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So many options!

texas
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So many options!

I have been reading the forum for a month or so and am seeking advice on our tentative itenerary and most importantly what area to stay in.

We are a party of 5-6, Me & hubby, another couple and a single friend (another friend my come). Ages late 40's to mid 50's. We will be in Greece Mid June 2011.

This will be our 3rd vacation together. Learned from our last vacation, we do NOT want to be at an isolated location. If someone wants to lounge by the pool all day, one call walk or bus to a beach, village, or restaurant. We will rent a car to go to any planned excursions, but want the flexibility to come and go as well.

Plan to fly to Greece, Fly to Crete for 4 nights, then ferry to Santorini for 4 nights. Ferry or Fly to Athens for 2-3 nights. Fly home. In Crete, Chania town looks quaint, but my concern is that is not centrally located to head to nice beaches or sightseeing( Palace). But I love the feel of Chania from descriptions.

In Santorini, Imperovigli looks like a good location. Close to Fira.

Would do a wine tour, enjoy eating at the taverns, enjoying the views by a pool, etc.

Our price is hopefully, no more that $300 per room or $700-800 for a villa with 3 bedrooms.

Thank you in avance for your help.

London, United...
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1. Re: So many options!

Your plan sounds good. I'd do 5 nights in Crete and 3 nights in Santorini, on the basis that there isn't that much to do in Santorini except for endless gazing at the caldera and of course bar hopping. Not sure you guys will be up for much of either. Caldera views come with a price tag too.

Assuming by "palace" you mean Knossos, you could opt to stay at Rethymnon, that way you will be half way between Chania and Heraklion (from where you'll need to take the ferry to Santorini).

There was a thread discussing the relative merits of Rethymnon vs. Chania just recently, it should be easy enough to find if you do a search. As you will be there in summer, there is no need to stay at one of the major towns, there are several resorts dotted along the north (and south) coast that offer a choice of nice tavernas, pool and beach access etc.

Philadelphia
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2. Re: So many options!

Re: Santorini --

Imervogli not really near Fira. Would need bus or taxi to go there. If you want the flexibility for some to stay at hotel, others to walk to Fira Town (museum, shopping etc), you should think about Firostephani.

Re Crete:

If you want to be in the Chania area, and you want beach/sea view, and also the ability to go into Old Town without a car, a TOP choice would be Hotel AMMOS. Right ON a beach, WITH a pool, a gourmet chef etc, plus, on the inland side, a regular local bus takes you to Old Town Chania in 10-15 minutes. Rave TA reviews, only 30 rooms ... hard to book!! Do not wait!! A budget alternative not far away is the friendly family-run Lefka APartments, about 2 blocks off sandyl beach, nice pool, kitchenette apts, again, bus stop right outside, 15 minutes to town. also Good TA reviews

New York City, New...
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3. Re: So many options!

Hey and welcome jm2cc:-) I think your plan is well thought out..and having spent a week in Santorini myself last time there..can guarantee you there is loads to see/do and I didn't do any bar hopping;-) Agree that Imerovigli may be a bit further out than you may like since you mention you don't want to be isolated;-) The views the isle offers are indeed incredible on this unique isle..and would base the length of your stay depending on just how much you intend on taking in..and how you plan on spending your time there/your style! Coming the long haul..and the distance on a first time experience, nothing wrong w/hanging around a pool..gazing at the caldera over a glass of wine if that's what you want to do! There are inner villages to explore..great wineries..perhaps a trip across to Thirassia.. IMO, you just may need those 2 full days to pick your jaws up off the floor;-) Happy planning and ENjoY!

Edited: 10 November 2010, 16:16
Devizes, United...
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4. Re: So many options!

Hi there

If Knossos is a "must see" for you on Crete, then Chania really isn't the place to base yourselves. As has been mentioned, Rethymno would be better although still a fair drive. When you consider what the other major sights are in the general area of Knossos, then that makes a good case for staying somewhere closer, maybe Agios Nikolaos or even the beach resort of Elounda. Knossos is within easy reach of these towns, as is the Lassithi plateau, Spinalonga island, coastal villages such as Milatos ( don't forget Milatos caves) and Sissi and pretty inland towns with lots of history like Kritsa and Neapoli.

All of Iraklion's great sights are within a reasonably short ride and they really should be on your agenda. You can easily combine a morning at Knossos with the afternoon wandering the back streets of Iraklion, spotting all the antiquities and sights.

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5. Re: So many options!

jm2cc

I just returned from Santorin, Rhodes, and Athensi approximately a month ago and while in Santorini stayed in Imerovigli, for 4 nights. We did a tremendous amount of walking and thought it was an ideal location.

Our hotel was the Honeymoon Petra Villas and we stayed in the Petra wing. Our room was pricey but worth every penny. I think, however, the hotel offers lower price points than the 488 euros our room went for. We are close in age to you and walked to Fira, no problem, Frankly, the steps up to the main path from our room were more of a challenge. That was a workout that trumped any squat and lunge sets given to me by a trainer.

We also hiked to Oia, which is an adventure and ought only to be done in the daytime wearing good trail or running shoes, sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses. Water is also a good idea.

We were told that Santoroni only has about 3 dozen cabs and one may find oneself sharing with others. We waited for sometime to get a cab back to Imerovigli from Oia in the evening, even though the restaurants very graciously called for ones. There were quite a few people in a similar predicament and the tourist information centre on the "square' was not helpful.

We did a couple of "wine tours" . We were not taken into the vinyards, however. The wine in Santorini, particularly some of the whites is very good.

May I recommend a catamaran tour of the caldera. It was a highlight for us. Lunch was served with wine, beer, etc. and there were opportinities to swim and snorkel. We arranged our excursion through the hotel. We understand the owner also owns the sailing centre.

Despite the fact that there is not much to do, the view is so beautiful it really doesn't matter. It truly is the postcard. For our part, 4 nights in Santorini was perfect.

We found that 4 days and nights in Athens was good for us but not everyone shares our view.

We hope one day to get to Crete.

Have a wonderful holiday.

texas
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6. Re: So many options!

Thank you for the input. RE: Crete I will look at Rethymnon, due to the central location. I need to do a little more research. Chania Town just looked so cute and "Greek" but I don't want to spend so much time on the road. Where would you stay if you want to be close to the best beaches?

Re: Santorini, this will be our "relaxing" island. Goal is to enjoy, the food, the view and the atmosphere. Maybe a wine tour and/ catamaran sail.

Thank you again.

London, United...
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7. Re: So many options!

I think GB already gave you some good suggestions, namely Agios Nikolaos and Elounda. Chania is lovely, but not more "Greek" than the other places mentioned.

Gold Coast...
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8. Re: So many options!

I would also suggest you look at Firostefani as a location to stay in whilst on Santorini. Imerovigli is beautiful however it is a 30 minute walk into Fira - not a problem going into Fira but it is quite a hike going back and its ALL uphill and as it will be hot in mid-June, it is something worth taking into consideration. Of course, you could take the bus.

Firostefani has restaurants, bars (fewer than Imerovigli) however is only a 10-15 minute walk down to Fira or up to Imerovigli. It a far quieter location to stay at than Fira and many of its accommodations have spectacular caldera views.

9. Re: So many options!

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