Easter for tourists?

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jeng
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Easter for tourists?

Postby jeng » Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:35 am

My friends and I are planning to visit Crete in late April, which coincides with Easter. I worry about shops and other services during the holidays, and precise information seems difficult to find. This website, for instance, mentions that "many tavernas remain closed" on Good Friday and that they are "usually open" on Easter Sunday. But how is it really? Ideally, we'd stay in Chania, somewhere near the Venetian harbour, and wouldn't like to spend a lot of time looking for an open café in the morning or a restaurant for lunch or dinner.

Greek Easter traditions sound fascinating and beautiful, but the practical side does make me wonder about postponing our visit... We'd appreciate some helpful comments!

Best,
J.
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Jean
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Postby Jean » Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:54 am

You won't have too many problems at all even if certain things might not function quite normally. There are always tourists over the Easter period so the Cretans know how to accommodate both the tourists and their feast.
What you might want to avoid is doing a lot of driving on Easter Sunday in the afternoon, it can get a little scary.

Carolina
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Postby Carolina » Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:38 pm

Hello Jeng,

Thanks for your comments, which help me see how the information on the website is interpreted. It is difficult to be 'exact' regarding Easter shops and services as these things vary according to the establishment, but I can be more a little more precise.

'Shops and supermarkets remain closed' on Easter Sunday and Monday. This refers to the main shops in the towns and all the large supermarket chains. Various small owner-run mini markets and street kiosks (periptera) DO open, but these are at the discretion of the owner so it is impossible to be exact - some open on Easter Sunday, others on Monday, some on neither days and some on both days.

Generally in areas which cater to tourists as well as locals (such as Chania harbour) you will find that nearly everywhere is open over the Easter period - cafes, tavernas, tourist shops, kiosks etc.

Easter Friday is 'a day of mourning' and fasting for the Greek Orthodox church and a number of tavernas in the main towns and villages traditionally remain closed on this day. But some, particularly in areas where there are tourists, remain open.

As Jean says you won't have too many problems, particularly in Chania old harbour.

One other thing - the museums will be closed on Easter Sunday and most likely on Monday too. The site at Knossos closes on Easter Sunday and is usually open on Easter Monday.

jeng
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Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:21 am
Location: Finland

Thanks!

Postby jeng » Wed Feb 20, 2008 4:20 pm

Thanks for your kind replies! It seems to be much as I expected, but being the worrier I am I felt I needed a bit of confirmation. I know the Chania harbour area is touristy and that services are available, but I thought late April might be a bit early in the season for many establishments to be open, especially at Easter (a family-oriented feast, right?).

We'll take a bus from Heraklion (airport) to Chania on Good Friday, which I hope won't be a problem. If museums and the like are closed, Easter Sunday and Monday might be lovely days to make excursions from Chania to areas nearby, but with fewer/no buses on those holidays this might not work, or what do you think?

Jan
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Carolina
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Postby Carolina » Thu Feb 21, 2008 5:17 pm

Chania harbour is quite touristy, but it also gets packed with locals - particularly during winter and spring on warm sunny Sundays and Bank Holidays. Most cafes and a few tavernas there are open all year round.

My suggestion would be to hire a car for a couple of days excursions rather than rely on buses over the Easter weekend when they are likely to be very very infrequent. Expect the roads to be busy though, as the Cretans will be out and about a lot over those two days.


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