Frequently asked questions
How do I get to Crete?
Aegean/Olympic Airlines fly regularly from Athens to Heraklion, the capital of Crete.
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 the UK or Europe check local airlines as it is possible to fly directly to Heraklion, Crete and bypass Athens altogether.
What is my luggage allowance
Take 1 medium size suitcase and a small carry bag such as a backpack.
On internal flights 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 at Check-In!
What money should I take?
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.
I will make every effort to adhere to the itinerary. However, in the event of unforeseen circumstances, I reserve the right to make changes to the itinerary and accommodation to ensure that you have the best Cretan experience. I have kept the itinerary quite loose with plenty of free time to enable us to participate in any new experiences.
For example, on my last trip a new cafeneion (traditional Cretan cafe) opened and it was decided that we should give it a try – and what a fantastic decision it was. (We finally dragged ourselves away from the live Cretan music under the olive trees and stars at 12:30 am!)
A cancellation charge is applicable on the following basis:
- €700 non-refundable deposit is essential to secure your 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.
What is the accommodation like?
Accommodation in Agios Nikolaos is an older-style hotel run by friends, and as the saying goes, “It’s about location, location, location!”
Situated in the heart of the town, it overlooks beautiful Lake Voulismeni, and all rooms have small balconies overlooking the lake..
In Chania we will have a different experience altogether, staying at a unique hotel that dates from the Venetian period and was the office of the Greek revolutionary and statesman, Eleftherios Venizelos, for 24 years.
It was fully restored in 2011 with great sensitivity to the preservation and conservation of the building’s architectural heritage.
The enchanting complex of terraces and patios, the well-preserved hand-carved stone facades, the colourful ceramics, the elaborate woodwork and decorative elements all maintain a perfect balance between tradition and modern comforts.
Those travelling on their own will have their own room, without having to pay a Single Supplement – I don’t believe you should be penalised for travelling alone.
What is the food like and are there vegetarian/vegan dishes?
All food on the island is from the Cretan Diet which is the basis of the Mediterranean Diet. As it is plant based with a wide a variety of pulses, it’s ideal for vegetarians and vegans.
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 owner’s own grapes and contains no preservatives or additives. It’s served as white or rose and is very palatable with Cretan food.
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.
Do I have to leave a tip?
Yes, you certainly do as thanks to Austerity measures, wages are extremely low and those working in hospitality rely on their tips. Tip around 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.
What’s the activity level?
Easy walking and glorious swimming!
What’s the weather like in Crete in June & September?
Around 26 -28 degrees Celsius during the days and could drop to around 19 at night. Possible very occasional showers and winds.
What should I pack?
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. In Greece, the power plugs and sockets are of type C and F.
Do I need my own travel insurance?
It is essential to take out basic travel insurance for the following:
- Travel delays and cancellations
- Lost luggage and equipment such as cameras etc
- Motor vehicle 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.)
Other tour information
If you want to spend more time in Greece, I can suggest an itinerary for Athens and Santorini which you can tack on before/after Crete.
Please note, I do not make the bookings for you – but can point you in the right direction regarding flights/boats, accommodation, what to do, where to eat and most importantly, what NOT to do.
If you have paid the non-refundable deposit, this advice is free.
If you haven’t booked into my tour, I can supply this information for a small fee.
I also provide suggested itineraries for Crete for a small fee.
Contact me here to discuss further:
Do I need to speak Greek?
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