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Location for a month in May 2014

Wilmington...
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Location for a month in May 2014

Greetings to all,

I am going to be 70 in spring 2014 and I would like to realize a long time dream of a month in Crete in May, 2014, with various family and friends visiting.

I plan on finding a villa, and a car, and a driver.

However after a great deal of research, I am still confused as to where I should base ourselves to best see the most of the island. I understand that the roads can be interesting to drive but my children want their own vehicles.

I am a horticulturist and will be headed for wildflowers part of the time, but the rest want archeology and walking.

I suspect that some overnight excursions will be necessary wherever we chose to stay.

If I can settle on a location, I can look for a villa.

My budget is adequate.

Any advice would be gratefully received.

Thank you.

Page

Chania Town, Greece
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1. Re: Location for a month in May 2014

Oh, do consider the Apokoronos region - it is just east of Chania - from here there are many small villages close by, very beautiful scenery, easy to get up into the mountains or over to the South coast. Chania is very beautiful. Lots of wildflowers in the Spring. There are quite a few English speakers living in the area to talk to as you will be a long-term resident! & some wonderful & inexpensive tavernas. There are many villas to rent privately - take a look at, for instance Holiday Lettings, this site, Owners Direct. You should be able to negotiate a better price for 4 weeks, but I'd advise to look early for availability of the one you like best.

For villages - look at Vamos (some very beautiful renovated old houses), Plaka, Gavalohori, & Almyrida & Kalyves at the beach. These all have a few shops & tavernas.

Then you could use the wonderful Kostas K taxi driver (you'll find him at Taxis4crete.gr & on this forum, where he often freely gives his extensive knowledge of the area).

When you want to go to Knossos or other archealogical sites in the East, just have a few days 'holiday'!

Devizes, United...
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2. Re: Location for a month in May 2014

Hi there

Crete's major ancient sites are a long way east from Chania although there are smaller and just as interesting sites in the immediate area. Had you considered making this a two base trip, spend two weeks around the Chania area and then move east which allows much easier access to all the superb sites in the central/eastern/south coast areas of Crete?

Gas is $10 a gallon in Greece which has to be a consideration and using Chania as your single base for an entire month would entail lots of backtracking and racking up many hundreds of miles. It's not about budget, but the amount of time you would need to spend in a car to reach those places. If you have a map of the island, draw a line north/south from the capital Iraklion to the south coast resort of Matala - to the east of that line you have Agia Triada, Faistos, Gortys, Knossos, Malia, Lato, Gournia and other ancient sites and that's before you start to include the other wonderful sights in this part of the island.

It's your trip and your call naturally, but as you have an entire month, I would give it some consideration. May sees the visitor season just starting so wherever you choose won't be overrun with holidaymakers. You could stay close to the coast or look for accommodation inland seeing as you will have a car at your disposal.

London, United...
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3. Re: Location for a month in May 2014

>I am a horticulturist and will be headed for wildflowers part of the time<

May is a beautiful month to visit Crete, but unless April is wet, most of the wildflowers will be gone from the coastal areas by early May. You'll still find them in the gorges and at higher levels, though.

The best are to be found on the Anopolis plain, at 650 metres and easily visited from Chora Sfakion, in the south west corner of Crete, and I would therefore suggest that you spend at least part of your time there. Chora Sfakion is a nice village, with good, simple accommodation and good food. You could also stay for a time in Anopolis - more basic accommodation.

This website has great flower photos:

http://www.west-crete.com/flowers-crete.htm

>but the rest want archeology and walking.<

The south west is also the best area for walking, but you will surely want to spend some time near Heraklion, as all the major archaeological sites are in that area or easily reached from it.

Edited: 20 September 2013, 17:50
Rethymnon, Greece
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4. Re: Location for a month in May 2014

Hi

I think you should focus staying near Heraklion as GB suggested. I'm sure you will find plenty, and since you plan staying for a month you can negotiate a better price. I can only suggest villas and an experianced driver in Rethymnon, about 1hour drive west from Heraklion.

Since you are a horticulturist bear in mind that is a 5 year ban in the collection of wild herbs since many of them are over-collected and some are in near extinction state. You can only collect 500g. Take a look: …greekreporter.com/2013/…

Surrey, United...
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5. Re: Location for a month in May 2014

Hi there

As you probably already know Crete is a huge island, and the majority of the major ancient sites are a located long way from Chania, so if you wanted to visit for example the popular sites of Knosso and Spinalonga, then theres no point staying in the Chania area.

With regards to the wild flowers, these are wonderful all over the island and not just in one particular area of this beautiful island

I would suggest that you do some research look at some web sites and decide on a "must do" list, once you have this then come back here to get some recommendations on where to stay.......the East and the West of Crete are both very beautiful...

Chania Town, Greece
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6. Re: Location for a month in May 2014

You might also like to look at the website flowersofcrete.info. They have many photos of flowers for each month of the year, so you may an idea of what you may see. & the lady there does flower spotting walks too!

If you end up staying towards the East side of the island, the Lassithi plateau is beautiful for wildflowers, & usually they are a little later there than at the coast.

London, United...
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7. Re: Location for a month in May 2014

>the Lassithi plateau is beautiful for wildflowers, & usually they are a little later there than at the coast.<

That's really the important point for May: the high places are where you need to go for flowers. While it's true that there are flowers everywhere in Crete, as MG says, by mid-May most will have disappeared at sea level, even in the lower reaches of the gorges. That could be true even by early May, depending on Spring rainfall, although there will still be a few. The Lassithi plain, at 800+ metres, is even higher than the Anopolis plain, and both will have wild flowers in profusion. The Omalos plain is another good place to look for them.

The high plains are also a good deal cooler than the coastal settlements. Not that you're likely to get a serious heat wave in May - and living in Delaware you're probably used to higher temperatures than you'll experience in Crete.

Edited: 21 September 2013, 12:03
Devizes, United...
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8. Re: Location for a month in May 2014

And don't forget the Katharo plateau, higher still than Lassithi and very rustic indeed. It's accessed from the village of Kritsa which is southwest of Agios Nikolaos.

9. Re: Location for a month in May 2014

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