Page 1 of 1

A few observations

Posted: 08 Oct 2020, 06:43
by mike
Just about everything was up and running. Although, all that matters for me in Hora Sfakion is Despina's (we all have our priorities).

The impact of covid will depend on who you talk to. Generally, there was a reversal of the tourist demographic, with many more Greeks than foreigners (usually the other way around). A couple of people mentioned to me that they actually missed the "regulars". Most of their clients have been strangers, which undermined a sense of community, I suppose. It was nice to hear.

Most visibly absent were hiking groups, especially in Ag Roumeli. But both the Daskalogiannis (for Sfakia) and Samaria (for Sougia) were always at least 50% capacity with independent hikers walking the gorge. The morning KTEL bus from Chania to Omalos was full on the morning I was there. I've seen days in May that were no more busy, but numbers were clearly down, probably from fewer package holiday bookings. In keeping with the trend over the past decade, as many people return to Sougia/Paleohora as they do to Sfakia. I attribute this to the development of the west resorts, which would be more accessible from Sougia.

I spent a couple of days in Chania. It was a dream. You could actually stroll along the harbour front during the day without constantly bumping shoulders with masses of people on day trips from the west resorts. It got busier in the evening but with a lot more of the local population, and without most of the itinerants selling balloons, etc. It all felt very relaxed and civilized, not a circus.

What most surprised me, and which was almost disorienting, was the number of people wearing masks. Crete generally, and certainly the Sfakia region, is much safer than my home country (Netherlands), and yet there seemed to be at least as many if not more precautions taken

Re: A few observations

Posted: 08 Oct 2020, 09:01
by jan
Thanks, Mike - interesting to read.

We arrive Chania this coming Saturday evening - a trip twice postponed from early June - and will be heading to first to Sfakia then westward. Looking forward to seeing the countryside at a very different time of year from normal; not so much looking forward to darker evenings and having to carry more warm clothes.

Re: A few observations

Posted: 08 Oct 2020, 10:15
by Birgitta
And I arrive next sunday evening 18 oct. at Sfakia. And I also go westward, Agia Roumeli and Paleochora. I am looking forward and longing!
Birgitta from Sweden.

Re: A few observations

Posted: 08 Oct 2020, 16:08
by Marie and Andrew
Hello Mike,
Thanks a lot for your report, it was nice to hear all the information you gave us. It was interesting to read.
Have a good season home in The Netherlands.

Marie and Marie

Re: A few observations

Posted: 08 Oct 2020, 16:58
by mike
Social distancing in Ag. Roumeli


This is typical in the morning at any time of year. The lounge chairs started filling between 11-12am. I don't often visit in the autumn. Sea is very warm. You could be in the water for an hour and not get chilled. Fewer daylight hours can be disconcerting at first, if you're accustomed to the long springtime-summer days, but it's not too hard to adapt to.

COVID-related paperwork: Greece's PLF and QR-code will be checked on arrival. Depending on your airline, they may even not let you on the plane of you don't have the QR-code.

It might be a good idea to print out a couple of copies of the COVID form on the ANENDYK website. Forms were not provided and in fact never requested or collected. I expect that the forms are completely unnecessary .. but, for the sake of 2 sheets of paper, you're covered for the eventuality.

Masks are "required" on public transport, including ferries (most people wore masks when getting on, then perhaps letting them slip when up on deck), and at least last week also in closed spaces such as stores, at the airport terminal, when buying tickets at bus station or ferry kiosks. As I said, I was surprised to see so many people wearing masks. I do not view wearing a mask as an affront to my personal liberty. I always had a mask with me and put it on whenever it seemed appropriate. Partly, it is a matter of courtesy, especially for those working in the service industry who must come in contact with many people. But ... personal choice on that issue.

Re: A few observations

Posted: 08 Oct 2020, 19:17
by Marie and Andrew
Hello Mike,

Thanks again for very good information Mike regarding the paperwork ang e-forms and PDF needed, and the use of mask down there.

Best regards Marie and Marie

Re: A few observations

Posted: 08 Oct 2020, 20:46
by Annelie
I belive the following measures are currently in place in #Crete and that they will remain in place until at least 12 October.

Chania and Heraklion regions:

- It is mandatory to use a mask both outdoors and indoors.
The fine for not wearing a mask is 150 Euro.
- It is forbidden to operate all health stores from 12 midnight until 05.00 the next day.
- All kinds of events have been suspended, such as parties, trade fairs, processions.
- Any kind of gathering of citizens over 9 people is prohibited for any reason, both in public and in private.
-The dining areas allow a maximum number of people at each table up to 4 people, unless they are first degree relatives where up to 6 people are allowed.


Re: A few observations

Posted: 09 Oct 2020, 06:54
by mike
Because of complications in travel plans, for the first time in my life I reserved a taxi from airport to Hora Sfakion. The driver warned us about the fine and said police do occasional spot checks. So, wear mask even in taxi.

When I returned to Chania I was immediately struck by the number of people wearing masks, and so asked at the front desk of the hotel what the rules were. He did confirm the "wear inside and outside" condition. The reality, however, is that most people "outside" wore masks on their chin (or as armband!) and pulled the mask over mouth and nose when entering stores, using transport etc. The "inside" condition was mostly followed. Police around town were not dishing out fines for not wearing mask outside. Maybe, visibly having one is good enough. More likely, the concept of a fine isn't workable anyway.

The glass-bottom boat tours were doing a roaring business. I wonder if this was because of the 9-person rule? I didn't do a head count, but maybe they were taking fewer people out per trip.

Re: A few observations

Posted: 09 Oct 2020, 09:03
by Micki
As far as I understand it (and also people in Sfakia) that the outside use of masks is only mandatory in the towns of Chania and Heraklion, and immediate surroundings. The rule does not apply to the Sfakia region or to Crete in general.

From what I noticed during our 4 weeks stay on Crete, the Greek people are dealing with masks in a very pragmatic way. They are wearing masks if appropriate and necessary (in buses, in shops and on ships), but not constantly. I was feeling much saver while being on Crete compared to being back in Germany again.