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5 days end of July

San Francisco...
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5 days end of July

Help! My husband and I are taking our 3 kids, age 10, 13 and 25, on a 10 day package tour to Greece. Since it is so far away from home (San Francisco), we added on 5 more days in Crete. While there with the tour group, we will see Knossos and Spinalonga, and stay in Elounda. Is it reasonable to drive to Chania or the south or even Rethymnos from there? Or since it's only 5 days, should we stay closer to Heraklion area (we fly out of here)? We hope to find a resort with pool for kids and with a nice beach nearby but will rent a car for day trips for archeological sites. We hope to use our "mileage plus" points to pay for part of the hotel which has a list of over 400 hotels in Crete: among them are Candia Park Village, Kiani Beach Resort, Santa Marina Plaza and even Minos Imperial Luxury Beach Resort. Has anyone ever stayed at any of these? advice on what cities to see?

London, United...
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1. Re: 5 days end of July

> Is it reasonable to drive to Chania or the south or even Rethymnos from there? Or since it's only 5 days, should we stay closer to Heraklion area (we fly out of here)?<

Five days is a very short time for a very big island, and my advice is to stay put in Elounda and explore as much as you can of the eastern part of Crete. There is much more than enough to keep you occupied and happy there for a lot longer than five days. So no, don't attempt to see Chania and the west as well. Spinalonga, Knossos, and the archaeological sites of Phaistos, Agia Triada, Gortys and Malia will keep you quite busy, especially as you have two young children who will probably want a good helping of beach time!

I can't help you with hotels, I'm afraid. But if those you've mentioned are all all-inclusive hotels, I would really urge you to to forego AI. One of the best and most enjoyable parts of a holiday in Crete is trying out different tavernas that offer local cooking. And if you patronise them, you will be putting your money into the local economy. In an AI hotel you'll get bland, international-type food - and most of what you spend will go into the coffers of a big international company.

Surrey, United...
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for Agios Nikolaos, Elounda, Crete
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2. Re: 5 days end of July

Hello there

Agree with Alabastron's excellent advice....and stay in one area...if you do want to stay in Elounda which is a lovely little resort, based around a pretty harbour then you could stay in the Candia Park Village which is the nearest hotel on your list to Elounda. This hotel is located between Agios Nikolaos and Elounda unfortunately you wouldnt be able to walk to either but this hotel is only a short 10 min drive from either Agios or Elounda.

Here is a general web site link to both Agios and Elounda for some more information:

http://www.agiosnikolaos.gr/

and a link to Candia Park village :

www.bluegr.com/default.aspx…

It you did decide to stay in this hotel it would mean that you are 10 mins drive away from Plaka/Spinalonga, 50 min drive away from Knossos, 20 mins from the ancient site of Malia, 30 mins from the Ancient city of Lato too.. transfer time from Heraklion airport is just under an hour.

If you do decide to stay here and would like some more recommendations then please do just ask :-)

San Francisco...
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3. Re: 5 days end of July

Thank you both so much for your quick and wise advice! WE will stay put near Elounda -- i just checked the Candia Park Village and the price went up since yesterday ! Not totally out of the question, but i wondered if any of you know about Faedra Beach (in Ammoudara) or Elounda ilion or the Mistal Mare? I think i read something on this site about Ammoudara being a nice beach...

San Francisco...
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4. Re: 5 days end of July

thank you so much for this excellent advice. As posted, we will now stay in the area. Do we need a car to visit those sites or are there buses that leave from the towns? My guess is that we need a car but this might mean going back to the airport to pick it up...

London, United...
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5. Re: 5 days end of July

I think you would do well to have a car: some of the sights are reachable by bus, but a car will make your trips much easier, and save you lots of time - important as you have so little. If you decide to have a car, your best course will be to collect it at the airport: that way you'll save lots of euros on the transfer to Elounda, and you'll have it for the entire time.

Surrey, United...
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for Agios Nikolaos, Elounda, Crete
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6. Re: 5 days end of July

Hello again

Firstly the hotels, I havent stayed in any of these but the Faedra Beach is in Ammoudara- which is around 15 mins drive from Agios and around 25 mins away from Elounda. It is opposite a beautiful sandy beach with a couple of lovely tavernas on the beach, but not alot else - so if you dont mind being in the middle of know where then its fine...

Mistral Mare...is again very isolated AI hotel which I know is every popular with Russians tourists, and doesnt have a particuarly good reputation in the town..because of the poor quality of the food that it serves,but again I havent stayed here...location wise its opposite the beautiful Golden or Vouslima beach which I think is one of the most beautiful beaches on the north coast of Crete. Distance from Agios is around 20 min drive and Elounda 30 mins.

Elounda ilion ..is located around 2 km from the centre of Elounda, but not so isolated as the other two, and 2km is a fairly OK walk into the village of Elounda in the evening, although I am sure you would need to get a taxi back to the hotel after dark.

If you do want to get the best out of the area then I would definately recommend that you do hire a car - cost wise you are talking around 25 euros per day for a Class A type car.

Hope that helps :-)

Crete, Greece
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7. Re: 5 days end of July

I agree with what the others have said and stay around the Elounda area. Chania will be at least a 3hr drive from there. I know only know the Minos Hotel which is just between Sissi and Milatos. It is on it's own and a round 15mins drive to Sissi or a 1 hour walk and a few minutes drive into Milatos. Both are quiet fishing villages. it really depends on how you want to relax after the days sightseeing and driving, but both sissi and Milatos have very nice tavernas

Rethymnon, Greece
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8. Re: 5 days end of July

Wow what a trip! From the Superbowl finalists City to Crete!

Just make sure you hire an automatic transmission car, as I suppose you won't be familiar with the clunch.

Adding to the previous exelent posts ...is that if you stay in an AI hotel, you'll spend more time in the hotel cathing up with the schedule of the breakfast - dinner thing which will limit your already precious 5 day time to spend on Crete. And also there is no comparison finding a traditional taverna by a beautiful beach at the afternoon than any type of a hotel service.

I'm sure this post will be seen and adviced by DE of the east Crete, about a good hotel and food in the area.

San Francisco...
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9. Re: 5 days end of July

thanks to all of you. It is a long trip but what an amazing part of the world!

About the hotels, you all have definitely convinced me NOT to stay in an all inclusive hotel - I love the idea of being able to visit little family-run tavernas and even get to know one fairly well. Walking distance to a town and beach would be ideal. Since we only have 5 days, I would prefer not to feel so isolated. (And yes, i have decided its worthwhile to have a car!)

Can one visit those archeological sites in the south in 1 day or is that too much, especially with a 10 year old?

Surrey, United...
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for Agios Nikolaos, Elounda, Crete
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10. Re: 5 days end of July

If you do require some recommendations for hotels in the Agios Nikolaos and Elounda area other than AI :-) please do just let me know :-)