My wife and I would like two weeks in crete and one other island, I'm thinking either naxos or paros. it's been recommended while in crete that we stay in rethymno, is that a good choice? any lodging recommendations. we like to be right on the water. we will be travelling in sept/october of 2024. tx for your suggestions. nick
Rethymnon is nice but I highly recommend that you stay in Chania, one of Greece’s two most beautiful cities. The other one is Nafplion on the Peloponnesean Peninsula. Visit both of them plus a smaller Greek island, Paris or Naxos, and Athens.
From Crete, ferry departures to Paros or Naxos, or any other island in the Cyclades are from the port of Heraklion
What you could do to prepare your trip is to look at the 2023 ferry timetables (and save them by taking a printscreen).
Ferry schedules and routes in 2024 will be roughly the same. So this could be useful for your planning (accommodation choice and booking, etc.)
The website http://www.openseas.gr/ allows you to see all ferry schedules over a week.
An example here for the Heraklion → Naxos itinerary last week of September
You can change the date and destination.
Departures are sometimes early in the morning. Crete being a very large island, wherever you stay, pay attention to the travel times to reach the port. (Chania → Heraklion is more than two hours drive)
Crete is huge and has many ancient sites you might want to just stay there the whole time. As mentioned Chania is a great place to base yourself. You can find hotels at the Venetian harbour along with tavernas and the waterfront promenade. Chania still has some of the city walls still intact and has a vibrant old town area. There is lots to do and see in the surrounding area by car or local bus.
Chania 2022. https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72177720299646015
Rethymnon Is a good recommendation it too has an old town and harbour area, the old town and harbour are smaller than Chania but it has a huge fortress and a large beach.
If you do want to do a second island and you liked Crete then Naxos is a good choice. It is often called mini Crete and has a lovely main town with back alleys up to the Venetian Kastro area. Good beaches and mountain villages to explore.
Honestly Naxos needs a week to see most of it.
Around Naxos town 2022 https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72177720299959098
Back to Naxos 2022 https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72177720299940917
We’re on Crete right now, and agree that you could easily spend your entire time on this island. We started in Rethymno, primarily lured by a “quad safari” excursion. It’s a good place to start — lots of hotels lining the huge beach. Last year we started in Chania, which is a beautiful city.
If you’re a hiker, Crete has lots of gorges to explore — the Samaria gorge being the most well known. And lots of archeological sites.
But we love Crete’s southern coast … a string of little villages from Paleochora to Hora Skafion, linked by ferries. Loutro is very special. But our favorite is tiny Sougia, where we are right now. This town pretty much shuts down in October. But if you can get a reservation at Oceanis late next September, you’ll probably see us here.