Small villages in Crete

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Jun 21st, 2006, 05:39 AM
  #1
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Small villages in Crete

We're looking for suggestions for villages that might be a bit off the beaten path to visit in Crete. Will have a car and plan to spend a week or so exploring Crete. thanks!
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Jun 21st, 2006, 10:57 AM
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Hello yestravel,

Having come back recently from a trip to Greece, including two and half weeks on Crete, may I suggest anywhere along the southwest coast: Elafonisi has white sand beaches and has a tropical feel; Paleochora, the largest of the coastal towns in this area, is very attractive and has plenty of restaurants; Sougia is tiny and relaxing; Omalos on the Omalos Plateau is a great place to explore some of the Lefka Ori (White Mountains) and is the gateway to the Samaria Gorge; Agia Roumeli is quiet as soon as the last ferry has departed; Loutro can only be reached by foot or by boat, so if you want off the beaten path...but go now as it appears more frequently in the guidebooks; Chora Sfakion is slightly more busy, but again, once the ferry discharges passengers and the buses have gone it is quiet.

I see from another post that you plan on doing the "Gorge" which I assume is Samaria. What will you do with you car while you "do" the gorge? The logistics of getting back to a parked car are challenging. Don't get me wrong, Samaria is beautiful, but only from six feet up, because six feet and down is packed with people. Standing in line to go to the bathroom takes all the charm out of a hike. If you are really intent on finding places that are off the beaten path, may I suggest doing the Agia Irini or Imbros gorges. Both have buses that pass trailheads and would allow you to get back to your car. Or if you are in good shape and find yourself in Loutro walk up the Aradhena Gorge (wow!), and over to the picturesque Anapolis Plateau set against some of the highest mountains on Crete and bursting with flowers. Or do all the gorges.

Have a great trip.

JQ
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Jun 21st, 2006, 11:03 AM
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I wouldn't disagree with anythingthat JQ writes, with the exception of the stuff about Samaria. It's still worth doing.

In the east, you could look at Palekastro; and in the southeast Makriyialos.

There are more mountain villages than you can shake a stick at. As soon as your 15 miles from the coast, it's off the beaten track. And you'll be assured of a warm welcome
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Jun 21st, 2006, 12:01 PM
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Okay -- I just posted a response which doesn't seem to have made it, so hopefully this will not be a duplicate. Thanks to both of you for your responses. So many great ideas and places to discover. Viz the car and the Samaria Gorge, our plan is to pick up a car after being in Chania for a couple days or so. We would hike (or "do")the gorge on one of those days. Do u think the Samaria Gorge will still be packed in September?
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Jun 21st, 2006, 04:02 PM
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If you do the Samaria, start out early in the morning.Take the 1st tour out of Chania.We were there in September but did the Imbros instead.Great memory of the ride up the winding mountain road to the start of the Imbros in a pickup truck with our hair blowing in the wind,with jaw dropping scenery below us. Gorgeous time of year in September except don't expect to see flowers.Land is parched at that time.
Weloved Plakias,Mirthios,Loutro.Take a cab up to Anapoli & hike down to Loutro. It's a scenic route you'll adore.Take a few bottles of water & wear sunscreen & a hat.Relish as well in the magnificent Elafonissi Beach. Crete's a nature lover's dream.
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Jun 21st, 2006, 04:41 PM
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East of Chania there are several mountain villages to explore on the Apokoronos Peninsula overlooking Souda Bay- Douliana,GAvolohori and Vamos are three of them. The traditional taverna in Vamos has wonderful food.
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Jun 22nd, 2006, 07:51 AM
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I totally agree on doing the Imbros Gorge rather than the over-hyped over-crowded Samaria... we did Imbros in May, and there were only a dozen other people... you leave car at top, take taxi back to it... and take a walking stick (from tree, or folding type).. hiking on small boulders requires balancing, and a stick relieves knee stress & makes it more fun!
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Jun 22nd, 2006, 08:13 PM
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JQ

Planning to go to Paleochora next May. Do you have any accomodation suggestions? Would love to hear more about your travels in that area!
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Jun 23rd, 2006, 03:10 PM
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We love the Harbour Apartments in Paleochora. The only uppish market hotel is the Glaros. But most places are OK. What sort of place do you want?
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Jun 25th, 2006, 11:58 AM
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Thanks Sheila

We would love something on or near the beach. Would also prefer it to be the snady one. That being said for the right place it really doesn;t matter. Something clean and bright with a little kitchenette and also a balcony. We don't need fancy at all. Would love to hear more of your travels in the area! Please fell free to e-mail me directly if you'd like. [email protected]
Thanks
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Jun 25th, 2006, 12:44 PM
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http://www.holiday-rentals.co.uk/Gre...rete/p2799.htm

Have a look at the Harbour Apartments. They're on the other side, but that only makes them a 5 minute walk from the Sandy beach and they're where the "real" part of the village is.

I did a bit of a trawl through google- don't know any of these myself but these look OK

http://www.greekhotel.gr/crete/1paleohora.htm

http://www.interkriti.net/hotel/pale...kas-elizabeth/

I drop in periodically at

www.explorecrete.com

My friend HenryHooray may have more ideas. I'll ask. And I'll send you my trip reports by email

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Jun 26th, 2006, 09:34 AM
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There is a small village called Afrata on the penisula near Kolibari east of Kissamos on the northwest coast that was the subject of a British book. There is a walking book of Crete and we did one walk from a coastal town east of Agia Nicholas up into a mountain village and back. It was great. The people were friendly and offered us some raki and the still was in the middle of the village.
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Jun 26th, 2006, 09:47 AM
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I passed through Spili on my way from Paleochora to Makriyialos. It is, I believe, in the dead center of Crete. We stopped for a bit and did some shopping. It was very attractive with shops that had interesting local products.

We stayed at White River Cottages in Analipsi, which is the next town after Makriyialos. It was really special, check out:

http://www.i-escape.com/whiterivercottages.php

We did a day trip to Sitia and the Mono Toplou Monastery, and a GORGEOUS beach in Xerocambos.
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Jun 26th, 2006, 12:46 PM
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Hania -- would u happen to know the name of the walking book to Crete? I'd be interested in getting it.
AP6380 - I noticed that White River Cottages says they have a miniumum stay. Was that the case when you were there?
thanks!
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Jun 26th, 2006, 01:51 PM
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We did the minimum stay of 3 nights. If you stay there make sure you go to the hilltowm of Pefki, they a restaurant that does a pre-fixe of sorts & live music/dancing. It's a good mix of locals and tourists.
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Jun 26th, 2006, 05:16 PM
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The Sunflower Guides have really good tours, both on foot and by car. varying standards.

But I think LP has a "Walking in Crete" book
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Jun 28th, 2006, 09:52 AM
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Thanks for the info--tracking down the Sunflower books. Anyone know of a good map for driving in Crete?
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Jun 28th, 2006, 02:23 PM
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Good maps of Crete are in short supply. The best available are the Harms maps (based on work done for the German army in WW II). One for Eastern and one for Western

The Hellenic Bookstore in London stocks them and you can buy online
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Jun 29th, 2006, 07:36 AM
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The Road Editions maps are the best maps for Crete. "Western Crete 1:100,000" and "Eastern Crete 1:100,000", both easily available in Greece, including the Athens Airport. Cost about E7,50 each. They are far superior to anything else, and are completely up to date.
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Jul 6th, 2006, 07:37 AM
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Try www.road.gr to order maps of Greece.
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