Frequently Asked Questions

When should I book my flight/ferry etc? 

Everyone who is considering a course or has already booked is faced with the same dilemma:  the flight prices rise as the year moves forward, but one cannot book flights before the course has been confirmed.

If you have booked a course, we will notify you on the very day that the number of bookings allows us to confirm it.   Please do not buy flights until we can confirm the course, unless you want to go to Crete regardless of the course.

When you have confirmed your arrangements please let us know where and when you are arriving, so we can co-ordinate taxi pools for the last stage of your journey.

 

When precisely does the course begin and end?

All courses start at 5pm on the 1st day and end at 10.30am on the last.

The first meal is dinner on the first day; the last meal is breakfast on the last day.

 

I’m arriving in Heraklion/Chania/Rethymnon. 

How can I get to Amari?

Chania and Heraklion airports are fairly equidistant from Rethymnon.  The route to Amari from either is via Rethymnon. Your most expensive option is a taxi from either, all the way to Amari, which might cost about 150 euros.

Or:

From Heraklion Airport you can get a taxi to the bus station, which is close to the harbour (about 10 euros), and from there take a bus to Rethymnon.

From Chania airport and also from the town there are busses directly to Rethymnon.

We advise you to arrive early enough to take part in our taxi pools leaving from Rethymnon around 2:30 pm on the first day of your course.  If there are a number of travellers arriving last minute, we can also arrange a taxi pool leaving from Heraklion Airport around 2:30 pm.

The bus service in Crete can be found at http://bus-service-crete.com/timetable.php?lg=2

It takes about one hour and thirty minutes to Rethymno from either Chania or Heraklio.

These are the usual arrangements we make for taxi pools from Rethymnon to Amari: There are two places the taxis can start from, so you'll have two options.

1)  Taxis leaving from the bus station in Rethymnon on the outskirts of town, at 14:30.  This is convenient if you want to arrive in Rethymnon by bus around 14:00, and meet the taxis there, to go directly to Amari.

2)  Taxi leaving from an ice-cream parlour called Meli, in the center of Rethymnon, at around 14.45.  This may be for you if you want to arrive early in Rethymnon, or if you are already in Rethymnon and want to look around this lovely town.  Our guests are welcome to leave their luggage at Meli's on the morning of the 1st day of the course.  So you could go there first, leave your bags, and enjoy Rethymnon until taxi-time.

It's a lovely place to meet, and if you are early, or the taxis are late, you will have time to get to know each other while sampling the wonderful ice creams on offer

Meli  (Ice Cream Parlour)
Eleftheriou Venizelou 7  (Ελευθερίου Βενιζέλου 7)
Rethymnon 74100

It's a 25-minute walk from the bus station, but a taxi will take you there for about 3-5euros.

Be sure to have some euros at hand, for paying your taxis.  

Also there is the option of renting a small car at Heraklion airport, especially if you can share the cost with someone. For a week it’s cheaper than or about the same price as a two way taxi ride. 

 

After the course, how can I get to the airport/harbour? 

What is the earliest plane/ferry it would be advisable to take?

On the closing day of the course, almost everyone will need to get to Rethymnon or to an airport or harbour at Chania or Heraklion.  During the week it will be possible to arrange shared transport.

We advise you not to book a ferry or plane before 13.00.

 

More travel info:

The cheapest places to stay are the youth hostels. You could google  "youth hostels Crete" With this link: http://www.hostelworld.com, you can also find hostels in Athens.

 

Arriving by way of Athens:

The cheap option if you arrive in the morning in Athens is to visit Athens and then take train/bus to the port (Piraeus) and go to Crete by night ferry, arriving the following morning.  

See: http://greeceferries.com/port/athens/?gclid=CJ-ghK_wqbACFUxlfAodIiWdXg

The expensive option is to stay in Athens and fly next day to Crete.

 

I’d like to spend a few days before/after the course on Crete. 

Any suggestions?

In Crete you can arrive and depart via either Chania or Heraklion. What are your interests? Spending time by the sea or seeing Crete? 

Heraklion there is more to see.  You can visit Knossos and also Heraklion Museum. Also from there you can visit Gortyna, Faistos, Vai, Lasithi and the cave where Zeus was born.

In Chania you can enjoy the old town with its beautiful harbour, and visit the Gorge of Samaria if you like walking. There are many lovely beaches as well.

On the day when the course starts, you must catch a bus from wherever you are and be in Rethymno around 2pm, to join the taxi pools to Amari. A useful website: www.explorecrete.com

 

What do I need to bring with me? 

You’ll need comfortable clothes and in the summer, a light jacket/shawl for the evenings. You’ll need your swimming gear and towel, if you plan to swim. Towels and linen are provided.

You may need protection from the sun and possibly from mosquitoes, so please bring a hat; suntan lotion; after sun lotion; mosquito repellent and after bite balm.

You will need walking shoes if you plan to go for walks outside course hours. For our visit to Hermes’s Gorge we recommend a closed pair of shoes that you are comfortable to walk in.

Some of our events during the week may take place in various beautiful natural surroundings, depending on the weather.  You may want to bring a small rug or cushion to sit on.

If you are on any medication, please remember to bring it with you. If you suffer from any allergies, please remember the antidote!

The electrical plug sockets have two round holes, like the rest of Europe. Guests from the UK will need an adapter.

 

Is there an ATM in Amari?

There are no ATMs in the Valley of Amari, so please have petty cash for drinks, taxis and other expenses such as forgotten toiletries and such. There are ATMs in Rethymno and other towns. 

 

Is there internet access?

NO, not in Amari village, only in the nearby villages like Ag. Foteini (15min drive).

 

Why is there a different fee for members and guest members?

Members make a yearly contribution and have certain advantages.  The difference in cost on a course between members and guest members covers the guest membership fee for the time of their stay.

The guest membership is required for all non-members who stay with us; and it is valid only for the days they will be there.

 

Is there an opportunity to stay in one’s lodgings in Amari before/after the course?

Friends of Amari cannot offer Guest members accommodation outside course dates. Members of Friends of Amari may arrange to be there before or after the course.

 

I would like to make this course part of a holiday with my family / friends /partner. 

Can they be accommodated in Amari? 

Friends of Amari cannot accommodate them in Amari during the course; we have no facilities for this.

In the valley of Amari various accommodations are available; see: http://www.amari.gov.gr

The closest of these places to the village of Amari is Panakron in Scholi Assomaton.  There are no hotels in the village of Amari itself; but there is a villa available for rent; see:http://www.holidaylettings.co.uk/amari/

Amari village is right in the middle of Crete and quite far from the sea on both the north and south coasts. Your travel companions might prefer to find out what is available in Rethymnon, which is north from Amari on the coast. See:http://www.rethymnon.gr/index.php?en