Frequently asked questions
Getting to Crete
Aegean/Olympic Airlines fly regularly to Heraklion, the capital of Crete from Athens.
Minoan Lines run ferries from the port of Piraeus to Heraklion 11 times a week and takes around 7 hours overnight and Anek Superfast run services seven times a week and take 9 hours also overnight.
If you are coming from UK or Europe check local airlines, as it is possible to fly directly to Heraklion and bypass Athens altogether.
1 medium size suitcase and a small carry bag such as a backpack.
Checked in luggage allowance is 23kgs – they will weigh it and they will charge if you are over! Carryon luggage allowance is 8kgs – and yes, they do weigh your carryon luggage too! If you think you are going to be overweight but extra kilos online… SO much cheaper than buying it at Check In!
Currency in Greece
The € (Euro) is the currency for Greece.
Take some euros with you or get some at the airport on arrival. ATM machines are everywhere! There is no daily limit for tourists. Many places take credit cards – but not AMEX or Diners. However, due to the Financial Crisis, most places on the islands of Greece prefer cash.
We will make every effort to adhere to the itinerary. However, in the event of unforeseen circumstances, we reserve the right to make changes to the itinerary and accommodation to ensure that you have the best Cretan experience.
A cancellation charge is applicable on the following basis:
- A$900 non-refundable deposit is essential to secure you booking
- If a booking is cancelled more than 61 before departure: 30% of the total tour cost is forfeited
- If a booking is cancelled 60 – 46 days before departure: 50% of the total tour cost is forfeited
- If a booking is cancelled 45 or fewer days before departure: 100% of the total tour cost is forfeited.
- All cancellations must be in writing.
Food and water
All food is organically grown and produced on the island and tastier than anything you’ve ever had before!
The local wine (known as Xima, pronounced Hima) is always from the Taverna owner’s own grapes and contains no preservatives or additives. Hence is soon becomes the red wine vinegar sitting in bottles on your table!
Raki is the local firewater and always served after a meal in shot glasses. Do try when offered. It grows on you!
Water is fresh from mountain streams so very safe to drink.
You can tip between 5% and 10% and you should leave the tip on the table, give it to the waiter directly, or tell the waiter you don’t want change.
Walking and swimming and swimming and walking are highly recommended on this trip.
Weather in May
Maximum of 25 degrees Celsius during the days and could drop to around 16 C at night. Possible occasional showers and winds. Average sea temperature is 20C.
What to take
Hat, water bottle, good walking shoes, flip flops to get you to and from the water’s edge as beaches are rocky; swimmers, beach towel/sarong, sunscreen, a light jacket/pashmina for evening, light rain jacket, cool dresses, shorts, t-shirts for the day and smart casual wear for evenings.
Mosquito repellent is suggested for the evenings and nights. Electric mozzie repellents, coils, creams and lotions are readily available on the island.
Casual and comfortable is de rigueur!
You will need a power adapter for all your electrical equipment and rechargers.
It is essential to take out basic travel insurance for the following:
- Travel delays and cancellations
- Lost Luggage and equipment such as cameras
- Car accidents
I book my comprehensive travel insurance through Boomers Travel – Seniors Travel Insurance with no age limits – for the Baby Boomers and young at heart!
I suggest that you book your travel insurance as soon as you book your flights to ensure you are covered in the event of a cancellation. (Don’t worry; you only pay insurance for the days you are on tour.)
Advice on travel on Mainland Greece and other Greek islands
I can put together suggested itineraries (including how to get there, places to stay and where to eat etc.) for Athens and the mainland as well as other islands. Once you have confirmed and booked into one of my tours, I am only too happy to help.
The Greek language
You are not expected to speak Greek as everyone speaks English. However, a few Greek terms such as good morning, good evening and thank you will win you many hearts! Below are a few suggestions to get you on your way.
Basic Greek words and phrases
Good morning Kali-mera
Good evening Kali-spera
Good night Kali-nikta
Thank you Ef-hari-sto
Very good Polli Ka-low
Hello Ya-sas/ Ya-sou
Afternoon To vrathi
I want Thello
How much Poso kah-nee
My name is Me lain-ee
I want to go to Thello na paw
Iced coffee Ca-f-e frappe
Stuffed vegetables Ye-mis-ta
Garlic dip Zad-zi-ki
Giant beans in tomato sauce Gi-gan-tes
Chips (the best!) Pa-ta-tes
Greek salad Hori-atiki salata
Green salad Ma-rouli salata