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Considering Crete for 2 weeks with family - please help.

Considering Crete for 2 weeks with family - please help.

Dec 14th, 2010, 11:51 AM
  #1  
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Considering Crete for 2 weeks with family - please help.

I am caught up in finding a trip plan for our family of 4 - my husband and I and our two grown sons aged 20 and 23 - for late spring of 2011. I have considered a number of options but keep coming back to Greece. My husband and I have been before to Nafplio, Naxos and Santorini but my sons have not been. Rather than returning to places that we've been, I would like to take them on a two week trip to a different location. We are all especially interested in antiquities, food and soaking up the culture. Do you think 2 weeks on Crete would be our best plan as it fits the bill and doesn't entail a lot of changing locations? I was considering Athens to Delphi/Olympia/Meteora then on to Sifnos and Milos but then Crete might be easier for travel over all. We would rent a car so getting places is not too difficult. Any suggestions/recommendations/feedback most appreciated and welcome. Thanks!
Lily is offline  
Dec 14th, 2010, 01:18 PM
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I Love Crete, and also antiquities, landscapes, food, local culture. The time of May 15 on is ideal ... warm enough for beach, not hot, everything's green, flowers etc. I do think you'd all love Crete. However, "doesn't entail a lot of changing locations" Wrong. I've been to Crete 4 or 5 times for average 5-6 days, and each time we stay at atl east 4 places ... that's how you see stuff! Stay 2 nights, move on.. Example arrive 6 pm Hreaklion (1 nite) to Matala (2 nites) on to Frangokastello (1 nite), on to Chania (2 nights) back across north road to Ag. Pelagia (1 nite) ... see Knossos & stay Heraklion (1 nite).. ferry to Santorini

Of course, one can stay longer in a given place. But if you stay for instance in Chania & drive all over western crete & come back to your Chania hotel to sleep -- you'll be spendng half your vacation backtracking. Greece is not a good place for the "base" strategy.

I think Crete & Milos would be a wonderful combo but alas the transport doesn't cooperate. The only ferry takes bout 5-6 hours because it's Milos - Santorini - Heraklion. But if you're willing to sit it out, read a good book on deck, that would be fine. 4 days milos, 8 days crete, 2 days athens at the end -- a must if the guys hven't been thre before. You can send them up the acropolis while you loll at a cafe.
travelerjan is online now  
Dec 14th, 2010, 07:43 PM
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Lily,
What a great family experience. I think Crete would be a wonderful choice. There is so much variety with different areas to explore. I understand what you mean about easier travel. Once you are on the island, you won't be constrained by catching transport to other places. Definitely stay on the south coast for part of the time - it seems like a different world driving through the mountains and gazing across olive groves to the Libyan Sea. My two sons are a little older than yours - they wonder when we're going to take them along to Greece. Someday....
parosblue is offline  
Dec 15th, 2010, 09:07 PM
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We've been to Greece a number of times and I think that with 2 weeks, I'd visit two islands. That way you have more of a contrast and your sons get a better idea of what Greece is like, rather than just Crete. You could combine Crete with Santorini, just because it's so spectacular, or with another island that is new to you all. We liked Rhodes and Mykonos - completely different from each other by the way. On Crete we stayed in Chania which was lovely.

If you choose Santorini I'd suggest arriving by ferry as the views of the island as you approach are wonderful. You can fly to Rhodes or Mykonos (and other islands too) from Athens which would save time. Delos is a short ferry ride from Mykonos and is interesting for a half day trip if you are into history.

Happy planning.
Kay
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Dec 16th, 2010, 12:27 AM
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I don't totally agree with jan on this one. I've done Crete three times and I think it make a super 2 base holiday destination.

We've done Chania and Paleochora- a week each; and totally immersed ourselves in Western Crete.

We've also done Paleochora and Palekastro- a week each, with, therefore a week in Western Crete and week in the east.

If I were going in May, before holiday numbers are high, I'd not worry too much about having hotel bookings and I'd probably do 3 days out of Paleochora, 4 out of Chania; 3 out of Irakliaon and 4 out of Makriyialos, or Ieraptera.

If you're up for it, Samaria is fun. It might not be open that early, tho'. The second week we spent in Paleochora we didn't have a car, and we used the south coast ferries to get about. Loved that too.

It's a great mix of a place, with kids' stuff as well as temples and palaces. Make sure the boys know about the bull runners before you go
sheila is offline  
Dec 18th, 2010, 09:04 AM
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I would agree that Crete will make a good destination for 2 weeks. It is a very large Island and even 2 weeks limits how much you can see. We took 20 days to complete our tour of western Crete with Chania as a base for 6 days, taking day tours and then we headed down south to the Libyan Sea with time in Palechora and Plakias.
Here are pictures of that trip,
http://travel.webshots.com/album/559511069PIlVxI

Having said that, given your experience in Nauplion Naxos and Santorini (which in my opinion are three highlights on a Greek trip)would it not make sense to take your kids to places you have already been. You can be the tour guide and show them the highlights. That is exactly what we did with our kids, Athens, Naxos Santorini, and they loved it. We knew exactly where to stay, best places to eat and where the antiquities and best sites were hidden away. We were able to leverage our experience to get the most out of each place we visited. Just a thought.
stanbr is offline  
Dec 20th, 2010, 10:00 PM
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I lived on Crete for 3 years while working with the US Air Force, and loved every day of my tour.
You can do the sights as suggested in other posts, but that would take about 1 week. Give
yourselves 2 days to get over jet lag and unless you're beach people look for a second destination. I'd suggest Santorini. You can get a small boat from Iraklion to Santorini, and then leave from there for home. Rhodes would be my second choice. Completely different from Crete.
arbegold is offline  
Jan 14th, 2011, 09:30 AM
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If I have to split a week between East and West Crete, which one should I give 4 days?
Gina_07 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2011, 04:36 PM
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IMO, western Crete is much a more a pure Crete experience; from Reythymnon to, and including, Agios Nikolaus is very touristy. I've never been east of Ag. Nik so don't know what that is like.
grandmere is offline  
Jan 15th, 2011, 01:04 PM
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West Crete for sure. I have been east of Sitia and it has its charms, but West Crete has them beat.
sheila is offline  
Jan 15th, 2011, 02:01 PM
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Thanks a lot. We have allocated 4 days to East and 3 days to West, simply based on the fact that there were more sights to see, as given on a touristic map. Maybe, we should change.
Gina_07 is offline  
Jan 16th, 2011, 02:16 AM
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No, don't change. It's a marginal call. We had a lovely week in Palekastro
sheila is offline  
Feb 8th, 2011, 03:09 AM
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Hi, Just seen this and thought I'd add a few comments. Firstly, I'm biased, as a Scot who has lived on Crete for 7-years and who also has a holiday apartment catering for 2-perons I may have something to offer.

Crete is the ideal vacation choice offering travellers a wealth of cultural, historical, archealogical and environmental treasurees spread across the Island. Much has been said above about the West & Xania so I'll give you some insight in to the East: Fantastic mountain vistas while travelling up to and throught the Lassith Plateau with 'villaeges that time has forgotten', a choice of traditional villages of all sizes both mountain, rural and by the sea, Minoan Palaces & Dorien sites, Caves (birth of Zues and the Turkish Massacre at Milatos) are just a few. Don't miss Spinalonga reached by small boat from Plaka or larger boats from Aghios Nikalaos (a leper colony till the mid-1950's and the subject of a 26-episode series based n the best-seller "The Island" (Victoria Hislop) now showing on Greek TV. In the far-east we have Sitea, open plains and the tropical beach at Vai and look for "The Valley of the Dead" and roads to the south-east coast with unspoilt beaches. Add to the mix the over-generous and ultra-friendly nature of the Cretan people and its regional take on a variety of foods and you will have a holiday to savour and remember. If you are still looking to come in mid-late April 2011 remember that the Orthodox Easter is on Sunday 24th April - the most important time of the year for many Cretans. Crete awaits you! What are you waiting for?
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Jun 1st, 2016, 09:13 AM
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