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Topic: My visit to Crete  (Read 1981 times)

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My visit to Crete
« on: June 08, 2023, 11:18:00 PM »
Starting this thread to give a few tips for visiting the Greek Island of Crete.

@jimbocz

Driving: They drive on the right.
They have traffic speed cameras however there are not very many of them.
Police and ambulances ALWAYS drive with their lights on. You most likely will not see very many police on the roads.
Driving is a little bit like driving in the wild, wild west! You will want to keep your car in the centre to the right side of the solid white line on the right shoulder. This is because you will be passed on the left and there is a double solid white line down the centre of the road. Even though this is technically a dual carriage way, you will want to treat it like a lane and a half to two lane road going each direction. Also, the shoulder is also used as the breakdown lane so keep an eye out for stopped cars.
Cars do not stop for you on a zebra crossing so be careful crossing the road.
Even though the traffic seems a little bit lawless, I felt completed safe driving. There are a lot of single track roads. Be careful driving in the villages. Be prepared to reverse down the road to let someone by as they most likely won't reverse for you. No one seems to understand right of way.

The island is pristine! I've never seen a cleaner, more litter free country.

There is very little crime even though it is common to own and carry guns and knives. The Cretans are a very proud people and they seem to have a strong regard for people and social justice.

There are stray cats everywhere even in the restaurants.

The food is outstanding.

The coffee is a lot of times Nescafe. I didn't have an amazing cup of coffee whilst there.

Immerse yourself in their history.

If you go to a tourist shop be prepared to be hammered by salespeople. They are relentless. They start bringing items to you they may think you like. They are fantastic at upselling. Truly gifted. Lol



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« Last Edit: June 08, 2023, 11:20:10 PM by nctami72 »


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Re: My visit to Crete
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2023, 08:53:04 AM »
Thanks Tami!

Was there a particularly nice place we should visit?  A super nice restaurant we should try?


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Re: My visit to Crete
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2023, 09:09:34 AM »
Thanks Tami!

Was there a particularly nice place we should visit?  A super nice restaurant we should try?
Since you will be in the North East, make sure you go to Spinalonga. Go to Plaka to get a boat over. Take a drink with you because you will be ripped off at the islands only snack bar. (It was €14 for 2 bottles of Lipton iced tea.)

Go to Lerapetra for some nice shops and plenty of cafes.

Visit Agios Nikolaos. Great shopping, beaches and restaurants. We ate at Basilico Ristorant. The service was fantastic. The food was amazing and the view spectacular.

There are lots of secluded beaches in that area.

Make sure you take a trip up into the mountains. The views are stunning and there are lots of tiny villages with tavernas.

You will be given raki at almost every meal. Do not turn it down as it is considered rude. Google what raki is. These will all be made locally by someone with a licence in the village.

Do you plan on going down south? The view of the sea coming down off the mountains shouldn't be missed.

Everything gets covered in a very light coating of orange sand. This is coming across the ocean from Libya. We did get rain on our trip (you probably won't) and everything was dirtier after the rain.

You will be roasting. Keep hydrated. Wear hats and sunscreen.

I'll add more when I think of more. 

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Re: My visit to Crete
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2023, 09:32:37 AM »
This is what my travel looked like.

I wouldn't waste time going to Chania or Heraklion, unless there was something very specific you wanted to see.

Try all of the Greek food but more specifically any local Cretan dishes.

The little Cretan olives are chefs kiss! Saganaki is a fried block of cheese. Get it. I loved the fried calamari and the grilled octopus, Cretan salad. Local feta... OMG. (Don't ask if I just spent £100 on supplies I need to make my own feta. I ordered sheep's milk from a dairy in England and it will be delivered next Wednesday. ) Try the local thyme honey.

The portions are HUGE! A starter was the size of a main. I always had too much food.

Lots of different types of pastries and desserts. You will not be disappointed in this area.

You will be amazed at all of the different types of produce they grow on the island. From the obvious olives to almonds, walnuts, watermelon, greens, peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, lemons, and even baby bananas. This is very fertile ground.



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Re: My visit to Crete
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2023, 04:17:53 PM »
Wow, you really got around!    Thanks for all the tips.  The only thing we've got planned so far is flying into Heraklion and staying overnight, then driving  few hours to an Uncle's house that we'll be staying at.

I am also planning to eat all the food. 

BTW everyone, my wife is out of town tonight so me and my boy will be picking up Wendy's and eating burgers in front of the TV.  We are going to watch Idiocracy in honour of Trump's latest indictment.


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Re: My visit to Crete
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2023, 04:33:24 PM »
Wow, you really got around!    Thanks for all the tips.  The only thing we've got planned so far is flying into Heraklion and staying overnight, then driving  few hours to an Uncle's house that we'll be staying at.

I am also planning to eat all the food. 

BTW everyone, my wife is out of town tonight so me and my boy will be picking up Wendy's and eating burgers in front of the TV.  We are going to watch Idiocracy in honour of Trump's latest indictment.
Flying into Heraklion was super easy. Flying out was a nightmare. Even though we were at our advertised gate an hour early, we nearly missed our flight.

You will go through security, which was easy, and then go through passport control. The lines were super long but actually moved pretty quick. Also, the main airport was air conditioned but as soon as you get into the line for passport control, no air conditioning. It was SO HOT!

OK... so we get to the gate. The board said B11. We went there, which was upstairs. There is a corridor leading to the boarding area. There was hundreds of people there. There was 2 flights at that gate... TUI to Manchester AND Easy Jet to Manchester. It was utter chaos. One of those flights was then moved to another gate. Fine. It cleared out a bit.

Our flight was delayed until 11pm. We listened to EVERY announcements. Finally at 1045-1050pm Stuart was like... something is really wrong. He walked down to the end of the corridor to the main area just in time to hear our names being called to go to gate B8 (downstairs) because the flight was closing. I couldn't hear that announcement. We grab our stuff and run downstairs and make it just by the skin of our teeth. To put it in perspective, our flight was in the air less than 15 minutes after we got into our seat.

This is what we realised. The board at our first gate was broken and blank. You can't hear main airport announcements in the corridor. The gate attendants instructing the other passengers about their gate change didn't say anything about the Edinburgh gate change. Trust me, I listened to EVERY announcement. The only ones we heard were in relation to the Manchester flights. All of the other Edinburgh passengers must have arrived way later than us and never made it into the corridor and could hear the announcements.

I can't even imagine what we would have done had we missed that flight.

It is the worst airport experience I've ever had.



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Re: My visit to Crete
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2023, 01:48:04 PM »
I'll be sure to pay attention at the airport then.  What about your rental car?  Any trouble?


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Re: My visit to Crete
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2023, 01:50:06 PM »
I'll be sure to pay attention at the airport then.  What about your rental car?  Any trouble?
We rented from Europecar at the resort. No problem at all.  If we go again, we will just pick up a car at the airport as it was more expensive at the resort.

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Re: My visit to Crete
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2023, 06:55:05 PM »
Just had an excellent meal of goat at a fantastic restaurant overlooking the beach.  Really nice!   When we were driving to the restaurant all the goats ran into the road to say hi and beg for food.

Looks like we are staying far to the east of all the places Tami went.  We dont have any road trips planned since the car is a POS and most things are on the other side of a giant mountain



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Re: My visit to Crete
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2023, 07:31:07 PM »
Just had an excellent meal of goat at a fantastic restaurant overlooking the beach.  Really nice!   When we were driving to the restaurant all the goats ran into the road to say hi and beg for food.

Looks like we are staying far to the east of all the places Tami went.  We dont have any road trips planned since the car is a POS and most things are on the other side of a giant mountain
That is too bad about the car. And those mountains are glorious and huge.

Today is day 1 of Montenegro for us. We pick up our car tomorrow and will go see what we can see.

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Re: My visit to Crete
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2023, 05:22:36 PM »
That looks nice!  Enjoy your trip


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