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sloppylass Jan 31st, 2017 11:43 PM

Mum daughter Greece/Cyprus holiday
Hello it is my daughters 30th and we planning a week away a novelty in itself believe me. She has said she doesn't care where she goes as long as she has a week with mum but she loves beach, museums, old towns shopping eating out good local restaurants, spas relaxing. I on the other hand can't sunbathe for too long need to have something to do , see but also like the beach culture shopping days out. My daughter suggested Greece/. Cyprus I know she has been kos so not there.
We are travelling last week June she lives in Padua Italy me Yorkshire England.
I'm struggling to find somewhere special that would suit us both where it has bit everything.
Any advice please.

tonib Feb 1st, 2017 01:16 AM

you should definitely visit Athens and its museums and sights, 2-3 days will be ok. Then go to Crete, its full of beaches and rich culture, Cretan food is awesome and since you don't want to sunbathe for too long, you can rent a car and visit the major cities of Crete which are full of history. I haven't been to Cyprus so I can't help you more, but I know that Cypriots speak English and are very helpful. If you want any more advice don't hesitate to send me a message.

Heimdall Feb 1st, 2017 01:25 AM

Greece has something like 200 inhabited islands, so there are lots of choices besides Kos. Siince you are both coming from somewhere else in Europe, there are many islands with direct flights during summer. Easiest to reach from Italy are islands in the Ionian such as Corfu, which also has the shortest flight time from the UK. Do some research on which islands have direct flights from both the north of England and Italy.

Another possibility is flights to Athens, with more shopping, museums, ancient sites, etc than anywhere else. Combine that with an island like Naxos, which has an old town around the kastro (castle). Naxos has lots of little shops in the widing passageways around the kastro, good restaurants, and fine sandy beaches.

Never been to the Republic of Cyprus, so can't comment about that country.

Heimdall Feb 1st, 2017 01:27 AM

Oops ... meant "winding passageways".

sloppylass Feb 1st, 2017 01:41 AM

Thank you I like the idea of Athens for 2-3 days then an island. I have a look at Naxos. Really appreciate your time.

sloppylass Feb 1st, 2017 01:42 AM

If I was to choose Crete anywhere in particular?

tonib Feb 1st, 2017 02:07 AM

I am in love with the Chania area, maybe because I lived there. But if you have time to rent a car I would suggest to visit more isolated places and admire the scenery.

Heimdall Feb 1st, 2017 02:17 AM

With as much as Crete, the largest island in Greece, has to offer, it would be better to save it for when you have more than 2-3 days. Most people who know the island well say that you need at least a week with a car to even scratch the surface.

I suggested Naxos because it is small enough to appreciate in your time frame. It has some interesting mountain villages little touched by tourism, antiquities, and the kastro district, which is a joy to explore in the evenings. There are lots of little shops selling clothing and jewellery, and restaurants overlooking the harbour.

Heimdall Feb 1st, 2017 02:31 AM

If you are interested in Crete, recommend you spend the whole week there, renting a car as tonib suggests. I know there are direct flights to Crete both from the UK and Italy, so it would be easy for you and your daughter to meet up at Chania or Heraklion and spend the week together.

sloppylass Feb 1st, 2017 04:19 AM

Thank you think I we will spend the week in Chania as I get the feeling we wouldn't do Athens justice . I appreciate all your advice and help. We would be using public transport so I'm not sure how much of the island we would see but I feel it would be more relaxing.

Odin Feb 1st, 2017 06:29 AM

The Republic of Cyprus is also a great option, the British love it there. Last week of June will be great weather, not yet too hot.

Paphos might suit you, it has an old town with a harbour and castle, it has various archaelogical sites such as Tomb of the Kings, the Roman Mosaics, loads of restaurants etc, great hotels (what is your budget?). Further north is Latchi where you can take an excursion around the Akamas peninsula and take a dip in the Blue Lagoon and visit Afrodite's Baths. There are several fish tavernas at Latchi.

Ayia Napa is famous for clubbing, I would not be put off by that as the beach is absolutely stunning, there are some great hotels too. People of all ages go there. But for museums etc it it probably not the best location.

Other excursions could be Troodos and Platres (mountain resorts), Curium Amphitheatre near Limassol, Kolossi castle. I would recommend a visit to Viklari Restaurant in the Akamas for traditional souvla.

Renting and driving a car is easy, they drive on the left. You can fly from Rome to Paphos on Ryanair, there are loads of choices of flights from the UK to Cyprus (Larnaca or Paphos), local people speak Greek and most speak English. You can get everything you want in Cyprus on one island.

sloppylass Feb 8th, 2017 04:46 AM

I have booked a flight to chania as it has direct flights both from Italy and my local airport. I have read the old town is lovely but would like to stay near a beach and possibly walk into chania or catch a bus. Can anyone recommend a good hotel or b&b. We will be using public transport to tour the island using excursions would like a place wher these are still accessible, somewhere there is somewhere to stroll around in the evening and have a meal. I would not like a rowdy club scene but neither do we want peace and solitude somewhere in between.

travelerjan Feb 8th, 2017 08:29 AM

Sloppylass it helps if you'd give desired budget range (in Euros not £); u get the best advice that way. there IS a WONDERFUL hotel just outside Chania, if you can book it (only 30 rooms) ... it's unusual in that it has a pool AND is on a lovely beach... has gourmet chef, many amenities but not 5* prices. On its inland side, local bus to heart of Old Town Chania in 15 minutes.

If its full or beyond your budget, another nice place in same area -- about 2 blocks OFF the beach is -- nice pool, kitchenette, and ALSO right on local bus-line for 15 min ride to Old Town.

With both of these, you can have even a late evening in the lively Old Town, and then catch a bus back right to your door. this would solve your problem because hotels/pensions right IN Old Town do NOT have pools ... can't do it when u are on a street totally built-up since the 1500s!!

Another option is to look for beachfront room on "nea Chora" -- that's the "town beach" just west of Old Town... walkable 15 mins, or on bus, a 5-min ride. Use, and check those that have review scores of "8" or better, and you'll do fine. A good example: Magia apartments have place w balcony, partial sea view, building right on beach, $481 £356 for 5 nites.

sloppylass Feb 8th, 2017 11:25 PM

Thank you. My budget for accommodation is approx up to 600 euros, I will try ammos hotel as this keeps cropping up on my research. I'm thinking this would be a good base. I had thought going to the south of the island and travelling to balos beach for a day trip chania alike. On second thoughts I then decided it may be better doing the south coast as day trips. I can drive but don't have a credit card so I pay cash for every thing feel I wouldn't be able to rent a car.
Thank you for your input I have found this site very informative and instructive, for a novice to the area it is a godsend. We are there for 6 nights so planning to do chania old town, balos beach, the gorge , elafonisil beach other two days relaxing.

travelerjan Feb 9th, 2017 09:18 AM

I'm confused, do u think Balos is on the South coast? No; here's a MAP: - click & it gets huuuge. Balos at the tippy-top of last little "finger" sticking up at North Coast -- where it says Ak Tigani. Daily excursions to Balos AND the Island nearby, Gramvousa, young crowd, daughter will love it.

as for other Must-do's, just some reality checks:

• GORGE WALK - Last week in june can be VERY Hot -- think carefully if u want to do "the" Gorge (BTW, there are well over a dozen Gorges in Crete, "The" Gorge is misnomer for Samaria Gorge). Realize that unless you're a very fit trekker it can take 7+ hours + next day, leg-thigh muscles of anyone over 50 will ache so much, you'll pretty much have to lie around & recover. Also, realize that a thousand+ people will be doing that walk, so you'll be single-file like a bank-line for most of day. The advantage is, daily bus excursions to/from (start 6 AM or so, not back until 7:30pm).

• GORGE ALTERNATIVE - it's MUCH shorter, many fewer people., JUST as lovely & narrow... IMBROS Gorge (next Gorge to Right, on Map). Hitch is, public transport v. limited. However, several well-regarded agencies offer excursions from Rethymnon to IMBROS and back (1) and
(it's easy to get a public bus to Rethymnon,or the excursions may include a shuttle bus from Chania hotels). ALSO look at the other daily walks they offer... 4 hour strolls through lovely villages and rural scenes.

• ELAFONISI - Be aware that all those internet pix were taken off-season, early AM, bare beach; now in JUne Scores of tour busses, hundreds & hundreds of sunbrellas, chairs, kiosks.. NOT the beautiful deserted pink sands that enchanted people decades ago. Many are disappointed. see these TA reviews --

• ALTERNATIVE - For a view of libyan sea, u might consider D-I-Y bus trip to Paleochora (5 Am down, either 15:00 or 18:15 return). No pink sand but no mob scene either!

For BUS trip Planning: -- ALL bus schedules for west Crete

I hope this helps plans for an exciting an Do-Able adventure ...

sloppylass Feb 9th, 2017 11:30 PM

Thank you travelerjan I have to agree with everything you have said looking at it in greater detail. I think the Samaria gorge would prove to taxing for myself although a keen walker I wouldn't relish the crowds so will opt for a less touristy one.
I also having read reviews on elafonisi beach it seems to be appreciated you need to be there post 4 pm when all the buses leave. I can't see this happening.
We have no problem going independently on public transport and feel sure from chania there are options .
I have tried booking Amnos hotel fully booked so will look somewhere close to it with reasonable ratings.
You have been very helpful I thank you as we would have not enjoyed a couple of days I had planned and as time together is limited it is valuable information.

travelerjan Feb 10th, 2017 06:34 AM

If you want a hotel WITH a pool, that's on the same crescent beach as Ammos, and ALSO on the local road into Chania Old Town in 15 minutes ... try this one: Click "map" link to see.

When you say going on public transport, do you mean going to Elafonisi? In the past, there has been ONE public bus per day going to Elafonisi, at 9 AM, taking 1.5 hours, and ONE returning departure 16:00 (4 PM) ... so if you continue to plan for this, do expect the thousands sharing the beach with chairs jammed side by side.

Another place to consider is Falassarna, the farthest-West beach of Crete --- nothing between it and Spain!! Here's a "visitor's Guide" -- Regular bus service to Platanos year-round (then taxi from there) .. also limited bus service in summer (not shown on timetables yet). On one of my trips, with 2 "newbies" we drove from Chania down Topolian GOrge, then over to West Coast and NORTH (not s. to Elafonisi), spectacular vistas. Stayed at top of bluff overlooking beach, at small hotel (Petalida), one of the most stunning sunsets of my 12 trips to Greece!

Since you say you always want to pay in cash thus no credit card, thus unable to rent car -- have you ever considered having daughter use HER credit card to rent car & putting both of u on as driver -- you can cram cash right into her hand to pay the bill when it comes. Problem solved!!

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