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Crete Itinerary

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Crete Itinerary

My boyfriend and I are going to Crete for 10 days in late May and are absolutely clueless about where we should go. We will probably rent a car when we get there and book hotels in advance. I'm guessing we will fly into Chania airport and start there. Can anyone suggest a 10 day itinerary??? We are in our mid twenties and are very active. We love the beach, architecture, and night life.



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1. Re: Crete Itinerary

I suggest splitting your time, so 5 days in the Chania area, 5 days in the Elounda area, based at a single hotel in each. Doesn't have to be those exact places but somewhere in the vicinity. Then you can use each place as a base to explore from there.

If you can fly into Chania and back from Heraklion, so much the better, will save you 1/2 day.

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2. Re: Crete Itinerary

"How can we get from Chania to Elouda? Can we rent a car? How long a drive is it (how many hours/miles)? Can you name some more specific places in each region to go to?"

A couple of years ago we did this trip, renting a car at the airport, staying outside Chania at the (often recommended) Ammos for a week, and on the east, at the more out of the way Istron bay for a second week. Istron is about an hour past Elounda coming from Chania.

Its about 3-4 hours easy drive from Chania to Elounda. There are so many places nearby and on the way to recommend, so you would be well advised to get a guide book to get an idea of whats available and what is where, Crete is so large its hard to recommend places to stay or view in a few paragraphs, though if you read through the Crete forum here you'll see plenty of good advice.

The main issue with staying at each end of the island is that you have a longish trip at one end if you fly into and out of the same airport (we flew into and out of heraklion) hence me saying, if possible , fly into one airport and back from the other, though this might work out expensive.

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3. Re: Crete Itinerary

Places around Chania to see (in the province): Maleme(cemetery), Balos-Gramvussa by Kissamos port, Falassarna, Crissoskalitisa Monastery, Elafonisi, Paleochora, Therisso gorge, Samaria gorge, Sugia, Agia marina, Platanias, Venizelos graveyard, English cemetery, Kalives, Chora sfakion, Georgiupoli (my favored), Kurnas lake (the only in crete). These are prety much some of the places to visit around Chanià by car. Read my previous posts for more details. Around Rethymno (my home town) Episkopi beach, Argirupoli-Lapa, Miriokefala, Preveli, Plakias, Panormo, Bali, Spili (try the yogurt with honey), Agios Pavlos, Agia Galini, Frangokastelo....a could continue with many more. For 10 days i advise, visit the whole Chanià province, check how many days left and visit a little bit of Rethymno. Don't forget to see at least Knossos and the museum at Heraklion and eventually Festos in the south (much better). Then come next summer and visit all the est part of crete ;) For more specific info if you need contact me personaly. As soon as you arrive get a map and find all those places. Don't trust the km distance written there. Many interna streets are narrow and not so good so not all places are so near as they seem to be. Ask locals, it will be easier and they will be happy to help.Hope to be of some help :)

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4. Re: Crete Itinerary

If you take JoeintheUK's advice (which I thought was very good) and base yourself in Chania for 5 days, you'll have to decide which is more important to you: beach or architecture/night life.

If you stay in Chania town, then you won't be on a beach (obviously) but you'll be near hundreds of restaurants and tavernas and some night life. And architecture is everyewhere.

If you stay just outside the city, you could get a room on the beach, but your dining options and nightlife will be limited.

Regardless of where you stay in Chania -- in town or outside of town -- you should rent a car to explore. Not the city, mind you, as that should be explored on foot as driving within the city is fairly trying. But explore Gramvoussa (and Balos beach) and Falasarna beach on the west coast.

If you're really an ambitious driver, head to Elafonissi or Paleochora.

For hikes, the Samaria Gorge is the obvious answer. Beautiful scenery and a rewarding area to end up! (Best done with a bus dropoff and pickup, though).

Also, for a less exhausting hike with a spectacular view of mountains and the Sea of Crete, look into the walk to Katholiko monastery on the Akrotiri Peninsula. It's an abandoned monastery built into the side of a mountain, in a gorge, featuring a massive stone bridge. I couldn't believe my eyes. If it's a warm day, you could walk down the gorge for a dip in the sea! Just bring proper footwear -- the terrain is rocky and you can easily turn an ankle or slip.

That is my kind of day right there. The drive from Chania town to the parking area near another monastery would take maybe 30 minutes, and the walk to Katholiko would take maybe an hour to 90 mins if you go slow and stop for a visit at the Bear Cave.

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5. Re: Crete Itinerary

Since you are going for 10 days you have enough days to split your time on the West side of the island like Chania and on the East side like Ayios Nikolaos or Elounda. If you don’t want the hassle then staying in the center like Iraklion or Hersonissos would be a great base and the driving around should not be more then 1 ½ hours. Renting a car will give you the freedom to see the whole island.

Getting a guide book would be very beneficial. I would say jotting down the things that interest you the most, and playing it by ear.

Things to see and do include:

• The beautiful and very picturesque towns of Hania, Rethimno and Agios Nikolaos. All disserve time to get lost in its streets and spend time in a café over looking the water having a nice meal and people watching. They also have a lot of great boutique shopping. I would suggest a minimum of ½ a day to a full day in each town. Probably more for Hania.

• Spend some time in resort areas like Malia, Elouda, Stalis and Hersonissos, these places are great for lounging in the beach and offer a good nightlife.

• Spend a day on the West coast and visit Elafonisos, Elos and Kastelli Kissamos

• Take a day trip to Palaiochora and around the south coast towns. Drive through the valley and look at the gorges, fortresses and monasteries

• Iraklio and the ruins of Knossos could be combined in one day. You can also see other ruins like Knossos, Gournia and Phaestus.

• Spend a morning driving through Kastelli Pediados and check out the Lasithi Plateau and Diktean Andron cave. Along the drive you can stop in little shops that sell local arts and crafts. This is a unique experience because it’s away from the water and the tourist crowds.

• Take one day to hike the Samarian Gorge, make sure to take sun screen, water and hats.

• Spend some time in Sitia and neighboring Ierapetra. The food in these towns is known for being the best in the island.

• Dedicate a couple of hours to Maleme and see the history filled cemetaries

• Also, make time to lounge around and go to the beach. I would suggest taking your swim suit and towels as you venture off. You may find a nice place for a swim.

6. Re: Crete Itinerary

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