As the clocks go forward this weekend many of us are hoping for an improvement in the weather after what has been a rather long and dreary winter. But with no warm weather in sight here in the UK, many of us may well go in search for some warm sunshine, and there is no better place than the beautiful Greek islands.
There has been a sharp rise in people travelling alone and many hotels and resorts are now recognising this trend and catering for the solo traveller.
One such hotel is the boutique Mistral Hotel, located at Maleme near Chania in Western Crete. It is run by the Gialamarakis family and is open from April to mid-October, offering excursions to showcase the best of western Crete. The hotel also hosts walking, cultural, photographic, wellness, and cookery themed weeks. It is also within easy reach of some beautiful beaches, such as Falasarna and Elafonisi, as well as the Samaria.
The 2023 season offers a series of inspiring themed weeks for the solo traveller, with activities ranging from a Walking Week, exploring off-the-beaten-track routes across Western Crete, to a relaxing Yoga and Wellbeing Week, depending on what it is you are looking to do this spring and summer.
If you are interested in learning more about the island’s healthy Mediterranean cuisine, then you can always enjoy the Flavours of Crete Week where you will discover the provenance of delicious ingredients and use them to cook up a range of fabulous dishes.
The budding photographers amongst you may prefer to get some inspiration from the hotel’s Photography Week with expert tuition on how to get the most out of your camera and photograph some stunning images at some of the best locations on Crete.
For those of you who like to write, later this season there is going to be a Writing Week where you will be able to hone your creative writing skills and produce some interesting and entertaining articles or blogs about your holiday or any other travel experiences you may want to write about.
Hotel Guest Manager Anja Tsifaki said:
“Our themed weeks are designed to enable guests to learn fresh skills and enjoy new experiences, whilst also enjoying the relaxing surroundings and the friendly and welcoming environment of the Mistral Hotel.
“For each week, we have assembled expert and experienced tutors and guides to ensure guests get the most out of their stay during the themed weeks and learn new skills too.”
The first themed week is the Walking Week which takes place between April 25th and May 2nd and features four walks over the seven days through the rugged beauty of Western Crete, as well as the chance to experience the culture, history and animal life of the island.
The following week from May 2nd to May 9th, the Flavours of Crete Week is where you can learn how to cook a range of traditional Cretan dishes with hands-on cookery classes, as well as a behind-the-scenes insight into olive oil production, foraging in the hotel garden, wine tasting, and the opportunity to meet local artisan producers and restaurateurs.
From May 9th to May 16th the Yoga and Wellbeing Week will get you immersed in a healthier approach to life with organic vegetarian food, herbal teas, massages, sound therapy and five Yoga sessions led by instructor Aspasia, who has created a programme that combines Hatha, Vinyasa and Iyengar Yoga with mudras and marmas, and is specifically designed to restore health and vitality.
The Photography Week takes place between May 16th to May 23rd and the Writing Week then takes place from July 18th the July 25th.
All the themed weeks also include visits to the picturesque local beaches plus a trip out for a fish lunch at Sfinari to savour the famous Kakavia soup, as well as excursions to some other beautiful island locations.
Hotel owner Adonis Gialamarakis added:
“Alongside our themed weeks, we are also open for guests who want to just come and stay with us, find their own way around Western Crete, relax by our two pools and enjoy our famed cuisine, or explore with our exclusive range of excursions.”
The Mistral Hotel has 35 luxury rooms, all available for single occupancy, as well as two swimming pools, a spa and an outdoor bar and a restaurant. As well as being within easy reach of some stunning beaches and historic and archaeological sites, the hotel is also renowned for its traditional Cretan cuisine where the emphasis is on “homegrown home-made” Cretan fayre.
The themed weeks start from €1,358 including airport transfers. Alternatively, a seven night stay in a standard room during the season starts from €1,036. For more information, please visit: www.singlesincrete.com.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man On The Ground, a former member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.
Photographs courtesy of Mistral Hotel