Crete is my favorite island, I every year go there for at least a week of
holidays and I can suggest you some places I like a lot.
I have started to find sites with the places I propose in Crete.
First of all, there are sites like http://www.ellada.net/crete/ http://www.hri.org/infoxenios/english/crete/crete.html http://www.chania.com http://www.creteisland.gr/ http://www.interkriti.gr
where you can find general information.
In the site of the Ministry of Culture, choose each perfection to see the most important places with interest to visit: http://www.culture.gr/2/21/toc/cult_map.html
I'm starting with Hania (or Chania area), which the prefecture I adore. In Chania town I usually stay in Kydon, which is in the city center, when I go off-season (winter or autumn) and not summer. It's a 4 star hotel completely renovated the last 2 years and in the reception works a friend of mine. Here are some sites about that hotel. http://www.agn.gr/hotels/kydon/kydon.htm http://www.icap.gr/executive/advert_pages/kydon/main.htm http://www.filoxenia.com/cgi-bin/hoteldet?h=2947&lan=e http://www.greekhotel.com/crete/chania/kydon/home.htm
For the summer I prefer the hotel Halepa or the Casa Delfino or the Villa Andromeda. Have a look at their sites: Casa Delfino: http://www.agn.gr/hotels/delfino/delfino.htm http://www.filoxenia.com/cgi-bin/hoteldet?h=2953&lan=e http://www.greekhotel.com/crete/chania/casadelfino/home.htm Villa Andromeda : http://www.dilos.com/hotel/andromeda_villa_crete.html Halepa: http://www.grecian.net/halepa/ http://www.greekhotel.com/crete/chania/halepa/home.htm
While in Chania town, spend a day to visit the town (the old port, the museums, the venetian-style neighborhood, many interesting churches) and live the life of that wonderful place. Another day you must get up very-very early the morning (around 05.00), take a local bus at 5.30 and go to visit the Samaria gorge. It's the nicest gorge in Europe, which you have not to miss. It's around 8 hours of normal walking for traverse it The final destination is the sea, from where you are going by ship to Sfakia village and then by local bus, late the evening, back to Chania. A link for infos on Samaria gorge: http://www.creteisland.gr/samaria/
Another place I strongly recommend (in case you have a car), where you can
go and stay for 2-3 days, is the unique village Milia.
It's a place you can find the absolute quietness and to live for a while in
19th century. Have a look at their site:
I stayed there for 3 days and it was a unique experience, one of the best
things I have done in my life.
>From Milia you can also visit Palaiochora and Sougia beach (which is close to Palaiochora - a wonderful plage).
In Rethymnon prefecture, visit the town of Rethymnon, the Monastery of Arkadi and the Monastery of Preveli (it's not only the monastery, but the area around is so beautiful, with a forest of palms trees at the delta of a river!!!! Don't miss to swim there!!!!). Another visit is the village of Agia Galini (on the south).
In Heraklion area, you can stay some days in a good hotel outside Heraklion and spend a day to visit the town and the most important museum of Crete: Archeological Museum of Heraklion , the third most important museum in Greece. Then you can go to Phaistos and Knossos - the two most important archeological places in Crete, the town-palaces of 2800 before Christ. Especially in Knossos, where the palace is reconstracted, you must spend at least 3-4 hours. Knossos: http://www.culture.gr/2/21/211/21123a/e211wa03.html Phaistos: http://www.culture.gr/2/21/211/21123a/e211wa07.html Knossos is 5-6 km away from Heraclion town.
And the final part is Lassithi prefecture (http://www.forthnet.gr/internetcity/en-home.htm) .I propose as a base the hotel Istron, one of my favorites in Crete (http://www.forthnet.gr/internetcity/hotels/istron/) From there visit the town Agios Nikolaos (it's wonderful late the evening), the villages Elounda and Plaka, the traditional village of Panagia Kera, the town of Sitia and the Toplou Monastery, Zakros, the palm-tree forest in Vai, the plateau of Lassithi with thousand of windmills.
Are you arriving by plane? And when exactly? Our Easter that year is on 5 May, so the period until 12 May is a high season, which means that the prices are very high and the hotels are full. And in Crete the holidays period start at the end of April with visit of Scandinavian tourists, who come directly by charter flights.
That's are my proposals. If you need some more specific information on a place, please let me know.
Best Regards from Athens Joanna