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Guide to Car Hire

Although the closest village is around half a kilometer from our villas, we would strongly advise that you hire a car, especially if you have children. (Pushing a buggy in mid-summer heat is not for the faint hearted!) And being able to explore in your car, you will be able to get far more from your holiday in Crete. You will also be able to explore some out-of-the-way places that are off the beaten track - a drive to Sfakia on the south coast is spectacular!

First piece of advice: avoid the big brand 'name' companies that you often see in the airports. These are expensive and often guilty of unscrupulous charging which customers only find out about when they get their credit card bills later at home.

Our advice is to use small, local Greek companies as used by villa owners and Crete residents. Generally, you will get better more personal service, with no hidden extras, and at reasonable prices.

Whenever we visit, we use AutoClub with a branch office in Almyrida, and often staffed by English ex-pats, so language is never a problem.

The AutoClub agent (usually English) will meet you in the airport arrivals lounge (either Heraklion or Chania) and organise your paperwork. The drive from either airports is fairly straightforward and clear directions are given. However, if you prefer, the agent may be able to organise a 'FOLLOW ME' service and escort you back to our villas, if you are unsure of the way or just need extra reassurance. Please advise in advance of your visit if you require this facility.

Prices: expect to pay 190 - 250 Euros per week for a small to medium 4-5 seater car. (Prices will be 30-40 euros higher per week from pickup at Heraklion to relect the extra distance.) Minibuses are also available at reasonable rates, either 7 or 9 seaters.

Alternatively, you can make your own way from the airport (Taxi from Chania around 35 Euros, one way) and arrange with AutoClub to have your car ready in Almirida or even delivered to your villa door. They are very flexible and will try to help as much as possible.

TO CONTACT AUTOCLUB: www.autoclub-rentals.gr

Telephone their Almirida Office from UK: 00 30 28250 32301 - speak to June or Mark.

Alternatively, try the main Kalives office: 00 30 28250 32382 (Kostas, the owner of AutoClub).

Please remember that they are 2 hours ahead of UK time and that the offices are normally closed in the afternoon between 2pm and 5pm (12 noon and 3pm UK time) opening again from 5pm until about 8pm Greek time. Please tell them that you are staying at our villas (Angelos, Helios or Asteria, on the old road to Gavalochori).

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