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Chania, Crete

We will be in Chania for 4 nights in late September .. We have heard about boat to Balos and caves nearby... Any ideas of what to do with 4 days there... We will probably just enjoy the beach and food 2 of the 4 days to relax ... However we want to maximize our experience in the other two days by hearing what is recommended. We definitely want to see Balos Beach but caves sound interesting as well. Thoughts ?
Julie

Posted by
25540 posts

Stop by the local tourist office and ask about interesting (public) bus trips into the interior. That's where you'll really know you're in Crete. Sorry not to be specific, but I was last in Crete about 20 years ago.

Posted by
1272 posts

Chania is a beautiful city particularly its old town and Venetian era harbour. It will take you at least two days just to wander its back alleys.
Chania does have a decent beach about a 10 minute walk along the sea shore to Neo Chora. Images are at the end of the Chania album
Chania is well situated for day trips to places like Ancient Aptera. It is spread out over a mountain top. It takes a good 4 hours. Don't miss the Roman vaulted cisterns. They were very cool. Images 38 to 47
Other excursions would be the boat trip from Kissamos to Gramovossa and Balos. This day trip includes two beaches and a hike up to a pirate fortress. Images are number 58-73
Rethymnon is also a good day trip it is similar to Chania but does have a very intact Venetian era Fortezza to explore.

Western Crete http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157632115757899/

Chania http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157632117917828/

Posted by
9 posts

We went to Balos last year, it is ok but we were actually a bit disappointed, you'll have to walk for about 45 minutes in the beating sun (there is donkey transportation service). I highly reccommend Elafonisi beach https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elafonisi with its unique pink sand. We took a rental car in Kissamos, it's about 1 hour drive but definetly worthwhile. On the way you can enjoy the landscape and stop by to have some dolmades (delicious stuffed grape leaves) and obviously some fish.

Posted by
13 posts

So can I hear others experiences with Balos Beach vs Elafonisi Beach?? We had planned to do Balos but I've heard good things about both and not sure we will have time for both. We will be there in late September of this year .
Thanks Julie

Posted by
1272 posts

The previous poster must have either taken the bus or drove to Balos. I understand it is about a 25 minute walk down to the lagoon from the parking lot so in the heat that walk will bring no joy particularly the walk back up.
If you take the boat excursion you get both Balos and Gramovossa with no walking required. See my photos in my previous post.

We drove to Elafonissi a few years ago and walked around and left. While the pinkish sand is cool it was crowded and failed to impress.

Posted by
1 posts

It is a wonderful place !! Food and Beach Just do that... Beware of the sun and take precautions...

Also Elafonisi is great in June and july and September, not August it is too crowded indeed. If you are a couple and well fit visi Samaria Gorge, 5 hours hiking trail, dont do it in August...too hot.
Stay in a place near Chania old town, is much cheaper , we stayed in a family hotel called Mesogios Beach hotel

and it was in Kissamos. A strategic location to stay if you want to see West Crete.

Crete is an ancient place, full of antiquities, still found today, and has unique people and personalities. Respect the old men and the culture and enjoy the harmony of the light