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1st 2 weeks of April 2016 - Crete or Sicily?


Jun 10th, 2015, 01:04 PM
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1st 2 weeks of April 2016 - Crete or Sicily?

We got back Monday from our most recent trip... so of course, I'm already wanting to plan the next! ;-)

WHO: DH and I and our two sons (age 5 and 3 by then)
WHEN: 1st two weeks of April 2016 - probably about 16 nights on the ground total.
We are torn between Sicily and Crete. We've been to Italy 11 times, to Greece 4 times. We've not visited either of these islands. Since we are pretty limited to early April next year, we figured it might be a good year to do one of them. I've had four years of Greek but am very rusty. I speak broken tourist Italian (but have never even heard the Sicilian dialect to my knowledge).

WE LOVE IN A VACATION: ancient sights (understatement of the century, we'll happily hunt down the most obscure ones we can find!) and museums, churches and accompanying art, simple but good food, gardens/playgrounds/parks/beaches/pools - any combo of these will keep the kiddos happy (we try to see one sight for the grown-ups daily in the morning and do something fun for the kids in the afternoon).

DRIVING: DH has driven all over the Peloponnese and much of Italy (but only Rome and north).

DISLIKES: In general, we are pretty flexible. Two young kiddos require that. If the water is too cold for swimming, we will find a park to run around in and invent our own games. The main disappointment we would like to avoid is sights that are unexpectedly closed or only open for a very short period of time daily. Getting lost or accidentally ordering the wrong thing doesn't phase us. Not being able to see a sight we've been reading up on for ten months does. Also, I suppose the weather is always unpredictable and especially so in spring, but it'd be awfully nice not to have so much rain that we can't let the kiddos outside to burn off energy.

So... in early April, given our group and likes/dislikes, would you recommend Crete or Sicily?
TexasAggie is offline  
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Jun 11th, 2015, 07:53 AM
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Quick bump to see if any of the morning crew has feedback
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Jun 11th, 2015, 08:05 AM
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Crete and Sicily are both breathtaking islands and they both offer what you and your family are searching. So I think that the only factor you have to consider at this point is the weather. Early April is not high season, why you don't decide last minute, according with the best weather?
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Jun 11th, 2015, 08:05 AM
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I can't address kid activities, but plenty for you in either place. I prefer Sicily though. We just returned from 18 fabulous days there, our 2nd time and loved it both times. Lots of ruins, & churches, simple, delicious food, & friendly people. Foodwise I much prefer Italian to Greek. We don't speak Italian and did just fine traveling around by car by ourselves. We didnt see a lot of museums outside of Palermo, but there are some. Villa Romana del Casale is fabulous for its mosaics. While there were lovely beaches, not sure if its too early for swimming. I don't think you will go wrong with either.
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Jun 11th, 2015, 09:14 AM
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The small number of replies is most likely due to the fact that both Crete and Sicily are wonderful places that meet your criteria. Antiquities, charm, simple but good food, etc. I loved the fresh fish and Greek salads on Crete.And I could eat Italian every day too. Which ever you choose, you'll have a terrific trip.
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Jun 11th, 2015, 05:01 PM
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I can only comment on Crete but for what it's worth, we took our 3 and 5 year old there in early October 2 years ago. We had hoped to catch some warm weather on the fringe season but no such luck as it was pretty chilly (down to 15C/60F) a few days. We stayed in Anissaras which is close to Heraklion and despite not having the 20C+ weather we hoped for we had a great time. The area we stayed was very quiet and we spent a few relaxing days, exploring some small villages, visiting the beach, and a few kid things such as aquarium and mini-golfing... Very kid friendly and good simple food.

With two weeks, you could split your time on the east and west sides of the island!
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Jun 12th, 2015, 08:34 PM
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Thank you all for the input! It seems we really can't go wrong with either choice, not a bad dilemma to have on our hands .
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Jun 13th, 2015, 12:22 AM
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You would receive more advice on Crete if you tagged your thread with Greece
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Jun 13th, 2015, 05:13 PM
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I can't say anything about Sicily as we have not yet been there, but if it's ancient ruins you are after, I believe Sicily will have crete beat. The only ruin that comes to my mind is Knossos and as I recall, it was not my favorite of ruins as it was obvious that much of it had been remade. We were in Crete in April and the wild flowers even along the highways were beautiful. Crete is a beautiful island with picturesque towns and nice beaches. The driving was easy. The food was good, but it had an Italian flare and I enjoyed the food on the Peloponnese area far more (much better olive oil in that region). From all that I have read, I think you will find more to see and do in Sicily, although we did love our time in Crete. Sicily is on our radar.
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