Budget

Best Vacation Deals 2009

by Bob Payne

Crete

If Odysseus could have gotten the hotel deals that are available in the Greek islands today, he might have taken even longer than he did to find his way home. Crete, which depends heavily on the currently uncertain American, British, German, and Scandinavian markets, is looking particularly good right now for would-be gods and goddesses who desire cheap Aegean sunshine. Fears of a tourism slump have led hotels to cut room rates by as much as 40 percent, and vendors in front of the Knossos Palace to wonder what they are going to do with their many boxes of phallic art–inspired postcards. In Heraklion, the Lato Boutique Hotel, convenient to museums (and when you've had enough of them, the hydrofoils), has modern decor, with doubles starting at $119. In Chania, in western Crete, the boxy shape of the Porto Veneziano hotel is easy enough to forgive, considering the hotel's harborfront location—a short stroll to the heart of Old Town—and the price: Doubles start at $143. For dinner in Chania, take one of the many winding passageways to the Well of the Turk for an inexpensive mix of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine and a setting that will make you feel positively Ottoman.

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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