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#1 monk

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 09:32 PM

We're planning to move around the Island from 20/9 till 4/10 does anyone has a nice tour in mind starting from Chania. We like beaches, culture, food and nature. Are there some places definitly NO-NO?

#2 Tim

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 10:59 PM

Paul
The south west takes some beating - but if you want to move on from there it can involve quite a journey if travelling by car, either back up to Chania way or possibly by ferry to Hora Sfakion- no idea of cost. Alternatively go down to Hora Sfakion, and take ferry from there to Loutro for a few days, from Hora Sfakion you can travell eastwards to Francokastello and Plakias way.
I would stay clear of Malia Stalis Hersonnissos (on north coast unless you are into Club 18-30 style tourism)
Above all be careful not to attempt too much in a short time - fall for Crete's charms and reckon to come back.
Enjoy
Tim

#3 Angela

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 07:34 AM

Although its not highly recommended on this site (it wasn't to me), I was in Crete for 7 days in late June. During that time I, along with my father and brother, drove from Chania, to Sfakia, to Matala, Ierapetra, Sitia (and Vai), Agios Nikolaos, and Elounda. On the last day we drove from Elounda to Iraklio (with a stop at Knosso) and then a stop in Rethymno, and ended up just west of Chania again for the last night. So, we went around the periphery of nearly the whole island, and I didn't feel rushed, or think it unenjoyable at all. We spend each day in a new place though, and the only drawback was that you never knew where your favorite place was until you'd gone from it, but I choose to take those lessons for me on my next trip, during which I'll know my favorite places to go. Even if you don't decide to do as expansive a trip as we did, I highly reccomend Sfakia. It was one of my favorite (maybe my absolute fav of) places. I also hear there are some very nice places on the west coast that I'm sad I missed. Like Elafonissi, Falassarna, Gramvousa, and towns on the west and south coasts like Loutro. Just to give a perspective though, my trip through the whole island was great, you could see and smell everything from the car and make stops whenever you wanted. We never drove more than about 2 hours a day.

#4 Tim

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 11:43 AM

Angela
I am very happy for you that you had an enjoyable week- but what a schedule - and Elounda to west of Hania and less than two hours driving, well I thought I was fast!
But this question of pace is one that is worth discussion. I am a firm believer in taking time to enjoy the country and its people; the views from the roads may be memorable but the roads are not (well not for the right reasons) and these days the police are getting very hot on speeding. (and as our good friends lars tells, knowing what the speed limit is in any place is a bit of a mystery)
One of the more memorable days I have had on Crete is a day when my wife and I went met up with our good friend and webmaster of this site, Yannis, at Kamares where we stopped for a coffee. We spent something like five hours there just chatting and enjoying one anothers company, the company of the locals who called in, and the hospitality of the taverna keeper. It wasn't planned, there was no schedule. A more relaxing day is difficult to imagine. There are goods reasons for the Cretan saying siga siga (slowly slowly)
Tim
:-)

#5 lars

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 11:14 PM

Paul,
Tim says siga siga. I agree completely, dont rush it.
Planning to do that and that and that in Crete is not a very good idea.
You will find places where you would like to spend more time than planned, you will meet people eager to talk with you, you will find beaches where you will spend all day, beautiful gorges you wouldl ike to walk,you will find villages worth exploring, tavernas to enjoy the Cretan food and wine and so on.
Small roads, mountain roads with fantastic views, small villages, small hidden beaches, kafenions etc, you will find them if you just avoid the big touristic places (Tim has mentioned some of them).
Curiousity is the best partner to bring along and of course a good co-driver( in my case my wife) with a good map( she has plenty).
I like the roads with grass in the middle but then you usually have to drive a jeep of course.
Go easy on the high way where the police nowadays is controlling the speed with their speed cameras. I know from experience. :oops:
Have a nice tour and take it siga siga.
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#6 Angela

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Posted 02 September 2005 - 12:20 AM

oops, yeah... two hours everyday except the last of course!! I forgot about that one . Truth be told, I don't think we ever went over the speed limit, and many times (mostly out of necessity) we went below it. Also, I'm not suggesting that anyone do as extensive a trip as we did, just stating what is possible in half the time Monk will be spending. So, if he is really interested in a specific place (like one on the other side of the island) it would be possible to go there without sacrificing enjoyment or relaxation. But, as I said (as did Tim), if your interested in travel and your base is Hania, Sfakia is a good option, I loved it there, and I know that for my next trip that is where I will want to spend a great deal of the time. Though it is not a busy tourist area, with many (any) bars and nightclubs, etc. if that is what you are interested in. Have a great trip, and let us know how you enjoyed it. :)