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Questions concerning Crete/Greece by those with first-hand experience...

Questions concerning Crete/Greece by those with first-hand experience...

Old Jul 10th, 2002, 08:21 AM
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Questions concerning Crete/Greece by those with first-hand experience...

Lately I’ve been trying to find out travel related information concerning Crete. The consensus seems to be that it is more tourist friendly than Greece, that it is cheaper, more stable, politically, and more congenial to American tourists. Moreover, that it is as beautiful, if not more so, than Greece.

Does anyone out there have first-hand knowledge, which would allow you, in your personal opinion, to deny or confirm the general gist? Is there a major air terminal on Crete or does one fly into Greece?
Old Jul 10th, 2002, 08:29 AM
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Hector, on the assumption that this is not a wind up, you may want to know that Crete is part of Greece. It is very tourist friendly, much the same price as the rest of Greece, shares its politics and I'm not aware of it being uncongenial to Americans (not being one, I've no first hand experince) There is a large NATO airbase with American airforce personnel stationed there, at Souda.

There are two large airports and a small one at Iraklion, Chania, and Sitia.

If by any chance that was a slip of teh brain and you meant Cyprus, let me know and I'll answer that question too.
Old Jul 10th, 2002, 08:36 AM
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Hey Sheila, please tell me about Cyprus. I have English friends who swear it’s the greatest place in the world for a vacation because one can lead fairly luxurious lifestyle and do so for very little funds.

Sorry to appear stupid, but I too was under the impression that Crete was an independent. Ya live, ya learn.
Old Jul 10th, 2002, 08:57 AM
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Well, it's a lovely place with a lovely climate and the same very friendly Greek-type people as you find on the Greek islands.

It's les good value than it used to be- where isn't?- but right now I suspect it's particularly good, because it's not in the EU and thus not part of the Eurozone. they are on the next list to go in, so grab it while you can.

There is a lot of tourist development around Ayia Napa, of the trendy lager lout type, and, basically, the further west you go the more upmarket the tourism, until you fall into the sea at the Anassa at Latci.

It's a really nice place; much recommended
Old Jul 10th, 2002, 09:02 AM
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You can’t go wrong with Crete! It’s as tourist friendly as any other place in Greece, but tends to have fewer American visitors than Santorini or Myconos. My preference is Chania (aka Hania). It’s a magical little town with a beautiful, pedestrian zone, and a gorgeous harbor. There is a relatively new airport in Chania, which is much nicer than the Iraklion (aka Heraklion) airport. The Chania locals are very proud of their town and refer to Iraklion as a “factory.” Iraklion is the biggest city on the Island and is more industrial than Chania and Rythemnon (sic) – which is another interesting place to visit. Chania is more Venetian in it’s architecture while Rythemnon has more minarets and has an overall Middle Eastern feel, from the years of Turkish occupation. Chania also has a stunning mosque featured prominently in the harbor. The hotels on Crete are cheaper, but you’ll do better shopping in Athens. You can really bargain with the merchants in Mastraki and get great touristy good for decent prices. In my view it’s almost better to save Athens for last so you don’t have to haul all the stuff you buy around the islands.
Old Jul 10th, 2002, 12:02 PM
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I don’t mean to be a wet blanket, this is only here-say, I suppose, but among my circle of “traveling” friends (American) I know of only 6 who have traveled to Greece. Two of them were mugged within the past year and both assert (perhaps they’re paranoid) that they were singled out because they were Americans. Both claim that the police were totally disinterested in their plight. It is perhaps noteworthy that both were women, each traveling with another woman and both incidents occurred while they were waiting for a bus.
Old Jul 12th, 2002, 02:03 PM
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...women waiting for a bus...
in BROAD daylight?
Old Jul 12th, 2002, 02:43 PM
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My husband and I had a wonderful trip to Greece and Crete about 5 years ago in March. We rented a car to travel around the mainland, but took an overnight ferry to Crete. We only stayed two days in Crete so we could see the Minoan ruins that are a short bus ride from Heraklion. The museum in town was wonderful, too. I bought my favorite pair of earrings there...little gold replicas of Minoan artifacts of two bees hanging from a flower. But I digress. I've read wonderful things about the rest of Crete but have not had the chance to return. We found all of Greece easy to travel, and if you are into ancient ruins rather than beaches, you should see Athens, Olympus, Delphi etc. I used a travel agency in Athens who booked rooms in the cities we wanted to see, as well as arrange our car rental and ferry trip. Go...you will love it.
Old Jul 12th, 2002, 03:21 PM
Amy B
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Greece is an incredibley beautiful and wonderful place to visit. Greece is a shame culture and not a guilt culture (like US) therefore anything an individual does is a shame to the whole family - therefore there is very little crime and very few crimes against women - that said they will try every trick in the book to get your attention (if you are a woman). But the people are some of the best and friendliest around - they would give the shirts of their backs to you to make you happy. They are incredibly genrous and fun loving. As always things will be different in the bigger cities as in the country - this is true anywhere you go.

Crete is a unique and again wonderful part of Greece. You can't go wrong there as others have pointed out - the Minoan ruins are amazing and I agree Hania is a great place to center your stay there.
Old Jul 12th, 2002, 04:18 PM
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Another thumbs up for Greece/Crete; we've been to Greece twice, first time Athens and Cyclades, next, Athens and Crete. It's just such a fun place to go; everyone should go there at least once! I never felt unsafe, and we never experienced any anti-American sentiment.

Crete was pretty well ravaged by Germany during the war, and it is a big part of their not-so-long-ago history. However,there are tons of German vacationers there; more of them than any other nationality, I'd say, anecdotally speaking. Point being that the Greeks seem to be able to "get past the past" in terms of friendliness to visitors to their country. I would not hesitate to go back, and in fact, intend to someday!
Old Jul 13th, 2002, 04:33 AM
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I like Greece mainland. I like Greek islands. And I particularly like Crete. I have been there many times during past 20 years. So, just one word of advice: don´t go in August. Last summer we were there in August (just plain thoughtless of us), and the whole big island was so full of people that I felt almost anxious. When there are usually three to five rows of tables in the Hania Venetian harbour restaurants, there were 10-15 rows in August, and there were queues in front of the most popular restaurants. And the small villages between Hania and Rethymnon, like Kalives and Georgioupoli, which usually are quiet and idyllic, were just packed.
Old Jul 13th, 2002, 06:53 AM
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Hi. I've been researching Crete's rural churches and their frescoes. Any recommendations? And are there any small and beautiful places w/o condominiums remaining at the eastern end of the island? Many thanks, J.
Old Jul 13th, 2002, 07:43 AM
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Masses and masses; tho' most of the Byzantine chiurches we've trekked round are in the West. Try Palekastrp for a place to stay. There's a smll hotel called the Marina Village. But generally lots of choice without being at all touristy.

If you're into churches get the Blue Guide. We have used it particularly for this purpose.

I have two trip reports to Crete saved. If you'd like me to send them to you, send me an email
Old Jul 13th, 2002, 08:06 AM
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I spent all of May 2000 in Greece (honeymoon). After extensive research we decided to go to the Greek islands of Chios, Rhodes, Crete, Mykonos, Naxos and Santorini and in the mainland I went to Zagorohoria, Metsovo, Meteora, Delphi, the central Peloponesse, Monemvassia, Nafplio and Athens.

Of the islands Santorini and Crete were our favorite. We spent 5 days in Crete and were able to see about 2/3 of the island only. There are so many things to do in Crete in the way of towns (Hania and Rethytmnon), historical sites (Palace of Knossos), monasteries (Arkadi, Kritsa, Ayia Triada), beaches (Vai, Elafonsi, Matala and the one close to Ayia Triada)and natural wonders (Samaria Gorge, Lasithi Plateau). No other islands of the ones we went to had so many things to do.

If you decide to go there are a coule you must stay at least five full days
and rent a car so you can get away from the masses (hideous overdevelopment around Mallia)and see as much as you can during your trip.

In the mainland, the highlights were Meteora (one of the most fascinating places in the world - somewhat spoiled by mass tourism but if you stay there for the night you can enjoy the beauty of the sites after all toursit buses have left) and Monemvassia which was very untouristy and in my opinion awe-inspiring.

As far as the people go, they were friendly wherever we went to so do not fear.

Old Jul 13th, 2002, 10:43 AM
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I haven't been to Crete for a number of years (and when I went it was at the age of 18 for a holiday of dancing and drunkeness).

We stayed in Hersonissos, near Malia, both resorts for partying. We got hassled a lot by local men but to be frank I think a lot of this was because we weren't there to sleep around and many many girls were. Infact we met a lot of girls who were proud of the fact they had slept with a different bloke every night. YUCK!

So choose your resort carefully, since I have sometimes seen some hotels in this resort selling themselves as a family destination.

But there is another side to Crete, particularly Western Crete, which we very much enjoyed.

Crete is beautiful, with so much history and ruins to wonder around almost at every turn of the road.

Samaria Gorge is wonderful, and the landscapes are stunning.

We ate well too, though having chosen a resort aimed at the party crowd we did have to choose carefully to avoid the more obvious ripoffs and anglicised restaurants.

We never felt in any danger, (though thinking back, at 18 we didnt seem to have much of a sense of danger) and we found people very friendly (and not just in a seedy way!).

I am sure anyone who enjoys scenery, good food, relaxation and pottering around historical sites will love Crete.
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