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Rough Guide to Crete (The rough guides) Paperback – 28 Apr 1988

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harrap Columbus (28 April 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747101442
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747101444
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.4 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,058,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

The Rough Guide to Crete (Rough Guide Travel Guides)
A well organised and comprehensive guide to Crete, providing detailed, basic practical and general information as well as it's history. Easily navigated, the book details each of the island's 4 prefectures, giving good, descriptive information on the major towns, their highlights, and street maps. The surrounding areas are well described and easily driven, though you do need good detailed map to supplement those in the book. There's lots of information on the best places to visit - villages, scenic countryside, some walks, and plans of many of the ancient sites of the island as well as text to help make sense of them. Useful information on where to eat and stay is provided throughout, with price guides.

There's so much to see on the island that we'll have to return to get best use from the book!

October 2010 - we went back and the book was very useful again - better than the 2010 edition judging from the review. We explored eastern Crete this time, and apart from roads being better than described in the book, prices probably higher - as in all Greece I expect - and Heraklion Archaeological Museum proper being closed, most important exhibits in a temporary building, the book served us very well again.
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We travelled to Western Crete twice last year ('08) and bought a few guide books before the first trip, however, this one was the only one to make the second trip (and will be with us again this year when we visit Central Crete). This edition was published in 2007 and we did find a few inaccuracies such as a recommended taverna that was no longer in business. I suspect that these were recent changes, but generally the guidance is accurate. We certainly visited places that we would never have found without this guide.

As with all Rough Guides, there are relatively few colour photographs, but it is the detailed and descriptive "local knowledge" that really stands out. Recommended for those who want to explore Crete. If you are happy to sit by the hotel pool, walk to the nearest beach and go on guided tours you probably wont get much use from this guide.
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I always aim to buy a Rough Guide over other guide books because I like their down to earth style and no nonsense reviews. I was pleased to see that the Rough Guide to Crete is no different. It splits the island up into sections which is handy when you're working out what you could feasibly see in a week. Its section on the history and mythology of Crete was great (a particular interest for me). It really came into its own on our final day when we found ourselves with several hours to kill before our evening flight - the RG said that we could leave our bags at Chania bus station and gave great recommendations on what to do and where to eat - we followed its advice and had a brilliant last day. The only reason it doesn't get 5 stars is because it doesn't have many colour pictures and the very dense text can be hard to follow sometimes.
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The guide starts with an excellent section on the basics of travelling to Crete: How to get there from the UK, Ireland, North America, Australia & New Zealand; visa issues; tourist information; insurance & health; money; transport; accommodation; eating & drinking.

The main part of the guide is divided by geography into 4 parts: Iráklion, Lasíthi, Réthymnon and Haniá. Each of the sections provides details of how to get there and around, and where to stay, shop, eat and drink. The main sights are covered in detailed multi-page descriptions. However, the provided maps are fairly poor as they are slightly too abstract and small, and only show the names of very few roads which makes it hard to find your way around.

The final section gives some useful context about Crete. Crete's history is summarised on 17 pages, and even more concise with a two-page chronology. The section goes on to describe the discovery of bronze age Crete, Crete in myth and Crete's wildlife.

Overall, a very good and comprehensive guide, even though I got a few times due to the poor maps.
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For cultural and historical information, this guide is pretty comprehensive; the descriptions of the archaeological sites such as Knossos and Gortys are really useful. But some of the practical information is not completely accurate.

The guide suggests that there is "a practicable walk" of around 5km from Eleftherna to the monastery at Arkadhi; we walked for about about 10km through really rough country and past many dead goats, and were still nowhere close to the monastery. In a similar vein, the "pleasant 45min walk" from Kato Gouves to the cave at Skotino took us about three hours, and if a friendly local hadn't given us a lift back to the village, we would have been in big trouble.

OK, maybe we should have picked up a proper hiking guide, but the book gave the impression that these were light walks, which they certainly weren't, particularly in the summer heat. It is a good guide book, but beware of some inaccuracies.
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Informative practical guide. We went to Xania, Crete 25.8.09 and found it helpful and more detailed than some other guides to Crete. Some of the restaurants recommended weren't there anymore, probably due to it being 2 years old (e.g. To Haniotiko wasn't in Platia 1821). History section gave good overview. Website and email links for accommodation were helpful prior to travelling to assist in planning. Language section, though short, gave enough basics, especially in relation to food ordering.
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