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#1 MadeInLeeds



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Posted 08 May 2007 - 10:25 PM

I hope you are all well?

I found this form by chance as I was trying to book a holiday. So before I do, I thought I best ask the experts!

This will be our only holiday this year, budgets being as they are means that we can only really travel outside the main school holiday, so we are trying for a week in October, which is still a holiday, but hopefully, most folk will have been away in the summer.

We have been told that Crete is nice this time of year. My wife suffers from Prickly heat, so we wanted somewhere warm, but not overly hot. We are not beach type people, we love looking at historical ruins and museums and our son, well, he is just so full of life that it would drive him nuts if all there was to do was build sand castles!

As we are on a budget, i wonder if someone could tell me:

1. The cheapest company to fly with? We are in...Leeds - but happy to fly from a main London airport, or manchester.

2. We would normally try stay in a travellodge type family room accomadation? Is there anything out there that anyone could recommend?

3. What area of crete should we aim for, somewhere family oriantated would be fine, but avoiding rowdy areas if possible, Ollie is 5, picking up bad habits already you know!

4. Where are the best sites to visit for stunning seas veiws and historical interest?

I know I am asking a lot for a newbie, but any advice is more than welcomed!


#2 Tim


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Posted 09 May 2007 - 11:08 AM


I will start the ball rolling, others will, I am sure, have suggestions to add.

Flights. You are not in my part of the world but I think Manchester airport is probably second only to Gatwick in terms of the numbers of flights to Crete - so there is a good chance of deals from there. Additionally, Manchester is one of the airports from which you can get flights to Chania as well as the more usual to Heraklion.

Google 'cheap flights " to come up with some places to look for deals. You can also access some flight sites through this website.

October is a good month, I have been to Crete many times in October and, though you may get some wet and windy weather, chances are that you will get a good few decent days without burning. Evenings can be cool though. The season ends in late October, usually around Ochi Day (28th).I am sure there is a facility somewhere on this site to get a look at average temperatures in Crete over the years.

There is no equivalent of Travelodge in Crete - but don't let that worry you. Apart from hotels and apartment blocks rented by travel companies, the normal accomodation is known as "Rooms" (Zimmer / Dhomatia). What you get is a bedroom with maybe a kitchen and dining area plus loo and shower room. Inevitably very clean, very reasonable, with a local Cretan owner who will become your friend. You can stay for a day, or more, as you please, the longer you stay the better the rate. It used to be the case that holiday companies would offer deals with accomodation and flights as such low prices, that you could take one, stay the first night in the provided acomodation and then clear off and do your own thing staying in rooms elsewhere as the fancy took you. Most of us have the confidence, or the contacts, to just fly in to Crete and then think about accomodation (providing the hour of arrival is sensible) but 'Crete virgins' may feel more comfortortable having at least their first night's bed arranged. I don't believe there will be a problem in October finding rooms.

Where to go is more of a problem. I think you will need a car to get the most out of your trip given your requirements. I would head for Kamilari or Kalamaki, or perhaps Matala. These are in the south and close to what, for me, is the nicest part of Crete, the Messara plain. For you though it would be handy for Gortys, Agia Triada, Kommos and other archeological sites along with other interesting places like Zaros. Also great markets in Mires and to a lesser degree Tympaki. You will never be far from the beaches for those days when you might want to use them. Heraklion, and Knossos, are well within a days comfortable drive from the Kamilari area.

You might also consider Plakias, south coast again but further west. More of a resort and less archeology on the doorstep but a place that is far less touristic than the stips on the north coast. Some great days out can be had from Plakias if you don't want to enjoy the many beaches. (Frankocastello, Hora Sfakion, Lourto to name but a few) Plakias has plenty of accomodation and good tavernas.

Rather than me list the tourist resorts to avoid, maybe you should get some brochures and see where the main companies go - they are pretty much all in the north and east of Heraklion.

Best sea views? Well, if you have the nerve to drive up to Anapolis from Chora Sfakion, you get a pretty spectacular view on the way down- for the passenger that is - the driver shouldn't take his eyes off the road for a micro second! In truth, pretty much wherever you go you will find spectacular views - of mountains and the sea.

#3 little mo

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 07:18 PM

I agree with Tim, though I may be biased as I live in the south and love it here. I have a friend who has great self catering studios in Kalamaki right on the beach with free sunbeds and a few kids things like slide and trampoline which should get rid of a bit of Ollie's energy! The owners have their own 2 young children and the rates are very reasonable. They have studios for 3. If you drive there are many interesting places you can visit, some of which Tim has mentioned and we are just over an hour from Iraklion airport. You will also find it is quite a bit cheaper for most things than the North. If you don't drive Matala would be a good bet as there is public transport from here and also day trips. PM me if you want details, phone numbers etc. Wherever you choose I'm sure you will have a great holiday here. You could also look on various sites about Crete, all of them have info on accommodation.

#4 MadeInLeeds



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Posted 11 May 2007 - 08:19 PM

Thank you for your time and your great help.

At the moment, the flights out seem reasonable, but the flights back to the uk are way too much, the cheapest I can find for the three of us is near 400 quid and thats before I start with hotels etc. so its had to go on the back burner for now.

Thank you again for the time spent, it really is appreciated.