Whisper Crete and imagine sitting in a tavern near the seashore, embarking a boat to an islet, and hiking the Samaria Gorge. Take a memorable adventure and discover Crete with iconic locations in the mountains and on the coast line. Drive by car in Crete to explore in absolute freedom the ultimate Mediterranean island.
Upon arrival at Nikos Kazantzakis airport of Heraklion pick up rental car and map of Crete. This is the start of a nice holiday on the island Crete. You drive to the hotel for your first overnight.
Visit the archaeological site of Knossos, palace of the Minoan civilisation. An afternoon in Heraklion city is meeting a lively district capital. See traditional shops and modern outlets, inviting squares and historical buildings. Admire in the archaeological museum the unique collection of Minoan items and jewellery.
The open air museum Lychnostatis invites with aq Cretan garden filled with fragrances of Cretan herbs. High up in the Mount Dicti is the plain of Lassithi visit there the monastery Vidiani with a small exhibition of the flora and fauna, go up to the Dicti cave or make a walk in one of the villages. In the picturesque town of Saint Nicholas beats the heart around the lake Voulismeni.
Enjoy the breath-taking views on the Gulf of Mirabello, before walking the streets and alleys of the port town Sitia. Stop at the Toplou monastery to see its imposing bell tower and learn about wine and olive oil cultivation at the agriculture domain. Make a break at the famous palm beach of Vai. The city of Ierapetra promises a seashore boulevard and a Venetian castle.
Get acquainted with the art of Byzantine frescoes in the church Panagia Kera near Kritsa mountain village. With spectacular views on the azure blue bay you reach Elounda and Plaka. Make a boat ride to the islet Spinalonga, a Venetian fortress also used as leper colony
Departure with luggage.
Today you cross the island to the south. Stop at the rural village Archanes with its shady square and visit Vathypetro the old Minoan wine press. See also the Epanosifi Monastery and the Roman town of Gortys. The first Christians lived in the holes of Matala, which got well known when the hippies settled there in the 70’s.
Visit on the fertile Messara plain the ruins of the Minoan palace of Phaestos and the kings’ villa Agia Triada. All kind of herbs are for sale in the village Kousses. See in the Ethnological museum of Vori a collection of old agricultural tools and household items. A beautiful route through the outskirts of Mount Ida leads to the village Zaros with its artificial lake and trout farms.
Departure to the north coast. Drink a morning coffee in the fishing village Agia Galini, built on a hill slope, and with an inviting square. See the springs with the Venetian lion heads in Spili. Drive the impressive Kourtaliotiko Gorge and reach the beautiful located Preveli monastery. Have a swim in the seaside resort Plakias or sit down in a tavern along the beach.
The village Vrisses is famous for its small dairies taste here homemade yoghurt with honey. Visit the lovely convent of Chrisopigi, in its museum you see fine traditional embroideries made by nuns. Hania has a pleasant old city centre. Stroll through the alleys leading to the Venetian port or walk in the indoor market to see local goods.
The Lefka Ori (White Mountains) are an ideal place for walking trips. The impressive Imbros Gorge is 7 km long and the world famous Samaria Gorge, 18 km long.
Taste the atmosphere in the enjoyable center of Rethymnon, and see the Venetian and Turkish buildings. Visit the Arkadi Monastery; due to the holocaust it suffered in 1866, it is like a memorial for the freedom of the Turkish occupation. Discover near Archea Eleftherna the museum which displays objects of art and everyday life, and walk the ancient city-state which flourished from 3000 BC to 1300 AD. Stop in the lovely village of Margarites with its small pottery workshops. Worth visiting is also the Sfedoni cave with impressive stalagmites and stalactites.
Departure day. Drive to the airport drop off rental car.