Last updated 16/08/19 ©2019 Ralfaweb Brighton England
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Days Out From Koutouloufari......
Koutouloufari is conveniently placed about halfway along the north coast of Crete, this makes it an ideal starting point for day trips round the area, but remember that Crete is a very large island so getting around can take a bit of time! Ideally a rental car is the way to go because then you can take your time, but if you do not fancy driving there are organised bus trips you can take but do bear in mind that you might have an early start and a late return.
Rethymno and Xania
Are to the west of the island, the drive from Koutouloufari to Rethymno is around and and a half to 2 hours depending on traffic, Xania is a further hour or so, allowing for traffic, as the road is single carriageway for a lot of the way and if you get stuck behind a queue of trucks there are few safe places to overtake. Kissamos is around another 30 minutes from Xania. (I am assuming you are not Stirling Moss here). Both Rethymno and Xania are well worth a visit to enjoy the old Venetian and Turkish buildings in the centre and you can take a nice wander around and then take lunch somewhere. The port area of Xania has an extensive selection of restaurants and you will not get hassled too much as you choose your place to eat, indeed they make a point here of not hassling you! You can do this trip by taking the ordinary bus service but it means changing buses in Heraklion and the trip is fine for Rethymno but perhaps not for Xania as you will not get a lot of time there.
Is to the east and can be reached by local scheduled buses or by car, further on to the east are the archaeological site at Kato Zakros and also the world famous beach at Vai. Vai beach can be crowded but walk past the sun beds and you will find a free beach area.
Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa Island
One trip that we recommend you undertake only by organised bus trip is to Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa Island at the western end of the island. You can do it in a car but near in mind that it is a long walk from the road down to Balos Lagoon, (and obviously you cannot drive to Gramvousa Island), you can also drive to Kissamos and pick up the ferry to take you to Balos and Gramvousa (which is how the organised bus trips do it) and you get to see Crete from the sea instead of the other way round. Most car rental companies do not allow you to take your rental car to Balos!
Is to the east not far from Agios Nikolaos. You can take the normal buses and then change in Agios Nikolaos to get out to Elounda and Plaka, and then take one of the many ferry boats from Plaka across to Spinalonga. Remember to check the times of the return buses from Plaka back to Ag. Nikolaos! You can also do this on an organised trip.
Is to the south east and from here you can get a ferry across to Chrissi island. You can do this trip using the normal bus service but remember to check the times of the last ferry back to the mainland, and the buses back to Heraklion
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