Winter is not the first season that comes to mind when you think of a beach. Beaches in the winter are usually pictured with a giant “CLOSED” sign, deserted, and cold. Apparently not for everyone! The love of sea and swimming has spurred the rise of what has become known as “winter swimming”, an activity which can be hard to imagine if your vision of outdoor waters revolves around beach bars with loud music, noisy crowds, and umbrellas.
In the winter time, except for a few courageous surfers, you find yourself alone in a raw but authentic landscape. The mere sound of the sea waves and the salty ocean air calm the mind and relieve stress. Taking long walks along the shore inspires self-reflection and (why not?) your new year’s resolutions, before you sit and witness a most beautiful winter sunset. It is also an excellent opportunity to familiarize with the wildlife found on the coast, like bird species who stopover on their way to south for migration, seaweed, crabs, seagulls and seashells.
Standing in your swimming costume on the slipway of a beach in January is like going on a condensed holiday. Swimming’s solitary, meditative quality has that way of transporting you out of your normal world. Little focuses the mind so well as being in water so cold that your breath will literally be taken away.
Scientists who study immersion in cold water note different stages in the physiological response. During the first two minutes, the skin cools, giving the swimmer the sensation of burning or prickling. The heart pumps faster to keep the body warm flushing the cardiovascular system with blood. But as you continue to swim, you just feel really good: the combination of increased estrogen and testosterone production with the activation of endorphins results in a physical chemical cocktail whose mental-health benefits are transformative.
A daily dip in bracing and invigorating waters is an activity you want to embrace, rather than to shy away from. It bestows supercharged energy and a rosy, lit-from-within glow that lasts long after you return to the shore. It is a mood-elevating experience that is both fun and addictive.
Winter swimming in Chania, Crete
“It’s August 77th!” is a typical joke among Greek winter swimmers who refuse to put away their beach towel and swimsuit in the drawer just because mid-October is generally regarded as the end of the outdoor-swimming season. Unlike their European counterparts, they do not need to plunge in icy lakes and rivers nor do they need to buy fancy neoprene suits. The average temperature of most Greek seas ranges from 14 to 16 degrees Celsius during the coldest winter months, with 14 degrees being suggested as the minimum water temperature at which wetsuits are optional. In fact, in the island of Crete the sea temperature until December is no lower than in June (18-19°C), which means that a winter swimmer does not need to muster every ounce of courage to dive in. All they need to do is travel 20 minutes to the nearest stretch of coastline, as it is estimated that nobody in Crete is ever any further than that from a designated swimming spot.
Physis Villas: A place to winter
2020 has been a year of instability and imbalance due to the pandemia and now’s the perfect time to consider realigning your physical and mental health. So if you’ve been contemplating a winter on the beach, brave the seashores and lakes of Chania, discover just how beneficial it can be and… consider Physis Villas!
Physis Villas is the special kind of oasis for you, a welcoming space that embraces winter beach travelers, offering:
Our villas are perfectly situated on the crossroad from West to East
and from North to South, 20 minutes being the longest drive
to the best known beaches of Chania,
like Aghii Apostoli, Kalamaki, Stalos, Balos, Falassarna, Sougia, Paleochhora, etc.
The micro-climate of the Aghia Lake enjoys breezy, beautiful, and sunny daytime
and chilly, moderated temperatures during night
Our villas are places with soul, making our guests feel like a warm home away from home
“Chlorine is my Perfume”
If the sea temperature happens to be an inconvenience or you just feel like relaxing at home, you may still enjoy some laps in our private swimming pool amenities
Our villa managers feel the glorious possibilities the local area has to offer.
By understanding your needs and offering tailored tips and advice, we will make your stay a memorable experience