I'll tell you briefly. Upon arrival, they gave a room on the 3rd floor without an elevator, in a room with separate beds for a couple. Imagine a rest by running up the stairs. The room is dirty. Drinks are allowed only for breakfast. There is a boy at the control next to the device. The next day after the skirmish at the reception desk, the room was changed. Better than the previous one, only the water in the shower did not drain and there was no cold water in the taps. Towels in the room for 4 days they have never changed. The pool is very small, and besides, you need to take places in advance, otherwise it won’t be. The sunbeds in the pool are already dirty
greasy from mud. In the description, the beach is nearby 50 meters. Yes, there is a beach.
I took a towel to the beach at the reception, left a deposit of 10 euros, returned 9 euros on return, the girl said 1 euro for operation. In general, for lovers of a terrible holiday, you are welcome.
The first day
They flew great. Greek airline Blue Bird Airways, Boeing aircraft (the size of our Tu-134, but a good distance between the seats).
Loved the first meal at the hotel. Let's see if there is variety.
After lunch today, everyone slept off.
Free wi-fi internet at the reception allows you to write a piece of feedback every day.
I got up at 6 am to look at Venus passing across the disk of the Sun. In vain did I buy binoculars and make a solar filter from Baader Solar film? Venus has already passed more than half of the way. Without binoculars, it is also visible as a black dot. It was not possible to raise the family to this spectacle. But a couple of local Greeks, hotel employees, also joined astronomy : -)
The photo of Venus, taken with a standard lens, turned out to be not very high quality.
There was not much time left between a very late breakfast and lunch, and we decided to go for an hour to our main beach - the city's Star Beach, for reconnaissance. The guide Taztura sent us the day before along the coastline (from the hotel to the right, and again to the right), but there, if you can get through, then without a stroller, you had to go back and go along the main road. The road, as promised, is about 10 minutes (left from the hotel and left again). With stroller, about 12 minutes. Umbrellas and sun loungers on the beach are paid, as elsewhere in Crete, but entry to all beaches is free. You can bring your own umbrella, but we didn't need to. Instead of sun loungers, they made do with bedspreads.
After three o'clock in the afternoon it was no longer hot on the shore, although in the city the heat was up to seven o'clock. This once again convinced us that there was no need for an umbrella.
In the evening we went to one of the local supermarkets - Select. Located directly opposite Star Beach.
We were mainly interested in buying mosquito repellant. Having read in the reviews that only local remedies are suitable against local mosquitoes, upon arrival we bought the first one that came across. The first one that came across didn’t fit : -( as a result, the night was restless. The receptionist, after consulting with two other hotel employees who were in the same place in the lobby, recommended Raid liquid to us. We bought it in two copies for each of the rooms, and it was for us happiness. The supermarket is somewhat reminiscent of our "Pyaterochka" (its large version).
We tried the local shawarma - Pita Gyros. Ours is better. Maybe bought in the wrong cafe?
In the evening there was an unpleasant surprise. The water in the room was a little warm (rather cool). Fortunately, the water here is hard, the soap is quickly washed off, you don’t have time to freeze : -)
The children's wetsuit was very useful.
Without it, the younger one quickly froze, and he had to be pulled out of the water to warm him up. Now there is no need to get out of the water at all, even from morning to evening. The need, however, arises - you need to go to lunch.
We tried the local Dynamite phone card. The cost is 5 euros. Sold in many shops. The duration of calls to Russia is more than 300 minutes. Quality - as lucky. Yesterday I called on my mobile, the quality was excellent. Today they called again on the mobile, but the voice was hardly recognizable, with metallic notes. Perhaps it was the Russian connection that was to blame. Where we called, the reception is unstable. We'll be testing again.
After dinner we watched football (Russia-Czech Republic). There is not a single channel in the room where there would be a broadcast (of the Russian-speaking only Euronews and Planet RTR), but in many local cafes all the games of Euro 2012 are broadcast. Naturally, you need to order something.
In the morning, as usual, the beach. And after lunch we went to the open-air water park near the beach. The water park is very childish. The pools are 80 cm and 50 cm deep. There are water slides.
The food here, compared to Egypt, is good and of high quality, but the choice of dishes is less. Here we eat everything, including salads, without any health consequences.
We found another way to fight mosquitoes, a little more labor-intensive, but without the use of chemicals. After dinner, when the evening coolness sets in and the mosquitoes are just out hunting, we tightly close all the windows. In the evening, we turn on the light only in the toilet, opening the door there. Most of the swarming mosquitoes concentrate there (no more than a dozen). Before going to bed, we knock out all the mosquitoes - 10 minutes of work, including searches in the rooms - and sleep peacefully.
Pleased with the lack of heat. The air conditioner has not yet been turned on. Even at noon with the windows open, the room temperature is comfortable.
June 9, Sunday
In the morning they watched the broadcast of the Liturgy in Greek on TV. It is unclear whether local, Cretan, or from mainland Greece.
After breakfast we rented a car for the day. In general, cars, motorcycles, scooters, ATVs and even buggies for rent are offered on every corner. Taz Tour guide mentioned that you can rent through them, they work with "the biggest companies". Most likely, it is. Price for 40 euros per day. You can rent a car in the city, starting from 20 euros per day, but we decided not to risk it and turned to the reception for recommendations. They had at hand the price list of the company with which the hotel cooperates - Panavia Car Rental (panavia. gr) Class A cars (Daewoo Matiz, etc. ) - 25 euros, class B (Volkswagen Polo, etc. ) - 30 euros per day. This is exactly what we ordered. Price with full insurance against all risks. If you take for several days, the price per day gradually decreases. You can select a car class, but not a specific brand, it may not be available at a particular moment.
Naturally, if the available cars do not suit you, you can refuse to rent. Fiat Albeo drove right to the hotel. A standard contract was signed in the hall. We took out additional third party liability insurance (5 euros per day) and a navigator (5 euros per day). The navigator turned out to be the right decision, without it a lot of time would have been spent on laying routes. Total, the same 40 euros, but with bonuses.
First of all, we visited the monastery of St. George. It is very close to Hersonissos. For lunch we returned to the hotel. After lunch we visited the monastery in the name of the icon of the Mother of God "Heart" (Kardiotissa) and the Cathedral of St. Titus in Heraklion. Entrance to the monastery is paid - 2 euros per adult. In the monastery there is a revered icon of the Mother of God (already a copy, the original was stolen by the Italians in the 16th century). The road to the monastery is mountainous and very picturesque.
In Heraklion, the central square cannot be reached by car, there is a pedestrian zone. We left the car in a paid parking lot (4 euros from morning to 2 pm, and 4 euro from 2 pm to evening) 5 minutes walk from St. Titus. True, the office where the parking toll collector was supposed to sit was closed (probably on the occasion of the weekend), and parking was free for us. In the Cathedral of St. Titus is the head of the holy apostle. Before leaving for the hotel, we sat down to rest in a cafe on the central square, tried local ice cream. Tasty and expensive (1.5 euros per ball). We are no worse.
On the way back we stopped by SPAR. It is a little larger than the previous ones, a little more assortment. But, in general, the same.
Upon arrival, we parked near the hotel, left the keys and our copy of the car rental agreement at the reception.
The sea was calm.
Near the beach there are a couple of almost dead reefs, where there are several dozen fish of different species, and a lot of sea urchins. Here they are with short spines, unlike Egyptian hedgehogs. Tomorrow, if the weather is good, I'll try to take a picture.
A few words about the local restaurant.
The main thing I want to say right away is the good quality of the food. If in Egypt we had to eat very selectively, and salads were generally avoided, then here we boldly eat everything. All salads passed the test of my weak stomach. But the choice of dishes here is relatively small. Pureed soup of only one kind, every day is different. Most salads are repeated, but there is something new every day. For dessert, there is always melon, watermelon, oranges and apples, and one kind of dessert itself (such as cakes or cakes), different every day. Tea and coffee was in the restaurant only for breakfast. After 10:00 tea and coffee can be drunk without restrictions in the bar next to the reception.
Several types of reconstituted juices and fizzy drinks from the vending machine. Beer and white table wine. There are toasts and a set of all sorts of marmalade jams for them. For breakfast, different types of cereal that can be seasoned with milk or yogurt. The second hot dishes and boiled vegetables are different every day. They include several types of side dishes, two or three types of meat dishes, one fish dish (for a week in a row there was pangasius cooked in different ways, then for several days something like sprat). Naturally, there is always a Greek salad and local Feta cheese.
Among the shortcomings, it is also necessary to mention the lack of a guarantee that the entire set of dishes will be available before the restaurant closes. If something from salads, sweet or hot dishes runs out, they may not add it (if available, then, of course, they add it).
The restaurant is fully self-service, you also need to collect cutlery yourself. Only dirty dishes do not need to be cleaned. In our opinion, this is even a plus.
If a child dropped a spoon or fork, they calmly took a clean one. In addition, I remember how in Hurghada, in the main Golden Five restaurant, having found an empty but not served table, they sometimes searched for a long time for a waiter who carried the cutlery. Here, the only employee who runs between the tables, only cleans the dishes and makes sure that the dishes do not end.
Before the trip, having read in one of the reviews that all the dishes of the hotel restaurant can be tasted in one day, and then everything just repeats, we were preparing for a much more meager meal. In fact, everything is not so sad.
However, if you like to eat and want to taste all the options of local cuisine, it is better to take breakfast only in this hotel, and have lunch and dinner for money in other restaurants. As far as I thought, this option will turn out a little more expensive, but more interesting.
I photographed the inhabitants of the local dead reefs.
Some vegetation still exists here, but it is very sparse. I saw several types of fish, a lot of sea urchins. The surprise was to meet invertebrates, such as large snails, more than 10 cm long, one of an incomprehensible color (rather colorless), the other of a dark red color, and a scarlet sea anemone, which, in case of danger, hid in a white tube. Found several skeletons of sea urchins.
A little about the room
All rooms in the hotel are suites, as you can see even from the name of the hotel. Our number, 207, is a two-room suite. Consists of a living room combined with a dining room-kitchen and a bedroom. The bedroom has two single beds, bedside tables, mirror. In the living room there is a sofa and an optional bed, bedside table, TV (15 inches).
The kitchenette is fully equipped: an electric stove (two burners), an extractor hood, a sink, a refrigerator (with independent power supply; when leaving, you take the electronic key, all lighting and sockets in the room are turned off, except for the refrigerator), a kitchen table, four chairs (two kitchen chairs, two chair type). In the cabinets there are two tablespoons, two forks, two table knives, one for cutting bread (with serrated sharpening), two glasses, a can opener, a ladle, a slotted spoon, tongs (you can put something from a common dish), a ladle with a lid, a saucepan , a frying pan (all stainless steel), a glass bowl, a tray, a drying rack for dishes, a set of vials for spices, a napkin holder, a steel kettle 0.7 l. , trash can. We chose this hotel largely for the opportunity to cook ourselves (daughter needs pureed food), and this opportunity is fully realizable here.
The description of the hotel says that all rooms have a fully equipped kitchenette, but we were not able to check this fact, as well as the availability of all kitchen utensils in other rooms.
Both rooms have access to a shared balcony. On the balcony there is a table with chairs, a clothes dryer. The balcony overlooks the street, but the street is side and dead end, it is even calmer here than in rooms with access to the courtyard, to the pool, where young people can hang out until late. The doorway to the balcony is closed first with a double-glazed window (an additional plus for silence and the absence of mosquitoes), and then from the outside with metal shutters with slots for ventilation. Leaving the room in the morning, we left the double-glazed windows open, and closed the shutters so that no one climbed in, but ventilation was maintained. After dinner, on the contrary, the double-glazed windows were closed so that mosquitoes did not get into the room.
As a result, the room had a quite comfortable temperature around the clock, without turning on the air conditioner (I remind you that we are talking about the first two weeks of June).
By the way, if you are offered our number (207), refuse immediately. A fungus was found on the kitchen wall (under the paint). They didn’t notice right away, then there was a reluctance to swear with the staff and move.
Went today to a distant supermarket Halkiadakis (SPAR international chain) to buy delicious local toffees. Before it turned out to go not 20 minutes, but 14. My step. In the walk mode, it will probably take just 20 minutes. This is the cheapest supermarket in the area with the largest selection.
The main restaurant closed in the morning. We, it turns out, have a second restaurant, by the lower pool, where all the food has moved. The restaurant has one exit to the tables by the pool, and the second exit - to the bar Porto Greco, on the seafront, across the road.
There you can eat overlooking the sea, enjoying the light sea breeze. The bar has two large LCD TVs, which also has Euro 2012 broadcast from a satellite channel, with commentary in English.
In the morning I went to the local dive center (from the hotel to the left, along the main street to the right, and behind the Aquis Silva Beach Hotel to the right to the sea). In the dive center I met a girl from the UK, who herself arrived two days ago, and could not tell anything specific about what interesting things can be seen here under water. Wrecks, octopuses, moray eels. Not interested. Spoiled by the Red Sea.
The prices here are:
Introdive 70 euros,
one dive from a boat 50 euros,
diving day (2 dives) 90 euros,
5 dives 220 euros,
10 dives 400 euros,
dive at the local site 40 euros.
Prices include rental of all equipment.
10% discount for own equipment (only cylinder and cargo rental).
PADI Diver course 380 euros.
PADI Advanced OWD €350.
After lunch there was a big wave. The children were delighted.
The weather has changed. For the first time, we saw rare clouds, and with them the wind increased, big waves came. For the first time, a red flag hung on the beach - a ban on swimming. No one was going to swim, everyone concentrated on the surf line and met the rolling waves. On a sandy beach, the waves are wonderful. For the children it was the most fun day at sea.
In the evening, the four of us walked along the sea line to the right - to the chapel on the site of the destroyed temple, and to the left - to the pier. You can watch the waves endlessly.
In the morning we went to the local temple. We arrived at 10 o'clock - the service had just ended.
After lunch, back to the beach. The second day is a red flag. The waves are the same or even bigger than yesterday, so it was fun again.
We left on time - at 23:00. In the morning we were in St. Petersburg.