GREEK WEEK: 5 DAY TRIPS

SPINALONGA

This is a venetian fortress built on an island and you can get there only by boat. There are many companies that provide tours to Spinalonga, but the prices vary so choose wisely. I would highly suggest you pick Plaka as your starting point. This is a small village around 20 km from Agios Nikolaos. The return costs 4 eur, but the fee you have to pay at the entrance of fortress isn’t included. But this is still much cheaper that going from Agios Nikolaos where return ticket costs 20 eur. If you are more interested in entertainment then choose the pricier version. You usually stop at Kolokytha and have lunch and bathe there. Probably the fee is included, but I don’t know for sure.

spinalonga

 

ELOUNDA AND KOLOKYTHA

10 km away from Agios Nikolaos lies a village that hosts numerous luxury hotels. But the village has more to itself then just countless infinity pools and expensive restaurants. Start the day with walk to windmills that are situated on this very narrow road that connects Kolokytha island and mainland. Next to windmills there’s an early Christian basilica, beautifully perserved and sunken city of Oulmos. You can snorkel and see the ruins. If you want to swim in beautiful clear water head towards beach of Kolokytha. Go with car or you will have quite a long walk. If you get hungry you can choose expensive, then I would recommend Kanali. They offer fresh fish and the surroundings are beautiful. If you are more on a budget go to the town and order a lovely pizza at Italiano. If you still aren’t tired, go to the beach and watch the sun setting behind the mountains.

 

IRAKLEIO

The capital of Crete and fourth largest city in the entire Greece. It close (70km) to Agios Nikolaos so if you have a day to spare give it a go. Renewed archaeological museum and Knossos palace are worth visiting. Check them first thing in the morning so you won’t be stuck in long queue. After some history head to old part of the city with big wall and beautiful harbor. There’s also another Venetian fortress. On your way to lunch stop at loggia and at least at one of many fountains. Since Irakleio is the capital offers great number of international brands and also local gems.

 

RIKHI

It’s the name of gorgeous gorge near Sitia, but still close enough to visit if you are staying in Agios Nikolaos. The gorge starts at old stone bridge and goes under its arches and follows river stream. The river that runs there is full of water all the time, which is rare fro a very dry climate like Crete. If you are visiting in March pick a few oranges and lemons. Anyway, the slopes of gorge are covered in vegetation and plants. After an hour walk you will arrive to the staircase that leads to 20 meters waterfall. Like I said the water flows throughout the year. If you have more energy go ahead and walk for another half an hour and you’ll arrive to beautiful solitary beach. The trail isn’t too steep, but still pick a day with a lot of wind so you won’t be super hot.

KRITSA AND GORGE

Kritsa is a small village situated in the hills above Agios Nikolaos. The water from there is the one the town uses and all the surrounding villages do to. It’s famous for carpets and other vowen products. The village itself is small so four hours is more than enough to discover it and stop for food and water. Half of the day is still ahead of you and you can use the time to visit Kritsa gorge. This one is bigger and longer than Rikhti. To walk to the end it will take you 4 hours, so this one is no joke. Also there are pools of freshwater, but in the summer there’s no river. If you have the possibility then go ahead and make an arrangement with someone to pick you at the village at the end of the gorge (8 hour walk is pretty intense, especially in the heath).

 

 

 

 

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