the conclusion is: you can drink as much as you can as long as you eat! Even when you cannot anymore, still drink. Because Yamas is always the solution.

After spending 5 days with a local family we have to say, Cretans have really figured out their lifestyle. It goes without saying that being among them is rarely dull. Extremely spirited, presenting a lot of strength and hospitality that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. It is no wonder they distinguish themselves from any other nations. It was the first day that we understood the Cretan landscape is undeniably extremely artistic, but it was the family that hosted us that made this place impossible to forget.

Didn’t need: A return ticket home.

Brought back: A longing to return.

Have you ever felt this way?

PS. Watch our video, sailing the Crete:

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