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Crete - Where To Go


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#1 Summersun

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 09:48 PM

I am looking at going on holiday to Crete in the summer.

Which would be best Malia, Sissi, Stalis??? (Self catering)

Can I hire a bicyle locally at any of these three villages?

#2 Kritsa Yvonne

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 10:47 PM

Hi, You might like to read up on the different resorts you mentioned as they are very different and what suits one person does not suit another.

Malia is known for its bar and club culture, Stalida as a good family resort and Sissi is a beautiful harbour setting but not so good if you want a beach - my choice would be Sissi especailly for self catering; there are some lovely fish resturants there.

I have not seen bikes for hire in these places but to be fair I haven't looked so there could well be.

Wherever you go, enjoy :angry:
Kritsa Yvonne

#3 Dinny

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 10:52 PM

Hi "summersun",
Where would be best to go... depends on what you are looking for! ;-) It might depend on your age, too.
If what makes you tick is nightlife, dancing and drinking till the early morning, then the North coast is perfect for you, no matter which of the locations you mention you choose. If you like a nice quiet holiday with biking around in this fantastisc nature that Crete is offering, you might enjoy the South better.
But whichever place you choose... Crete is not so big that you cannot get a taste of it all. Just find a solid base in a nice village and take it from there. By bus, by car or by bicyle... the location of your base doesn't really matter, you can get to anywhere from wherever you are.

Enjoy your holidays! :angry:

Dinny

#4 lshall05

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 09:06 AM

I live in Malia and before moving over we spent 9 years coming over on holiday.

It really does depend on what you are looking for. If you want the night life and not have far to stagger home then I'd suggest somewhere in Malia close to Beach Road but if you want to have the option of the night life but not the noise of it, Malia Old Town or Stalis would be better.

I've only been to Sissi once and that was late at night in the winter so can't comment but I have been told that it is aimed more at couples.

Hope this helps. If you need any help with where apartments are based PM me and I'll try to help.

#5 Summersun

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 11:10 AM

Thanks for the advice, I can understand what you mean when you say it depends what I'm looking for as I did not really say much about that.

I'm going for 2 weeks in June and looking for a nice fairly quiet, with a nice beach nearby, not overcrowded with kids or 18-30 type holiday makers, not clubbing or pubs. Want a relaxing holiday and to be able to explore the sights.

We want to be able to explore the Island and see the sights/towns (Heraklion, Knossos, Gorge, Dhiktean Cave, Ruins dotted around) but at the moment not intending to hire a car so I wonder what the island transport system is like?

Are buses from the what I am thinking smaller villages like Sissi/Stalis regular into Heraklion (both directions)?

Is it easy to get from Stalis to Malia for instance in foot?

I have also noticed there are "Tourist Trains" in some villages, are they in all/most and if they are can you use them to get from village to village rather than walking perhaps.

Would Stalis, Sissi be the ideal place to stay of would you maybe suggest elsewhere?

#6 lshall05

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 12:23 PM

You probably want either Sissi or Stalis but I would watch what you book as some travel companies are stating that apartments in Hersonissos and Stalis are in Malia which obviously isn't true so you could end up a lot further out than you want to be!

There are regular buses that go along the main road through Malia so you would have to walk up to the main road from either Sissi or Stalis - from Stalis I don't think it's that far but I think it's a bit of a walk from Sissi. In the winter the buses to/from Heraklion are every hour. I know the service is increased in the summer but I'm not sure how often they run.

There's the Archaelogical Site at the far end of Malia (towards Sissi) which we've walked to from the centre of Malia - you can go along the main road and cut down or take a leisurely walk along the beach.

You would be able to walk from Stalis to Malia - at a slow steady pace I'd say you'd be able to walk it in 30 minutes (from centre of Stalis to the main road in Malia) - that's walking along the beach road through Stalis and up beach road in Malia. You could walk along the main road at the top of Stalis - depends where you are...

The Happy Train runs through the summer and goes through Malia, Stalis and I think the beginning of Hersonissos - I've never been on it so can't tell you exactly where it goes. I think you can buy a 'day' ticket so that you can hop on and off but you'd need to check that.

#7 Ros21

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 12:54 PM

Hi Summersun,
from what you've said then definately NOT Malia. The buses run regularly from Heraklion to Agios Nikoloas all along the coast, including Malis, Sissi & Stalis from around 7am to 9pm. You can find the timetable at www.bus-service-crete-ktel.com. Busses to Knossos from Heraklion are very frequent. Last summer, in September, I drove back from Elounda to Heraklion & decided to drive through Stalis & Malia. I wouldn't reccommend Stalis either (it's just a smaller version of Malia, with many Brit type pubs) . I have visited Sissi a couple of times & of the three that's where I would prefer to stay.
Another possibility is Kokkini Hani or Gouves, if you want to stay on the north coast, near to Heraklion. The only downside with these is the close, & I mean close proximity to the Airport.
As Dinny has said, you might prefer the south coast of the island. I would certainly reccommend both Matala & Agia Galini. Again buses are available from there to Heraklion. There are also plenty of archealogical sites, Phaestos, Gortyna & Agia Deka, which would be easily accessable from Matala or Agia Galini.

Enjoy your holiday wherever you decide to stay.

Ros.

#8 Summersun

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 02:32 PM

I'm now thinking of stay at the Bella Vista Apartments in Sissi (don't mistake this for the Bella Vista is Stalis).

Does anyone have any experience at this place, thoughts, views, etc.

#9 Caroline

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 08:50 PM

I have no wish to offend anyone, but I would avoid all the areas previously mentioned if you are looking for 'a nice fairly quiet, with a nice beach nearby, not overcrowded with kids or 18-30 type holiday makers, not clubbing or pubs. Want a relaxing holiday and to be able to explore the sights'.

The stretch of coast East of Heraklion would not be my choice, given your requirements. I spent six days in Sissi in 2005 and again in September last year. It was out of necessity, rather than choice. I don't honestly think it has much to endear itself as a holiday destination for two weeks. If you are flying to Heraklion, I would go West to the resort of Agia Pelagia or somewhere in that area. My own personal favourite is Rethymnon, about two hour's drive from Heraklion as I think it has something for everybody, and really good transport links all over the Island.

However, I hope you have a wonderful holiday, wherever you decide to stay.

#10 Ros21

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 12:52 PM

Caroline,

I stayed in Agia Pelagia for several years, & I love the place. I have many friends of all nationalities who live & work there, and when I'm over I spend a lot of time there. Last year I even met Birgit there for a meal on the day she flew home. I believe Yiannis is also a friend of one of the owners of my favourite taverna. The only problem with Agia Pelagia is the bus service & summersun doesn't want to hire a car. It is possible to take the bus into Heraklion, but they are not very frequent & the service ends late afternoon/early evening.
Another resort I've stayed in was Bali, and again public transport can be difficult, depending on where you were staying there. Anything between a 10 minute & 30 minute walk to the main road for the bus stop & not a single taxi in Bali.

I would also avoid the strech east of Heraklion, to at least past Hersonnissos, if I were booking a holiday to Crete.

Ros.

#11 Caroline

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 09:55 PM

Hi Ros,
Thanks for the info about the public transport. Always worth knowing. ^_^

#12 Summersun

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 02:52 PM

I have now booked in the resort of Sissi - Any recommendations?

#13 Caroline

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 07:31 PM

I would recommend that you use Sissi as a base Summersun, and visit as many parts of the island as the public transport system allows you to. The pizza restaurants are okay, I never found any of the Tavernas particularly inspiring but I can remember spending a very pleasant evening with a certain webmaster at one of the fish restaurants that up on the hill above the little harbour. ^_^

Good luck!