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How to get from Athens to Crete

Old Jun 10th, 2013, 03:57 PM
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How to get from Athens to Crete

My husband and I are planning a trip to Greece in spring of 2014. He would like to get a boat from Athens to Crete, instead of flying. Has anyone done that? Do you prefer to fly or boat? Which boats are fast, reliable and pleasurable?

Also, which month do you think is better, April, May or June? We thought May because I don't like the hot summer temperatures, preferring the 70"s, but would like to hear the opinion of others. We will want to see the historic sites, beautiful beaches, quaint towns. Any suggestions? Thanks for any help you can give us!!
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 04:22 PM
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I prefer May. That is a long way--I would fly.
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 04:28 PM
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We flew, too. The year before we went to Crete, we went to Mykonos and Santorini by ferry, and that was long enough on a ferry.

We were in Crete in May, and although the sea was not warm, we did go swimming once. The southern coast of Crete would probably have warmer water. If you want quaint, avoid the area between Rethymnon and Agios Nicolaius; in fact, I'd avoid Ag Nic altogether! We stayed in a village, Megala Chorafia, overlooking Souda Bay, a few miles from Chania.
My preference would be May or early June, at the latest. April could still be chilly.
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 04:56 PM
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There are over night ferries from Athens to Crete. They usually are not fancy. I have taken an overnight ferry to Santorini twice. whenever I go to Greece I need a long ferry ride. I love to be on the sea.
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Old Jun 10th, 2013, 10:56 PM
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If you want to go by boat it would make most sense to take an overnight ferry that goes non-stop between Piraeus and Heraklion or Chania. They mostly leave Piraeus 9:00 - 10:30 pm, and arrive in Heraklion or Chania around 6:00 - 6:30 am. Book a cabin and you can travel while you sleep, saving yourself a night's hotel bill. Problem is, if you arrive in Athens in the morning you will have to wait all day for the ferry to depart.

The morning ferries don't arrive on Crete until early evening, so you you have lost that day in travel. After the first couple of hours there isn't even much to see on that route except a few islands on the distant horizon.

On the other hand, flights take only about 1 hour, and are spaced throughout the day, meaning you shouldn't have too long a layover whatever your arrival time in Athens. You won't even have to leave Athens Airport.
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Old Jun 11th, 2013, 07:18 AM
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Spring in Crete can be quite pleasant, warm enough, at least later in the month, for the beaches. Wild poppies and other flowers put on a colourful display in the fields where the goats are kicking up their heels.
However: Crete is not exactly overflowing with antiquities, although the digs near Heraklion are worth a look. As well, the robust hike down the Samaria Gorge may be closed by spring waters. And "quaint" is a relative word for any place that draws tourists like you and me. That said, Crete is big enough to have a culture and economy outside the tourist life, unlike many of the smaller Greek islands.
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Old Jun 11th, 2013, 07:52 AM
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Thanks so much for the input everyone!! Looks like May will be the month and we'll check into flying to Crete.
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Old Jul 20th, 2013, 09:31 AM
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The boat to Chania leaves from Piraeus port. It leaves 9:00 at night and arrives early in the morning around 6:30 to 7:00. You should book a cabin otherwise the trip will be very tiring.

You can check discounts and tickets at :
http://web.anek.gr/portal/page/portal/ANEK_prod

By airplane, Ryanair has announced cheap tickets to fly directly to Chania.
http://www.oleavillas.com/top-travel...3-tripadvisor/

May is better than April because in May the sea water is warmer for swimming.
There limitless things to do in Chania.

You can get a flavour of Chania in the following link:
http://www.oleavillas.com/chania-journey/

Places to visit:

1) Balos beach
2) Falsarna beach
3) Elafonisi beach
4) Chania old town
5) Many villages each with unique beauty (Gavalochori, Plaka....)
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Old Jul 20th, 2013, 09:40 AM
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Travel_writer wrote:
"By airplane, Ryanair has announced cheap tickets to fly directly to Chania.

Um...the OP is coming from California. Where would she have to go to get that direct flight?
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