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Crete vs Sardina for about 12 days in July 2016

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I'm thinking of either Crete or Sardina for about a 12 day trip next July. Number of days is flexible. We would be OK with renting a car. We like historic, pleasant small cities/towns/villages. Hill towns are nice, harbour towns even better. We love looking at the coast and enjoy walking along the beach. I love boat rides, even short ferry rides. But we aren't looking for a vacation where we sit on the beach for days at a time. I'm a photographer.

So far from my initial research on Crete I'm interested in Chania, Rethymnon, the south coast from Matala to Paleochora. The beaches at Elafonisi and Gramvousa look amazing. Not at all interested in Heraklion and would only do Knossos if I could do it from somewhere other than Heraklion. Also not interested in hiking the Samaria Gorge (I know, the two things most people do in Crete). Would probably fly in and out of Chania.

For Sardinia the west coast looks more interesting than the east, definitely not at all interested in Costa Smeralda. Cagliari looks interesting, then we'd probably go to Carloforte, Oristano (Thamos, S'Architta), Bosa, Alghero, Castelsardo and Santa Teres Gallura (and over to Bonifacio in Corsica and back). Would probably fly into Calgliari out of Olbia or vise versa.

Either of these sound better for our purposes? How about the timing - is about 12 days give or take a few about right for either of these? Other suggestions?


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