Crete simply has it all! Crete is the largest island in Greece, and the fifth largest one in the Mediterranean Sea.
Here, you can admire the remnants of brilliant civilizations, explore glorious beaches, impressive mountains capes, fertile valleys and steep gorges, and become part of the island’s rich gastronomic culture.
Crete is, after all, a small universe teeming with beauties and treasures that you will probably need a lifetime to uncover.
Day 1 Chania/Heraklion - Hersonissos
Arrival in Heraklion /Chania. Further on to our magnificent hotel ***** for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 2 Hersonissos – Knossos – Arhanes – Peza - Thrapsano - Hersonissos
After breakfast buffet we commence our day to visit Knossos, the presumptive capital of Crete during the Minoan era. The site probably sheltered the Minoan palace of King Minos, the most important Minoan palace. Knossos is the most famous Minoan city since it has been discovered in 1878 and up until today it is the biggest known Minoan archeological site. After the visit we move towards Arhanes for lunch. In the afternoon we drive to Peza, the wine valley. Crete has the most traditional winery in Europe. We visit the winery and enjoy a wine degustation. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 3 Hersonissos – Phaistos – Matala - Gortys – Hersonissos
After our breakfast we visit the Minoan palace of Phaistos, situated alongside the Southern coast of the island, with a magnificent view on the Messara plain. The palace stretches over a surface of almost 8400m². We continue to Matala for lunch. This site has been inhabited since the Neolithic era, when artificial caves where hew into the rocks around the bay of Matala. In the first and second century the caves where used as family graves. Later on, Matala became a fishing village. We continue our discovery of the region to the site of Gortys. Gortys was the capital of Roman Crete and the metropolitan of Cretan Christianity. Nowadays the impressive ruins are spread in between centennial olive trees, a witness of the ancient grandeur of this site. Dinner and overnight stay in the hotel.
Day 4 Hersonissos – Rethymno – Arkadi – Hersonissos
After breakfast, we drive towards Rethymno, the third city of Crete. The Venetian harbor and the citadel rule the old city and it’s delightful here to stroll around. During our walk through the old city we have the opportunity to visit a family workshop where they produce traditional pastry. We follow the different stages for making “baklava” and “kataifi”, sweets filled with almond and decorated with honey, a heritage of the Ottoman empire that has grown out to be the national dessert. A tasting is provided! After lunch we head to the monastery of Arkadi, strategically situated in the mountains. On this place hundreds of resistance fighters, women and children died during the battle for independency of the Cretans against the Turkish. Back to our hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 5 Hersonissos
Today we enjoy a free day in our hotel. Lunch and dinner in our hotel.
Day 6 Hersonissos – Agios Nikolaos - Spinalonga - Hersonissos
After breakfast we drive to an olive farm. Crete produces a lot of excellent quality olive oil, extra fats are barely used. We will observe the full production process and afterwards we will taste the different olive oil flavors. We continue to Aghios Nikolaos, a small beach town on the Eastern coast of the island, also known as “the Greek Saint-Tropez”. In the center of Aghios Nikolaos there is a small inland lake Voulismeni, surrounded by pubs, taverns and shops. After our lunch we take the boat to Spinalonga island, a peninsula situated at the Western entrance of the Gulf of Mirabello, opposite the city of Elounda. Afterwards return to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 7 Hersonissos - Kera – Lasithi Plateau – Cave of Zeus - Hersonissos
This morning we drive to the village Kera where we visit the monastery of Kardiotissas, an elevated center of Cretan Orthodoxy. The monastery owns exceptional 18th century icons. Further on to the Lasithi Plateau, situated between the Dikti and Selena mountains with spectacular panoramic views. Typical for the Lasithi Plateau are the hundreds of windmills that where here in the past. After lunch we visit the Cave of Zeus, according to the legend the birth cave of this supreme god. Dinner and overnight stay in our hotel.
Day 8 Hersonissos – Heraklion/ Chania
Breakfast in the hotel. We enjoy a last free moment in the hotel. After lunch we move towards Heraklion to visit the capitals city center from this island. In the early evening the touring car takes us to the airport of Heraklion/ Chania. End of our services.
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