Although it's been close to a month since our trip to Crete, we still think about our time there. The fresh scent of the seaside, the delicious food we indulged in and the gorgeous mountains we photographed.
As part of our journey, we stayed for two nights in a certified sustainable hotel called Olive Green. The hotel is located in the heart of Heraklion, just minutes from the main shopping streets. We were fortunate enough to stay at an upper level and our large balcony offered us stunning views of Heraklion's roof tops.
Beyond our hotel room, we explored some unexpected parts of Crete, which showed us an authentic and traditional side of the island which was more incredible than we ever imaged. Think rugged mountains, Zeus, sandy snows and herbal tea in a family-run cafe in remote parts of Crete. So let us tell you the story, of how you can have a sustainable trip around Greece's special island of Crete.
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Getting to Olive Green
Getting to Olive Green couldn't be easier due to its key location in the heart of Heraklion. We recommend aranging a transfer prior to your arrival. The hotel can help you with that.
A taxi transfer takes less than 15 minutes from the airport to the hotel's door. Heraklion is a port city from where you can take various ferries to enjoy day trips on other Greek islands. Olive Green is perfectly located just walking distance from the ferry terminal as well.
Once you arrive at the reception, you'll be welcome by friendly staff who can recommend you interesting things to do around Crete and Heraklion.
When we arrived at Olive Green we had a coffee and late breakfast at 626 lounge which is an all day lounge and city garden.
The concept of Olive Green
Olive Green has been designed with the concept of contemporary, high-tech luxury, combined with nature’s marvels and tradition. Olive Green believes in respecting our environment which is why they created an 100% eco-friendly building.
The moment you enter the hotel, you'll fall in love with the nature inspired surroundings. Everything is inspired by the eternal trademark of Crete: the mighty olive tree. the hotel is self sufficient due to its power generated by solar panels and other inovative features.
The rooms at Olive Green
There are three different rooms available at Olive Green: popular, urban and club.
The popular rooms are suitable for one or two people interested in experiencing the modern Cretan accommodation in style. There is wood and earthly tones with beautiful sunlight. Each room features a walk-in high pressure rain fall shower. Above the bed, you'll have a lovely image of a gorgeous Cretan landscape.
Urban rooms are modern with minimal décor and refined aesthetics. These rooms feature the same high pressure rain fall shower, yet they are more spacious for your comfort and can accommodate up to 3 people.
Located mostly on the 6th floor, the Olive Green Club rooms are moden, elegant and sophisticated. They offer stunning views of Herklion's rooftops and large balconies for abundant sunlight.
All rooms feature olive oil with Cretan bread, a bit of salt and raki to welcome the guests in the typical hospitable Cretan style.
Every room features a tablet which allows you to control everything in the room like the TV, the lights and the air conditioning. You can also use the smart concierge app on your tablet. This is all complimentary. There is also a handy mobile which you can use for free and make international phone calls or use the internet when you need to.
The Breakfast at Olive Green
There are two ways to enjoy breakfast at Olive Green: you can order an a la carte breakfast at 626 lounge or can indulge in a buffet style breakfast served in the hotel's own dedicated area. We tried both so we can compare them.
The 626 Lounge served incredible coffee and we absolutely adored the fluffy pancakes. We liked the ambiance a lot, comfortable and relaxed, with straw chairs and modern furnishing.
The hotel's own breakfast area was beautifully decorated with large olive tree wallpapers, making us feel like we are eating outdoors.
There are a variety of items you can indulge in for breakfast, including traditional biscuits and cakes, cold cuts, eggs and hot items. There are cereals, lots of sweets and jams and you can enjoy unlimited coffee as well. If you have a special dietary requirement just make sure to tell the staff so they can help you. In our case, they brought soy milk for our coffee for example.
Activities with Olive Green
We did so many interesting things in partnership with Olive Green that we will write a dedicated post for all the activities.
We started the day with a healthy breakfast, then went on a drive towards the village of Anogia. The trip is just over an hour by car. the roads are great for driving, with incredible landscape and beautiful chasms along the way. You'll see a sea of olive trees and as you get closer to the mountains, you might even see their peaks covered in snow. It was certaintly the case for us as we visited in April when it was still quite cold in the mountains.
En route to Anogia, we stopped at Delina Mountain Resort, where we had lunch. Delina is very special as it hosts many weddings during the summer. It's a traditional place with a spa, where you can see how cheese is made, walk around the grounds which are perfect for photography and see how lamb is being cooked in a traditional way. Delina is a family run business with a great history and heritage. The owner, Michalis, showed us around and told us that during summer, on a clear day, you can see Santorini.
We tried visiting Zeus' cave, but unfortunately there was too much snow to continue driving. After lunch, we went to visit the beautiful Sfendoni Cave in Zoniana then we had a traditional mountain tea with a cake in the heart of Anogeia at Cafe Michalos.
The second day, we went on a road trip to Vassilakis Estate to enjoy an olive oil tour and learn how it's made. We tasted some olive oil as well to understand the difference between types. It was great.
There are lots of options for all type of travellers and adventurers. Simply ask at the reception of Olive Green so they can recommend you something suitable for you personally.
Olive Green is a fantastic luxury and sustainable hotel with a modern interior and a eco concept. We loved the welcome, the staff and the food. The rooms were comfortable, with a lovely decor which made us feel at home.
We especially enjoyed the large baconies with the views and were touched by the welcome olive oil and bread so we can experience a true Cretan hospitality.
Original, sustainable and fun, that's how we would describe Olive Green Hotel in the heart of Heraklion, Crete.
Olive Green Hotel
Idomeneos 22, Iraklio 712 02, Greece
Thank you Olive Green for sponsoring this post and making our stay in Crete possible. We loved your club suite and we are impressed by your truly eco-friendly concept and traditional Cretan hospitality. All opinions in this piece are our own.