Monday, 15 October 2012

building an Island in Xerocampus

On extremely short notice my Brother managed to get an extra day off work and so joined the family for the weekend here in Crete.  Given the line of work that he is in and the hours he puts in it is a very rare occasion that he actually makes it over to the island. On this occasion he pulled it off.

He wanted to go for a swim, and my Mum wanted to take him somewhere that he hadn’t been before … so after a minor debate we settled for Xerocampus. Given that we live on an old volcanic rock, a majority of our beaches – at this end of the island - are dark brown in colour, however Xerocampus beach is sort of white.  With a slight stretch of the imagination, it’s as if you have been transported to a West Indian island.  The water is almost always crystal clear and the off white sand gives it a turquoise look, even now at what you would call the end of the season when the clear blue skies can no longer be guaranteed (we have had at least 3 clouds this month!) the water still looks inviting.

We packed up the whole family, excluding two very disappointed dogs, into the car and drove to the beach. This beach is on the south coast and is a little bit on the remote side. There are two ways of getting there from Sitia.  One is to head south as if you were going to Makri Gialos but in the middle of the island take the road to Zeros which will eventually take you to Xerocampus. The other way is to take the road to Palikastro and then over to Zakros where you will find the signs to Xerocampus.

My Brother, like most members of my family, is completely incapable of sitting still for longer than 30 seconds, when a beach is added to the situation the 30 seconds seem to become 15!  He decided, in all his wisdom, to make himself an island. He is as strong as an ox and within no time at all and to the great amusement of the rest of the family, had set about building the foundations of his island in the form of some rather large rocks. The Island then became a bridge and half an hour later had extended to one of the small rocky outcrops a few metres from the shore. Mission complete my Brother was ready to eat!

The beaches in Xerocampus are fairly safe for swimming, there are no strong currents and the water is quite shallow to start with, making it a good place to take young children. There are plenty of rocky outcrops to have a look at so take a mask and snorkel. There are also plenty of little coves if you would like a bit of privacy and at the same time the main beach is very long and open so take a sunshade.

This year was the first that I have seen sunbeds for rent on the beach, they are next to a small cafĂ© where you can pick up a light refreshment or two. There are tavernas in Xerocampus but I would recommend taking an icebox with some snacks and water.  With the beaches slightly lacking in shade I would recommend an umbrella or at least a ton of sun cream, if like me, you have fair skin.

In September the beaches sprout lilies directly from the sand. It is well worth the trip just to see the beach covered in lilies. Though please don’t pick them, let everyone else have a look at them too.  

No comments:

Post a Comment