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Trip Report Crete (and Santorini ) Trip Report

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We went to Crete the end of April. We arrive at night at our hotel, CretaPalace, which was beautiful-- the pool, grounds, the beach, our room-which was in the main building, it's located in Rethymnon.

The next day we took a taxi into town (cost 7 euro, about 20 minutes) and explored the Venetian Fortezza- which had pretty views of the water, the Venetian harbor, the old town- it was nice. Then we took a taxi to Myli or Mili Gorge- we hiked for about 20 minutes each direction to the first waterfall and then back. It was quiet, serene, and nice, although not that easy. Then we got back to our hotel and relaxed the next day days.

Monday we went to Chania via public bus from the Rethymno bus station. It took about an hour to get there and cost around 7 euro each way. Chania was much warmer- about 85 degrees in the later afternoon, compared to Rethymnon which was about 72-75 tops during the day and 58-60 at night and in the morning. We walked around the old town, went to Etz Hayyim, saw the Venetian harbor. Also a nice day.

Tuesday we went to Knossos with a tour company- can't remember the name maybe bella tours?, saw the archaeological ruins of the Minoans palace, really an advanced civilization. We had an excellent guide; she really knew a lot about the place and Crete. At Knossos we bought a ticket that included admission to the the museum in the city of Heraklion. Later we browsed Heraklion's old town, and had time for only a few minutes in the museum.

Wednesday, we took a tour with the same company to Santorini. We first had an hour ride to Heraklion's port, then took a huge ferry, it almost looked like a cruise ship to Santorini, which took about 2 hours. (The same ferry continues further to other islands and Athens.) Santorini was beautiful- cliffs overlooking the water and unique architecture, but it wasn't more beautiful than Crete in my opinion. We went to two places: Fira and Oia? went shopping for souvenirs, and then had the option of going to a black sand beach or taking a boat ride to a volcano/ hot springs. They didn't tell us we had to jump off the boat and swim to the hot springs, otherwise we would have brought our bathing suits. Then we headed back to Santorini, Heraklion, and back to our hotel.

Thursday, we were thinking of going to Spinolonga, which use to be a leper colony, but decided it wasn't that beautiful or interesting. We really wanted to go to Samaria gorge, but it's a long hike and it's far from Rethymno, so we decided to hire a taxi through the hotel by the hour, and we told him we want to go to Lake Kournas, Imbros gorge, and anything else that is pretty along the way. First we went to a place overlooking Episkopi beach. Then we went to Lake Kourna, where we rented peddleboats- the lake is pretty. He then drove us to Imbros Gorge, at first he took us to a lookout and showed us part of the gorge, but we insisted we wanted to hike part of it. I'm glad we did because it was beautiful! Wished we had more time there, but we only hiked for about 45 minutes total. He also took us to a an overlook by the Libyan sea, which was nice. After that we went to a beach, very clear water, and kind of protected on all sides by rock- which was about 25 minutes away from our hotel (can't remember the name). He told us the first strip of water would be cold but after that it would be warm, but it was freezing, so we got out and then drove back to our hotel.

The next 2 days we spent relaxing at our hotel. It's right on the beach. And the following Sunday we left to go back home. Was beautiful and next time I want to include Athens in our trip.

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