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Heraklion or Agios Nikolaos?

florida
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Heraklion or Agios Nikolaos?

I'm looking at two different cruise itineraries, one of which goes to Heraklion, the other to Agios Nikolaos. Of course I wish I could see all of Crete, but that's not going to be possible. Which of the two is more interesting, which most Not To Be Missed? (I know that Heraklion is Knossos; I don't know what the main attractions are of Agios Nikolaos.) Thank you.

Devizes, United...
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1. Re: Heraklion or Agios Nikolaos?

Hi nancy

Well, Agios Nikolaos is a pleasant enough resort but other than a couple of museums and it's proximity to Spinalonga island, there is nowhere near the same amount to do and see that Iraklion can offer.

Assuming you get the best part of a full day ashore, if you choose Iraklion you can go out to Knossos as soon as you berth, spend say a couple of hours there, then come back into the city and take a wander around some of the fabulous sights such as..

Morosini Fountain

Agios Titos church

The Loggia

Kazantzakis' tomb

The old city walls

The Venetian harbour, fortress and arsenali

Various museums

Odos 1866 Market Street

and so much, much, more. Just walking around the city soaking up the atmosphere is good too, stopping for a bite to eat or a beer at one of hundreds of cafes and bars, or just take a seat on Plateia Eleftherias and watch the world go by.

Any decent guide book such as the Rough Guide to Crete will detail a walking route to take these main sights in and they can all be walked to within a 3-4 hour session quite comfortably.

Surrey, United...
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2. Re: Heraklion or Agios Nikolaos?

Hi I agree with GB there is far more to do in Heraklion, and if you do visit Knossos that is going to take you at least half a day anyway. If however you really want to visit spinalonga and miss out on Knossos then go to Agios, having visited both I would say that Knossos would be my number one trip not to be missed on Crete, but it is a personal choice, look at web sites and do some research, so you can make an informed choice yourself. Have fun!!

florida
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3. Re: Heraklion or Agios Nikolaos?

Thank you. I'd assumed (with the reading I've done) that Heraklion is the far better port stop. Darn! The cruise that does Agios is the more interesting one in other respects. Choices!

(I just can't imagine being in Crete and missing Knossos-- seems crazy to stop at AN instead. I wonder why a cruise line would do that.)

Cincinnati, Ohio
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4. Re: Heraklion or Agios Nikolaos?

NancyFlorida:

Having done both areas last October I can say given limited time from cruise ships then Herkalion it is. hopefully the Arch musuem is back up and running. The venetian fort and squares are not to be missed.

Ag Nik though picturesque, has not a lot going except eating and shopping. Lovely Harbor though and we did enjoy their musuem.

Ag Nik though has a lot more up and downhill walking and it depends on your travel tastes in that regard.

Do watch your traffic in Herkalion though- they drive crazily and the motorcyclists even invade the sidewalk restaurants with their vehicles.......

Enjoy yourself

LadyDar

florida
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5. Re: Heraklion or Agios Nikolaos?

On another post it makes it look as if it's a simple matter to get from Agios to Knossos. Do other knowledgeable folks agree? I.e. if it's really only a 45 min. bus ride, I imagine our cruise line will have excursions to Knossos as one of the options on that port stop. Since the ship will be in port from 8:00-6:00, I imagine there'd be time both to see Knossos and to see some of Agios? Is the voyage between the two at all interesting in itself? Even if not, I like the idea of being able to do both. (if that is, indeed, possible without rushing and spoiling both)

Surrey, United...
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6. Re: Heraklion or Agios Nikolaos?

Hi Nancy yes it is possible to get to Knossos from Agios, approx 50 min drive - so if its is only Knossos that you want to see in Herkalion and not the rest of the city, then you could always travel from Agios, you may even have time to stop on your way back in Plaka and catch the boat from there to the island of spinalonga. (you can allow an hour to walk around spinalonga) and Plaka is about a 15 min drive from Agios. As mentioned before my favourite is Knossos, followed a close second by spinalonga. Hope that helps.

Devizes, United...
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7. Re: Heraklion or Agios Nikolaos?

Hi Nancy

The cruise will probably charge over the odds for the Knossos trip from Agios Nikoloas but it will take you directly to Knossos. If you do the trip yourself, you will need to change buses in Iraklion, no big deal but can mean a wait and the buses out to Knossos can be jam packed which is sometimes a bit uncomfortable, even for a 15 min ride.

florida
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8. Re: Heraklion or Agios Nikolaos?

Thanks for continued info. Our cruise line (Regent) has complimentary excursions (and they're usually first-rate).

Devizes, United...
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9. Re: Heraklion or Agios Nikolaos?

Hi again

Well, if that's the case and all you really want to visit in the Iraklion area is Knossos, take the trip from Agios Nikolaos and then you may have time to fit Spinalonga in as well.

10. Re: Heraklion or Agios Nikolaos?

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