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9 days...2 hotels... which areas?

New York City, New...
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9 days...2 hotels... which areas?

Hi. My husband and I are planning to spend 8 or 9 days in Crete in June. It will be our first time there and we know it is a large island, but there are a few things we don't want to miss. We want to see Knossos, some of the beaches on the west coast, and definitely hike in a gorge. We will probably be doing a lot of exploring by rental car as well, and like to go off the beaten path. The question is.. where do we stay? I'm open to staying in two different areas to make my explorations easier to get to during the week. Should I stay 4 days in the west, 4 days in the east? If so, which towns? Thanks in advance!

Swansea, United...
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1. Re: 9 days...2 hotels... which areas?

Stay a few days in Heraklion for Knossos and some of the other sites,

and the rest of the time in either Rethymnon or Chania both are good

bases for the gorge and the south coast. Chania though I think has the

edge as the old town is lovely.

London, United...
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2. Re: 9 days...2 hotels... which areas?

I certainly agree with the recommendation of Chania for your western base, but I wouldn't have thought Heraklion would be the best place for first-time tourists to stay. I like Heraklion very much, but the noise and traffic can be a bit daunting at first, and they don't say "holiday" to newcomers. I would suggest staying in one of the many resorts to the east or west of the city - close enough to explore it and visit the incomparable Archaeological Museum.

Others who know this area better than I do will be able to suggest accommodation.

Re gorges: FDSwansea means the Samaria Gorge, I assume, but Samaria isn't the only gorge in west Crete. There are also the Imbros and Aradena gorges to consider, amongst others, and the Agia Irini gorge, near Sougia. They're all good walks in beautiful surroundings, and all much shorter and much less crowded than Samaria if that's an issue. But if you're up to a 16km hike, Samaria is the obvious first choice.

Edited: 23 January 2014, 15:06
New York City, New...
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3. Re: 9 days...2 hotels... which areas?

thank you. Any suggestions on a town east of Heraklion?

Washingon DC area
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4. Re: 9 days...2 hotels... which areas?

Look at Agios Nikolaos. The Hotel du Lac on the lake has incredible views and there are more things to see - Spinalonga, Milatos, Mochlos, Kritsa - than you'll have time for. You can also visit Knossos from Ag Nik.

http://dulachotel.gr/

And I agree that Chania is the place on the west, though Rethymnon is worth considering.

Edited: 23 January 2014, 20:08
England
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5. Re: 9 days...2 hotels... which areas?

Hi

We went to Crete, for the first time, last June - and we spent our first two nights in Heraklion. We stayed at the Galaxy Hotel, which is away from the narrow streets and an easy drive to Knossos. Can highly recommend it - a very comfortable place to stay, and there is parking behind the hotel - if the (limited) spaces are taken, the hotel staff with valet park for you. We stayed in a hotel in the central part of Heraklion on our last night and it really isn't the place to be driving if you can help it (we had dropped our hire car back at the airport by then and taxied into the city and back to the airport).

We also spent 8 days staying in the hills above Rethymnon. We loved it there - Rethymnon is a lovely little town and there are plenty of places of interest and beauty within an easy drive. I cannot compare with Chania, as we didn't get that far, and I have heard that Chania is the nicer of the two - but I would go back to Rethymnon in a heartbeat.

Have a wonderful trip - and happy planning!

Edited: 23 January 2014, 21:13
Surrey, United...
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for Agios Nikolaos, Elounda, Crete
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6. Re: 9 days...2 hotels... which areas?

Hi there

I agree that Agios Nikolaos would be a great choice but not sure about DuLac hotel, great if you are travelling out if season but during the season it looks over the lake with the tavernas that stay open til late ....a busy street behind too ....so could be very noisy and parking would be a bit if an issue too in high season..yes has lovely views over the lake, so brilliant choice out of season when all the lake tavernas shut down. I would suggest a hotel slightly out if town with parking, if you do decide you like Agios then happy to give some other choices too.

New York City, New...
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7. Re: 9 days...2 hotels... which areas?

Thanks everyone! I will definitely take your suggestions to mind. I think Chania will be my west post, especially since I will be flying out of that airport.

Nanaimo, Canada
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for Chania Town, Naxos
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8. Re: 9 days...2 hotels... which areas?

Since you are arriving in Chania and basing yourself there you may not have to consider stayinhg anywhere else. Chania is good for day trips to Falasarna, Balos and Gramovossa on the day boat excursion, Ancient Aptera and Rethymnon. If you were tempted to spend a couple of days in Rethymnon that will give you a much shorter commute to Knossos although it is doable from Chania in a day.

You can also head south to the Libyan sea at Sougia about 2 hour drive each way on a day trip.

Here are images of our western Crete visit. Lots to see. 8 days is pretty short time frame.

Western Crete

flickr.com/photos/…

Edited: 24 January 2014, 16:53
9. Re: 9 days...2 hotels... which areas?

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