Sonntag, 4. März 2012

Which is the best place for a holiday in Crete?

This question is not so easy to answer - it all depends on what you want to do on your holiday on the biggest of the Islands of Greece.

Most popular among British tourists are the resorts on the North Coast of Crete. Number One has been Malia for years. The majority of tourists are British here, many shops and restaurants are run by english people. Malia is a place for young people who are looking for party, getting drunk, sex and beach. If you are over 30 there is a good chance you will not like Malia. Malia is a pretty ugly place, but people coming here dont care about this.

If you like a more quiet place with a good beach and a few restaurants and bars and a bit of a nightlife I recommend some places on the south coast of Crete like
Plakias or Paleochora.

The nicest towns on Crete are Chania and
Rethymno. In both places there are many good and cheap pensions and hotels.

If you have almost no money and you want to sleep at the beach Sougia or Lendas are the places to go.

The capital Iraklio is not the nicest town on Crete, but much better than a decade ago. The most important archaeological site is here: Knossos, the world-famous Minoen palace. Also the Archaeological Museum is the the centre of Iraklio - the by far most important museum on Crete.

If you like a cheap and quiet place, try the village Pitsidia. It is only 2 miles from the beach and a famous place for alternative tourism - around 20 western people live here the whole year.

The best places for hiking are the White Mountains with the famous Samaria Gorge. But also many other places on Crete are great for walking.

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Montag, 30. Juni 2008

Suggestions for Day Trips from Plakias with the Public Bus

I live in Plakias. I have always been a big fan of public transport. Here public transport is quite boring - only (depending on the season) 2 to 7 buses a day go to Rethimno and nowhere else. There is nothing really great on the way to Rethimno. So the only day trip of any bigger interest is actually to Rethimno.

But since yesterday (29 th of June 2008) there is - after 2 long years - public transportation again between Plakias and Chora Sfakia (CS). The bus runs 1 time in the morning from Plakias to CS at 9 am and twice a day (11am, 5:30pm) in the other direction every day of the week. This gives tourists in Plakias a lot of new option for day trips. The buses will probably and hopefully run til mid or end September.

To show how useful the bus is - some ideas for trips from Plakias:

- Short trip to Rodakino: Take the bus at 9 am for a short trip to our neighbour village. You will arrive at 9:30 am. You can walk down to the beach, walk up from Kato Rodakino to the tourist free village of Ano Rodakino. The bus back will leave at about 11:30 am. So you have 2 hours time.

- A day at the beach in Radakino: See above - extra you spend a few hours at the nice and pretty quite beach incl. swimming and eating in the good and cheap taverna next to the beach. You take the bus back at around 6 pm.

- A day trip to Frankocastello: Very nice beaches in a flat area. A few years ago only 10-20 houses - today I counted from the bus 70. The castello itself (free entrance) is worth a 10-minute look. The sea near Frangocastello is at some spots very flat (be careful not everywhere) and so good for smaller children. Once I walked about 500 meters out in the sea. Take the 9 am coach from Plakias and go back from Frangocastello at about 5:45 pm.

- A day trip to Imbros Gorge: Take the 9 am to Chora Sfakion, from the the 11 am bus to Imbros. At 11:50 you will start walking down the famous gorge (as do a few hundred tourists each day). After 2,5 to 3 hours you arrive in the village of Komitades. The gorge is on its narrowest part only 1,6 meters wide - it is one of the most famous and most intersting hikes on Crete. The bus back will go through Komitades. If you don´t want to wait in the boring village, you can walk on to more lively Chora Sfakio (1 hour on the road). The bus back starts at Chora Sfakia at 5:30 pm and arrives in Komitades 10 min later.

- A day trip to Gavdos: The Island of Gavdos - the southernmost point of Europe - is now in the first time I can remember in reach with public transportation from Plakias in one day return. Take the bus to Chora Sfakia. The ferry leaves at 11:30 am (Friday and Sunday only!). You have about 100 min on Gavdos. This is too less for the interesting island. Better stay - if possible - 2 days (Friday til Sunday) and return then to Plakias.

- With the ferry to Loutro: This ferry leaves Chora Sfakia at 10:30 , so hurry when the morning bus from Plakias arrives. I am not sure the ferry will wait for the few bus passengers from Plakias. You stay about 4 hours in the car-free famous village at the sea. It is one of the 2 villages of Crete not connected yet with a street to the rest of the island. The romantic fishing village is a base for many hikers in summer. For those you travel as fast as Japenese - you can also stay only two hours in Loutro and take the next ferry to Agia Roumeli from where you return about 1 hour later to Chora Sfakion. Agia Roumeli is the end of the super-famous Samaria-Gorge-Track and is overrun by a few 1000 of hikers a day. It is the second village on Crete without streets.

I hope I will see some of you in this buses - I will do 2-3 more of the trips above in the next weeks. It is important for the area you will use these buses - so the Crete authoroties will not cancel the useful service again. Every passenger counts! Public Buses are a cheap, environmental and safe way to see our great island!

By the way: Sorry for my bad English - I am a German living since a few years in Plakias.

I small video with impressions from the Imbros Gorge:

Small Film about Loutro:

Links: maxima - Sineu Mallorca - HD Ready or Full HD