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loved Chania

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  • #43129
    brian c
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        Repost ..Apols , I had posted this in the wrong area

        We just had a single week in Agia Marina because Ryanair started doing flights to Chania from one of our local airports.
        Chania was fabulous we spent 3 days wandering about the cafes, museums etc and the weather was fabulous.
        I wasn’t very impressed with the hotel I booked (you live and learn) or even the resort as everything was closed .."early in the season" …I never really got that as an excuse, we were in and out of 3 or 4 other hotels in Agia Marina checking them out for future visits and they were all at least 33% to 50% full, but I heard people complaining there was no where for them to spend their money, but that apart we had a lovely week in Chania town which was a lot less expensive than I had anticipated.
        As always I booked a car at the airport which was a waste of money as the local buses were terrific and cheap, didn’t touch the car again till our return to the airport. we will visit Chania again, however now looking forward to our next visit is to our favourite spot .. Agios Nikolaos 31st May.

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        #43486
        moggy1923
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            Brian

            Thanks for that interesting post, particularly the frequest cheap buses. Are you saying it would have been cheaper for you not to hire a car for a week, taking into accout the taxi fare back and forth to the hotel?

            Were there beach beds on the beaches in April in Agia Marina or surrounding areas?

            Next month be good to know some of your price comparisons Chania to Agios Nikolaos after your next trip.

            Not surprised not much open in April. most places closed for the winter, then takes time to get places open again and up to specification for new season, as well as capital for the supplies & staffing. No doubt a number of hotels and apartements still closed.

            Have often seen deals in April/May and sometimes June for 2nd week very cheap and often 3rd week for free, self catering & something similar half board or fully inclusive.

            Less so in October, unless one takes a chance a books late.

            Enjoy your next visit, as am sure you both will.

            Ta Leme

            #43722
            brian c
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                Hi Moggy
                I will try to be brief.
                I went online to hire a taxi to and from the airport as this was an extra "relaxing" week on Crete ..to and from the airport was a total of 177 euro(quoted) so I hired a car 130 euro. when we got to the hotel we realised that the bus went from Agia Marina to Chania terminus for 1.60 euro and no hassle parking driving etc   …and more or less the same distance from Ag Marina to Chania as Chania to airport (we didn’t try the second leg), so I would imagine the fair would be around 2 euro and a bus every 20 or so minutes in April.
                Our next trip to this side of the island we would probably stay within Chania town as we liked it so much, though the hotels in Chania don’t do half board, most do b&b, but to be honest it wasn’t anything like as expensive to eat out as we had imagined …i.e. nice 3 course meal for 2 with cocktails thrown in = 30 euro and that’s right on the harbour front.

                p.s. it would be unfair of me to compare Agios Nikolaos with Chania …Agios Nikolaos is our favourite spot in the world, visited there about 16/17 times now, this was a first to Chania which had a different charm.

                #43903
                Topdriller
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                    Brian,

                    A taxi from the airport to Agia Marina shouldn’t cost much more than €35 to €40 one way. There are also regular buses from the airport into town.

                    Next time you come to this end of Crete PM me and I’ll give you our list of must eat in restaurants. If you didn’t eat at Portes you’ve not yet had the best meal and red wine in all of a Chania and all for around €15 per head.

                    Jon

                    #44052
                    brian c
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                        Jon
                        din’t manage to try Portes ..it was on the list but just so much to see in Chania for a first timer ..loved it.

                        p.s. your directions were spot on ..where I managed to stick to them ::) ….when you get lost over there its like a little adventure ;D ..and yes I was quoted 177 euro for the taxi but in conversation with other guests at the hotel it should have been 40 odd in each direction.

                        #44166
                        moggy1923
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                            6A7A616966576B080 wrote: Hi Moggy
                            I will try to be brief.
                            I went online to hire a taxi to and from the airport as this was an extra "relaxing" week on Crete ..to and from the airport was a total of 177 euro(quoted) so I hired a car 130 euro. when we got to the hotel we realised that the bus went from Agia Marina to Chania terminus for 1.60 euro and no hassle parking driving etc   …and more or less the same distance from Ag Marina to Chania as Chania to airport (we didn’t try the second leg), so I would imagine the fair would be around 2 euro and a bus every 20 or so minutes in April.
                            Our next trip to this side of the island we would probably stay within Chania town as we liked it so much, though the hotels in Chania don’t do half board, most do b&b, but to be honest it wasn’t anything like as expensive to eat out as we had imagined …i.e. nice 3 course meal for 2 with cocktails thrown in = 30 euro and that’s right on the harbour front.

                            p.s. it would be unfair of me to compare Agios Nikolaos with Chania …Agios Nikolaos is our favourite spot in the world, visited there about 16/17 times now, this was a first to Chania which had a different charm.

                            Brian, thanks for so much detail. Impressed Harbour View 3 course & cocktail for 2, 30 euro, suspect the MENU offer (or was it 60 for2, !,still cheap, especially the harbour view part).
                            I would encourage others to look out for these wonderful offers, whether chalk boards outside or word of mouth in and out of seasons.

                            There is one question I would like to ask about your car hire, the PETROL, because that is a bug with me with doing it online or someone I dont know.
                            When you picked up. were you for example given full or half a tank and told to return it empty (ie no refund)
                            or advised you would pay for the difference to the lesser amount on returning; I have no problem being charged a little amount over the odds, but what a total PAIN, when fulll or half tank & have to return it empty, & having to think about all journies do I need to find out where the petrol station is of if I want to let the the winds show me a direction to explore? complicated and possible negative expense.

                            Jon, Very interesting your quotes on Taxi fares to from airport. I would urge others to ask on this Forum for Airport Taxi quotes for Crete. They do vary considerable, unfortunately there are occasional rip offs happening, but know your facts in advance to avoid, often can be arranaged in advance, so car & driver waiting at no extra charge for waiting or parking, they need your flight number & handy if you swap mobile numbers, if your flight delayed an hour or so, you can text/sms your driver.
                            The buses also seem reasonable journey times and extremely cheap for a single person.

                            #44259
                            brian c
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                                Moggy :)
                                We came out of the Maritime museum and walked back to the harbour and the restaurant we stopped at was either 1st or 2nd that we came to ..the bill was 12 euro each for set 3 course meal (2pm in afternoon) a couple of cocktails to tempt us in and a further couple of drinks the total bill was 28 euro and of course I left a tip, and a couple of days later at a different place the bill was similar (extra drinks)… one thing that was particularly impressive was the waiter hooking people in to the restaurant, I watched him having in depth conversations with Germans, French, Italians and Brits and asked him how many languages he spoke. …7 but his Spanish wasn’t very good :-X
                                The car (economy cars) came with quarter of a tank and expected to be returned the same ..I put 30 euro’s in it and didn’t use 10 ::)
                                As Jon said the taxi fair from the airport to Agia Marina should be around 40 euro and the best way is to just join the taxi queue at the airport which always has plenty taxi’s available (so I’m told) …enjoy your trip

                                #44333
                                Azure Beach
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                                    such a shame everything is closed until after Greek Easter. The local business owners must lose a lot of business in the month of March and early April especially.

                                    #44401
                                    handy harry
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                                        The Lake District used to close for winter years ago but now are open all year round, maybe the greeks could learn a little from this and open at least earlier once the olives are in. :)

                                        #44460
                                        latsida
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                                            Greek Easter was unusually late this year, so not normally a problem, plus this year the olives and pruning continued well into April

                                            It is too cold here in March and April for tourists who want sea sun and fun, even today we are struggling to reach 19C.

                                            I went to Cyprus for a holiday the last week in March first week in April and it was the same, just a few of the big hotels open and only a few of the restaurants tavernas and shops, they were only just gearing up for the season.

                                            #44509
                                            Peebee
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                                                4D405552484540210 wrote: I went to Cyprus for a holiday the last week in March first week in April 

                                                Did you find it expensive, I thought it was 6 or so years ago, and that was before they changed to the Euro.

                                                #44550
                                                latsida
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                                                    yes more expensive than here, but as some of my family were on all-inc it was difficult to compare.
                                                    as most of the touristy places were closed we ate where the locals do, (as we do here) but even so more expensive, good fun though ;) ;)

                                                    #44585
                                                    brian c
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                                                        I know this will be a bone of contention with some people, we just had our first visit to Agia Marina a few miles west of Chania, Agia Marina was ..ok! but we are unlikely ever to return as it was closed early April and obviously opens up purely to cater for tourists ..which is exactly what I try to avoid, preferring to spend my money at places that are open all year for business and part of the permanent local set up. I agree with Handy Harry in that the Cretians could learn by opening up at least a little longer in the year. When we were there (9th to 16th April) the hotels local to us were about half full and not a single restaurant within walking distance was open so we ate and drank at the hotel other than a few days we went into Chania (which was fabulous) …and yes before anyone reminds me, "I am a tourist (be it a regular one)", but I would rather support a company that is open all year rather than a company that employs temps in an effort to get seasonal money and in my opinion are not offering anything like the standard of food and service that the all year round companies do, and they tend to be more expensive.

                                                        #44617
                                                        Topdriller
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                                                            Brian,

                                                            The area you were in ie Stalos, Agia Marina, Platinas etc. is what we call the ‘Blackpool strip.’  It is normally populated by Scandanavian tourists during the season.  The problem this year is Easter fell far later than normal i.e. a week ago and for some reason this delays things for the locals.  The reason the shops, tavernas etc are not open is because there were not enough people to cover the costs on a day to day basis.  Only those shops paying rent, rather than owned, were probably open and even they would not click into full seasonal mode until after Easter.

                                                            You should see these villages in the winter.  The local shop owners close and retire up the hill and there is little if any trade for five months of the year.  Chania is open all year round although a goodly number of the harbour establishments close over the winter.

                                                            Jon

                                                            #44643
                                                            brian c
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                                                                Thanks for the reply Jon. :)
                                                                I do understand the financial side of running a business, ..they need the customers before they open up, taxes , rates, staff, all to be paid etc, but the customers were there, the airlines have started bringing people in, the hotels are putting them up ( be it they were only 33 to 50% full) and there was nowhere to spend their "tourist" money.
                                                                I just think that the tourist board, local authorities, airline companies etc need to get their act together better if they want to attract more business. i.e. once the airlines start bringing customers in the shops should be open and if they open at a reduced revenue flow then the local rates, taxes etc should also be reduced to encourage them to open. …Sorry Jon, I am ranting on but I just find it so frustrating that we all know the Greece/Crete tourist trade has the potential to do so much better and in their current financial state need every penny they can bring in ….but then again it wouldn’t be the Crete we know and love if they got to efficient?
                                                                Reference your comment on winter. We drove down the east side of Spain a few years ago in Feb-March, stopping off a couple of days at a time in different towns and I swear to god, one or 2 of the main streets had tumbleweed rolling down the centre of the "ghost towns" only time I had ever seen that was in the old cowboy movies, didn’t realise it actually happened.
                                                                Thanks again for your post Jon , I am just so passionate about Greece in general that I want to see them doing better and all I saw in April was lost revenue potential. …maybe its me that needs to learn to chill out ??

                                                                ON a different note, I get e-mails in from several travel companies encouraging me to go to Spain, Venice, Turkey, Florida, Egypt, etc etc and very little ever seems to be directing me towards Greece. ….. hey ho chill out Brian

                                                                #44665
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                                                                    Brian,

                                                                    Friends of ours have shops in both Platinas and Agia Marina. They opened them three weeks ago and were earning sales of €15 – €30 per day, if lucky. There may have been early tourists but you can’t force them to buy!

                                                                    Jon

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