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Coming To Crete Late March


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#1 Pam

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 03:32 PM

Hi, all as I've mentioned in passing in previous posts, we've now booked to come to Crete on 26th March. We thought we'd spend a few days in Aghios Nikolaus as we've not yet been there - tend to avoid in the summer as it can be hot and crowded then, but thought it would be pleasant out of season. I'm sure there will be hotels open all year there, but if anybody has any recommendations, we'd be pleased to hear. We then thought we'd head south for a few days, probably not Matala, as I'm not sure it would be fully open then - we thought Psitidia or Sivas, assuming there are places to stay that would be open then - Dinny, can you help?

We're really looking forward to it and hope to do some exploring and walking as the coutryside should be lovely this early in the season and also possibly a bit of house-hunting around the south as we're still favouring the Messara as the area we'd like to live.
:blush: B) B)

Pam & Bob

#2 yannis_s

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 10:08 PM

Pam,
I don't know what Dinny will suggest, but I have been to the stone-houses of Eddy and Caroline in Pitsidia and they are great. Eddy and Caroline are from Belgium and they moved to Crete a couple of years ago, so they can give you valuable first-hand information as well.
Check their houses here: http://www.explorecr...s_Pitsidia.html
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#3 Tim

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 12:53 AM

Pam and Bob
I am confident that you will find accomodation available in the area, I have stayed with Michalis and Ilse at their place Ambeliotisa (and Pelikanos) in Kamilari which is a great base for the area you are interested in. (I am sure there are others )Michalis and Ilse are, to the best of my knowledge, open all year. I will dig their web address out. I must say, if I were to buy in Crete it would have been in this area, has great beauty and is convenient for so much without being too populated.
Tim

#4 Dinny

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 03:41 PM

Hi Pam,

Let me know if you need me to "nose around" for what is open late March. Right now everybody is hibernating, but I guess at least some will soon start to wake up, at least to do the spring cleaning! :blush:

Looking forward to seeing both of you again!

#5 Pam

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 05:45 PM

Thanks, Yannis and Tim for your suggestions. I had a quick look at the stone houses and they do look good, will check to see if they will be open and not too expensive. Tim if you can find the web address, I'll certainly look into that as well.

Dinny, will let you know if we need you to nose around and we're looking forward to seeing you as well.

Any suggestions for hotels in Aghios Nikolaos?

Pam & Bob

#6 Kritsa Yvonne

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 10:58 PM

I know I am biased but don't forget to visit Kritsa as it is so near to Agios Nikolaos you could even stay there. BUT, don't just take my word for it:

http://members.explo...?showtopic=1783

Have a great time (silly comment, of course you will) :lol:
Kritsa Yvonne

#7 Pam

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 02:18 PM

Thanks, Yvonne, Kritsa is certainly on our list of "to dos". We're not planning to hire a car when we're in Agios Nikolaus, but will use the local bus. The last time I was in Kritsa was about 30 years ago, but looking at your photos and descriptions it doesn't look as though it's changed too much. Would there be tavernas open for lunch at that time of year? If not, we'll plan a packed lunch.


Pam & Bob

#8 Hooly

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 01:39 PM

Hi Pam

I’ve spent the last few summers out in that area and although I’ve not been out before in late March I am flying out a couple of days later than you on the 30th to spend Easter in a village called Prina which is about 25 minutes, east & inland, out of Ag Nik.

However, if it’s any help, I was also there in November last year i.e. after the tourist season had finished. Whilst many of the bars & tavernas were shut, or shutting at the time we were there, we found no trouble finding places to eat, even out of town. Talking to the owners of those we visited towards the end of the week, in places like Plaka, Istro & Sissi, if not already shut they were staying open for the winter.

As for hotels, in November there were a couple open on Akti Koundourou running around the sea wall near the harbour like the Coral & the Hermes but pretty well all of the big resort sites were mothballed for the winter. I don’t know about the smaller hotels as we’ve always self-catered, but the tourist office is very easy to find right by the bridge into the Voulismeni lake.

Hope that helps a little.
Pete

#9 Kritsa Yvonne

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 11:38 PM

There are some Taverna/kafenion open all year in Kritsa but not the very tourist ones. Some may decide to open/close depending on the weather or other activites but I am sure you will not go hungry.

Most likely to be open are opposite the bus stop, the "triangle" in the middle of the village and Aristidies.

In Agios Nikolaos there is a really great restaurant popular with local people - I think it is called Xanthies - it faces the sea rather than the lake or harbour.

Shame I wont be in the village to say hello - another time.

Have fun (silly comment, of course you will)
Kritsa Yvonne

#10 Pam

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 08:38 PM

Thanks, Hooly - don't want to stay in one of those big hotels, anyway- we prefer smaller places. May well look at the Coral hotel as that seems to stay open all year.

Yvonne, sorry you won't be there, when are you planning your next trip?

Pam & Bob

#11 Pam

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 11:31 PM

Thanks all for your suggestions. Unfortunately the stone houses that Yannis recommended were booked at the time we'll be there, but they do look great - may well try to stay there another time. Dinny's on the case now, so I'm sure we'll be fine. I've booked the Hotel du Lac in Agios Nikolaus for the first part of the holiday - Yvonne recommended it when we were in the chat room the other week and I eventually found it on the net and it looks very good - lovely location on the lake.

Not too long now and definitely planning to visit Kritsa, may well try for Spinalonga if the ferries are running. We also want to do some walking and enjoy the spring flowers. I've been checking the weather and it looks as though there's finally been some decent rain, so hopefully it'll be lovely and green when we're there.

Pam & Bob

#12 Pam

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 01:07 PM

Thanks all for you help again. We're now back from the holiday and had a great time. The Hotel du Lac in Agios Nikolaus was fine and we had a lovely view over the lake. We managed to get to Kritsa and it really is a lovely place - walked most of the way round it through the little streets, quite a labyrinth! Not much was open but we found a place to have a beer at the top of the village and a toastie at the bar neer the bus stop. There were only a few hopeful places open selling lace and leatherware, but I think we were the only tourists there that day, so they didn't have much luck!

Dinny found us a very nice studio with a lovely view over the bay and mountains from the terrace - only problem was it was too windy while we were there to sit out much. We visted Mires market and Gortys as well - both fascinating.

We had a great time with Dinny and her animals as well - kittens were great - just at the stage when they're starting to explore. One in particular was very brave and clambered all over us and the sofa.

Other highlight was meeting Ray and his wife and the five of us had a good meal and chat in Matala that evening - Ray, sorry we didn't catch up with you again. but will definitely come to visit you when we come out again in May.

Pam & Bob

#13 Dinny

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 09:46 AM

Hi Pam

I hope your trip back went smoothly, there shouldn't be too much delays when it's out of season I recon.

Sorry about the weather, it wasn't quite what you had hoped for I guess. And as often happens, the day after you left we had warm sunshine and no wind at all. My daughter and I enjoyed a lovely lunch at Kalamaki sitting outside just in front of the beach and it was just like any other summer day. But it is still 'spring', and today it is typical Good Friday weather: very grey sky, a continuous drizzle - and Pitsidia is wonderfully silent!



Just after I had said goodbye to you here in Pitsidia we had a real mini-Greek-tragedy: The little kitten that had just been climbing all over you decided it was time to taste one of the electric cords! The kitten started screaming and luckyly Andreas was still here and sitting just next to him, so he pulled the cord away. The kitten was as if he was dead, all still and eyes wide open, but after a few minutes when I was holding him in my hands he came back to life. A little cuddling and then he was OK again, I put him back to his mummy and he started drinking right away. They are now confined upstairs where there are no electric cords around, I will have to make a few changes downstairs before I will let them out running about again!



Looking forward to seeing you in May, I'm sure the only weather-problem we shall have then is how to find a shady place where it's not too hot! :)

#14 Pam

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 01:34 PM

Hi, Dinny - yes we had a good trip back, all on time and got back home before 3am (British time). The only problem was that we went to Zaros on the way, had a pleasant 3 hours there pottering about and having lunch but the drive after that to the main road was much more challenging than either of us had remembered, which meant that Bob ended up very tired. Next time we'll make sure we have a lazy day and an easy drive on the last day!

We weren't too bothered about the weather, though it could have been better - one of the reasons for coming out at this time was to experience Crete when the weather isn't perfect, so we can judge whether we could live here all the time. It hasn't put us off, though, but have learnt that we will need to create a sheltered area for sitting outside and a comfortable area for sitting inside as well as shady areas for the heat.

So sorry to hear about the kitten - they are just at that age when everything is new and no sense of danger, aren't they, but so pleased it all turned out well! Hope it didn't put too much of a damper on the party.

Yes, we too are looking forward to our next trip and seeing you and the others that will be out at the same time.

Pam & Bob

#15 Kritsa Yvonne

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 06:02 PM

Good to read about your holiday Pam but reading Dinny's post has proven what a nasty person I am!!!

I formed a mental picture of a cartoon cat with his fur stood out on end; good job that as with all cartoons the hero gets to live another day - but he had better be careful now that he only has 8 of his 9 lives left.

What will you call him Dinny? Sparky????
Kritsa Yvonne

#16 Ray

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 12:08 AM

Hi Pam and Bob, it was really good to see you guys and put faces to the names. Good too to see Dinny again (glad the kitten survived Dinny).

It will be nice to see you and others too in May hopefully. But at least we had a good meal in Matala and a fine afternoon in Pitsidia. We stayed at Koomos beach in our camper van, a place that is superb with the fine archeological site and beach. Not a lot else there which is part of the reson we are so fond of it.

Then I had a tyre problem on the van so we thought it best to get back home where we had to buy two tyres for around a hundred Euros each, but the van needed them. It is much better on the road now.

Glad you two got back OK even at 3 am whatever.

Take care and keep in touch.

Ray & Ann.

#17 Hooly

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 06:55 PM

We got back in the early hours of Wednesday after getting to Crete a few days after Pam. We stayed in Heraklion for 3 days & then, in a change of plan, stayed in Ag Nik over Easter at the Creta Hotel (basically small apartments) which look out over the island, whose name escapes me, where the goats are reputed to be. Exceedingly reasonable (I thought), comfortable & spotlessly clean we had a great stay and were invited to lunch with the owner & his wife on Easter Sunday.

The weather was fine for us, sunny apart from Good Friday, around 20ish when we got there but up to mid 20's+ when we were leaving. Though as Pam said it was a little breezy at times, but in that area it's easy to just head in a slighly different more sheltered direction.

Ag Nik was like a flower opening up as more & more of the shops & bars came to life in the week before Easter. Watched the fireworks, both official & un-, around the lake on Saturday night and they are indeed pretty loud. All in all a fantastic time was had and I certainly would recommend Easter (as a 1st timer at that time of year) as a nice time to go. Even came back looking a bit tanned, must have been the wind.

Can't wait to get back on 1st July for a couple of weeks when, hopefully, the builders will be working on our little renovation project in Kalo Horio.

Pete

#18 Ray

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 11:10 PM

Was the island Spinalonga?

Easter was fine here, we spent it with a greek family we know on the edge of the Lefka Ori, the white mountains.

The weather is getting better day by day and we are grateful for that. I hope your renovation goes well, but you need to spend a winter here to know.

It's a beautiful island, that is for sure.

Ray.

#19 Hooly

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 10:19 PM

Hi Ray

No that's further north past Elounda opposite Plaka. Looking at map in one of my 97 guide books of Crete I think it's called Agios Pandes and iirc it's only open one day a year. The kri-kri goats are reportedly there but very difficult (or impossible in my years of going) to see.

As for Spinalonga itself. We've visited it several times over the last few years & went out again on Good Friday. I have to say the island was very overgrown in places & they've got a big job on their hands to tidy it up anywhere near enough for when the full season starts. I'd never seen it that state before but then have always visited later in the season. Ignoring the merits of the book I would've thought "The Island" might provoke more interest in the place & people may be disappointed if it's still like that.

Thanks for the good wishes & the weather was indeed very pleasant by the time we left. Unfortunately we're not in a position to move full time but hope to spend more & more time over the years in Crete, at periods that suit us. Thus the little house, though I'm sure the winter visits will come later in life. Having said that last November was chilly enough!

But one of my frustrations with the builders I spoke to was that they don't want to restore it as a village house they want to make it psuedo modern with bits of marble on steps, perfectly straight walls etc etc. When I told one that my house in England was 200 years old & virtually every door in it was a different shape & style he said "I hate your house". Going to be tricky sorting out exactly what we want I feel.

Cheers
Pete