Stand up Paddling in Chania

Maybe it’s that I’m an Aquarius, but i’m often more comfortable out on the water than I am on land. I’m constantly tripping over my own feet. Anyone else like that too? I can’t be the only one. I digress however. When I travel to a new place, especially tropical island locales, one of the first things I do is research all the aquatic activities possible. I mean anything, snorkeling, kayaking, canoeing, but lately I’ve been drawn to stand up paddling, and Chania had the perfect calm waters to try it out. A quick online search directed me to a local tour company in Chania called Sup in Crete.

I shot them a quick email enquiry about SUP tours since I’m a solo traveler and there didn’t appear to be any group tours available. They wrote back promptly and said they didn’t offer group tours (unless you yourself come in a group) but that they’d be happy to put together a private tour for me. Expecting this to cost a fortune, the came back to me with a list of itineraries and prices and they were surprisingly reasonable. They asked me what I was looking for in a tour, I even mentioned wanting to have a traditional lunch since I was a Chef and they put together the ultimate day tour for a very reasonable €150. Yes this is more than I normally spend on a day tour, but given the personalized tour, it was actually a great value.

I was picked up by Stefanos and Kostas at my hotel and we drove up to the starting point of the tour at Loutraki Beach.

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Bring Sunscreen!!!

The boards were great and stable for a first timer since they were very stable and finding the sweet spot on the board was pretty easy. We spent a couple minutes talking safety on the beach and then we were out on the water. They promised you only learn by doing. They were right. I was standing and paddling within a couple minutes. Being a kayaker definitely helped me learn how to navigate the board.

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After settling in on the board we were on our way to Akrotiri cape. Note* the paddle out to the cape isn’t easy for a first timer. It’s long and the water gets a bit choppy but I’m a masochist and I love adventure so I chose to do the hardest and longest tour. But I’m living proof that it can be done by a beginner! Also Stefanos and Kostas were so patient and encouraging, especially when I was getting frustrated by myself for not being an expert in 5 minutes. They definitely took me through some cool places on the way to our first stop and it was so fun admiring the beautiful coastline.

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After a quick break we were back on our boards on our way to the secret cove.

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We stopped for a fantastic lunch by the beach. I wish to God I had written down what the restaurant was because it was fantastic. It was full of locals on a weekday afternoon. Sign of a good experience to come. There were plates upon plates of seafood (that I didn’t realize I was too hungry to take a photo of) They had told the Chef I was interested in the local cuisine and he stopped to talk to us. He invited me to cook with him for an evening but I unfortunately had to leave. A decision I regret to this day!

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After taking some quick group photos it was back on our boards. There was a storm approaching so I was warned of some very choppy waters on our way back. They weren’t lying. I spent most of the way back paddling on my knees for stability.

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New Friends Stefanos and Kostas

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We returned to Loutraki beach at around 13h30 where I was able to walk around the resort grounds for a break while they packed up the boards. They dropped me back at my hotel around 15h00. All in all this was the best day I’ve ever had on the water, and one of my favourite days on the road. They offered to take me out to Seitan Limania another day but I just couldn’t fit it into my schedule (another regret I have till this day). If you’re in Chania and looking for a fun adventure/day out on the water, please check these guys out. They were incredible and so was the tour!! P.S all these photos were taken by Kostas and were included in the tour. Private tour and private photographer…score!

Don’t forget to pin this for later

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