Crete Holiday In September
Posted 03 June 2007 - 10:41 PM
I'm taking a holiday with my family in September, staying in a villa near Stavromenos. If anyone has any recommendations for local tavernas, markets, bakeries and any must-see local places of interests, I would really appreciate it. We are going to be 8 people ranging from ages 23 - 60, so we'll have a wide range of tastes!
Two things in particular we are interested in are: Samaria Gorge and Spinalonga.
I am concerned about making our way to Samaria Gorge. We will have cars, but the logistics of it all sounds complicated. The advice from the Gorge's website is to get to Chania and take a bus to Omalos. A few questions I have:
Are there free/safe places to park in Chania and leave your car for the day?
How long does it take to get from Stavromenos to Chania by car?
Are there other interesting gorge walks nearer to our villa?
My MIL would like to visit Spinalonga as we both read The Island. Is it worth visiting as I think it would be quite a trek?
Any help would be very much appreciated.
Posted 16 June 2007 - 10:03 PM
Last year my husband walked the Samaria Gorge and loved it, he will walk again this year too, i will stay by the pool and go shopping . As for getting there etc,im not much help as he went on the trip,being picked up early in the morning. Im sure your car will be safe.
Spinalonga,we will go this year for sure, know people who did this and said we should go too.
Sorry i cant really be of help to you, but it is nice to get a reply.
Have a great holiday. Maisie.
Posted 19 June 2007 - 01:09 PM
I've been to that area for the last few years & visited Spinalonga several times. It's definitely "different" & on a first visit would take about an hour(ish) to walk slowly round on your own, with a bit more if you can get up to the fortress part at the top, as this is a bit of a clamber. When I was there at Easter the place was looking very overgrown, but presumably that was due to it being the very start of the season & I would hope they've tidied it up since then.
As for the Island itself, there are some well preserved bits around the gateway & what would be the shops referred to in the book but much of the rest is pretty well verging on ruin & seems to have got worse over the few years I've been there. The 1st time I went was on one of the tour boats from Ag Nik. The British guide (Lana) was heavily into the Leprosy bit but on this occasion couldn't go on the island as her Greek compatriot wasn't well & she wasn't allowed go on her own. So we had the speil on the boat which to be honest went on too long for me. However I know people who swear by her (although she may not still be about) & another guide who work out of Ag Nik.
There are basically 3 ways of getting there. There are a number of boats out of Ag Nik which is the longest route and they vary from all day cruises including barbecue & swimming to the simpler out & back trips which IIRC take about an hour each way. Closer is Elounda which is probably 15-20 minutes each way, and I believe there are guided trips etc available. Opposite the island is Plaka which is not much more than a 5 minute hop.
Heraklion to Ag Nik I reckon is roughly 1 hr & Stavromenos is about 60km by the look of it from Heraklion, so maybe a 2 hour journey each way, with Elounda another 10-15 mins on. Would I do it? Mmmmm. All I can say is that my 1st visit to Spinalonga left me wanting to go back again as I found the place made a distinct impression. Having been there at Easter we'll certainly go back in July or September but I'd like to do another proper guided trip this time. I would definitely prefer to drive 2 hours to see Spinalonga rather than the same up to the Dikti cave on the Lassithi Plateau, which I found a sad disappointment. Agios is a very pleasant, laid back place & there are a number of other sights like Lato (Minoan town), Panaghia Kera (small but beautiful church) etc that are closeby. Certainly more than enough in the area to make a day of it.
Hope that helps a little. Sorry it's a bit wordy!
Posted 19 June 2007 - 06:54 PM
Thanks a million for the info on Spinalonga,im sure it is off great help to many of us.
Posted 28 June 2007 - 11:07 PM
I have no doubt that we will make the effort to visit both Samaria Gorge and Spinalonga. It'll probably be during the first week so we can use the second week to recover from all the energetic sightseeing.
We're all really excited to be experiencing Crete for the first time!!!
Thanks again for your posts, maisie & Hooly, I really appreciate it.
Posted 14 September 2007 - 10:39 PM
Great place just to walk and explore - there's a hard way up to the top or in the first part of the main street, you can find a fairly easy climb up and back - look for the stairs on your right as you are walking through.
Whilst I'm here you might find this site useful for working out your mileage and finding places:-
Skopi used to be a nice place til we arrived