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I am planning to visit Knossos Palace next summer and I am looking for suggestions. Should I book a guided tour in advance? How long should I plan to stay?

I have researched the area and I know I want to see all the sites I possibly can in the complex. I also heard that a lot of the artifacts aren't at the site - they're at the archaeological museum in Heraklion. So, if I want the full experience it sounds like I need to plan at least two days for this?

Any advice is appreciated!
The last time I saw this site, I did so from the hop on/ hop off bus. In Heraklion, this is a good option for seeing a bunch of sites because you can choose where you want to stop. They narrate while you're on the bus, as well. I just got off the bus and paid for my ticket - so other than that, there really isn't much else to do. I would suggest spending more than one day with the hop on/hop off bus if you want to see a lot of sites. I spent maybe four hours in the archaeological museum because I love that stuff, and that didn't leave a lot of time for much else. I guess it all takes planning - you can do Knossos and the museum together in the same day with careful planning, and it also doesn't have to be through the same bus tour I did.

How long to spend on Crete?

I am going to Crete in the summer. How long should I spend? I have maybe two months in Greece. We don't get to Crete often - we also don't have anyone to visit. Here are some of my thoughts:

Finding a home base - Crete has so many wonderful towns and cities that can serve as your base for exploring the island. How do I do that? Any advice? I am thinking of either the Chania area or Heraklion - but maybe I should spend half the time in one place and half in another?

Historical sites - History is a passion so Crete seems the perfect place. With so many historical sites to see on the island, including museums and ancient ruins, it has made me feel like I need at least a few weeks on the island. I want to visit Knossos Palace at the very least, which means that Heraklion will be necessary.

Beaches - I also love beaches so this is a must. Some of the beaches near Chania look to be some of my best bets, but I am sure I can find beaches anywhere.

Samaria Gorge - I want to hike down through the Gorge. From what I understand, it is easier to access this from Chania?

I appreciate your thoughts!

Lagoons of Crete?

I'm planning a trip to Crete and I'm absolutely captivated by the idea of visiting its stunning lagoons. From what I've gathered, these natural wonders are not only a feast for the eyes but also offer unique experiences in terms of swimming, snorkeling, and just soaking in the breathtaking views.

I've heard about the famous Elafonissi and Balos lagoons, but I'm curious if there are other lesser-known lagoons on the island that are worth exploring. Additionally, I'm interested in any tips or advice on the best times to visit, how to get there, what to expect, or any other suggestions that could help make my visit as enjoyable as possible.

Also, if anyone has recommendations on where to stay nearby these lagoons or any local eateries to try out, that would be fantastic! I'm eager to experience Crete not just as a tourist, but through the eyes of those who know it best.

Tips for visiting Elafonissi Beach?

I'm planning a trip to the beautiful island of Crete and have been intrigued by pictures of Elafonissi Beach's pink sands and beautiful crystal blue waters. As I'm putting together my itinerary, I wanted to reach out to this knowledgeable community for some insider tips. Specifically, I'm looking for advice on the following:

  • Best Time to Visit: When is the ideal time of day or year to visit Elafonissi Beach to avoid the crowds but still enjoy good weather?
  • Transportation: What are the best transportation options to reach the beach? Are there any recommended car rental agencies or public transport options?
  • Facilities: Does the beach have facilities like sunbeds, umbrellas, or cafes?
  • Local Eateries: Are there any must-try local eateries in the area that offer authentic Cretan cuisine?
  • Accommodation: Can you recommend any nearby accommodations ranging from budget to luxury?
  • Activities: Besides swimming and sunbathing, what other activities can one enjoy at or near Elafonissi Beach?
Also, are there any specific dos and don'ts or local customs I should be aware of while visiting Elafonissi Beach? Thanks in advance!

This is one of the photos I saw - it looks gorgeous there!


Seeing the Samaria Gorge without Hiking?

Is it possible to see the Samaria Gorge without doing the long hike?

I will be in Crete over the summer. I heard the hike is long. 11 miles, most of it downhill or flat. I just don't think I am up for it. Downhill climbing hurts my knee too much.

I have a friend who goes to Crete a lot and made an off-hand comment that you don't need to hike, but she didn't know all the details.

Does anyone hear? She mentioned taking a ferry. I am having a hard time picturing it. I looked into tours and they all involve hiking.

Finding a Private Tour Guide on Crete?

I'm reaching out to this community because I'm planning trip to Crete and I'm on the lookout for a personal tour guide. I believe that exploring a new place is infinitely more enriching when you have the insights and stories that only a local can provide.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a tour guide in Crete? I'm looking for someone knowledgeable, engaging, and passionate about their homeland. It's important to me that the guide is not only familiar with the popular tourist spots but also those hidden gems that are off the beaten path.

If you've visited Crete and had a fantastic experience with a tour guide, I'd love to hear your stories. Additionally, if you're a local or know of any contacts in the area that could point me in the right direction, please feel free to share.

I've seen stuff online about how much fun people have on private tours, and I believe this to be the best option for my family.
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