Forums Chit Chat European holiday recommendations? Reply To: European holiday recommendations?
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I think everywhere on Crete is wonderful. The one thing to watch out for is the transliteration of place names, and how signs are written. Many signs are still in the style from before the spelling reform, so the Greek name on a map might not exactly match the name on a road sign, but that’s mostly a question of accent marks above letters. Transliterations can be more different, depending on the age of your maps.

The Greek Ηράκλειο can be Heraklion on one map and Iraklio on another; Χανιά can be Chania, Hania, Candia (but you need a really old map to find that name). It’s really worthwhile learning how to read Greek and pronounce it, even to be able to ask for directions in English, so that you get place names correct. It’s not too hard, and many of the letters should already be familiar from maths and physics.

We rented a car at Heraklion. I think that we drove west as far as Chania, then back towards Heraklion and stopped overnight at Rethymno, before driving south through Armeni and Spili to the south. We visited several places along the south coast, working eastwards. I remember the names of Ierapetra, Kato Zakros, Palikastro, Vai, Sytia, Agios Nikolaos, Eloundas, and then I think back to Heraklion.

The interior of Crete as I remember it was dotted with olive groves with grain growing between the trees, vineyards, and small towns and villages. The west was less developed than the east.

The people everywhere were friendly and welcoming. Those working in tourism all spoke good enough English. Away from the tourist areas I met a few people who had moved to Germany for work, and come back after twenty years there, so they spoke what to me sounded like perfect German and no English at all.