Explore Crete on tailor made group tours. Travel to one of the biggest and most beautiful islands of the Mediterranean. You meet friendly people at the villages and find between the silver green olive trees and high mountains, hundreds of Greek orthodox churches and monasteries, and treasures of ancient places. Your guide tells about the rich history, rural life and shows herbs and wild flowers.
Crete, always fascinating!
Arrival at Heraklion airport, welcome and greet by transfer escort, transfer by coach to hotel.
Today you make your way towards the western capital of Crete. Situated on the old port, the lovely city of Chania is like a painting. You have the chance to visit the Municipal Market hall, full of local delicacies, honey and herbs and spices. Stroll through the 'leather street' and the back streets of this medieval town. You see here how Crete, due to its geographical position, was in so many cases the stepping-stone between west and east and east and west. Further on towards Souda Bay and visit the cemetery of the WWII allies. You then head up into the mountains and hills to Douliana, a lovely small village with a marvellous view of the Gulf of Almirida. Here you can take a break stroll through the village, sample traditional food of west Crete cooked in the open wood oven, or visit the local coffee shop and watch the world go by. You also may descent (35 min.) into the Gorge of Saint John, full of wild flowers and orchids. Your way back to Rethymnon through Georgioupolis is a part of the old road back through a lovely countryside.
Your journey to the mountain villages is a unique experience through the grandeur of the Cretan nature. Driving through the Kourtaliotiko ravine, where a possibility to walk into the gorge to see the beautiful nature, and visit the Saint Nicholas chapel. The wind blowing through the narrow gorge makes a mysterious sound.
The Preveli Monastery is beautiful located high up on a rock and overlooking the Libyan Sea. The tour continues along the south coast to Plakias, this small village has a wonderful long sandy beach, which is ideal for swimming and sea sports. Get an introduction to wine cultivation at a wine estate, taste the flavours of locally produced wines.
The endless green and springs are the most characteristic of the historical village Argiroupolis.
Departure with luggage from Rethymnon. Tour to Aghios Nikolaos and on the way visit the ruins of the Minoan palace of Knossos. Guided city walk in the centre of Heraklion along the Venetian walls, Saint Titus church, Morosini fountain and daily market street. See in the museum the unique collections of the Minoan civilisation.
Free day. It is also a chance to book for a relaxed boat trip to the island Spinalonga. In the last century people with leprosy lived in the Venetian fortress.
Along the north coastal road to the open-air museum Lychnostatis which offers an insight into the authentic Cretan life. A stroll in the garden shows the fruit trees, the bright coloured flowers and aromatic Cretan herbs. After you've got familiarised with Cretan life you drive by coach high up Mount Dicti to the Lassithi plateau, and tour through the villages which are located around the plain. You stop at the village Psychro where a path is leading to the Dicti Cave. Going up a steep cobble path it is fifteen minutes on foot or by mule to the entrance of the cave. It has fine stalactites and stalagmites, and is also associated with the birth of Zeus (Jupiter). In Psychro you make a stroll; an opportunity to experience day to day life with it's coffee-houses, grocery shops, and locals selling their products, such as pure olive oil, herbs and ceramics. At the pass Seli Ambellou the gate to the Lassithi plateau you can enjoy a truly fantastic view over the plain and see the inside of an old grain mill.
Along the Mirabello Bay with marvellous views and past the old Minoan town of Gournia drive on to Sitia. This small town is a peaceful Mediterranean port. Your tour continues and when approaching Monastery Toplou its size and high bell tower will impress you. In a guided tour through this medieval monastery you will get an insight to the surviving problems of the monks and the monastery's architecture. Driving further on, through the hilly, dry landscape with rocks and shrubs only, you come to Vai, which deserves your attention while it is one of the nicest beaches in Greece and the only natural palm-forest in Europe.
Departure. Free time till departure transfer coach to Heraklion airport for return to your home country.