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Where to for 12 days?

Sydney, Australia
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Where to for 12 days?

We had wanted to go to Samos and maybe another island but have just been recommended to spend our 12 day sidetrip(31/8-12/9) in Crete. We are in our early 60's,active, love nature, swimming, snorkelling, walking, small/quaint villages, culture, don'tparticularly like touristy, high rise, glitzy accommodation.

Any recommendations foran itinerary, suggested areas to stay, possible friendly boutique accommodation with lovely ambience?

Thank you so very much.

Plakias, Greece
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1. Re: Where to for 12 days?

Hello pacifictraveller

Plakias area on the south coast does fit all of your interests, you have great nature like Preveli gorge and palm forest, and other gorges not far away, like Imbros, Aradhena, Samaria, they are great for walking tours. Nearby Plakias you have wonderful snorkelling bays like S'chinaria and Kalypso, and many great sandy beaches. And possibilities for walking tours on shadowy paths for hot days, like along the river or along the water channel. Plakias is a little bit touristy in the sense there are quite many tavernas and supermarkets, but still it is a small village, and in the surroundings of it there are 7 picturesque little villages. For accomodation have a look at www.plakias-filoxenia.gr what best fits you.

For a day trip I would suggest Amari Valley between Rethymnon and the south coast, there are many nice little villages. Or visit Nida Plateau with idaion andron Cave, and stop at one of the villages you drive through. I could write on and on with more ideas...

Have a nice trip!

Monica

Harbin, China
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for Kanchanaburi
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2. Re: Where to for 12 days?

Hi,

Also on the south coast of Crete are Sougia and Loutro, both of which are small villages set in beautiful surroundings. From both locations you can hike along the amazing coast of Crete and you will encounter a number of places where you can take a dip in the sea.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Where to for 12 days?

Thanks to both of you. It certainly does sound just like what we'd be looking for....we enjoy the tavernas etc ...just not keen on huge resorts and hotels if possible.

Monica, I'd love to learn more from you...if you'd like to PM me with any of your suggestions, I'd be delighted.

Would like to stay somewhere near the water....

Devizes, United...
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4. Re: Where to for 12 days?

Hi there

With 12 days at your disposal, it might pay to consider two bases, one on the south coast as has been suggested, and one further east, particularly if you'd like to see Crete's major ancient sites. Three are close together, fairly close to the south coast resort of Matala, these being Agia Triada, Faistos and Gortys. Then, if you take the E97 route north via Mires, Agii Deki and Agia Varvara, you arrive on the north coast close to the capital Iraklion from where it's a short hop to Knossos, or a 35 min ride east to Malia palace.

The stretch of the north coast is also handy for the likes of Lassithi, Spinalonga island, Milatos caves, pretty coastal villages like Sissi, and interesting and historic inland villages like Kritsa, Neapoli and Archanes.

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Where to for 12 days?

Thanks GB.

With all these places it seems like we'd have to rent a car...is that recommended? Or is public transport easy to use and get around?

If arriving at Heraklian?? Airport, where would we stay for the first few days?

Haddington, United...
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for Haddington, East Lothian
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6. Re: Where to for 12 days?

Same age and appear to like the same things. We love Crete and have tried various parts of the Island as a base but our favorite spot is Sissi on the North Coast East of Heraklion. Small fishing village still not over commercialism, great snorkeling in the harbour and fairly low key night life.Only a few minutes off the main highway to explore and driving is very easy in Crete and car hire relatively cheep from Local company's. Great time of year to go and we will be back then at the same time for our annual 'Crete Fix' as probably will another DE. Palm Bay hotel more like a little village than a hotel is our favorite, but I'm sure others will add there favorites.

Edited: 17 May 2012, 11:18
Devizes, United...
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7. Re: Where to for 12 days?

Hi there

A car's always the better option as it gives you total freedom to see what you want to, for as long or as short a time as you want, it's faster, more comfortable and saves hanging around for buses. Also, there are lots of places on the island that aren't well served by buses and for something like the three sites close to Matala, that would be almost impossible to do via buses in a single day.

So, seeing as you arrive at Iraklion, I would consider somewhere like Sissi as your first base, it's well located to see everything I've listed, and is itself, a very pleasant and laid back little village. Don't miss all the great sights in Iraklion itself, often overlooked, but once visited, never forgotten.

Sissi, Milatos & Archanes

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Spinalonga

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Malia Palace

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Knossos

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Faistos

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Gortys

flickr.com/photos/…

Neapoli & Kritsa

flickr.com/photos/…

Iraklion

flickr.com/photos/…

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: Where to for 12 days?

I checked up some info on Sissi and like the idea of starting there......will keep researching all your other recommendations.Thank you so much everyone for the suggestions...all very helpful.

Are there any lovely overnight sailing/cruising trips..maybe for a couple of nights ...must be calm waters??

Sydney, Australia
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9. Re: Where to for 12 days?

Just wondering what opinions are of first flying to Santorini, staying there for 3-4 days, then fly to Heraklion and spend 8 nights there? Places that sound lovely ...so far in my yet limited research.... are Sissi, Agios Nikolas, Elounda, Chania and Plakias and surrounding areas.

OR...are we better off just sticking to Crete for the full 12 days?

Baltimore...
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10. Re: Where to for 12 days?

Hello-

I just returned from a 14 day Greek Island trip from Gate 1 travel; which was a seemless independent tour visiting Crete, Santorini, Mykonos, and Athens. It was active and restful at the same time. I highly recommend, if you have not seen these islands and Athens in this order as we were able to capture the best of each on our own terms with a few very well put together optional tours! All with a very reasonable price! Gate 1 provided for a very non-stressful vacation.

Best Wishes,

Joe