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help me plan a one day itineray

St. Louis, MO
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help me plan a one day itineray

The cruise ship arrives in late September at Agios Nikolaos at 8am and departs the same day at 6pm. So I presume that would allow maybe 8 hours to see and do some things. A guide is proposing a trip to Knossos, Iraklion, lunch in Mallia, the Selinari monastery, and lastly visiting the lake of Ag Nikolaos.

Having never been to Crete, I'm wondering if the experts here think that itinerary would be the best use of our time. Sure would appreciate your comments and insights. Thanks.

Surbiton
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1. Re: help me plan a one day itineray

I may be in the minority, but I think that Knossos is very over-rated. It was different 20 years ago when I first visited; then you could go underground to see the Queen's Chamber (if my memory's correct), and that felt much better.

I'm assuming that either your guide provided transport, or you'll be hiring a car, so that you'll have control over the itinerary.

I'd be tempted to make Selinari your most westerly point, then you could include a loop back via the Old National Road, and also visit Spinalonga. It also gives you a bit more flexibility if there's a hold up somewhere. Unless the guide is provided by the cruise liner, you definitely don't want to be late back....

Weesp, The...
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2. Re: help me plan a one day itineray

why not make a walk in the city, enjoy a coffee and than make a cruise to Spinalonga, the sunken city and swimm in the Kolkitha bay www.nostoscruises.gr

Devizes, United...
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3. Re: help me plan a one day itineray

Hi there

I tend to agree with geordie regarding Knossos, but if it is your first time of visiting Crete, then I'd say it's a "must see". There are better Minoan sites on the island but they are too far away to contemplate in such a short time frame.

Lunch in Malia wouldn't ring my bell, unless it was in the old part of the resort - Malia is about as typically Greek as your local Chinese restaurant and is a vast, Brit Club 18-30 type destination with all the excesses that go with it. Maybe your guide intends taking you to the Minoan site at Malia, rather underrated and well worth an hour if time permits.

So, I'd see Knossos, then take a good stroll around Iraklion, which is hugely underrated and has wonderful antiquities and sights that should be on your agenda. After returning to Ag Nik, I'd use any time left to see the town, take a walk around the lake, and then back to the ship in time for it's departure.

Knossos

flickr.com/photos/…

Iraklion

flickr.com/photos/…

Malia palace

flickr.com/photos/…

London, United...
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4. Re: help me plan a one day itineray

What Graham said. You should certainly see Knossos, and if you go there first you may be able to avoid the crowds and the heat. It's actually a very atmospheric site, if you see it at the right time, early morning or early evening (but I understand it is now closing at 5 pm, which lets the second of those options out).

Graham's advice to spend time in Heraklion is good. You should include an hour at the selective exhibition of the most important artefacts from the Archaeological Museum (now closed for renovation) - it will greatly enhance your visit to Knossos. Have lunch in Heraklion, not Malia - I can't imagine why anyone would suggest it, unless they know something I don't know. :-) And spend any remaining time strolling around Agios Nikolaos.

Liverpool, United...
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5. Re: help me plan a one day itineray

Why not hop on the local bus or taxi to Elounda, which is a lovely village to stroll around. From Elounda you can catch many boats going to Spinalonga, if you decide you would like to visit the island.

This way you can see both places with some time left to look aroung Ag Nic. before you board your ship

St. Louis, MO
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6. Re: help me plan a one day itineray

Wow, what great info. Thank you. (And nice pics GB!)

We will be using a private taxi not affiliated with the cruise line, at least that's the current plan.

I looked at Spinalonga and it seems very nice. But I'm thinking there isn't enough time to do it plus Knossos, Heraklion and Ag Nik?

So perhaps the best itinerary would be Knossos, Heraklion for a visit with lunch, skip the Selinari monastery, and then head back to Ag Nik. How much time should I leave to explore Ag Nik and how much time do you think I'll be needing the taxi for all this?

Thanks again.

Warwick, United...
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7. Re: help me plan a one day itineray

It may not help to add another option, but about 6 or 7 miles away from Ag. Nik is a large village called Kritsa, which is quite touristy but has lots of craft shops etc. and has good views. The best part of the village is the top end. I imagine, with it being close to Ag. Nik, that it wouldn’t be too much of a trek, and you could quickly move on if it didn’t appeal. Just before the village is Panayia Kira – a byzantine church with famous beautiful frescoes (gets busy with coach tours, and closes at 3pm according to my information).

Devizes, United...
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8. Re: help me plan a one day itineray

Quite right Masher, it's the oldest Christian church on the island and is a relatively short hop from Ag Nik, and the drive up there from Ag Nik is very pleasant.

Surbiton
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9. Re: help me plan a one day itineray

I think optimistic timings would be:

Ag Nik to Knossos - 1 hour

Knossos - 1.5 hours

Knossos/Iraklion 5 minutes

Explore Iraklion/lunch - 3 hours - rushing it.

Iraklion - Ag Nik - 1 hour

Total so far 6.5 hours, so leaves you plenty of time to explore Ag Nik, and get a taxi to the cruise port (if necessary).

Warwick, United...
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10. Re: help me plan a one day itineray

Those timings do sound optimistic – presumably if the ship arrives at 8am you can’t instantly leave Ag. Nik at that time, and equally on your return you can’t just walk up the gangway at exactly 6pm? Although Iraklion is no doubt an interesting place, I do wonder if it’s worth considering leaving the city out of the itinerary and spending more time enjoying the atmosphere of some of the other places which have been mentioned? The rural sights of the Lassithi Plateau are not difficult to reach from the coastal road near Malia, and I believe there’s a beautiful drive down to Elounda from Neapoli by the back road. It really depends if you like city sights or quieter places, and where else you are going on your trip. If your cruise takes in some of the Mediterranean’s more famous and stunning cities, Iraklion might not be a star attraction.

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