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Best place to stay for 4 days in Crete

Eindhoven
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Best place to stay for 4 days in Crete

Hello,

We would like to book an apartment for 4 persons (2 couples) from 9th aug - 13th aug.

We have finalized on the below places after seeing a lot of options in various booking sites:

Kalyves, Platanés, ELEA, Chania, Stavros, Verginas, Chania

We have the following constraints/requirements:

1. We don't drive hence we would be relying on public transport for the entire stay. Which place amongst the above would be good in terms of getting public transport and having a good scenic beach. If you feel none of these would be good then please suggest us some other alternatives in Crete. We would be flying to and from Chania Airport.

2. We are planning for santorini - 1 day return trip. Can it be done by some tour operator operating in the places mentioned above.

3. We are interested visiting Samaria gorge, Balos lagoon, National Park and elafonisi beach/ elounda beach for 1/2 days. We would like to know how if it would be easily possible from the place we select for staying.

I know it is a bit tough to do all these things in 4 days when 2 weeks is also not enough for Crete and Santorini, however we would like to make the best of whatever we have in hand.

Your suggestions would be very helpful

Thanks

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Mestre, Italy
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1. Re: Best place to stay for 4 days in Crete

Stay in Chania, it's the main center of that area with a very beautiful old town.

Sale, United Kingdom
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2. Re: Best place to stay for 4 days in Crete

You won't be able to go to Elounda - it's at the other end of the island.

I don't think you have enough time to do all of the other things you want to do.

Santorini is a long (12+) hours day trip, and only available on 10th from your area (area 6):

http://tinyurl.com/pnpwmc5

Samaria is a long (12+ hours) day trip.

Balos is a 10 hour day trip by boat including transfers from Chania.

Elafonisi has only 1 bus a day, so that also takes a full day.

So there are 4 full days, without any other things to do locally, and I presume you actually only have 3 full days?

So you need to set your priorities. Personally I would forget Elafonisi and Santorini, but it's your call naturally.

I think you would be best staying either in Chania town itself, or one of the resorts immediately west - Agii Apostolii, Kato Stalos or Agia Marina. They are all connected to Chania town by a very good bus service.

bus-service-crete-ktel.com/timetabledet.php…

Edited: 15 July 2013, 08:52
London, United...
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3. Re: Best place to stay for 4 days in Crete

I agree with Steve on all points. It's not "a bit tough" to do everything on your list, it's impossible.

Stay in Chania, where you will have the best and easiest bus connections, and explore the city and nearby beaches.

Forget both Elafonisi and Elounda: they are at opposite ends of a very big island. Elounda in particular would take all day just to get there and back by bus: at least four hours each way, not including changing and waiting time.

If you want to visit a famous beach that is scenic but not quite as tourist-ridden as Elafonisi and Balos, you could go to Falassarna.

Santorini is a very expensive day trip: you'd spend a lot of money for very little time on the island.

Here are a couple of suggestions for trips that I think would be more rewarding for you than those on your list:

Take the 8.30 am bus from Chania to Chora Sfakion on the south coast, a trip of under two hours that would show you some of the spectacular scenery of the White Mountains. Make a day of it by taking the coastal ferry (also spectacular) to Loutro, and have lunch and the afternoon there: walk up to the Turkish/Venetian fort on the hill and over to Finix, returning around the peninsula, a beautiful amble of about 2 hours in all. This would make a much more interesting, varied day for you than, for example, going to Elafonisi.

Alternatively you could continue on the ferry to Agia Roumeli, walk part way up the Samaria Gorge and spend the rest of the afternoon on Agia Roumeli's wonderful beach. (That is, if you decide not to do the whole of the Samaria Gorge excursion.)

Take the bus to Rethymnon, an hour away: a lovely town with a nice harbour and an impressive Fortezza.

Take a taxi to the monastery of Agia Triada, and walk from there to the other two monasteries, Gouverneto and Katholiko.

And allow plenty of time to explore and enjoy Chania, a very beautiful city with a great deal to interest you: a beautiful Venetian harbour and old town, good museums, nice shops, and some excellent eating places.

Devizes, United...
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4. Re: Best place to stay for 4 days in Crete

Hi there

I'm in complete agreement here with Steve and Alabastron, Crete is too big to see all on your list, especially with such a short time available to you. Make Chania your base, for it has one of the island's main bus stations, forget Elounda and Elafonissi, too far and too long to get there. The Santorini trip costs around €130 per person for which you get a few hours on the island, save it for your next trip to Greece when you can spare 3-4 days for this scenic island.

Eindhoven
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5. Re: Best place to stay for 4 days in Crete

Thanks all for your suggestions..we don't know if we again return to greece anytime soon...hence want to cover santorini and as much of crete as possible...i know its going to be too hectic and we will not be able to relax and enjoy the beauty of these places...but thats how it is...

am thinking of leaving the beaches in crete for the time being...want to focus on 2 things...

1. santorini day trip ..1 day

2. samaria gorge....1 day

remaining 1.5 days in hotel

we have finalized an accomodation in stavros near chania.

Can someone please let us know how to cover the samaria gorge from stavros?

Washingon DC area
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6. Re: Best place to stay for 4 days in Crete

Here's the bus schedule from Stavros to Chania:

Stavros - Chania:

Monday to Friday

07.20, 10.30, 14.45, 17.30, 20.50

Sunday

10.30, 14.45, 17.30

And from Chania to Omalos:

Chania - Omalos (Samaria Gorge):

07.30, 08.30, 14.00

Price : 6.90 Euros

Price : Chania - Omalos - Sfakia - Chania = 14.30

Travel Time = about 45 min

I have no idea whether the 7:20 bus from Stavros will get you to Chania in time for the 8:30 bus to Omalos. And I have no idea when the organized tour leaves.

Also, I don't know whether you can get back to Chania from Omalos for the last bus to Stavros:

Chania - Stavros:

Monday to Friday

06.50, 10.00, 14.15, 17.00, 20.20

Sunday

10.00, 14.15, 17.00

You might end up having to depend on a taxi.

But I'm curious - if you're not renting a car and want to spend your limited time on activities departing from Chania, why did you chose such an inconvenient location as Stavros? It's a very nice part of the island with a really nice beach, but IMO not a very good base if you're going to rely on public transport.

London, United...
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7. Re: Best place to stay for 4 days in Crete

Here is a link to the current Stavros-Chania and Chania -Omalos timetables that should be helpful in your planning. You will need to scroll almost to the bottom for the Omalos timetable:

bus-service-crete-ktel.com/timetabledet.php…

The journey time from Stavros to Chania is about half an hour, so if you take the 7.20 bus you will be in plenty of time for the 8.45 (not 8.30) bus to Omalos.

You are unlikely to get back to Chania in time to catch the last bus to Stavros: I'm guessing that a taxi will cost about €30.

You don't need an organised tour, but if you want one it will be easy to organise from Chania.

Like Zakrosian, I don't understand why you don't stay in Chania, from where this would be easier to arrange. But as you are staying in Stavros, you might want to consider taking a taxi all the way to Omalos in the morning. The fare is showing at 65 euros (from the airport, which isn't far from Stavros). As there are four of you, it would be an almost negligible expense since the four bus fares, Stavros-Chania-Omalos add up to almost €40, and it would save time and trouble, and get you there earlier for an earlier start down the gorge.

Here is the link to the taxi firm:

taxi4crete.gr/index.php/en/pricelist-chania-…

PS I still think it's crazy to spend €130x4 euros for a few hours on Santorini. You won't have time to see anything much, and you won't be there for the big draw, the famous sunset.

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8. Re: Best place to stay for 4 days in Crete

>The fare is showing at 65 euros (from the airport, which isn't far from Stavros).<

In saying this, I meant that the fare from Stavros would be similar, not that you should go to the airport to get a taxi! Sorry if this wasn't clear. :-)

Devizes, United...
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9. Re: Best place to stay for 4 days in Crete

...and unless you are super fit, you really won't feel like doing much the day after you have walked the Samaria Gorge, especially in the relentless August heat. There's a 1200 meter wooden staircase that takes you down to the floor of the gorge, and that's before you even begin the walk itself. Those 1200 meters are a killer on the knees and calves.

It's crazy to stay at Stavros when the buses all depart from Chania. You seem to be making a rod for your own backs here, and I mean that politely. With such a limited time on the island, you need to maximise that time, not spend it waiting for buses and being in transit to Chania when you just might as well stay there instead.

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10. Re: Best place to stay for 4 days in Crete

Correction: the Xyloscala is a 600-metre descent, not 1200 (1200 metres is the entire descent from Omalos to sea level). But 600 metres is quite enough to challenge even the healthiest pair of knees, not to mention the strongest lower back.

I do hope you are listening to all the advice you're being given re wasting money and time on a day trip to Santorini, and staying in Stavros. There's not much point in asking for it otherwise... :-)

Edited: 16 July 2013, 10:50