Crete Suggestions

Old Sep 23rd, 2003, 09:08 AM
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cpi
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Crete Suggestions

I went to Mykonos, Naxos & Santorini several years ago and would like to go back to the Greek Islands. I was thinking about Crete. I will have almost two weeks. Any suggestions or alternatives. Thanks
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Old Sep 23rd, 2003, 10:15 AM
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We spent a week in Crete and could have easily done more. We loved Chania where we stayed for several days, and really enjoyed the all day excursion and hike through the Samarian Gorge. We drove around much of the island, ending in Heraklion, the least exciting city. We missed Rethym-----(sp?) and were sorry we did, afterwards we heard much good about its charming harbor which sounded equally as neat as Chania's, but maybe less crowded.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2003, 10:53 AM
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Adding to what Patrick said, western Crete is much more the "pure Crete" than the eastern, Heraklion and east. Rethymnon is worth a visit.

Crete is very different in topography and architecture from the Cyclades. Chania (Hania) is Venetian in appearance, eg., b/c of its history.

There is much to see that is interesting and beautiful on Crete; you will have a good time.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2003, 11:45 AM
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We just got back from Crete two days ago and I agree that the Western end of the island is really the heart of any itinerary. That being said, some people (us) start at Heraklion because Knossos Palace is just a 20 min drive from there. Well, it would be 20 minutes if the road wasn't under construction and you know how to read "detour" in Greek!)

We drove from Heraklion/Knossos to Rethymnon, stopping at the Cave of Melidoni, spent the night at Rethy. and then drove to Chania, stopping to see some fascinating Minoan graves at Arcada. The Akrotiri NE of Chania has great sites, esp if you're a hiker, as does the Western coast, including Falasarna (great beach and excavated Greek pirate town!), the beach at Elafonissi, and the beach at Volos (all the way out at the end of the very western Peninsula, can't remember the name at the moment.)

Also hiked down in the Sfakia wiht a guide. I used the Blue Guide to Crete (English, avail in most US bookstores) and found it had much more "off the beaten path" tips.)

Have a great time!
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Old Sep 23rd, 2003, 01:31 PM
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jstockler, those roadworks were there when we visited in April. We saw parts of Iraklion that were not on our wish list!!

For the record, the far east is very nice too. It's just that bit for 50 miles eitehr side of Iraklion that's bowff.

cpi, I've kept notes from 2 trips I can email you if you like.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2003, 02:36 PM
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Went to Crete last summer. Stayed in Sissi (20+ kilometers northwest of Ayios Nicholas). The bus only goes into the town twice a day. The rest of the time it only stops on the side of the highway 2 kilometers away. It is a nice enough town, it has a nice beach, but not much local sight seeing. Seemed pretty popular for Germans. Malia (10 kilometers west) is more popular for English tourists. All-in-all, I'd rather be in Santorini or Rhodes (the only other two Greek islands I'd been to).
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Old Sep 24th, 2003, 02:17 AM
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Crete is wonderful!! Definitely go to Chania. It's a great little town full of personality. Patrick, we weren't so impressed with Rethymnon. It's ok but not as nice as Chania, full of package tourists and the beach is lined with tacky shops. If you like to hike, there are lots of great places to go!
 
Old Sep 24th, 2003, 04:48 AM
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No offense, Ranger Fan, but you remind me of someone who lives in Europe who flew to vacation in the US for a week and stayed the whole time in a small town in Nebraska, then went home and said, "I'd rather go to the Riviera than to the US again".
You went to the least exciting part of Crete.
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Old Sep 24th, 2003, 07:50 AM
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Yes, don't rate all of Crete on what you see around Agios Nicholious (sp?), Elounda, etc.
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Old Sep 25th, 2003, 03:16 AM
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Explore the south-western coast by boat: Hora Sfakion-Agia Roumeili-Sougia-Paleohora-Elafonissi Beach. Take a taxi inland and walk the Samaria Gorge. If that is closed (outside summer months) or feels a bit too juch, walk the Imbros Gorge instead (starting north of Sfakion).
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Old Sep 26th, 2003, 06:46 PM
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Just returned last week.I've been to many places in the world & adored Crete.The exciting cliff hanging,hairpin turns in sky high mountain drives where every turn is a new adventure- drive down from Heraklion southwards to get a taste of a typical village e.g.Kamilari.Visit the real ruins of Phaistos rather than the fairyland Knossos.Drive from Agia Roumeli on the secondary road towards Preveli through Malembe.Capture the feeling of being a Cretan in W.W.two at the Preveli Monastery up high overlooking the sea.Be brave as you follow the mountainous rocky dirt road to the Preveli Beach (Cretans have no fear but we turned back worrying of the result if we blew a tire).Take in the magnificent sweep of beach in Plakias.Enjoy nearby Mirthios overlooking Plakias Bay.Drive to Kamikades & get a taxi ride in the back of a pick-up truck up to the Imbros Gorge.The walk down the gorge is not difficult,but lovely & much quieter than Samaria.See Fragocastello historical castle nearby,clean, shallow beach.Take a taxi ride from Sfakia up to the old Venetian town of Anapoli & walk for 2 1/2 hours down one of the most breathtaking walks ever to the turquoise beach town of Loutro.Explore the southwest & don't miss the fabulous Elafonisi Beach- pink sand,beautiful clear waters you never want to leave.Enjoy Chania harbour.Stay either on the harbour or on one of the narrow old streets just behind.Visit Akrotiri Peninsula- Stavros, Commonwealth Graves, grave of the Greek hero, Venezilou. Please feel free to ask me questions as I am thrilled to share my experience.
Syl
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Old Jul 5th, 2005, 06:12 AM
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You can see a lot of Crete in 2 weeks so why not hire a car and get around a few of the places that have been mentioned. A two or threee centre break will enable you to get the best of the west, central and east of the island. A good place to get general information is through Crete based http://www.simplycreteholidays.co.uk and there are very good guide books available to help plan your trip. Have a great time and don't take any notice of people who tell you that Agios Nikolaos is full of lager louts. It used to be, 15 years ago. It is now a cosmopolitan resort which attracts mainly couples. Check out http://www.aghiosnikolaos.gr
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Old Jul 5th, 2005, 06:31 AM
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ummm; steve, I'm sure cpi is really grateful for that, but the query's 2 years old!
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Old Jul 5th, 2005, 08:12 AM
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I'll be grateful on cpi's behalf...am currently planning a trip to Crete next spring and enjoyed seeing this thread!
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Old Jul 5th, 2005, 01:37 PM
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Hi judging by my screen name, Hania or Chania is my favourite city to stay at on Crete. Having been there several times I also recommend the west end of the island. Having also been to Mykonos and Santorini several times I would prefer time on Crete, hands down. If you had not been to the other islands they are a must see but for a return trip Crete is the best choice. I also love Karpathos near Crete. From information I have read I am interested in visiting Elounda, Crete but other than that I have been to Sitia, Via, Agio Nick. Matala, Rethy. etc. and still prefer the west for a base. I once spent 2 weeks in Crete and just covered the middle of the island. Off season Elefissos Beach is a gem. So is Farnissos (sp) and I would like to have spent more time in Palethora and also the northern peninusla. Hopefully you have already discoverd the website for Fly Past Kriti. http://www.interkriti.org/1st.htm
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Old Jul 25th, 2005, 08:48 AM
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Our family will be going to Crete in a few week's time for about 5 days. There are 5 in our family. We would like to soak up the history, the culture, do some snorkeling and try to stay away from the crowds as much as possible but still see the sites and beautiful beaches. Any suggestions on where we might go and or stay? Should we try to base ourselves in one place and do day trips from there or would it be better to travel around? Thanks!
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Old Jul 25th, 2005, 11:27 AM
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I'd go to the south coast of Iraklion Province, and use it as a base.
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Old May 19th, 2006, 05:00 AM
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Am planning to visit Crete for 4 days in July. Most people recommend basing the trip from Chania. If I do that, can I visit Samaria Gorge and Loutro in one day or should I spend at least a night in Chora Sfakia?
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Old May 19th, 2006, 01:36 PM
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Ummm.... your definition of visit?

You can really only get to Loutro by boat. You could walk down the gorge and get the boat back to Chora Sfakion, stop off overnight in Loutro and move on next day. But why would you?
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Old May 20th, 2006, 04:06 AM
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Thanks-- I asked because the postings indicate basing in Chania, so how do they hike Samaria Gorge and see Loutro?
What do you recommend?
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