Crete

Jan 30th, 2012, 09:42 AM
  #1  
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Crete

I will be traveling back from Israel in February and was considering stopping off on Crete for a 3-4 day visit. Could anyone offer suggestions as to an appropriate and interesting itinerary for such a visit?
ushawbry is offline  
Jan 30th, 2012, 10:49 AM
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We stopped there last year on a substitute cruise stop from Athens. We had been there many years ago and visited the Knossos. That was fabulous to see but I don't believe there is 3-4 days worth of sights. Are you interested in island hopping--Santorini is beautiful.
jan47ete is offline  
Jan 30th, 2012, 10:55 AM
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Actually you could spend a couple weeks on Crete and not see all the worthy sights... February isn't the ideal time for the beach, but Knossos and the museum in Iraklio (Heraklion) require at least 1.5 days. Then there is Phaistos, another fantastic Minoan site but it isn't reconstructed like Knossos. There are many, many other Minoan sights but those are the two "biggies". The town of Chania is quite famous for its charm. I don't know about hiking the gorge in February but there are a few expert Greek posters on Fodors who can probably tell you more.
Also, I absolutely would NOT recommend island hopping with only 3-4 days and Santorini in February would not be the ideal time anyway.
TexasAggie is offline  
Jan 30th, 2012, 11:44 AM
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The Samaria Gorge won't be open in February though Chania itself is worth a visit just for it's market and harbour restaurants. If you are from Texas you might want to see their version of The Alamo - Arkadi Monastery

Just wondering how you intend travelling there as unless things have changed there won't be any direct flights from Israel and hence you'll have to travel via Athens.
alanRow is offline  
Jan 30th, 2012, 11:53 AM
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If you must visit an island in February, I suppose Crete would be a good choice. Assuming you have to go through Athens to get to/from Crete, travel will take up much of your time. There are only two ferries/week between Crete and Santorini in February, so island hopping isn't an option for a 3-4 day visit that time of year.

IMHO your time would be better spent by staying in Athens, which is a year-round destination. There is much to see in the city, and more nearby that can be visited in day trips. Since you are coming from Israel, you may be interested in Greece's second city, Thessaloniki (Salonika), which has a rich Jewish history.
Heimdall is offline  
Jan 30th, 2012, 12:19 PM
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Aegean islands that have something to offer in winter are :
Crete, Rhodes, Chios, Lesbos,Syros.
Santorini will be boring, as most restaurants cafes etc will be closed. Also the choice of hotels that are open during the winter is limited compared to Summer.
I don't know if there are direct flights from Israel to Crete, but if you have to fly via Athens anyway, all options mentioned above together with Thessaloniki are possible.
Heimdall gave you an excellent advice regarding the jewish history og Thessaloniki, that once had one of the biggest jewish communities of the Balkans.
Also in Athens there is a very interesting Jewish Museum in the Plaka.
clausar is offline  
Jan 30th, 2012, 12:52 PM
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Crete is one of the biggest Greek Islands and there's plenty to do. I've had three 14 day holidays there so far and haven't seen half of what's there. I can recommend Agios Nicholias and Elounda with a trip to Spinalonga, the old leper colony. The secret of visiting Greece is to relax and go with the flow and remember if it doesn't happen today it will happen tomorrow (avrio).
Wa145nzJeffery is offline  
Jan 30th, 2012, 12:59 PM
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Wa145... this has changed, in Greece everything has to happen NOW, not today nor tomorrow
clausar is offline  
Jan 30th, 2012, 01:54 PM
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Rethymnon. Absolutely beautiful..
sarahpoppet27 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2012, 02:00 PM
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We spent two weeks there also and only visited the west side of the island. I recommend using Chania as a base.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Jan 31st, 2012, 08:10 AM
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Go to Western Crete- I would pick Chania rather than Rethymnon; Rethymnon is nice but it's not so bigger and will be deader in February. There are lots of stunning things to see in West Crete, so you'll easily fill 4 days. Make time for a trip to Knossos and the museum in Iraklion. If you go in or out through Iraklion, bookend it. If not, it's a full day trip from Chania.
sheila is offline  
Feb 1st, 2012, 06:21 AM
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I see a bit of a consensus forming for Western Crete and I would also recommend that option. I might suggest you rent a car and drive to Rethmynon and stop to visit the Fortezza there. It is very intact and well worth an hour or so. Then continue to Chania and stay in the old town/Harbour area. Chania will still be active in the winter as the infrastructure will be functioning for the locals. Besides the other suggestions consider visiting Ancient Aptera just 18 km east of Chania, it has 1800 years of settlement and spectacular views over souda bay, well worth a few hours to explore.
The harbour area of Chanina is charming and you can keep busy just wandering around the back alleys.
On your way back for your return flight stop at Knossos in Heraklion.
Chania
http://travel.webshots.com/album/571195659jPcKjK
stanbr is offline  
Feb 27th, 2012, 07:11 PM
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If any of you who have visited Crete have also been to Sicily, I would very much appreciate your comments comparing the two. Which did you prefer and why. I realize it is personal opinion - that is what I want. Thanks so much.
Sassafrass is offline  

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