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loutros, meteora and other odd ball places

loutros, meteora and other odd ball places

Jul 28th, 2003, 12:57 PM
  #1  
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loutros, meteora and other odd ball places

We're going to Greece for two weeks in September and like exploring/hiking more than sitting on beaches or at bars. We'll be on Crete for 6 days, has anyone been to Loutros? Did you stay over or just visit for the day? Also, instead of going to another island, we're very interested in Meteora and Delphi--has anyone done this trip? Is the Olympics affecting access to the sites?

Thanks!!!!

Julie
jstockler is offline  
Jul 30th, 2003, 07:35 AM
  #2  
 
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We were in Greece last October and definitely recommend Delphi and Meteora.

Here's an excerpt from a post I had earlier ...
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We most definitely enjoyed the mountains - more laid back, cleaner, absolutely beautiful and friendlier. Delphi and Arachova were our favorites - we loved strolling thru town window shopping and eating at the wonderful tavernas. It was after tourist season when we went and there were always great little nooks to enjoy the best sunsets. It also had the Amalia which was a fantastic hotel, nestled into the mountains.

We also thoroughly enjoyed our short stay at Dupiani house, this little bed and breakfast nestled into the foothills Meteora. It was so quiet, calm and beautiful. The monasteries were simply magnificent, not to mention the amazing mountains themselves.
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We too are not beach bums and found ourselves hating Santorini in the off season and leaving after only a day. Our only regret is the wasted time spent getting there and back, which took away from the time we could've spent in the mountains.

hailbuzzy is offline  
Jul 30th, 2003, 08:31 AM
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We drove from Athens to Meteora, stopping along the way at a beautiful lake town (uugghhh the name escapes me right now). The driving alone took about 5 hours, so we ended up staying 2 nights so that the next day was all dedicated to the monasteries. If most of your 1st day is taken up by travelling I recommend 2 nights in Meteora. It allows you to do it at a relaxing pace.
AP6380 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2003, 12:58 PM
  #4  
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Thank you both. I was beginning to feel like some kin of iconoclast for trading in the island portion of our itinerary!
jstockler is offline  
Jul 31st, 2003, 06:54 AM
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We went to both Meteora and Delphi this summer, and the Olympics preparation is not affecting either site.

We only went to one of the monasteries after spending the night in Kalambaka. Women have to wear a skirt and have their shoulders covered in order to visit, but they have a box of wraparound skirts just in case.

The church we saw was a jewel box, but I much preferred Delphi. I like the ancient sites better, and Delphi was my favorite of all the places we visited. Walking up the Sacred Way and being told that hundreds of people stood in line there waiting to hear predictions for their future and then seeing those beautiful pillars and the amphitheater was eerie and let you know that people have always looked for guidance. The town was nice, too--quite small and the people very friendly. We stayed at the Xenia Hotel, modernized but retaining its charm.
carolyn is offline  
Jul 31st, 2003, 07:56 AM
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If you mean Loutro in Crete then we were there in 1998. Tiny village in a harbour, accessible only by boat and by foot - no traffic so the only noise is the ringing of the bells on the goats roaming the hillsides around. Incredibly peaceful but very little to do except lie on the stony beach or go walking - which suited us fine. We walked the Samaria Gorge and then got the ferry from Aiya Roumelli at the end of the Gorge, to Loutro. After a couple of days there we headed on by boat to Paleochora - which was a lot more lively and with a better beach and choice of restaurants etc.
ter2000 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2003, 11:44 AM
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Don't second guess your decision... We did the islands and the mainland, and much preferred the mainland. Delphi and Meteora are great. If I were to do it again, I would overnight near Delphi and do Meteora as a day trip. There is a wonderful little town just north of Delphi (is it Arachova?) - that we drove through and had lunch. It seemed a bit more charming than the town near Meteora.
julie_Colorado is offline  
Jul 31st, 2003, 12:17 PM
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We just recently stayed 7 days on Crete, near Chania. We also were more interested in exploring and less in beach activities. We drove and explored nearly the whole western half of Crete. We didn't hike into or take the boat to Loutro, we determined that it would take too much time. Hiking the gorge takes a full day. There is so much to see and do and so little time. Caves, lakes, Mona Arkadi, fortresses, gorges, towns, and cities. We did go to some beaches, Prevelli, Falasarna and Ellafonnisi and I suggest going to at least some. There are towns like Loutro that are easier to get to.
DougP is offline  
Jul 31st, 2003, 03:27 PM
  #9  
Syl
 
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Doug,
We're going to Western Crete in Sept.Our interests are similar. Please map out your itinerary with suggested sights & hotels.We're renting a car to see as much as possible.
Syl is offline  
Aug 1st, 2003, 11:25 AM
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The first lesson that we learned upon arriving in Crete was that we would not be able to travel and see all that we had hoped. I don't know about your preconceptions but mine were that the new National Highway was just that, a Highway. It's not, compared to the US and western Europe it is a secondary road and that's the BEST road in Crete. We stayed all seven nights in Chania, just west of Chania in a small beach resort type area on the sea. Heraklion is 139 km in distance from our base and that took at least 2 hours often times longer. The bus stops on the "highway" and goats graze on the side.
The first day we drove to Falasarna along the coast and enjoyed the beach, then to Elafonnissos along the west coast. It was a hairraising drive, steep cliffs, many switchbacks and hairpin turns. The 40 km drive took almost 2 hours. The drive back to Chania was easier and extremely beautiful including some pretty towns a church in a cave and a gorge. We missed some of the things we wanted to see, we were tired already.
The next day we toured Chania most of the day and drove in the Therrisos gorge in the afternoon. Lots to see and do in Chania.
Two restaurants we recommend, Ellas (in Chania) and Maria's (Kalamaki Beach on the old National Highway). One more we didn't get to, more expensive but highly recommended is on the road out of Chania to the airport ( Fodors has a listing).
We spent one day driving and touring Phaistos and Gortys. Another, Heraklion and Knossos, don't miss the museum. Another whole day for the Samaria Gorge. It requires a bus tour to take you to the beginning and pick you up from the end but it's worth it.
We spent another day around the pool and on the beach where we stayed.
Another day was spent touring Moni Arkadi, Rethymnon and a the cave near Anogia. That day we stopped at lake Kournas for dinner at a resaturant on the lake. Great location, not expensive just OK food.
The last day we drove to Hora Sfakion, Frangokastello and Preveli beach. This is when we could have gone to Loutro instead of the beach. The beach is beautiful and private ( this means nudity).
Another observation. The Greek language is translated into English at least 6 different ways and your maps and road signs will not agree. We had to guess and hope for the best many times and sometimes end up at an unchosen location. This was a good time to stop for lunch and ask directions which sometimes started heated conversations, lots of fun!
Crete has it all! Mountains, beaches, caves, antiquities, history, scenery and great people.
Almost every dinner ended with a fruit basket and free Raki, as much as you wanted. I can't imagine anyone having more than one!
DougP is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2003, 03:13 PM
  #11  
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Thanks so much for the great report! Last question: Who did you rent your car from and did you do it from here or once you got there?
jstockler is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2003, 05:56 PM
  #12  
 
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I doubt if preparations for the 2005 Olympics will affect your trip. They haven't started on them yet i.e. the main stadium is still a hole in the ground left over from some earthquake in the 18thC.
harzer is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2003, 10:23 PM
  #13  
 
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I rented from www.pangosimo.gr from here before we left. There are many others including hertz and avis that you can reserve before you go. They brought the van ( 6 of us) to the ferry docks and we left it at Chania airport at 6:30 am leaving the keys in it. They were ok, van ran ok but it was not new or spotless like the " majors" and I think that I would pay a little more for that when on vacation (holidays!).
DougP is offline  
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