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Need information please :)

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Need information please :)

me and my friends are currently organising our paradise island getaway to Gavdos in late august 2013. i have lots of questions to ask so i will list them below. if you see this and have been to gavdos please help me haha( the internet is pretty much useless in regards to this amazing little gem of an island)

1. SHOPS- is there somewhere we can buy supplys on the island(Food,Drink,Water) ect?

2.Best beach to camp on?

3.Fires on the beach! is this allowed?

4.places to eat and drink! is there any?

And most important question- as we are travelling from the Uk is there any kind of restriction on bringing camping equiptment( A Tent) on to the plane?

if you can think of any useful tips for me and my friends please feel free to advise.

Thanks :D

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Bristol, United...
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for Messenia Region, Laconia Region, Magnesia Region
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1. Re: Need information please :)

I have no personal experience of Gavdhos but I just thought I would let you know that my Rough Guide to Crete has a detailed section about it. However mine is an old edition (2007) so if you consider buying the latest one, do check first. The newer Rough Guide editions do seem to contain less detail than previously on some more remote areas.

Regarding luggage restrictions on your flights, you will need to check with your airline.

Regarding fires on the beach, be aware that in August everything will be tinder dry. Crete is very windy in August and it is very easy for a spark to be blown on to dry grass or trees which would go up like a firework. You might think you have made your fire far enough away from any vegetation but sparks can be blown a long way. Every year the Greek countryside is devastated by fires so please don't take the risk.

Agii Apostoli...
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2. Re: Need information please :)

Gavdos was a hidden gem, but the last 10 years is slowly destroyed by disrespectful freecampers and locals.

1. There are a few mini markets and tavernas, 2-3 on Karave (the port), 4-5 at Sarakiniko, the most crowded beach (please avoid and boycott the tavernas - many are illegal), 1-2 near Ai Giannis, a few in the 2 villages in the centre of the island.

2. Difficult to say which is the best beach, it depends if you want a beach to have easy access/walk to civilisation or try to avoid the freecampers. In this case, the beach close to civilisation (but not too much like Sarakiniko) is Agios Ioannis. My favourite beach (but need to walk a lot) is Potamos. South of the island are cliffs and on the east its more quiet, but a bit rockier beaches.

3. Fires are allowed on the beach, its safe because of the sand and if its not near a tree, but please DO NOT CUT THE TREES! This is the most important advise/request/pledge I can give you. Many freecampers who 'love nature' slaughter the small cedar trees. Each cedar tree grows 1-2 centimeters every year, so most of them are hundred of years old. If you see a dry branch, most of the cases its not dry, but alive. Also please tell off anyone you see cutting the trees. Its better to pay a small amount and buy charcoal. If this continues, in hundred years there will be no trees left...

4. About the tent, I am not sure, it depends on the flight company. If its a low cost, they will charge you.

5. Just for your info, everything in Gavdos is more expensive than Crete, due to extra transportation costs. Especially water (you can't drink local water) costs more.

6. July to September Gavdos gets crowded, so its difficult to find a nice spot under a tree in Agios Ioannis. There is also 1-2 boat service between beaches for a few euros.

7. Gavdos is very safe, although as numbers of freecampers increase, so does stealing. Keep your money and passport hidden away. Best trick is to put everything in a plastic bag, then bury it under the sand and mark the spot by a stone. Just make sure you don't forget the spot and other people not to see you.

8. Gavdos is one of my favourite places to freecamp, beaches and the trees are amazing. The island has a powerful energy, but is slowly destroyed by mass tourism. In any case, you will love it!

Agii Apostoli...
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3. Re: Need information please :)

By the way, many changes and buildings have occurred in Gavdos between 2007 and 2013. I visited for the first time in 1997, then 2002, and the changes were masive (new roads, hotels, restaurants, etc).

You still have time to enjoy the beauty of Gavdos!

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4. Re: Need information please :)

Thanks for the feed back. Tavernas illegal? Is this something we should be cautious of and avoid? All we want from our visit is peace and to be away from the real world. Obviously we will need to purchase food,water ect but apart from that we are planning on just relaxing on the beach and taking walks around the island. :)

Does anybody know or advise the best route to take to the Chora Sfakion port from chania airport?

We do not intend to use fire apart from essential cooking. So i promise the trees will be safe. :D

Thanks for the feed back

London, United...
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5. Re: Need information please :)

George, I can't begin to say how sad your description of what has happened to Gavdos has made me. When I first went there, for a day, about 15 years ago, the rot hadn't yet set in, and I remember reading a blog at the time that implored people NOT to go and camp there: such a delicate environment was bound to suffer from even a small increase in tourism.

Gavdos was one of the few pristine places left in Greece, perhaps in the world, and it's heartbreaking to hear what just ten years of disrespectful treatment has done to it. But thanks for your post. Better to know than not know, I suppose.

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6. Re: Need information please :)

The island is still untouched. Campers have always been present on the island. And from what i hear from blogs on the internet is that the island is still a safe haven from modern tourism with just scatterd groups of campers visiting throughout the year. How can anybody moan about people camping? If i was resident of the island i would be angry if holiday companys started building hotels and resorts. But they havent and i dont see no problem in keen and intersted people like me wanting to go to and experiance this amazing place with a tent on the beach. Obviously tourism has risen on gavdos but im sure the residents dont mind the extra income it brings. Camping is a clean and friendly way of holidaying. I know that when me and my friends go we will leave the beach as it was when we arrived. And we will have deep respect and consideration for the locals.But your right it is a shame that people are coming visiting and experiencing this island!

Chania Town, Greece
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7. Re: Need information please :)

Hi Bucko89!

Unfortunately I can't argue with Grorge but Gavdos is still.. Gavdos!

Adding a few things:

First beach the public bus stops at is Sarakiniko- the most civilized place as George says above with rooms. tavernas and a mini market, 2 or 3 beach bars.

It is quieter than Agios Ioannis these past few years though, so fewer campers there, and of course fewer cedar trees as a great number was sacrificed for the above buildings.

The beach is sandy and less windy.

Nothing really bad will happen to you if you visit the restaurants at the beach there, George simply states that they aren't paying taxes so we shouldn't support them..

Next stop is Agios Ioannis where I prefer staying.

There are 3 taverns, rooms, a mini market and showers where the public bus drops you off, from then starts the path which takes you to the amazing beach.

In terms of time, the above sandy path has taken me from 8 min- ages.

The place can't handle this amount of tourists each year and is not at its best in August. The current rate of unemployment in Greece suggests that Agios Ioannis is going to be packed with locals next year as well.

From Ag, Ioannis you can go to the next beach called Lavrakas with -rocky seabed- and far more quieter, as it is about half hour away from the mini market.

I was informed that there is a good path connecting the two beaches, they formed it last year, but I haven't seen it yet.

The beach is not the best in my opinion, but the cedar forest behind it, is something I can't put in words!

Be sure to check Potamos beach that George has written about, it is west of Lavrakas, another surprise is hidden there!

Apparently I can go on forever about Gavdos, so feel free to ask anything!

I would advise you to check out some pictures of the beaches, panoramio and flickr have quite a few, in case you see the greek title:

Σαρακίνικο= Sarakiniko beach,

'Αί Γιάννης or Άγιος Ιωάννης = Agios Ioannis beach,

Λαυρακάς= Lavrakas beach

Bye for now!

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8. Re: Need information please :)

Thank you for your detailed reply much appreciated :) .If i was to fly to chania or heraklion airport what do you think the best route would be to get to Chora Sfakion port? I am really looking forward to my visit. It sounds beautiful.

Heraklion, Greece
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9. Re: Need information please :)

Dear Bucko89,

I'll tell you something about Gavdos. Its the only place that i have been that i cant forget. Unique in everyway! I go every year for at least a week...

I would suggest that you camp in Agios Ioannis maybe is more crouded but you will find convinient the shop and the taverna.

In Karave and in Korfos there are two tavernas owned by the same family. This family actually is the most friendly on the island and they can help you with anything you may require. they also operate a small shop in karave. Unlike some people in Sarakiniko the will not look to get a fortune from you overnight.

As stated above... Dont miss to go to Lavrakas!!!!

See a good guide about gavdos and the beaches: cretanbeaches.com/Information/…

Sale, United Kingdom
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10. Re: Need information please :)

Note that all the timetables which follow are the winter ones, which will update as the summer season starts. For the Chora Sfakion one in particular, there will be several more services per day.

Chania:

bus from airport to Chania:

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

bus from Chania to Chora Sfakion:

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

second one down.

Heraklion is a lot further away (an extra 150km), you will have to get a bus from the airport to Heraklion bus station, then to Chania:

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

3rd one down.

In summer it is possible to meet up with a Chora Sfakion bus in Vrisses, but until the timetable is out I wouldn't like to say how.

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