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Island Hopping from Crete??

California
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Island Hopping from Crete??

Hi Crete experts!

My boyfriend and I have been to Greece a couple times and simply love everything Greek!!! So we are planning our way back this June.....

However, I am having some issues trying to iron out logistics in terms of Island jumping from Crete.

We are a mature couple, well traveled, and love being near water, exploring the old towns, having cocktails in the evening, people watching and shopping. We are not so much into museums and ruins.....

We have seen and loved Santorini, Mykonos, Kos, Symi and Rhodes..and want to "meet" some more Greek Islands....

So....my questions :

1.)How difficult is it to island hop from Crete to other islands? I was thinking I like the looks of Naxos or Paros... Are they simply too far???

2.)Is there enough to do on Crete? Should we just reside on the one island for 10 days and work the island from East to west?

3.)OR....Can you recommend a better option for island hopping, or another island?

4.)In regards to flights....are there flights from Athens into and out of both Crete and Naxos?

Is there a flight from Crete to Naxos if the ferry is too long!

Thanks for for ears! Can't wait to hear your thoughts!!

Kim

Sale, United Kingdom
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for Crete
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1. Re: Island Hopping from Crete??

Answers in order - some more comprehensive than others!:

1 Apart from the small islands off shore from Crete - Gramvousa, Chryssi, Spinalonga etc. - which are served by day trips, and Gavdos to the south of the SW of Crete (the most southerly point of Europe), the nearest mainstream island in regular contact is Santorini, with which there is daily contact in high season. Any ferries to other islands will almost certainly go via Santorini. I'm not that well versed in ferry timetables, but it should be possible to go to Paros without changing, and there may well be once a week ferries which tour round the whole of the Aegean. There are also occasional ferries from the western port of Kissamos to Kithera and the mainland. Check out gtp.gr for details.

2 An emphatic yes! There is enough on Crete to keep you occupied for several months! So I would definitely advise you to stay on Crete for the whole time. Stay in 2 or possibly 3 places; Agios Nikolaos/Elounda and Rethymnon/Chania would seem to be the best options, and maybe a trip/short stay to one of the SW villages for something a bit different. Fly into one airport and out of the other (Heraklion and Chania) to avoid too much backtracking

3. There are lots of islands within a couple of hours of Naxos and Paros. Including of course Santorini and Mykonos, which you have already seen, but there are others.

4. Yes, daily flights from Athens to Heraklion, Chania and Naxos. I think there may only be 1 a day to Naxos, more to Crete. AFAIK there are no flights between Naxos and anywhere else except Athens, so to go from Crete to Naxos by air would involve a transfer at Athens.

If you have not already done so, I think you should sit down with a decent Crete guide book - the Rough Guide to Crete would seem a good bet - and sort out your priorities. Remember Crete is a very large island - in terms of land area, it's 30 times the size of Kos, and 6 times as big as Rhodes. Happy planning, and of course do come back with any more questions.

Lindesnes...
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for Southern Norway, Cyclades
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2. Re: Island Hopping from Crete??

There is absolutely enough to do on Crete for two weeks, actually you need at least two weeks to make a brief visit to Crete. My wife and I spent a month and never got bored. We could do it again, and still visit new places. Instead of an island-hopping, do a village-hopping. Rent a car upon arrival an drive around as if it were an island-hopping. You find villages both at the sea-side and in the mountain area, away from the tourists accumulated in Chania, Rethymnion and Agios Nikolaus (but not a bad word of these cities either). June wil be before top tourist season so accomodation will not be a problem.

I can also recommend island-hopping in the Cyclades, but not with Crete as a starting point. The islands without an international airport will be felt much more "Greek" than than those with. Paros, Naxos and Ios are connected to Pireus and Santorini by daily ferries. 10 days would be ideal to visit Paros and Naxos, with possible daytrips to Antiparos and Delos/Mykonos. You will find a lot of posts here on TA with great photos from all the islands.

Nanaimo, Canada
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for Chania Town, Naxos
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3. Re: Island Hopping from Crete??

We did a two week stay on Crete several years ago and never finished our plan to visit West Crete. We have been back twice since and still haven't finished that original plan. So yes there is lots to do and two weeks is a good amount of time to begin your Crete addiction.

I would suggest Chania because it is fits perfectly your description about being near the water and old city. You can still see remnants of the city walls and the Venetian harbor and old town will keep you occupied for days.

Chania flickr.com/photos/…

When you want something new you can take your rental car and start to explore the surrounding area including Ancient Apterea and the beach and excavation at Falasarna. Consider the day boat excursion to Gramavossa and Balos and climb up to the pirate fortress. You can also do a day trip to Rethymnon but I certainly suggest you take a day or two there it has a lot to offer including its Venetian Fortezza. Then head south to the villages along the Libyan Sea. Great beaches and lots of things to see. That will pretty much take up your two weeks.

Western Crete flickr.com/photos/…

We plan to be in Crete in June this year but will also island hop to Naxos. This year ferry schedules are out and there is a fast Cat Flying Cat 5 scheduled to leave Heraklion at 9:45 and arrive Naxos around 1300. That is only 3 hours and a bit and will cost about 60 euros each. So if you do decide to island hop it is easy to get to Santorini, Naxos and Paros from Heraklion.

I also have Naxos pictures if you decide to do that hop.

Trip around Naxos

flickr.com/photos/…

Have fun planning

Edited: 05 November 2013, 15:58
London, United...
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4. Re: Island Hopping from Crete??

And I've been to Crete at least 60 times in 30-odd years, and am still exploring. Enough to do for two weeks? You bet there is.

5. Re: Island Hopping from Crete??

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