Crete in July

Old Dec 22nd, 2015, 09:29 AM
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Crete in July

Will be traveling to Athens and then 5 nights in Crete in July with 11yo and 13yo kids. Looking for suggestions on where to stay and tips on great things to do. Not the type of family that spends days on the beach. Like exploring villages, hiking and historic sites. We will rent a car, but ideally could be somewhere in walking distance to a town and/or restaurants. Haven't booked my flight from Athens to Crete, but I do know we are flying out of Chania. Thanks
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Old Dec 23rd, 2015, 09:06 AM
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Your best bet is to fly direct to Chania and make it your base for the whole trip. Stay in Chania old town near the port.

There are lots of interesting place for you to explore in Chania and you can easily spend two days there just wandering the harbour and the back alleys.

If you want a beach break, there is a good beach a 15 minute walk from Chania old town to the west west.

Also you can look for the old city market and there is an outstanding outdoor market two or three time a week.
You do not need a car while you are in Chania.

It is a good base for day trips. This is the time to rent a car. There is free parking at the waterfront just outside the city walls at Talos square. Competition for these spots is pretty fierce but we have always found a spot.
Check out Ancient Aptera, 1800 years of civilizations spread out over a mountain top. This is also a good hike.

Other good day trips include Rethymnon. The kids will love visiting the Venetian Fortezza. Another great excursion is from Kissamos about 45 minutes west of Chania. There is full day boat excursion to Gramovossa and Balos lagoon. You get two good beaches and a pirate fortress to invade.

Here are images of Western Crete. All of this stuff is in the albums
Western Crete http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr5...7632115757899/

Rethymnon https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr...57654700502270

I recommend you look for a hotel on Theotokopoulou street. It is a pedestrian street back from the harbour so it is quiet at night but it is only a minute walk to all the action. There are hotels in every price range. We stay at pension Nora and I know they have at least one unit with two bed rooms. The parking I mentioned is at the foot of Theo street
Here are images of Theo Street
Theotokopoulou St area http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr5...7632118491316/
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Old Dec 23rd, 2015, 10:44 AM
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These are great suggestions! Thank you.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2015, 12:26 PM
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Last time we were in Rethymnon, which is a great city (quite touristy).
The south of Crete is IMO more natural and we loved it but for such a short time, I'd recommend to see the major sites : Knossos of course, Malia (loved it), Rethymon, then if you have time Agios Nikolaos or Chania as indicated above.

Have a great time.

And the canyon of Samaria of course - one full day - great. No. Fabulous. 11 and 13 - no prob.

http://www.west-crete.com/fr/samaria-gorge.htm
(must exist in English...).
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Old Dec 23rd, 2015, 12:55 PM
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Add another vote for the Samaria Gorge if you stay in Chania, but for a different experience stay on the south coast in Agia Galini. Explore the caves at Matala as well as the small coastal beach areas to the west of Galini, such as Agia Pavlos, Plakias and Hora Sfakion, but be advised that a rental car is absolutely necessary for this. Use the Google Maps "Earth" view to see what it's like over there.
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