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Favorite thing: Hello
It does get hot, later in september is better for walking around. I would recommend Western Crete, Rethymon to Tavrontis area on the north coast, better to fly to Chania than Heraklion/Iraklio. Chania is a cosmopolitan area, venitian architecture, expensive to eat out and stay there. Rethymno can be quiet lively but if you stay in the surrounding areas you can travel into the town in the evenings to eat. (Avoid the area at the top harbour - you get hassled and can't get passed the fish restaurants, which are overpriced and not at all nice.) You should definatley get a car - there is much to see and do and although the bus is very cheap, you can pretty much cover everything with a car and a good map. Take care with place names, generally use the prefecture name after the place you want - there are many placed called the same name but in totally different areas. I recommend a bike ride, you can hire a bike and you get a guide who drives you to a designated area and then rides back with you which the mini bus follows behind. You get some wonderful aromas and sights and get to stop for refreshments. 18-30s go to Malia and the surrounding areas. A must for the beach is Balos/Gramvousa. (Google images for pictures) You go as an excursion, but you gat the tickets yourself drive to Kissamos port (great sights along the road to Kissamos)There is even a church carved into the rock! You get a boat to Gramvoussa. There is a fortress ruin there if you can face the climb up the steps! then the boat takes you to Balos for a few hours. Beware there is nothing there only a beach a shallow pool of water but it is heavenly. The water only reaches your waist for miles and the sea is as clear and blue as a swimming pool. Falasarna is great for a beach, this is also an ancient sea port (now inland due to continental shift) and archilogical site. Paleochora to the south is a lovely village with a few shops, an outdoor cinema and a couple of beaches. The north coast can be pebbly in places. The gorges at Samaria and Imbros (the latter - the smaller) are gorgeous (pardon the pun) bear in mind if you visit these - on an excursion the bus drops you off and waits at the other end! The food is delicious and all of it is organically grown on the island, I recommend spanikopita (spinach pie), saganaki (fried cheese, dakos (rye bread rusks, covered in tomato, feta onion and olive oil) and anything else! Beware of free raki/tispourio/tiskoudia when driving, you get it always free with your meal and it is VERY strong! We have visited quite a few different island and found Crete to be the best.
Fondest memory: Balos by boat. Wildlife. Culture. Traditional Music. Driving round the Island exploring villages. . Saganaki, Cretan Rye Bread Rusks, Raki, Boureki, Dakos, The Locals who are extremly generous and very friendly! The true Cretan spirit. Olive oil - delicious, Ancient Sites, Swimming in the wonderful crystal clear ocean. The sights and smells as you travel. The goats with their bells. The wonderful churches. There are some awesome sights including the White (pink) mountains. The Sunshine. The cats. The markets. The boats. The fish. The Sounds. The most I miss about Crete is EVERYTHING!
Updated Jun 27, 2011
Favorite thing: The most common European emergency number 112 (following Directive 2002/22/EC: Universal Service Directive) and also standard on GSM mobile phones. 112 is used in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Republic of Macedonia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom in addition to their other emergency numbers.
Here are some useful phone numbers that you might need while in Greece:
Forest fire: 191
Coast guard emergency intervention: 108
Counter- narcotics immediate intervention: 109
Updated Jan 5, 2010
Favorite thing: During the month of August it seems to be common for the northern wind called the Meltemi to blow. This is a cooling wind but it can be quite strong at times. It certainly churned up the waves around Mochlos from where this photo was taken.
The wind did help to bring a fresher air to the region so it was welcome but if you're trying to go sailing or snorkelling it could affect your plans.
You'll not be able to do anything about it but just be prepared .
Written Aug 17, 2009
Favorite thing: In 2005 I drove the rough road through the Gramvoussa peninsula. It start a bit after Kastelli Kissamos, you have to follow the "Balos beach Hotel" road sign and than follow the path.. it was quite uneven, with hole and stones but driving very slowly and carefully it have been possible with a normal car in about one hour. Off road vehicle would be better even because the rental company's insurance never cover the bottom of the car.
You will get to a park area up in the last part of the peninsula and you will have to walk down a path for maybe 30 minutes to reach the beach... the view from up there is breath taking..
Please This place is a corner of paradise... make sure to bring with you ALL your rubbish when you leave!!!
Updated Aug 5, 2008
Favorite thing: A good long walk is from near main bus station, on the sea road past the Politechniou,round the headland called ring road under the Fortress to the Venetian Harbour,on to the Waterfront pass the Marina to the beaches. Returning just turn into the town streets, back at the harbour. On the map the bus station is bottom left and the Beach bottom right
Updated May 22, 2007
Favorite thing: Easy to get around , trips were great and locals pretty friendly
Fondest memory: Being my first time abroad i found the locals pretty friendly , was my Daughters 13 th while we were there and a local restaurent we frequented kindly made her a birthday cake and sang happy birthday , was lovely
Written May 12, 2007
Favorite thing: I booked a room in Hersonissos for a week, but I didn't like much that place. One evening, after having walked a bit uphill, I discovered three small villages not far from Hersonissos. Their names are; Koutoloufari, Piskopiano and Old Hersonissos. They are really nice places to spend some hours.
Updated Jul 24, 2006
Favorite thing: Not the biggest revelation - but do strap yourself in when getting into a taxi. Many a driver seemed to want to prove how fast they can get from A to B, and your protestations will fall on deaf ears.
Also drivers will stop and pick up other tourists on route and try and charge same fare- happened to us once and were too tired to complain.
Also be wary of taxi drivers giving you their travel tips, but make sure you can laugh when necessary in a thank you i will take this on board rather then oh my god did you just say that
"Santtorini is good for romance and f**king' as he slowed down to honk at some scantily dressed ladies
"June and July is good for lots and lots of good time girls" - not so bad but i am sure he used stronger language
Updated Jun 17, 2006
Favorite thing: Very little on this resort on the web.
Picked it because it was cheap deal but close to Rethymnon to escape as and when things got too bad. Resort is geared towards the all inclusive package holiday resort person. Built with no intention to retain any Greek character, and unfortunately as is the way in many resorts the hotels have cleaned up and dominate the beaches - so very few of the bars/restaurants look out on to the beaches which is for me paramount if am by the beach - why do i want to eat looking out on to a road when you can hear and smell the sea - different strokes for different folks i guess. Bars and restaurants on the one main road, lack any soul, and proliferation of eateries featuring Brit and German food staples alongside Greek cuisine says it all really (and there is an Indian as well!). Found one niceish bar Mojito - some of hotels might be hiding a few bars. Saying that basic staples of Greek food is easy to come by ie mezdes, mousakas and stifado. Beach is a bit patchy/unloved in some sections, but in front of posher hotels sand improves greatly and have nice beach cafes attached so need to do a bit of exploring - and can be made bearable. Resort is handy to make as a base and if not expecting to spend every waking hour there, then the above faults will not spoil the holiday. If cheap food, booze, all inclusive hotels is your thing then this is probably heaven.
When i went mid June it did feel very low key and many places are near on empty at night, leaned towards more middle aged holiday makers, though July and August gets very very swamped and been told more testosterone crowd.
Downfalls of resort are glaringly obvious when head into Rethymnon cheap 10-15 min taxi ride away - harbour whilst is also geared to tourists it oozes character, few stylish bars and the Venetian back streets perfect for al fresco dining.
Updated Jun 17, 2006
Favorite thing: Police 0030-2843022259
Port authority 0030-2843022310
Post office 0030-2843022283
Written May 24, 2006
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