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2 full days on Crete recommendations? guides?

I hope I will be on Crete for two full days in mid-May. I want to go to Knossos, of course. I won't have a car and am interested in a guided tour there. Also would love to go elsewhere on the island. Suggestions?

Posted by
3304 posts

More information about your interests and about why you’ve decided to allot just 2 days will help us give you better responses.

Posted by
9 posts

Yes, Rosalyn, sorry. I will have already been traveling both in the Peloponnese and to three other islands prior to this and I don't imagine I will ever get back to Greece. (I'm in my late 70's). I am most interested in the ancient history of the places I visit. And I'm interested in seeing whatever may be left of traditional culture--older ways of life, village life. Because this is the end of a long trip, I don't have a lot of time, but I have to put my feet on Crete when I am so close. I like to walk.

Posted by
3304 posts

When we visited Knossos, there were licensed guides at the entrance offering tours for groups of up to 8 people. After no more Anglophones arrived, the guide suggested that we could pay the amount that a full group would generate, €80, rather than foregoing the tour. My husband and I considered €40/pp a not unreasonable price. The guide was good; and having her undivided attention allowed us to pursue questions of special interest to us.

Posted by
773 posts

In Heraklion I had time to see Knossos and the archaeology museum the same day. The Venetian fortress of Koules, occupied me for at least an hour. It offers spectacular views of the Mediterranean. I went to the Crete History Museum in Heraklion. Almost nobody goes there. It occupied me for at least an hour. The museum included a model of old Heraklion covered in plexiglass on a big table. There was a paper tourist map of Heraklion in the hotel showing the location of various monuments you can walk past. You probably won't have time for Chania but in Chania one of the locations of the maritime museum had an exhibit on the battle of Crete in World War II. Nazis destroyed most of the buildings in Heraklion in the battle. And Heraklion has a retaining wall at the shore instead of a beach. Those are the top 2 reasons some "knowledgeable" travelers may unfortunately recommend against spending a lot of time in Heraklion.

If you want to over-rush your time on Crete, you could book a bed in an overnight ferry to Heraklion. See Knossos and the Archaeology museum the day you arrive. Sleep in the city that night. The next morning, take the bus to Chania.

How many nights do you have on Crete?

Only 2 full days is barely enough time to justify going to Crete. I read parts of "the Rough guide to Crete" before my trip. I only gave myself 2 nights and 3 days in Crete. I would have been as happy if I had skipped Crete and traveled to Olympia in Western Greece. Olympia is the most well known ancient sight of Olympic games. There were a total of 4 sights of ancient games. Games were held each year but rotating to a different one of these 4 sites each year.

Posted by
7682 posts

Two full days equals three nights. Spend first night in Heraklion, in the morning visit Knossos and then leave for Chania. Next two nights in Chania.
Fly or take ferry out of Chania to Athens.

Posted by
14888 posts

I loved Chania but it's a 2-hour drive from Heraklion - that would be by taxi or private guide. IMO that's too far and too expensive for a day trip or even an overnight. Officially the bus takes 2.5 hours but that's a minimum. I visited in October. It was about 2.5 hours from the bus station in Herakalion to the bus station in Chania - then a 15-20 minute walk to the Venetian port (heart of the old town). But going back the bus took a good 4 hours.