Retreat to Crete: why the Greek island is a perfect escape

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The unspoilt northeast of Greece’s largest island offers a restorative mix of uncrowded beaches, authentic tavernas and extraordinary views

Sometimes, when you travel, you arrive somewhere so ridiculously picturesque, so dictionary-definition of how you expect the country to look, that you half suspect it was built as a film set, or has been “Disneyfied” specifically for tourists.

I get this feeling when I walk on to the small, horseshoe-shaped bay at Mochlos, Crete. Half a dozen restaurants, all cobalt wooden chairs, whitewashed tables and blackboards offer gyros and freshly caught fish. On the slim strip of stones that fringes the low sea wall, a handful of locals is towelling off after a late dip, the last two heads bobbing in the metallic blue water, the small, humpy island behind them backlit by the apricot-gold light of the sun, slowly dipping beneath the horizon.

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