|Subject: Re: Hiking in Crete|
Hi Covadonga --
When we did the Samarian Gorge hike - we did it in leather running shoes. I would not recommend this as the hike is long and our feet were very sore at the end. Yes, it's possible, and if your friends are very young and limber, it probably won't be a problem. One does cross some streams and heavy,leather boots are not necessary, but a day-hiker (light weight - perhaps a waterproof book w/ a thick sole to protect the bottom of your feet from rocks and scree) would do the trick. (Do you used the day-hikers in Ordesa??) That was our first long hike in Greece and we have been bringing our good hiking boots ever since (the same ones we use in Ordesa) However... I am in my mid-ish 50's and my husband is almost 60, so we like to protect our tootsies! I would recommend plenty of water and perhaps a snack or some dried fruit. It is a very long hike. They give you time at the end of the hike (before boating back to the bus) to have a little meal and a swim. It was very beautiful and I'm so glad that we did it.
<< They might be renting a car in Crete. Would you recommend to leave the car at the place they are staying and book an excursion? Can it be done with public transportation? In this last case, from which place do the public buses leave? Is it difficult to get the ship back from Agia Roumeli when you are travelling on your own?
And of course, any special place or island you can think for a young couple that will be celebrating their first year married in Greece, that would be great.>>
We rented a car in Iraklion (spelling?) and were with it the entire time on Crete. We stayed in Chania and left our car in a car-park near our hotel. The hotel desk clerk arranged the trip (as all hotel personnel will do!) - The tour bus (the easiest way to do the hike is to take a tour) leaves check-points around Chania very early in the mornin g and deposits the group at the top of the Gorge. Your friends will be told where and when to catch the bus (very easy) -- Coming back, the boat leaves to take everyone back to the bus. It's not hard and there will be plenty of time to get something to eat and swim if you want.
As for special places for a honeymoon, I would recommend on Crete: Elofanisi beach on the southwest corner (very special beach!!!) (up from the bottom of the island) and, of course, Mirabello Bay -- the whole area is like a small Monte Carlo and is beautiful! (It's built up, but lovely)Elounda is very nice - it's on the other side of Ag. Nikolas. Stay away from the north coast near Malia (northeast side) very built up -- and there are some strip hotels along the northwest also. Also inland near Spilli is quite lush and beautiful. I will try to find my notes if you like.
As for other islands: the MOST romantic and not too touristed are (in our opinion, of course) Folegandros in the western Cyclades and Karpathos (you can fly there from Sitia in the northeast tip of Crete) It's between Crete and Rhodes just outside the Cyclades in the Dodecanese -- This island is amazing - the most beautiful beaches (all secluded at the end of May - maybe you'll see 6 people - maybe none!) we've ever seen. We stayed in a rented room in Kira Paniya (spelling - again, I can't spell) It was called the Acropolis and it's a pension with few rooms, a terrace overlooking the beach and the Aegean for miles... you can eat breakfast and dinner if you like and the warm, wonderful owners, Anna and Stamatis - they're terrific. It's astounding~! Wish I had a scanner- I'd send pictures. Santorini and Mykonos are too overun at this point. Anyway, hope your friends have fun and a wonderful, romantic anniversary celebration. (We leave for Greece on the 17h of May - can't wait!!) By for now. Let me know if you need anything else, Covadonga. Regards, Susie - Mass.