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Crete

I'll be traveling to Crete during the last week of October.
I'm interested in the ancient sights, museums, and great beaches. 1. What's the best route for me to plan to see the entire cost (N, S, E, W) of Crete? 2. What is the weather like in early November, as I wouldn't mind staying on Crete into November if the weather is still nice? Thank you.

Posted by
290 posts

How are you arriving & departing flight(& which airport) or ferry? That will determine the best route to take. Crete is very large. And while you can get around on the bus system (many bus stops for towns are on the main highway which is quite a walk), having a rental car is definitely the way to go. Also, there are many worthwhile places to see that are not on the coast. Folks really should give this island at least 2-3 weeks to see properly. You should get yourself a really good book on Crete to help with the planning. Make sure to get your cash from ATMs when you see them, as many small towns do not have ATMs. Many of the really cool non touristy places to shop and eat do not take credit cards. Some gas stations have broken credit card readers or do not take credit cards as well. As for the weather in last Oct through Nov - well its been off normal this year so hard to predict. Oct can range for 61 - 75 and Nov 55 -70 degrees. One thing to be careful of is tourism comes to a hault first week in Nov so many places to eat, sleep, & shop close up until Apr or May. I hope this helps you out a bit.

Posted by
803 posts

with a car you can stop by many little towns with beach. if you don't have a car, you should split your time between iraklio and chania, and possible add a couple of more with good old towns and beaches, there are many options on the bus route between iraklio and chania. there is beach outside of iraklio by local bus, and plenty hotels on or near the beach. To iraklio, if you fly in then you can take bus from the airport to downtown or any hotel on the beach, and if you arrive by boat you can use a taxi from the port, it's very cheap and folks on the island are honest, they won't overcharge you. Downtown is within walking distance from the port, but the beach is not.

Posted by
68 posts

Hi, I am planning to fly into Iraklion, as I believe that is Crete's main airport, and fly back to Athens. -Is car rental an easy transaction on Crete?
I only have credit/debit cards. I would like to give Crete 2 weeks, and I am able to if necessary, right now I have it squeezed into 7 days and it seems way too rushed! -I just don't have any idea what the driving time is from say, Iraklion to Chania; or Chania to Falsarna; in fact, that is also where I am at a complete loss, not knowing the driving time between points & how long I shoud stay in each town. -Is it easier to explore the North first, then South. Start in Iraklion and move towards Chania, Gramvousa, Falsarna, Loutro, Agia Roumeli, across the south coast to Vai, Spinalonga,....and back to Iraklion? Please advise as I thought many places on Crete stayed open year round (ancient sights, museums,, etc.) -Are the waters warm enough for swimming into November? At most, I could stay until mid-November, but I don't want to waste the time or money doing so if the weather is inclement, water is cold, and places are all shut down, etc. Thank you for responding to my questions and for your guidance.

Posted by
42 posts

- Best to get a car, it makes everything easier and it's no problem with a credit/debit card. I'm not sure if you need an international driver's license for Greece. - 2 weeks should let you see pretty much everything, with some beach chill time too. - For driving times, it's 4-5 hours from one end to the other. Chania is about 2 hours from Iraklion and 4 from Sitia. Driving north to south takes longer than it looks because there aren't many roads and it's all mountains. Still it's about 90 minutes from Chania to Paleochora or Sfakia. - You can't drive to Loutro or Agia Roumeli, you have to take a boat from Sougia or Sfakia. Those are tourist towns and might be dead in October/November. For an itinerary, it really kinda depends on what you want to see and when. Crete's not so big that you can't just make a day trip from one end to the other. - I can't speak about most places east of Iraklion since I haven't been there, but everywhere I've seen on the western half of the island has been fantastic. - Most of the sights and museums are open year-round but a lot of restaurants, hotels and bars might not be. - It should still be warm enough to swim in November, and the weather's still pretty nice. December through April is the rainy season here. Let me know if you need more info about anything.

Posted by
1816 posts

Carly, you should go to AAA and get an international driver's permit before going to Greece if there's any chance you'll want to rent a car. Sometimes the rental agencies don't ask for the permit. But the one year we didn't get one, they did require it, and we were unable to rent a car. So just in case, pick one up. I think it costs $15.

Posted by
68 posts

I will definitely rent a car and get an international license. I've read that a 4x4 vehicle is necessary to explore the entire island of Crete. 1. Does anyone know how much it costs per week to rent a 4x4, AND how much it costs to rent a car? If it is not that big of a difference I'll rent a 4x4 to be safe. 2. Are 4x4's there the same as an SUV here? Thanks, Carly

Posted by
68 posts

I will definitely rent a car and get an international license. I've read that a 4x4 vehicle is necessary to explore the entire island of Crete. 1. Does anyone know how much it costs per week to rent a 4x4, AND how much it costs to rent a car? If it is not that big of a difference I'll rent a 4x4 to be safe. 2. Are 4x4's there the same as an SUV here? Thanks, Carly

Posted by
2876 posts

4x4s are basically the same but most likely smaller in size.

Posted by
290 posts

4 X 4 is not really needed for most places. You most likely should not be thinking of going off roading at that time of the year. We did fine with a Skoda. The main country roads were pretty well paved when I was there in May. As in my private message to you, Anna Car is a good company. Website: http://www.annacars.gr/index.asp?pageid=1&langid=en . Make sure to have a really good road map of Crete. The maps in the tour books are not detailed enough if you plan on driving through the interior of Crete. Also, the signage is not that obvious much of the time, so it really pays if you have another pair of eyes in the car with a head on the swivle looking for where to turn off for places of interest. The signs can be very small and easily missed. Sometimes the signs are only posted in one direction of traffic on the road! But getting there can be part of the adventure. Keep your eyes open for speed camera zones on the National Highway. The cameras may or may not be turned on at the time you are there, but you really don't want to chance getting tickets. Better to keep within the speed limit.

Posted by
68 posts

Oh, I didn't mean for off-roading with a 4x4. I've read in some guide books that the roads may be rough to some areas, such as to the Bay of Balos at Gramvousa. I was thinking I didn't want to take a chance getting stuck anywhere, or not being able to get to some 'off the beaten path' locations.
Unfortunately I won't have an extra set of eyes with me, so I'll try to keep a sense of humor and not stress and worry too much when I get lost. Would a 4x4 be much more expensive than a car?

Posted by
68 posts

I've tried to contact Anna Cars, but they were not available. I sent an email for a price on the Skoda Yeti. I hope to hear from them.

Posted by
425 posts

You will find that there is no way of driving along the SOUTH coast. There are no roads there. It is very rugged. I have been to Crete in November. I rented a motorbike. I can tell you that in the mountains it is VERY cold.

Posted by
68 posts

Will there still be tours available to ancient sights, some remote beaches & moutnain villages still in late Oct. and early Nov.?

Posted by
42 posts

You won't need a 4x4, I've seen Fiat Pandas on the road to Balos.

Posted by
42 posts

Also for speed cameras, I and everyone else on that road tend to drive twice the speed limit, and I've never been ticketed or heard of it happening to anyone else.

Posted by
68 posts

Thanks, Brady. That is good to know. I didn't want to have to rent a 4x4 if it wasn't necessary. I was advised that Chania and Agios Nikoloas would make 2 good bases to venture out on day trips from. Is this a good plan?

Posted by
68 posts

Hi Brady- Also, I sent you a message. Please check your profile. Thank you, Carly