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Top Things to do Near Chania, Crete

georgioupolis

Planning a visit to Crete? Forget Heraklion and the east coast, head west and discover the beautiful Venetian towns of Chania and Rethymno and surrounding countryside. Check out my top things to do near Chania below.

 

Chania

While there are many things to do near Chania, make sure you spend time exploring the its old town. Famous for its 14th century Venetian harbour and it’s waterfront restaurants, it won’t disappoint. It still has an Italian feel, but without the crowds, so I suggest taking an outdoor table in one of the fine restaurants for lunch or dinner, just to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the pretty views. 
 

 

 
While the harbour is the main focal point, don’t miss the narrow side streets, home to some great local and international shops. Depending on how much time you have, you can visit the Nautical Museum or the Archaeological Museum, which was the former monastery of St Francis. There are numerous boat trips departing from the harbour too, from glass bottom boat rides to full day trips to Santorini. 

things to do Near Chania
 

 

 

Rethymno

Rethymno is beautiful medieval Greek town which also preserves much of its Venetian appearance. Although the third largest town in Crete (after Heraklion and Chania) it doesn’t feel like a city. You will see Greek Orthodox and Catholic churches, Mosques, and a must-see Fortress (Fortezza). The town offers a wonderful mix of architecture, history and culture. The harbour is the focal point and is crammed with restaurants and bars offering great views of the port, but there is also a long sandy beach, so it the perfect place if you want to mix some beach time with sightseeing. Make sure you walk right out to the lighthouse and enjoy a meal at one of the waterfront Greek tavernas.

things to do Near Chania
 

 

 

Elafonisi Beach

Crete’s famous Pink Beach gets its name from tiny pink corals in the sand, but its pink appearance is not always visible to the naked eye – it depends on wind, tide and the time of your visit. It was relatively unknown until tripadvisor named it as one of the world’s top 10 beaches. Unfortunately this put an end to the locals secret and it is now is a Mecca for tourists. Now that the secret is out though – would someone build a decent car park?
 

 

 
Elafonisi is actually an island, separated with a sandbar and you will find that temperatures are a few degrees cooler depending on which side you bathe. Loggerhead sea turtles like to shelter here but if you do see one, please know that they are a protected species. Make sure you arrive early or late to avoid the crowds. We arrived at 4pm by car, just as the coaches we leaving. This is not a good idea, as there is only one road in and out of the car park! I suggest arriving early and spending the whole day there, or arriving at 4.30 and leaving after sunset, when the pink hue is more visible. Although there are many things to do near Chania, it is worth the two hour drive to get to Elafonisi beach.
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Georgioupolis

Georgioupolis is a charming Greek town that has a traditional centre, but also some modern hotels and restaurants at the beach. Try to arrive close to sunset and walk out to the church of Aghios Nikoloas. It is a picture postcard Greek Orthodox church that sits on a peninsula about 300 meters off the shore. It is one of the top things to do near Chania so don’t miss it! Catch the best sunset views from GB Rooftop bar, a modern bar / restaurant that serves up tasty American food. If you fancy something more authentic, try Mythos in the centre of the village, the food and setting is superb.
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Kournas Lake

Crete’s only natural freshwater lake is definitely worth a visit. Located just 3km from Georgioupolis, I would suggest combining the two in one day. Although you will find pedaloes, souvenir shops and plenty of restaurants, it doesn’t feel like a tourist resort. There is a small beach at the lake but depending on tides, it can be very small! Take a walk around the lake and see the colours change depending on the time of day. The walk only takes one hour and you are bound to spot some wildlife on and off the lake. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Balos Beach

There are two ways to visit one of Crete’s most photographed beaches. Taking the ferry from Kissamos port is the easiest way, although it does have some disadvantages. You will be arriving with lots of other people and you will only have a limited time at the beach. If you decide to drive, make sure you have a 4-wheel-drive vehicle and be prepared for a bumpy ride. Not only is the road leading up to it in poor condition, but once you get there you will have to hike 1km to the beach and back up again, in probably blistering heat. By visiting this way you can arrive whenever you want and stay for sunset, but note this is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.

things to do near Chania

 

 

 

Samaria Gorge

The longest gorge in Europe (16km), the Samaria Gorge is one of Crete’s top attractions and is located in the White Mountains National Park, the only national park in Crete. Temperatures tend to be cooler there as you are in the mountains, but you will still need to be fit for the 8km hike at an altitude of 1,200 meters. It takes between 6-8 hours but thankfully is mostly downhill. If you like hiking you will love this and for the novices, I’m told the views are worth it.  

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Santorini

Yes, that’s right, you can scratch one of your bucket list and visit Santorini for the day. Ferries depart from the ports of Chania or Rethymno and the journey time is only 2 and a half hours. Price is approximately €120 for a full day trip, which is good value to visit to the one of the world’s top bucket list destinations.  

things to do near Chania
 

 

 

Where to stay:

Georgioupolis is the ideal choice as it is located just 20 minutes from Rethymno and 40 minutes from Chania. We stayed in Anemos Luxury Resort and loved it. With a beachfront location, choice of dining options and top-class accommodation, it is not surprising that it is one of the best places to stay in Crete. You can read my review on Anemos Luxury Grand Resort here. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Sarah

 

The Travel Expert

Best Travel Deals

Family Deal to Crete, October Mid Term Break, 2ad & 2ch, 1 week, €984!

Crete

Fancy a family getaway during the October Mid Term break? Check out this amazing family deal to Crete for only €984 and get planning!

 

The October Mid Term break is a notoriously expensive time to travel but this family deal to Crete should give you no excuse to pack those bags! You will be flying into Chania on the west of the island and staying in a highly rated family friendly apartment. Chania is Crete’s second largest city and it is often referred to as ‘little Venice’. It’s stunning harbour filled with old Venetian buildings and narrow streets make it a beautiful place to stroll around. There is a great atmosphere around the waterfront cafes where people enjoy some tasty Greek food. Many old buildings have been transformed into boutique hotels but they still retain the character of this great city. There are plenty of quaint shopping streets with local souvenir and craft shops as well as galleries and museums to explore. The surrounding area has numerous sight seeing options, the Samaria Gorge being the most famous. Explore the mountain villages or simply relax on one of Crete’s sandy beaches, the choice is yours.

 family deal to crete

I chose Elma’s Dream apartments because they are located only 100 meters from the beach and close and the resort centre. They are also only 3.5km from the centre of  Chania and 7km from the airport. They were awarded a certificate of excellence from tripadvisor and have received excellent reviews. There is an adults and children’s pool and pool bar and restaurant on site and free WiFi is provided. Apartments are equipped with all mod cons, including air conditioning and a coffee machine. For anyone worried about weather, I checked the temperatures over the last five years on wunderground and the average was 19 degrees with no rain. That’s good enough for me!

family deal to crete

Fly from Dublin to Chania on the 25th of October and spend seven nights in the Elma’s Dream Apartments for only €789 based on 2 adults and 1 child or €984, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing. When you click on the link below, if you don’t see the  apartments immediately in the search results, type in Elma in the box on the left hand side 🙂

Click here for more details:

 

Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. This post was sponsored by Teletext holidays, but all views, as always are my own.

 

Sarah

 

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Last minute deal to Crete, 1 week, Flights & Apartment, 2nd October €265,

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With temperatures still in the late twenties, Crete is the perfect place to catch the last of the Summer sun. And with this last minute deal to Crete, there should be nothing stopping you!

Crete is Greece’s largest island so you can expect lots of things to see and do! You will find sun-drenched beaches with stunning mountain backdrops, pretty villages as well as bustling resorts, and of course some of the best Greek food 👌 A trek through the Samaria Gorge, the longest canyon in Europe, and a visit to the Venetian harbour town, Rethymnon are a must. History lovers will appreciate the ancient Minoan palace of Knossos and beach lovers will love the famous pink and white sandy beach of Elafonisi. Whether you are a culture vulture or a party animal, Crete will satisfy all your holiday needs – and then some.

Last minute deal to Crete

I have chosen the popular resort towns of Stalis and Hersonissos. Both situated 20 – 30 minutes from the airport and both have an abundance of bars, shops and restaurants. Hersonissos is the livelier of the two but Stalis is close by so you can easily pop in for a wild night anytime! Stalis, once a small fishing village, is now a cosmopolitan resort. You will find one of Crete’s best beaches here as well as pretty streets lined with great restaurants and local shops.

Falcon Holidays are offering return flights to Crete from only €199 on the 2nd of October. I have found some great deals in the highly rated Ariadni Palace apartments in Hersonissos and the Stalis Bay apartments in Stalis. This means that this last minute deal to Crete is only o€265 on the 2nd of October – it doesn’t get much better than that!

Click here to book flights:  €199

Click here to book Ariadni apartments: €131

Click here to book Stalis Bay apartments: €179

 

Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. This post was sponsored by Falcon Holidays but all views, as always, are my own 🙂

 

Sarah

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Greece Holiday Sale!

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I love booking a sun holiday at the end of the Summer. The evenings start to get darker, people are talking about going back to school and the 15 weeks until Christmas posts start to appear in your Facebook feed! There is no better way to banish the winter blues than flying off to the sunshine for a week. Check out the Falcon Holidays Greece holiday sale, there are plenty of holidays to suit all tastes and budgets below!

 

Kos: 27th August, Nirides Beach, €374 per person

Enjoy the best of both worlds by staying in the popular Nirides Beach apartments in Psalidi. Situated just outside Kos town you can enjoy a quiet relaxing holiday with the lively resort of Kos town less than 2km away. Located close to the beach and the town centre, it is not surprising that the Nirides beach apartments receive excellent reveiws on tripadvisor.

The Travel Expert's Greece Holiday Sale

Fly direct from Dublin on the 27th of August and enjoy a seven night stay for only €374 including, transfers and checked baggage. Use code ‘AUGUST ‘ to save €25 per person at the checkout.

Click here for more details:

 

 

Zakynthos: 30th August,  Katerina Palace Studios, €420 per person.

Visit Shipwreck beach, the most photographed beach in the world, take a boat trip to see the famous loggerhead turtles or go island hopping and visit the neighbouring island of Kefalonia. I have chosen the popular Katerina Palace hotel, which receives excellent reviews on tripadvisor. Situated in Argassi, this is one of my favourite resorts on the island. There is a great selection of bars and restaurants here to suit all tastes, but without being rowdy.

The Greece holiday sale by The Travel Expert

Fly direct from Dublin on the 30th of August and enjoy a seven night stay for only €420 including, transfers and checked baggage. Use code ‘AUGUST ‘ to save €25 per person at the checkout.

Click here for more details:

 

 

Rhodes: 31st August, Cosmos Maris apartments, €351 per person

Rhodes has so much to offer, particularly if you are looking to do lots of sightseeing.  Rhodes Town is a UNESCO world heritage site and the old town is a fantastic place to explore.  The white washed town of Lindos is perched on top of a hill, and is another place that has to be seen. Rhodes has a cosmopolitan city, lively resorts for students and quiet resorts for couples. It really offers something for everyone.  I have chosen the Cosmos Maris which are popular apartments in the resort of Lardos.  Highly rated on tripadvisor and awarded a certificate of excellence, they are the perfect choice for a relaxing break.

The Greece Holiday Sale by The Travel Expert

Fly direct from Dublin on the 31st of August and enjoy a seven night stay for only €351 including, transfers and checked baggage. Use code ‘AUGUST ‘ to save €25 per person at the checkout.

Click here for more details:

 

 

Crete: 28th August, Mika Villas, €399; Stefania apartments €456 per person

If you are looking for a lively holiday with non stop party action, then the Mika Villas are for you. Situated in Piskopiano, you are very close to the lively resort of Hersonissos. I must point out that these are ONLY suitable for people looking for a lively holiday! If on the other hand you fancy a beachfront property in the pretty resort of Stalis, then check out one of the resorts most popular apartments, the Stefania. Rated very highly on tripadvisor, they offer the best of both worlds. You can enjoy a relaxing day by the beach and enjoy the resort’s ample nightlife later on 🙂

The Greece Holiday Sale by The Travel Expert

Fly direct from Dublin on the 28th of August and enjoy a seven night stay from only €399 including, transfers and checked baggage. Use code ‘AUGUST ‘ to save €25 per person at the checkout.

Click here for more details on Mika Villas:

Click here for more details on Stefania apartments:

 

No matter which option you choose remember there are no hidden extras! All prices include flights, accommodation, taxes, transfers and checked baggage! So what are you waiting for, book a holiday in the Falcon Holidays Greece holiday sale today!

Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. This post was sponsored in part by Falcon Holidays but all views, as always, are my own 🙂

 

Sarah

travel deals

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The Big June Holiday Sale!

The Big June Holiday Sale

Falcon Holidays have so many amazing deals in June that I thought I would pick some of my favourites and share them with you!

 

As usual, I only recommend places that I have personally been to or have received good feedback from guests. All the prices below include flights, transfers and checked baggage – with NO HIDDEN EXTRAS! Hopefully there will be something to suit you in the big June holiday sale!


 

1. Rhodes, 15th June, 1 week, €299!

The Big June Holiday Sale

I love Rhodes. it’s simply stunning and if you haven’t already visited – well, you just have to go!  Rhodes town is magical, the chic waterfront with trendy bars on one side and the Colossus of Rhodes in the old town on the other. You couldn’t ask for more! There is lots to discover outside the capital too, from the hilltop town of Lindos to the neighbouring islands of Simi, the only problem is, you will wish you booked for two weeks! Stay at the highly rated Cosmos Maris Studios which were awarded a certificate of excellence and have received rave reviews on tripadvisor, for only €299! Want to bring kids? Choose at the excellent 4* Lindia Thalassa apartments for only €1425, based on 2 adults and 2 children in a 2 bedroom apartment.

Click here for more details:

 

2. Algarve, 12th June, 2 adults and 2 children €1,225

The Big holiday June Sale

The Algarve is a great choice for a family holiday. Only a short flight from Dublin, with wide sandy beaches and plenty of family friendly resorts, it ticks all boxes. Stay at the popular Janellas do Mar apartments which are close to the Albufeira and are a good choice for a family looking for a holiday on a budget. The on site facilities include two swimming pools and plenty of sports activities to choose from.

Click here for more details:

 

3. Puerto Rico – 16th June, 1 week €499, 2ad & 2ch €1,720

The Big June Holiday Sale

Puerto Rico is one of the Canary Islands most popular resorts and has been a firm favourite with Irish holiday makers for many years. It is a lively resort with plenty of bars and restaurants that open until the small hours. By day it is more relaxing with most apartments offering plenty of places to enjoy the spectacular sea-views. Stay at the popular Cala D’or apartments which are very highly rated on tripadvisor for only €499 per person. Want to bring kids?  I love the 4* Terrazmar suites apartments, they have a huge pool area on the roof and the apartments have large balconies, ideal for sunbathing. Price is only €1,720 based on 2 adults and 2 children.

Click here for more details:

 

4. Kos 18th June, 1 week, €382; 2ad & 2ch €1,241

The Big June Holiday Sale

Kos has some of the best beaches in the Greek islands. It has a cosmopolitan capital, Kos town, but is also full of medieval columns and castles at every corner! What’s great about this deal is that it offers the best of both worlds. You will be staying at the highly rated Nicon apartments in Psaldi. This is a quiet resort so the perfect place to chill out by day. However if you fancy the buzz and nightlife of Kos town, it is only five minutes away by taxi. You can sip a cocktail overlooking some mega yachts at the harbour, or wander through the old town and enjoy some shopping or some great night life – the choice is yours! Want to bring kids? Price for 2 adults and 2 children is only €1.241!

Click here for more details:

 

5. Jamaica, 2 Weeks ALL INCLUSIVE, 12th June €903 ; 19th June, €954!

The Big June Holiday Sale

Step on board the modern dreamliner aircraft for your direct flight to the Caribbean! How great does that sound? I was on this aircraft last year and loved it. It is so airy and comfortable, the time will fly in ( excuse the pun!). It is hard to believe you could be enjoying a two week holiday with all meals and drinks included for less than €1000! You will be staying at the highly rated Holiday Inn Resort in Montego Bay. Sitting on a 2km stretch of white sandy beach, complete with it’s own private island and four á la carte restaurants, it’s paradise but without the price tag! Want to bring kids? Price for 2 adults and 2 children is €3,426. Use code Jamaica to save €50 per adult at the check out 🙂

Click here for more details:

 

So there you have it, my best buys from the big June holiday sale. I hope I have managed to find one that might suit you! If so, let me know, I would love to hear from you. Leave your comments in the box below. This post was sponsored in part by Falcon Holidays but all views, as always, are my own 🙂
Sarah

travel deals

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Crete, 30th August, 1 week, flights and 5* beach hotel, Half Board, €646!

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If you are looking for a luxury break away in one of Crete’s most beautiful locations then this deal is for you!

 

Chania is often referred to as ‘little Venice’. It’s stunning harbour filled with old Venetian buildings and narrow streets make it a beautiful place to stroll around. The waterfront cafes and restaurants are packed with people enjoying the fabulous Greek food and the atmosphere is almost tangible. Many old buildings have been transformed into boutique hotels but they still retain the character of this great city. There are plenty of quaint shopping streets with local souvenir and craft shops as well as galleries and museums to explore. The surrounding area has numerous sight seeing options, the Samaria Gorge being the most famous. Explore the mountain villages or simply relax on one of Crete’s sandy beaches, the choice is yours.

Crete

I found this great deal in the contemporary Cretan Dream Royal Hotel, situated at Kato Stalos Beach, just 6km from Chania, the location offers you the best of both worlds. You can relax in one of their luxury suites at this beach front hotel or choose to explore the vibrant city of Chania.  The excellent facilities on site as well as the warm welcome guests receive are the reason that tripadvisor awarded it with a certificate of excellence last year.

Fly direct from Dublin to Crete ( Chania ) with Ryanair on the 30th of August and enjoy seven nights in a suite at this 5* luxury hotel for only €646 per person. This includes breakfast and evening meal every day – what fantastic value!

Click here to book flights to Chania : €218pp

Click here to book hotel: €428pp

All prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to availability.

Sarah

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