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Heraklion to Hania - Need help please!

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Heraklion to Hania - Need help please!

Hi,

My wife and I will be arriving in Heraklion for 3 days in August. We made a mistake of booking all 3 nights at Lato boutique non refundable rate. We definitely want to check out Hania on the 2nd day since it may be a full day tour. Does anyone know a good tour company that can take us to Hania as well as to see the Gorge with pick up and drop off to Heraklion. Ideally we would have loved to stay in Hania for a couple days. Also any recommendations on what we should do the 1st and 3rd day of our stay.

Thanks in advance!

Sale, United Kingdom
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1. Re: Heraklion to Hania - Need help please!

If you are asking for a day trip to pick you up from Heraklion, take you to have a look round Chania and walk Samaria gorge before returning you to Heraklion, sorry it's not possible.

From Heraklion, the Samaria gorge trip is well over 12 hours without going to Chania.

Heraklion to the top of the gorge is about 110 miles. It will tke at least 5 hours to walk the gorge. After a bit of r'n'r' in Agia Roumeli, you get a boat back to Chora Sfakion, about 12 miles, then another 100 mile coach trip back to Heraklion.

So if you want to see Chania and walk the gorge, you will have to do it on separate days. The bus journey from Heraklion to Chania is quite straightforward, and the buses are actually air-conditioned coaches. It takes nearly 3 hours each way, timetable follows (3rd one down):

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

There is plenty to see and do in Heraklion for at least one day, and of course Knossos is only about 4 miles away.

Edited: 18 July 2012, 15:06
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2. Re: Heraklion to Hania - Need help please!

Steve has it right, no way to find a tour that does what you want. Your alternatives are to take the local bus to Chania and just enjoy that lovely city and then take a bus back. Or rent a car and get to Chania and then drive out to the Gorge and view it from the top and then drive back to Heraklion. You coud always look at hiring a taxi for the day but i suspect that wil be expensive,

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3. Re: Heraklion to Hania - Need help please!

Hi Steve/Stan,

Thanks for all the info. So how does this sound?

1st Day: Explore Heraklion and Knossos - Anything specific I should check out?

2nd Day: Bus to Chania - Explore Chania, stay a night in Chania (or head back to Heraklion). Any good cheap hotels that are in good location?

3rd Day: Tour of the Gorge with drop off to our hotel in Heraklion? - Any tour you recommend that will drop us off to our hotel in Heraklion?

Thanks again!

Sale, United Kingdom
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4. Re: Heraklion to Hania - Need help please!

Heraklion - the main archaeological museum is closed for restoration, but most of the unmissable exhibits are housed in a temporary museum. City walls - good to walk round, at least part way. 1821/1866 streets for street shopping, souvenirs etc. The pedstrianised centre round Morosini fountain for a bite to eat and sightseeing; walk down 25th August street, a wide boulevard with some interesting buildings and a nice view towards the port.

Get the no. 2 bus to Knossos from the main bus station, clearly marked once you're there. The bus station is just inland, between the fishing vessel harbour and the ferry port.

With regard to your Samaria trip, I don't think you will be able to get a tour to pick you up from Chania and drop you off at Heraklion. But you should be able to get the public bus from Chania, then when you get back to Chania bus station get a bus to Heraklion - as long as you can work out what to do with your luggage. More bus timetables, Samaria = Omalos, about 3/4 the way down, and note the inclusive price for Chania-Omalos-Sfakia-Chania - although it isn't clear if it includes the boat fare or entrance to the national park (probably not):

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

Edited: 18 July 2012, 19:47
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5. Re: Heraklion to Hania - Need help please!

I'll just comment on Day 3.

You don't need a tour to do what you want to do. As long as you stay in Chania on Night 2 (I'll get to hotels in a moment) you can do the walk down the Samaria Gorge independently, and, as Steve says, once you're back in Chania take the bus back to Heraklion. (You can leave your luggage in the Chania bus station in the morning, and pick it up when you get back.)

I can recommend the Arkadi, which is a few minutes walk from the bus station, very reasonable, and adequate. I've stayed there several times.

www.arkadi-hotel.gr/

Even nearer the bus station are the Samaria and Omalos hotels - I haven't stayed in them, but they're certainly convenient!

Here is the bus timetable - you'll need to scroll down about 2/3 of the way:

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

You'll walk down the gorge to Agia Roumeli. Take your time: this is one of the most special places in the world, and there is no need to rush: if you take the 7.45 bus you'll have a good eight hours to enjoy it. Most people take five or six, which is all right too - just don't pelt down the way some do, in four hours, to see how fast they can do it!

The ferry leaves for Chora Sfakion at 5.30, and arrives in Chora Sfakion at 6.30. It may be later, as it's the last run of the day, but the bus waits for the ferry: if you're one of the first off the ferry you'll be sure of getting a seat on the bus. You should be back in Chania in time to catch the last bus at 9pm, and you'll be back in Heraklion at 11.30.

You'll need proper walking shoes or boots for the walk. It's long, and arduous, but not difficult as long as you're reasonably fit and used to walking long distances.

Edited: 18 July 2012, 20:56
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6. Re: Heraklion to Hania - Need help please!

Thanks for all the advice/information!

I just booked Arkadi hotel for the 2nd night. I am assuming I can just leave my luggage with the hotel? Is it safe to leave at the bus station?

Does the bus from Heraklion to Chania drop me off walking distance to the hotel Arkadi?

Also I am going during August which can be a busy time. How do the buses work? Do I need to buy tickets in advance? What if the bus gets full?

Sorry for all the questions.

Thanks!

Sale, United Kingdom
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7. Re: Heraklion to Hania - Need help please!

Re the buses: If you can, get there about 20 minutes before the bus is due to leave. You buy your ticket inside the bus station. It will have the number of the bus on it, or the ticket-seller will tell you. The bus number is usually stuck on to the windscreen, often in the middle at the top. The ticket will usually have a seat number. If the bus sells out (and they often do) they will put another one on, so you often have convoys of buses leaving for the same destination at the same time. I have never seen anyone left at the bus station, but presumably they don't have a limitless supply of drivers, so it could happen. By the same token, if you are waiting for a bus at a bus stop and one goes past completely full without stopping, often there will be another one behind it. Usually the driver will point backwards to indicate this. It sounds pretty chaotic, but seems to work OK!

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8. Re: Heraklion to Hania - Need help please!

I'm sure you'd be able to leave the luggage at the hotel. But if the ferry is late, you may have only just time enough to catch the last bus to Heraklion, so it's probably wiser to leave it at the bus station. I've done this dozens of times, and have never lost anything, but of course I can't guarantee that it's safe. It's not locked, and there are no lockers - it's just a room behind the desk where the guy in charge sits and issues tickets. I usually travel with just a backpack, and I can't vouch for the safety of expensive-looking suitcases.

Edit, having read Steve's simultaneous post. If there are seat numbers on bus tickets, I've never noticed them, nor have I ever seen anyone, Greek or tourist, going for a particular seat. But perhaps the system has changed since last year?

You could consider leaving the bulk of your luggage at the hotel in Heraklion, and travel to Chania with the bare necessities for a two-night stay in a backpack or a small case.

The bus from Heraklion will leave you at the bus station. It doesn't pass the Arkadi, but it is a three-minute walk: it's on the main square, Plateia 1866, 150 metres from the bus station. That's why I suggested it: it couldn't be easier or quicker to get to the bus station in the morning for your bus to Omalos.

You don't need to buy tickets in advance (in fact you can't). Just get to the bus station with some time in hand to buy your tickets - especially for Omalos. If a bus gets full, those who haven't got on in time to get a seat stand!

Edited: 19 July 2012, 16:01
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9. Re: Heraklion to Hania - Need help please!

PS: having read Steve's simultaneous post. If there are seat numbers on bus tickets I've never noticed them, nor have I ever noticed anyone - Greek or tourist - going for a particular seat. But perhaps the system has changed since last year?

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10. Re: Heraklion to Hania - Need help please!

The tickets I'm talking about are the printed ones on a sheet of paper about 6 x 3 inches. On them is a place for the seat number. I agree that people do often ignore them, but if you get on and sit at the right seat, then no-one can come and turf you out later!!

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