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10 days in Crete (with no car) and kids - Help

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We will be spending about 10 days in Crete in the summer. It will be our first time there! We will have NO CAR and plan to take the bus. I hear the bus is reliable. Please help me decide where to go, and where to base ourselves! We will have young kids, so can't move around from place to place with luggage, and prefer to base ourselves in one scenic quaint location and take day trips. Hence, we were thinking of basing ourselves in Chania for 7 days, and then moving to 3 nights in Heraclion. From Chania, we can take day trips to Rethymnon, ancient city of Gortyna, Paelochora, etc. We are staying in Heraclion as our plane departs from there, and we have to be at the airport early. Also, staying in Heraclion allows us to visit Knossos for 1 day and the Archeological museum another day. We are more interested in culture, food, and scenic areas (as opposed to spending alot of time on the beach). We want to some easy hikes, but can't do very long ones with small children. Also, any suggestion on family -friendly budget accommodations apartments/hotels will be great! We are traveling on a budget and prefer to pay less than $100/ a night. We have been successful renting apartments in the past, so prefer apartments for the space and kitchen usage. We don't need the hotel amenities like breakfast, pool, TV, etc, just a larger than average clean place that is central to places, and safe. Thanks!

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