[Gifted holiday by jet2holidays]
I’m probably starting in the wrong place – I should probably explain that we got married before I dive into our minimoon. On July 6th, we tied the knot after just over a year of planning. I’ve got 101 photos, so I’m sure I’ll eventually get round to sharing some of them here – but with that said, the whirlwind of the last year hasn’t slowed since then, with my new job and just simply life as two 30 somethings. It’s just being an adult, isn’t it?
After the wedding, we wanted to take a break – just something short as we have plenty of other holidays booked this year (I’m off on a Norwegian Fjord cruise, we’re going to Dublin with friends and California for Thanksgiving), so we only wanted to take the week. At first, we fancied somewhere UK based with Peggy but the closer it crept, the more we wanted some sun. We realised we hadn’t been on a ‘beach holiday’ since 2013, and the lure of the sunbed and a good book was strong.
I adore Greece – I always have done. And have been to a handful of islands (Kefalonia being my favourite). Crete has been high on my list since reading The Island, and it was a fairly quick decision this is where we were headed. We chose a 5 night break, to the beautiful Royal Blue Resort – something fairly new to us. Traditionally, we’re self catering people – we like to DIY our holidays, but in this instance, on the quest for pure R&R, we dove head first into the sophisticated world of the Royal Blue, Crete with Jet2Holidays.
(Oh, and all these photos were shot on film! A little something different – my Dad picked me up a secondhand Canon FTB (circa 1963) a few months back and this was it’s first outing. Seeing as it’s fully manual and I haven’t picked up a film camera since my A Levels over a decade ago, I’m really pleased with how they came out!)
We drove up to the airport the night before (we left on the Sunday night after the wedding on the Saturday), grabbed some dinner after leaving the car and headed to bed for our early flight. We often fly from Birmingham when we go with Jet2 because it’s only a 2 hour drive from us and we find it such an easy airport (not to mention cheap hotels and parking). The flight was just under 4 hours and despite me being a fairly uncomfortable flyer, was as smooth as can be – we checked our luggage (which you can always do with jet2, another reason we’re big fans, up to 22kg per person) and I slept most of the way there. Transfer sorted (another bonus of this kind of trip), we were at our resort by lunchtime. A welcome drink and some meze to refuel, we were shortly sunning ourselves at one of the two pools at the Royal Blue. We opted for the adults only pool, and enjoyed the 35 degree heat and fresh pool in peace – which is exactly what we came for!
Royal Blue Resort is located on Crete’s northern coast, and we flew into Heraklion airport with Jet2. It calls itself a luxury resort and I’d certainly say, it ticks the boxes. Contactless door entry, an amazing breakfast buffer, cool flannels and watermelon round the pool – not to mention an app to allow you to order cold drinks to your sunbed. We’d never been anywhere like it before – even with a handful of children around, it was always calm and quiet. There were activities available like personal training (which of course we didn’t get involved in), and we spied beautiful waterfront villas with infinity pools. As the hotel is right on the cliff edge, the main pool and sunbed area looked straight out over the sea. We were big fans of the Island Bar, with it’s Instagrammable furniture, beautiful view over the water and happy hour.
Being us, we couldn’t sit still for too long so we hired a car through the hotel for three days. It was a really reasonably priced and they organised it painlessly for us. I wanted to visit the town of Plaka, some two hour drive from the Royal Blue, to see where The Island was set (and visit Spinalonga – more on that here if you want to know more!). We set off, on the hottest day of the week no less, and spent the day exploring. We also hired a boat one day, and drove into the Cretan mountains for a hidden dinner spot. We can’t help but explore when we go away, and having the Royal Blue as our base was fantastic. It was the perfect mix of relaxation and luxury – I dread to think how many Mythos round the pool Sam consumed, but getting through three books in five days says we were doing something right!
Overall, we had a brilliant time at the Royal Blue with Jet2Holidays . This is our second trip with them (read about our first here) and we genuinely rate them as a company to travel with. I said last time but we find the flights so easy and straightforward, the staff (and their presence at the airports) so helpful, the fact that you can check luggage and the quality of the accommodation great. Although a ‘package’ holiday, the Royal Blue felt nothing of the sort, with a real mix of nationalities and all the high-end amenities you’d expect from a 5* resort. Can’t recommend enough!
If you’ve landed here, you’re probably looking to find out more about Katherine-Louise. Run by me, Kat - put simply I'm a 30 year old who is decidedly normal. My blog is a destination for women just like me - the same interests and aspirations, working our way through the same twists and turns of life. Katherine-Louise is designed to inspire and inform; to give you a break from the norm as well identify with the beauty of routine. A fifteen minute recoup, or an hours vacation, it’s the go-to for Everyday-Joe’s, just like me, who want a few minutes off the radar.