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Early morning ferry our of Heraklion, where should we stay?

Montreal, Canada
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Early morning ferry our of Heraklion, where should we stay?

We are looking at different locations to stay for a couple of nights before our early morning ferry out of Heraklio (Iraklio) but we have no idea how long the drive is from those places to the port of Heraklion.

Where would you suggest that we stay where it would be the most convenient with nice scenery location that would give us easy access to the port (by car)?

Thanks in advance for all the suggestions you can give us.

New Jersey
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1. Re: Early morning ferry our of Heraklion, where should we stay?

I think Hotels.com and or some of the other hotel web sites can give you a option of selecting hotels with the distance to port, or airport, listed. I'm also looking for the same, if I find a nearby hotel I'll post it.

crete
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2. Re: Early morning ferry our of Heraklion, where should we stay?

Hi,

Try Lato or Atrion hotel.

Bye.

Philadelphia
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3. Re: Early morning ferry our of Heraklion, where should we stay?

Mist, I keep thinking I've answered this question for you before, I've responded to so many of your queries.

If you are taking the 9:45 ferry, you don't want to have the hassle of returning your car at the dock as you are getting ready to board. What if the agency guy is late gettng there? Etc.

My experience is that for ONE night before your ferry it's best to stay in a hotel that is near the Quay. I found Hotel Kronos in Heraklion --- not a luxe hotel but fine at just 50E per double in May or Sept. -- and it's right on the water. Front rooms look directly down on the Old Harbour.. the Venetian wall and walkway leading out to the fortress... a nice stroll at sunset.

http://www.kronoshotel.gr/

pix of room & view -- http://www.kronoshotel.gr/images.php

From upstairs (ask for a room with a sea view), you can see the ferry quay to your right;, just a Km away. Even walkable... except you have baggage.

You can arrange with rental agency to park your car on the street by the hotel or in their lot behind, & leave keys at the desk, the night before your ferry trip. In the morning, the desk can have a taxi for you ... 5 minutes to the quay. If you want a terrific "meze" meal that night, walk 100 yards to your right, to the traffic circle and go to the Ouzer O Vrakas I think -- 3 of us pigged out with about 6 little dishes plus glasses of wine for only 32E. We made a lip-smacking spectacle of

ourselves!

Do you plan to see the Palace of Knossos & the one "room of relics" that is available next to the (closed) Iraklon Museum? that can be done the day before your ferry. You COULD stay at Kronos, but here's what I have done, on 2 previous trips, driving from the west.

We stayed in Ag. Pelagia, a seaside resort just about 12 KM west of Heraklion. Then in the AM, we drove east, on the bypass past Heraklion, to Knossos. From there, back into the city & Kronos, as above.

Won't recommend a specific Ag. Pelagia apartment because (sob) the isolated one I loved, surrounded by fields of flowers, is now surrounded by bulldozers building new villas. Just google Ag. P and you'll come up with many alternatives. Beaches: the main beach is very narrow; try a "cove beach" just to the west called Mononaftis -- it has a natural bridge. On the main beach there are a ton of tavernas with "porches" & cheap dinners, for a great sunset view.

Howzat for a comprehensive answer to questions you didn't even ask?

Montreal, Canada
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4. Re: Early morning ferry our of Heraklion, where should we stay?

Thank you so much everybody. I really appreciate your help

INXS2, thanks for suggesting Hotels.com, I have been searching in their website already but although it gives the distance to the center of the city and airport, it does not specify the time it takes to drive to the port (where the ferries are) from the hotels.

kri-kri, I looked up your hotel suggestions, they look really nice.

travelerjan, you are amazing! I will print your suggestions and bring it with me. The only problem I see is leaving our luggage in the car the whole day . We will have a tiny car and the trunk will probably be to small for our suitcases. They'll be sitting on the back seat. What did you do with your luggage while you were visiting Knossos? (I found a nice place in Ag.Pelagia called Nymphes for 67 euros but it looks like it's pretty far from everything)

Do you really think that we must stay that close to the port? I thought that we basically just needed easy access to the port because we made arrangement with the car rental company and we will just leave the car at a specific location at the port with the keys and they will pick it up from there later (we don't have to wait for the guy from the company)

Philadelphia
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5. Re: Early morning ferry our of Heraklion, where should we stay?

Mist. what are you traveling with, steamer trunks???? There are only 2 of you... one (checkable) bag each, plus maybe a smaller soft-iside bag. If more, you are way too high-maintenance :-)

Greece has the lowest crime rate in Europe. Petty theft is not part of the national culture. That being said, there are theft problems in Athens largely from the large impoverished illegal-Albanian population... and in the islands, theft is usually from other tourists.

We fitted our bags in the trunk. If u can only fit your 2 "checking" bags in the trunk, maybe u can stuff the others under the front seat.

If u are not sure, then take measuremernts of your bags (in metric) and e-mail your car rental place and say these are my bag dimensions... please assure me there will be room in the trunk for them, and that u will not accept the car until you have loaded it successfully.

As to your other question --- do you have to be that close?? Not within actual sight of the quay --- but as long as you're going to have to be in Heraklion, you may as well be on the water (and at a better price than Hotel Leto also!).

And yes, if u have a morning ferry, you MUST be in HEraklion. Do not question this... I have the experience. I have been in Crete 4 times and have driven in/out of Heraklion SIX times as navigator. Despite detailed directions and an eagle eye on the map, we have gone astray EVERY TIME, at least for a few blocks, and have had to stop, ask directions and backtrack. Remember -- you will NOT be able to read street signs readily... they are in another alphabet.

Montreal, Canada
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6. Re: Early morning ferry our of Heraklion, where should we stay?

you are scaring me Traveljan, ...I have driven practically all over Italy (including Roma), France (including Paris), Spain, Portugal, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria and I never had any problems. But although the languages varies, the alphabet was the same.

I intend to bring "bilingual maps" for this trip and was thinking of doing the drive the night before so I don't get lost in the morning but

if you think that I should stay that close, I will follow your advise because you have been there and not me so I rely on your experience

Morton, Illinois
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7. Re: Early morning ferry our of Heraklion, where should we stay?

Mist59,

Please report back on your driving experience. In NA we are used to taking our cars anywhere and for long distances. So I am now a bit nervous as well. Anyway, I plan to take JanBerlin's advice and stay close to the port. Have not decided between Lato and Krosnos.

Philadelphia
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8. Re: Early morning ferry our of Heraklion, where should we stay?

BDOO and Mist, Please, my dears, repeat after me. I am not in North America; I am in Greece, I am in Crete, and driving is DIFFERENT. There’s even a web page about it:!

www.cretetravel.com/Driving_in_Crete.htm

The key paragraph is at the bottom:

“Because of the tightly winding "hairpin" bends on mountain roads and others which are narrow or poorly surfaced, if you are estimating the travel time between two points based on the distance you should use an average speed of 40-50 km (25-30 miles) per hour. The average speed will be higher on parts of the new National road, but even lower on some others”…

Now, don’t be scared off… you’ll be doing most of your driving on the North coast highway and you won’t run into much traffic, and driving in Greece is BEAUTIFUL. But please don’t base time estimates on your Midwest experience (I grew up in Indiana so I can say this). About 90% of Greek highway length is double-line (no passing). Of course Greeks pass…but don’t you try.

Also here’s an important page: distance chart IN KM:

www.west-crete.com/road-distances-crete.htm

For each distance you know the drill: divide by 2, add 10%. Thus, Chania-Rethymnon @ 60Km = 36 miles. Print out the page and write in the mileage in red if u need to.

When u object to staying "near the port" Mist, what's the problem? The port is marginally the nicer area in an un-pretty city. And u can keep the car till the am & drop it at the port if you arranged to. Yes, I had advised coming the night before

Do you even have a good map of Heraklion? Here's my fave:

alpha-omegaonline.com/Cities-map/Heraklion.g…

Put your printer on "horizontal" and Print quality on "good" and it prints out nicely in B & W & streets are in Roman type not cyrillic.

HOTEL LOCATIONS -

KRONOS is right by the Z of Venizelou on the waterside road

LETO is uphill from the Bus Station circle on "Epidemi"

ATRION is near Historical Museum, corner of Paleologou & Gazi.

Notice the wall-- you can only come in on certain streets; the yellow streets-- and many are one-way. Make your car rental person MARK your MAP on which streets to take.... and Good Luck!

Montreal, Canada
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9. Re: Early morning ferry our of Heraklion, where should we stay?

Thanks so much traveljan, all the information that you are giving is so helpful.

I'm from Canada so I'm used to kilometers. In fact, I find it easier to figure out how much time it takes since the average is 100 Km = 1 hour on highways.

I will defintly print those maps and as I said, I will also buy good bilingual ones (Michelin usualy makes good ones)

I have driven on the Amalfi coast in Italy and I must say it was an amazing drive but the scariest one of my life. I saw Italians pass other cars on those twisty roads high on the cliffs, but not me, don't worry! But the worst part was driving at night knowing that there was only about a foot between you and the drop but not seing it...

You will probably say that I'm not listening or you will think that you may not have been making yourself clear enough but I'm giving one last try: How about staying in Amoudara? My husband really wants to stay by the beach and I must say that staying in town is not my first choice if I can avoid it... Amoudara looks really close to Heraklion (4 or 6 Km). Closer then Ag. Pelagia but probably not as nice?

Philadelphia
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10. Re: Early morning ferry our of Heraklion, where should we stay?

Misty, regarding the driving/distances, I don't think you are reading. In Canada 1 hour = 100 kilometers In Crete one hour = 50 kilometers.

About Amouda (sp?) this is the first time you have mentioned WHY you resisted the idea of being in Heraklion. I could have saved my breath if you had said why earlier.

It's your call, babe. Is your husband an early bird? Or is it hard to get him underway before he's had his coffee??? You'll have to leave before coffee (It' well-nigh impossible to get coffee before 8 am -- that is why I travel with one of those immersion-heater thingies). and is he a good navigator. Does his DNA prevent him from asking directions? (a problem in my family which only my son has overcome). Good luck!