Airports, Car Hire & Accommodation
Posted 03 March 2007 - 06:46 PM
New member and planning to visit Crete in early May. Any advice re which airport and car hire would be appreciated. Planning to find some accommodation when we arrive - hopefully self catering - again any advice would be welcome. Planning to spend the week walking & maybe a bit of climbing so somehwere around Anoya or Ayios Ioannis (Amari) would be handy but open to suggestions.
Thank you in advance for any help/advice.
Posted 05 March 2007 - 09:11 PM
Airports - Either airport would be equally convenient, but We always find Chania more civilised than Heraklion, night flights out of Heraklion in particular are horrendous.
Car hire - you are in the lap of the gods, pray hard and be good - you could strike lucky, our experience of hiring cars in western Crete since 1996 leads us to believe it's pretty much of a lottery. You can have very good service one year (Flisvos 2004 - 2 cars over 14days -delivery and collection from different airports - change of car to accomodate extra visitors 2nd week), and dire vehicles (Flisvos 2005 - 2 cars over 5 days, both with faults, they told us that the 1st car would be taken of the road as it was at the end of its life and then immediately hired it out to someone at the same accomodation as us.)
This is probably why people are reluctant to reccomend hire companies. You may as well pick the best deal you can find on the net, but:-
1. always specify the actual make and model you want and don't accept "equivalent car in same group" unless you are familiar with the model.
2. The cheapest group 1 cars these days are nearly always 3cylinder Korean models which may be ok in town or at a push on the national highway, but will struggle with anything more than two lightweight adults in the mountains.
3. If there is anything you don't like about the car, take it back, something can always be sorted out if you actually make it clear what the problem is and that you are serious about it.
4. none of the cars we have had was in anyway actually dangerous, but some have been very frustrating.
Don't let me put you off, be positive, have fun, enjoy your stay in Crete!
Posted 06 March 2007 - 04:35 AM
Posted 06 March 2007 - 06:31 PM
However I very much doubt that the "no-one else can be bothered" attitude is prevalent here and I apologise on behalf of that member for that impression.
I do know of a car hire firm that delivers to the airport and is reasonable, contact Les Bevis on [email protected] and mention me (Wayne Santorini)
If you have the time to search for various topics then I would recommend that you do, you would be surprised at the mountain of information to hand within this site.
And if you don't find any answers then by all means ask on the Forum.
It's not the number of breaths you take, it's the moments that take your breath away.
Posted 20 March 2007 - 06:23 PM
Thank you for the help. Flights and car now booked. Just now wondering about accommodation. We're going 1st of May for one week and likely to be travelling around quite a bit so wondering about finding accommodation as we go - preferably self catering and not too expensive. Will there be any problem finding accommodation in that way at that time?
Posted 20 March 2007 - 10:01 PM
Early May will not be too busy on Crete so exploring and then finding a room where the fancy takes you should be fine.
Most towns/villages seem to have small hotels and/or rooms to rent - sounds like the basis of a great holiday!
When we stayed in Chania without pre booking we found it quite easy and looking at the room/facilities prior to deciding whether or not to stay was expected.
If you find somewhere really good remember to leave a review on this forum as it may help other people to decide where to go.
Have a great time,
Posted 21 March 2007 - 10:06 AM
I am guessing from your post that you may not have been to Crete before and may not be familiar with how the accomodation works. Unlike the UK, it is relatively easy, and comparatively cheap, to find rooms for a night or two in most places. As well as the usual hotels and villas etc that can be rented prior to your arrival, you can just find accomodation in any town or village that takes your fancy at the time. I have travelled all over Crete countless times in this fashion and rarely had accomodation that was not satisfactory. Most of the numerous very good friends that I now have in Crete I first met by taking ones of their rooms. As you travel around you will see countless signs offering accomodation. Often abbreviated to "Rooms" or "Zimmer", such places are the key to decent fairly priced accomodation throughout Crete. As Yvonne says, you shouldn't find a problem getting rooms in May. What extras are on top of a clean room and bed vary. Many will have kitchen facilities, some will offer a local breakfast. If food is not on offer, then there will be plenty of opportunities to get something nearby, either to eat out or bring back and eat on the veranda under a warm sun! The idea of just turning up on the island and then looking for accomodation is too much to bear for many (Brits especially I think) but, unless you arrive at a crazy hour, then it is quite normal for many travellers.
Any taverna keeper or shopkeeper will point you towards available rooms if you cannot see a sign, they will no doubt be with a friend or relative. You are free to inspect the rooms before saying yes- that is quite normal. The maximum price will be on an EOT notice on the back of the bedroom door normally. You will no doubt be offered a better price - haggling over the price is not so common these days as we recognise that these folk have a living to make and don't charge much in relation to elsewhere in EU anyway. I'm not sure of current prices - but I am sure you can get something in most places for 30 euros, give or take. The daily rate often drops if you spend a number of days there. (Note, you usually hand your passport to the proprietor overnight to take details)
The availability of accomodation on this basis is one of the great things in Crete, a chance to meet locals who will give you a good service at great value- and may become your friends for life. For that reason I have no experience of hotels in Crete (well only The Halepa in Chania for a couple of special nights with a few friends from here) and cannot recommend any.
Posted 23 March 2007 - 11:10 AM
All the bst and do report back on how you get on.
Pam & Bob
Posted 09 May 2007 - 03:12 PM
Just come back from our week in Crete. In the end we used Heraklion as flights were cheaper but they were daytime flights and it was fine.
The weather has been good and as you said it was easy to find accommodation. We stayed 5 nights in Georgiopoulis at the Papadakis Apartments which were good. Georgiopoulis was a convenient location in terms of its closeness to the main highway but still relatively small and not too commercial/noisy. We did some walking in the White Mountains from there. We then moved to Anoyia for the last 2 nights and stayed at the Hotel Aristea which was lovely and we walked up Mount Psiloritis on Monday.
Thank you to those who responded to my request for info.