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Crete in November 2014

We will be in Germany (husbands work and have some time to spare) and thinking of flying to Crete for 4/5 days the first part of November. It is off season so will the sites still be open? We have been to Athens, Naxos and Santorini but Crete has been on our list. Haven't done much research as of yet so any suggestions will be appreciated. Note: Husband is a professor of Greek and Roman rhetoric and loved Athens. Thanks.

Posted by
3362 posts

Crete is perfect for you ...
(1) day-night #1 see if you can fly straight in to Heraklion -- hotel Kronos overlooking harbor is a good budget choice .see the amazing Herak Museum, just re-opened. NOTE: in November, sites are open but on short hours, close by 3 pm, sometimes 2:30 ... plan sightseeing for AM. The Herak. museum MAY be open later, but check ahead.
(2) Day-night #2 -- Get early LOCAL bus (30 mins) to Knossos, site opens at 9 AM. Then consider taking KTEL bus to Chania (2hrs) ... Hotel Palazzo -- NOT a palace -- is great budget place to stay off-season, right by harbor, historic Venetian house). Good small museum, terrific Old Town (2nd loveliest old town in Greece) lots going on even off-season.

(3) Day-night 3/4 -- U can rent a car for some great landscapes, other ruins, and places of Historic import re Cretan freedom fights against Ottomans, and resistance to Nazis. PLUS drive down thru Spili to Phaistos, Stay somewhere in the mountains (Zakros?), then back up in N. E. Direction toward Heraklion, stopping at Gortis, the Roman capitol of Crete during the Empire. Here's my fave online map of Crete http://www.explorecrete.com/crete-maps/images/Crete-eot.png (click & it gets huuuge). It shows types of roads PLUS terrain (Mountains!).

Best research guide -- ROUGH GUIDE to GREECE ... most detailed on what you will want to know. Trip Advisor Greece Forum also has MANY Crete experts who go at all seasons, some who live there. RS responders not so many repeat Greece visits.

Posted by
16894 posts

Janet has you on the right track. I have not been to Crete since early April, 1996, which was also not high season. All services at that time were adequate for my needs (bus, hotels, restaurants, historic sites), although bus schedules were certainly reduced versus summer. You might prefer to rent a car for more freedom and flexibility. Sites are open shorter hours, such as Knossos about 8 a.m.-5 p.m. winter versus 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. summer (according to the Lonely Planet guidebook). Take all published schedules in Greece with a grain of salt; changes are common.

Posted by
128 posts

Thanks Janet for the great information. Wonderful to have a response from you as you helped us so much in 2010 on our Athens, Santorini and Naxos trip. Will order Rough Guide to Greece for more infofmation. The itinerary you shared is a great place to start. Now husband is thinking of Cyprus instead of Crete. Have a bit of time to check both. Again, thank you.

Posted by
3362 posts

Another tip about ROUGH GUIDE -- the 2012 edition (used- good condition) on Amazon is currently about $13, including shipping. The 2008 edition used is 1¢ (!!) and $3.99 shipping = $4. I actually prefer the 08 version ... the '12 cut out some details just to make room for color photos (who needs those when u have the internet???). Also, you do not have to lug the hefty tome around. It's laid out so that you can carefully pull out sections --- i.e., Crete, Peloponnese, etc -- and use silver duct tape to bind the spine and Voila!! you have pocket-size "guide-ettes". I've totally dissected my Rough Guides into a group of "guide-ettes" ... RG also has an excellent succinct section on Greek history, 4000 BC - 2000 AD in about 100 pp. Super-duper. Tuck it in hubby's pocket. Especially valuable for people who don't understand the Byzantine period, nor appreciate the long era of struggle against oppression. Maybe Greeks have done some goofy things in the past 30 years, but they surely suffered and strove nobly for freedom through centuries.