Crete - Elounda Mare Hotel

Nov 30th, 2004, 08:22 PM
  #1  
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Crete - Elounda Mare Hotel

Our current plan is to travel to the Dalmatian Coast and Greece in 2005. Our itinerary has us spending 3 nights on Crete (specifically, 9/6 thru 9/8). I have focused upo the Elounda Mare Hotel for our accommodations, and the pricing that I have looked at is acceptable. Does anyone have any opinions about this hotel? Is the hotel well-located on Crete? Our principal interest on Crete is the Palace of Knossos, followed by the Samaria Gorge and the Archaeological Museum in Iraklio. Is the location of this hotel good for visits to those places? Anything else on Crete which we should not miss, including any specific restaurant?
jrruff is offline  
Dec 1st, 2004, 03:25 AM
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I can't comment on this hotel, though Elounda is a nice place but probably not best placed for where you want to visit, being much further east. Crete is a resonable sized island and 3 days is not long to discover it's delights. Driving, especialy in the mountain areas, can be very slow.

We've been 3 times, twice in the west and once in the east, near Elounda. Knossos is worth seeing and the Samaria gorge is fantasic. Bear in mind you would be best to visit the gorge on an organised trip, as to walk the length is a one way trip of 11 miles (normally down hill) and at the bottom of the gorge, you catch a boat along the coast to meet up with your bus, as Ag. Roumeli is not accesible by road. It would be difficult to organise by public transport. We didn't make it to the Iraklion museum, though Iraklion itself is a bit of a dump.

I'd suggest staying in Rethymnon might be more convenient for your plans. Chania, though further west, is also fantastic with lovely harbour-side restaurants where you can watch the sun go down, then wander round the narrow streets full of little shops.
Maria_H is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2004, 11:57 AM
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Thank you for your reply. I apologize for posting twice on the same subject matter.
jrruff is offline  
Sep 17th, 2005, 04:14 AM
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Having just returned from Crete on 9/13/2005, I decided to comment on these postings and to acknowledge that I did not pay sufficient attention to the precise words of Maria H. Crete is a BIG island. Consequently, logistics are very important for any short stay. Based upon the various postings, we chose Rethymnon as our central destination on Crete. We arrived in Heraklion, Crete after 9 P.M. (1-1/2+ hrs. late) on the high speed ferry from Santorini. Then we faced a 1-1/2 hr. taxi ride from the port at Heraklion to Rethymnon at night; driving would have been an even greater challenge. Rethymnon is an interesting seaside town with pedestrian walkways lined with shops. But, after Oia, Santorini and Mykonos, some of Rethymnon's charm was redundant. More important, the tour companies only offer English speaking tours of the Palace of Knossos a few days of the week from Rethymnon. In this case, it didn't match our schedule. Due to its location, Rethymnon (or even Chania) is best for seeing the Samarian Gorge, and they run tours each day. The first day, I was ill, so we could not go. With only 2 full days left on Crete, we departed Rethymnon early, and returned to Heraklion. We chose the Atlantis Hotel, which was within a 3 block walk of the Archeological Musuem. We took a taxi for the 15 min. ride to the Palace of Knossos, where we picked up an English speaking guide. That proved to be worthwhile. After the tour of the Palace of Knossos, we returned to the Archeological Museum for a tour without a guide. It was sufficient. So, in 1 day from our Heraklion hotel we were able to accomplish my wife's primary goals: the Palace of Knossos and the Archeological Musuem. With 1 full day remaining, we took the a/c public bus for the 1-1/2 hr. trek thru the mountains to the archeological site of Phaestos (Faistos, etc. - there are many different spellings, even on the road signs). They provided a map for the entry fee, and we were able to see the entire site with 1-1/2 hrs., when we caught the a/c public bus for our return trip. The next morning we were only 10 min. by taxi from the airport for our 8 A.M. departure flight (rather than 1-1/2 hrs. had we remained in Rethymnon).
jrruff is offline  
Sep 17th, 2005, 04:29 AM
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I missed this first time round; probably becuase I've never stayed in Elounda. But the one bit of Maria's post I'd have disagreed with is the bit about needing to do Samaria with a tour. It's dead easy to do on the public buses and they run every day.

It's also not tough to see Knossos and the museum from outside Irakion- if you have a car.
sheila is offline  
Sep 20th, 2005, 12:33 AM
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Hi Sheila, I think it depends where you are staying, as to whether it is possible to do the Samaria Gorge on public transport. The trips make it possible even from outlying resorts and get you to the start for 7am when it is still relatively cool. There was no need to walk with a crowd, if you didn't wish to, and we knew we had no danger of missing connections at the other end.
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