07-28-2011, 04:54 AM
Greece - Crete and Rhoads
Any feedback for visiting Crete and Rhoads in May? Are there many people? Any favorite areas to visit or hotels to stay? I see there are some great LL auctions...thanks.
07-28-2011, 11:52 AM
I've been on several sites (gotta love the expat ones) and I suggest rooting thru TA to see where NOT to stay. Both are extremely popular w/Brits for budget holidays. I;m concerned about any area that gets overly developed (like Southern Spain--ie oodles of CONDOS) for the fortnighters (2wks on the cheap, black socks with sandals and shorts!!) Do your homework for the right places to stay. It might be tricky. I was watching the new Turkey pkgs, accessible from Athens or Istanbul. The Izmir/Bodrum areas are close to some of teh smaller islands. Both Crete and Rhodes are large; I've been eye some that are easier to access from Turkey than Greece (for ferries and flights)"wherever you go, there you are"
07-29-2011, 03:47 AM
Hi K...I have looked at TA also. I am thinking about a LL package to a bigger island with a few days to a smaller island. Was trying to avoid huge touristy areas. I was also looking at trips into Turkey from Rhoads.
07-30-2011, 03:41 PM
I have a pretty nice little file of IST hotels if you want references"wherever you go, there you are"
07-31-2011, 04:28 AM
What are ist hotels? Where are they located? THanks!
07-31-2011, 08:11 AM
Oh--sorry--that's the airline in me! ISTanbul
In case you start or end there."wherever you go, there you are"
07-31-2011, 11:56 AM
- Join Date
- Dec 2006
- Blog Entries
I've not been to Crete and it too is on my list.
A few years ago, my sister-in-law & I decide to do a Greek Islands trip. We flew into Athens and spent only 2 nights there as our focus was the islands.
We picked 2 islands that most tourists pick - Mykonos and Santorini. And I wanted to pick one other island that was quite different from those 2 islands for some contrast. After much research, I picked Lesvos. At the time, it was definitely off the tourist path although that may be changing a little. Lesvos is close to Turkey; in fact you can see Turkey from there and we met other travelers who had come over via ferry from Turkey. It is separated from Turkey by the narrow Mytilini Strait.
According to one Greece expert, "The lush, green island of Lesvos is like no other Greek island. It is the third largest of the islands in Greece behind Crete and Evia. Virtually unaffected by the mass tourism that has turned other islands into amusement parks, Lesvos is the perfect place to visit for people who want to experience the real Greece."
In hindsight, I would skip Mykonos but I'd go to Santorini. Although it is touristy, there is no place quite like it - the view is so beautiful.
We loved Lesvos. It was definitely more real, especially the little hill towns. Everybody was so friendly and welcoming.
After 2 days in Athens, we flew to Mytilini, Lesvos and left immediately as it is a large city. We spent almost a week touring Lesvos. It's a much larger island with very different terrain & vegetation compared to Mykonos or Santorini. We stayed in 4 different areas of the island, first in the harbor of a small fishing village, Molyvos. No 4 or 5 star hotels but lots of real Greece and charm. Molyvos, Lesvos, Greece
Then we drove across the island to Eressos, the birthplace of the poetess Sapho. We had not booked a place here since it is THE big beach resort on the island with many B&Bs and one large resort. On the way, we stopped off to see The Petrified Forest - a waste of time! So by the end of the day, we entered the town going first to the large resort, and they were closed! We were one week too early before they open for the season. This was in May. Then we drove into town where there are many B&Bs, and they were all closed. Again we were 1 week too early! One man who was painting the outside of a B&B saw us as we kept driving up and down the streets - he stopped us to ask if he could help. We couldn't find a place to stay and did not want to drive back across the island. Fortunately he owned 2 B&BS, and although neither were open yet for the season, he gave us the key to one of them, along with linens and told us if we didn't mind making up our beds we could stay there - for the equivalent of $12! And it was a pretty nice place. How nice and trusting of him.
Another Lesvos stop was Plomari where we stayed at the Pebble Beach Hotel on Agios Isodors Beach. Plomari is known for its Ouzo. We had the most interesting ouzo tour! We arrived around 2:00pm, went into town to shop and found that most of the shops were closing for their afternoon siesta. But one ouzo shopkeeper ushered us in and gave us ouzo tastings. He also invited us to see where he & his family makes ouzo. There's a large industrial ouzo manufacturing company in town but also this small family run business. So he closed his retail shop & off we went to see the small family business - quite the ouzo lesson!
We stayed at one other town in Lesvos but right now, its name escapes me.
The next island on our visit was Mykonos and to get here we took an overnight ferry to Athens & then another ferry to Mykonos. The overnight ferry was quite an experience. We also arrived in Santorini by ferry which I heartily recommend because the initial view from the ferry is amazing. When we left Santorini, we flew back to Athens and onto JFK the same day.
One thing about "the beautiful beaches" of Greece we read about, I guess they have not seen the sand at some of our beaches here in the States like in Destin or Pensacola. LOL Some of the beautiful beaches were a little more pebbly than what I like.
Here is a website that I found very helpful, Matt Barett's website:
A Greece Travel Guide: Matt Barrett's Guide to the Greek Islands, Athens and Mainland Greece
GREECE TRAVEL: Matt Barrett's Guides to Greece and the Greek Islands
Last edited by jmbklj; 07-31-2011 at 12:02 PM. Reason: Addition of website
08-01-2011, 04:10 AM
Oh J.....Wonderful. Thanks so much for the update and information. Did you rent a car on Lesvos? We plan to try to not go back to Athens for the touring around. Since I went to Greece years ago, many local airlines have been formed. We hope to ferry or fly between the islands due to time frame of the trip. I am going to check out Lesvos...Thank you!
08-02-2011, 03:16 PM
- Join Date
- Dec 2006
- Blog Entries
08-02-2011, 08:36 PM
- Join Date
- Feb 2008
I highly recommend Crete. I liked Heraklion and Chania. Chania was my favorite. I walked along the harbor which has a beautiful Italian influence. There's lots of shopping and a pretty lighthouse. I also like to really experience the outdoors when I travel and I hiked the Samarian Gorge when I was in Chania. It goes from the top of the mountains (it feels like you are in some sort of a Greek myth! There are so many old trees and waterfalls and hidden little shrines!) to what they called the Libyan Sea. It is a fairly long walk though, it took me most of the day (6 hrs.) Heraklion has the Palace of Knossos if you are a history buff. Have fun! Oh, and DO NOT take the high speed ferry between islands unless you have an extraordinarily strong stomach! There's a reason it's nicknamed the "barf barge."