Crete in October
Replies: 20 - Last Post: Sep 14, 2012 1:46 AM Last Post By: artemis2
Aug 16, 2012 1:17 PM
Crete in OctoberHi,
My husband and I have booked flights to go to Crete at the beginning of October for 10 days. I have a few questions.
1) What is the weather like in Crete at that time of year? I have read up on it but it seems contradictory.
2) Are all the Minoan sites open and accessible at that time of year? They are one of the main reasons we're going so I hope so!
3) Can anyone recommend cheap self-catering apartments/villas, ideally in the east of the island near to the Minoan sites, where we could stay for a few nights?
4) Has anyone experience of hiring a car in Crete? We are hoping to just get a car and drive about for 10 days, picking two or three places to stay for a few days each time.
Also, I will be 13 weeks pregnant so nothing too remote/halfway up a mountain!
All suggestions welcome. Looking forward to visiting this beautiful island :-)
Aug 16, 2012 10:01 PM
Aug 17, 2012 1:40 AM
24) Has anyone experience of hiring a car in Crete?
Yes i have. For Crete it will be hard to beat the rates and conditions of this Greek broker http://www.economycarrentals.com and pre-booking will always turn out cheaper.
I am with BthDth regarding Matala as a suitable base near some important Minoan sites. When i was there in June Matala was very busy with day trippers but was surprisingly quiet and enjoyable in the evenings.
Sep 5, 2012 6:06 PM
3I'm also planning on visiting Crete around the first week or two in October.
Are there any budget accommodations in Matala? I'd like to stay there for a night and visit Gortys and Phaestus via bus. I don't think I could visit all 3 in one day trip by bus from Heraklion. Alternatively, I could stay in either Gortys or Phaestus if there are accommodations there. I just figured there would be more accommodations in Matala since it's a beach. I can only find one place in Matala and it's rather expensive.
I would also like to visit Elafonisos, the Samaria Gorge and possibly Palaichora. I read somewhere that Palaichora is a backpacker haven, so possible a base to visit the other two places. I don't know of any sights in Palaichora. Please advise the best place to stay for this area of Crete. Again, Hania could be a base, but I don't think it's feasable to try to take the bus from there and make a day(or 2) trip(s), plus I think Samaria will require a whole day to hike and rest.
Sep 6, 2012 1:36 AM
4There is plenty of budget accommodation in Matala, don't worry. Most of the options are on a street on the left as you enter the town. Watch out for the 'rent rooms' signs. No need to book ahead and besides that, most of these budget places will not have web presence but are mentioned in a decent guidebook like the Rough Guide.
I didn't visit Gortys, but Phaestus and Agia Triada are only 3 km away from each other, on a walkable distance. I don't remember any nearby accommodation there.
I don't think Paleochora could be considered as a backpacker haven anymore, but to me it still is a rather enjoyable, small resort town. If i remember correctly, you will be able to arrange a bus from there to Omalos, the starting point of the walk through Samaria Gorge. You can ferry back to Paleochora from Agia Roumeli. An alternative could be to take a bus to Omalos from Chania and make it to Paleochora after the Samaria walk. In the latter case you will have to carry your luggage all the way.
I had my own wheels so am not an expert on PT, but if you want to make it to Elafonisi i think there will only be a bus from Chania. There also is a seasonal boat connection from Paleochora (twice daily) but i am not sure for October.
Sep 6, 2012 3:37 AM
Sep 10, 2012 1:41 PM
6I must have missed some places when I searched using Crete instead of Matala. I just found a couple of places searching on Matala and need to start using booking.com as even the same places are sometimes cheaper on that site. Yes, I don't plan on booking ahead for maximum flexibility since it will be off-season and I could run into scheduling problems if ferries are canceled. I can't find any bus service http://bus-service-crete-ktel.com/timetabledet.php?line=14&lg=2 to Gortys. Paleochora is a bit more expensive than Matala, so I wouldn't consider it a backpacker haven. The ferry from Paleochora only runs to Elafonisos until September, so I guess my only option is to take the 2.5 hour bus from Chania. El Samaria Gorge does present a challenge with luggage, so I have to make it a (round-trip) day trip from wherever I stay.
Sep 11, 2012 1:57 AM
7Paleochora is a bit more expensive than Matala
What made you jumping into that conclusion if i may ask? I've seen a very well reviewed studio, with a single rate at €22 on booking.com (Stelios Rooms). Then again, the cheapies very often aren't on the net, always keep that in mind wherever you travel in Greece.
If you would make the effort of going all the way to Elafonisi by bus, stay overnight there. There are two budget places, without web presence. We've payed €25 for a good double in Rooms Elafonisi in June two years ago, and without booking ahead. There is no real village there, but the place can become extremely crowded with day trippers. Nearly all of them leave around 4pm and after that you will have this beautiful place all for yourself and you can enjoy the views and the sunset in taverna Panorama (which also rents cheap rooms, but the other one had much better rooms).
Sep 11, 2012 2:45 AM
Sep 11, 2012 3:04 AM
Sep 11, 2012 4:07 AM
Sep 11, 2012 4:26 PM
11I didn't find any hotels in Elafonisi, so wasn't sure there was any place to stay there since it seems to be only for day trippers. Spending the night there would be preferable. Traveling solo does make it difficult as hotels tend to not have single (v. paying 2x for double) rooms available.
I read in the LP guide book that the Heraklion to Phaestos bus stops at Gortys, but does the Matala to Heraklion bus stop there as well? My plan is to take the bus from Matala to Phaestos and visit that site, then catch the Phaestos-Heraklion bus, getting off at Gortnys to visit that site, then catch a Heraklion to Matala bus from there back to Matala (so I can see both sites in one day).
Sep 11, 2012 11:50 PM
Sep 12, 2012 1:53 AM
13I didn't find any hotels in Elafonisi
I've mentioned the two budget options in #7, they are both mentioned in the Rough Guide. I suppose they are also listed in the LP given the following search result http://hotels.lonelyplanet.com/greece/elafonisi-r1979445/
Besides these two well located cheapies there are a few more upmarket places on the road leading to Elafonisi.
since it seems to be only for day trippers. Spending the night there would be preferable.
And is the best thing one can do to do this beautiful place any justice. It simply is much more enjoyable after the day trippers are gone, or before they arrive.
Sep 12, 2012 2:44 AM
14Hello, the weather is perfect, in the high 20s and good for swimming and walking. The sites are open as are most of the hotels and cities are buzzing. All the major care hire firms are on the island, so no problems there (drive on the right).
Stay at Crete's best agrotourism resort, Eleonas, open all year round, in Zaros (www.eleonas.gr) with new olive harvest tours, six days of escorted trips around central Crete.
From here collect maps at reception and follow the food, wine and culture trail around Mt Psiloritis national park.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$73.56 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$116.40 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$128.71 per night