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Crete -which part of island to stay for 4 nights?

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Feb 1st, 2014, 08:25 AM
  #1
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Crete -which part of island to stay for 4 nights?

Will be traveling with my 18 year old daughter and plan to spend 4 nights in Crete and 3 nights in Santorini. Wondering where to focus on in Crete. Want magnificent beaches and a "wow" experience for her. Would like some chill time at the beaches, but also a place where there are some things to do as well - some hiking, other adventures that don't involve ruins. Not sure whether the eastern or western side would be better...
eilee is offline  
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Feb 1st, 2014, 08:59 AM
  #2
 
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In or near Chania, one of the prettiest towns in Greece.
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Feb 1st, 2014, 09:36 AM
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Since you have only 4 days, you need to choose wisely. Old Town Chania is indeed the loveliest town in all of Crete, and IMHO #2 in all of Greece (#1 is Nafplio). It's one drawback is there's not a perfect beach in town -- and since your only other stop is Santorini, where beaches as u know are not the high point (being volcanic, gritty), you want to be on a beach, yet very close to other attractions.

Hurry, Hurry, Hurry.... there is a perfect answer for you, but it only has 30 rooms, and a stellar reputation, yet isn't wildly expensive, SO it sells out super-early. Just west of Chania, ON a lovely sandy beach (Kato Skalo) AND with a pool, AND a gourmet Cretan chef if u choose to dine there. The plus - on inland side a bus-stop for local bus, to whisk u to center of Old Town in 10-15 minutes, thus no need for car rental unless u wish. http://www.ammoshotel.com/

If Ammos is sold out, another good choice nearby: Corinna Mare, also on that bus route: http://www.corinna.gr

W. only 4 nights, would not devote a full day to the Samaria Gorge hike ... with a rental car for a day or so, u can find many a place to hike around Chania -- either on Akrotiri Peninsula or to a small village, just go inland on any small road. Here's a fabulous online map (click & it gets huuuge) http://www.explorecrete.com/crete-ma.../Crete-eot.png If you want a Guided Walk, you can drive Eastward from Chania for the Happy Walker daily routes --
http://www.happywalker.com/pages/daily_walks_gen_e.php -- and here are some walks right near Chania! http://www.aori-walks.com/crete-walk...ar-chania.html

There used to be a terrific nightlife experience in Chania (NOT a fake "greek night") in an old-timer neighborhood joint Kafe Kriti, where old guys with moustachios would gather at 11pm or so to play traditional music, & local guys would dance in a line, and sometimes they'd let u dance too -- alas, the tourism downturn from 2010 or so did it in. I advise, ask savvy hotel people of any new venue like this.

If you DO want a "gorge walk" I suggest Imbros Gorge, only 3-4 hours vs 7-8. Tips: take a walking stick! Drive to top entry, walk down, get taxi back to yr car. When we did this gorge one may we saw only 10-12 others the whole time... even in July, not many.
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Feb 1st, 2014, 10:02 AM
  #4
 
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Well Chania gets my vote as well. Since you have so little time on Crete I suggest you fly direct to Chania to get your vacation started fast. I would propose you stay in the old town Venetian harbour area to get the most out of the experience.
Here is your wow.
Chania http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr5...7632117917828/

You might have time to go on the Balos Gramovossa boat excursion where you get two good beaches and a pirate fortress as a bonus.
That will easily take you three days.

The logistics of Crete are going to somewhat dictate your plan.
Because you will be going to Santorini from Crete that means you either have to fly back to Athens and then fly to Santorini or you will have to take the ferry departing from Heraklion.
Heraklion is about a 2.5 hour drive from Chania so you probably will have to spend a night near Heraklion to catch the ferry which normally departs around 9:45 You could drive to Rethymnon to visit this lovely city to visit the old town area and the fortezza. You could stay here which will reduce the drive to Heraklion to about an hour and 15 minutes for the ferry connection. While not a wow beach Rethymnon does have a long beach right in town. You could also look at the resort area of Panormos which is about 20km east of Rethymnon for that last night. It looks lovely and will give you the beach experience.
You can see Rethymnon and Balos /Gramovossa in this album. Rethymnon is the first 20 pictures in the album and Balos is the 59 through 74th images.
Western Crete http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr5...7632115757899/
Have fun planning
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Feb 5th, 2014, 04:32 AM
  #5
 
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another vote for Chania - one of my favourite places - but I'd say stay in town and rent a car. With a car you can go to every kind of place from there, mountains with ruins and villages and great walking - and glorious beaches (recommend the Balos/Gramvousa trip) and all from such a gorgeous base with great restaurants and the BEST ambience.
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Feb 5th, 2014, 04:38 AM
  #6
 
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and ps... we did have to stay a night in Heraklion to take the ferry to Santorini (take some seasickness pills if it's windy)and there's a quite good hotel right near the port - the Life Hotel. Nothing flash but quiet and clean and so convenient.
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