traveling within Greece

Jul 2nd, 2005, 11:55 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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traveling within Greece


Me and 2 other people are traveling to Greece in the first two weeks of October. We are flying into Iraklio, Crete first and probably getting a hotel in Iraklio.

We are spending two days there. Is this enough time?

We want to see the Palace of Knossos and Malia the first day. How long should we allow for each site? How long should we allow for travel between the two sites?

On the second day we want to go and see Phaestos and the Iraklio Archeological Museum. How long should we allow for each site? How long should we allow for travel between these two sites?
Luke77 is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2005, 12:27 AM
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If you are hiring a car, and I assume you are, could I suggest that you stay out of Irakleon, rather than in the town itself.

Two days is NOT enough for Crete. You could spend lifetime there and it still wouldn't be enough.

YOu will need at least 3 hours at Knossos for a fairly superficial look. Malia is the only Minoan palace we haven't visited (yet), so I can't really comment on the time for that. My guess would be less.

Malia town is a bit of a party town for a certain type of British tourist- the sort who would not know there was a Minoan palace on their doorstep, or care if they did- so i wouldn't linger there if I were you.

It's only about half an hour between the two.

Phaestos too us about an hour and a half, but a) it was the heat of the day and there as precious little shade and b) we went on to Agia Triada which is about 10 minutes away, and should not be missed.

The museum is a three hour minimum. It's about an hour between Iraklion and Phaestos
sheila is offline  
Jul 7th, 2005, 02:15 PM
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Nope, 2 days isn't long enough for Crete. But, hey, you do what you have to do, right?

I think I'd do the Museum and Malia the same day. In Oct. the museum will close in the early afternoon, probably at 2PM, maybe 3. So you'll need to do that in the morning, a ruin in the afternoon. Since Knossos is pretty much on the way to Phaestos, I'd combine those two. You can get to Knossos quite quickly, spend 3 hrs. there, then drive to Phaestos (which I think was more like an hour and a half drive if I deduct the time we lost after missing a turn). Phaestos doesn't take as long as Knossos, so depending on what time the ruins close that time of year, you might be able to get to Agia Triada (which we ended up missing because we were driving to Hania and it was getting late).

Unless you have very good guide books and use them to walk your way through the sites, you are apt to spend a lot of time trying to figure out what you're looking at. We read the advice to hire a guide at Knossos, and I'm glad we did. You can go back and peruse the site at your leisure afterwards. We certainly got more out of Knossos than we did out of Phaestos, which we did on our own.

You can manage the museum in a couple of hours if you don't want to explore in depth and can skip around and avoid the tour groups.

We stayed in Heraklion before driving to Hania and it was okay. Gets some bad press, but we got one of the best and cheapest meals in Greece at Hippocampus on the harbor. And while not as charming as Hania, it was pleasant enough. Just a question of whether you get a hotel with parking if you're renting a car. (If not, you'll have a harder time doing Malia and Phaestos.)
polly229 is offline  
Jul 11th, 2005, 11:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I asked the guys on Explore Crete and they're pretty certain that you can't get a tour of that sort- or even 2.

So you'll either have to drive yourselves, or hire a car and driver.

Whatever you do don't miss Knossos and the museum. They're both a tourist trappy, but there's a reason for that.

The museum is open 8- 7 all year round (but it's clsoed on Monday mornings) For reasons that defeat me, all the sites are free on Sundays.

Beinga bit of a Guide Book hoarder (just ask my spouse!), if you really want to try to undertsand what you're seeing, start with Knossos, because the interpretation is best there, and buy the Blue Guide, which is detailed and accurate.
sheila is offline  
Jul 11th, 2005, 09:30 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
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In mid-May the archeological museum in Heraklio closed at 2 or 3PM. (Two, I believe.) I had guidebooks that said many of the museums were open till 5 but we found that almost never to be the case. Even the National Archeological Museum in Athens closed at 3PM. I read here after I got home that the museums would start being open till 5 in June. But I think in Sept. they start closing earlier again. (And usually closed on Mon. most places we went except some in Athens that close different days.) I'd certainly plan to see the museum in the morning unless I had certain info that it would be open later. When you arrive, your hotel should be able to confirm.
polly229 is offline  
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