Roundtrip: Crete

Rethymnon, Arkadi, Chania, Samaria, Knossos, Malia, Agios Nikolaos, Lassithi, Sitia, Zakros, Gournia, Ierapetra

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1st day: Arrival in Crete
Welcome in Crete! Meeting with our local tourist guide and transfer to Rethymnon for accommodation at the hotel, then a short info-discussion about the trip follows and subsequently a common dinner occurs.

2nd day: Rethymnon, Arkadi
Your day begins with a walking city-tour of Rethymnon. Among others you will be guided through the Old Town, one of the best-preserved towns of the Renaissance, which combines the oriental features of the Turkish period with Renaissance-style Venetian architecture; the Venetian harbor with its fishing boats and the famous lighthouse; the Fortezza, the Venetian fortress of Rethymnon with its hidden centuries of history; the Rimondi Fountain, located in the heart of the old town of Rethymnon, it has offered fresh water to passers-by for centuries. Your next stop is at Arkadi’s monastery with its unique natural beauty, a prestigious history, numerous legends deeply rooted in the time, heirlooms and thesaurus richness. Finally, we return to Rethymnon for accommodation and common dinner.

3rd day: Excursion Chania
In the morning begins your excursion to Chania, the most beautiful city of Crete with a rich and tumultuous history. The heart of Chania is still the old town, with its narrow, labyrinthine alleyways and listed buildings dating from different periods. Among others you will visit the Venetian Harbor with its lighthouse, the trademark of Chania; the Turkish Mosque Yiali Tzami, which was the first mosque built in Crete after the Turkish conquest of the city of Chania in 1649. The mosque was dedicated to Küçük Hassan Pasha, the first Turkish military governor of Chania. Finally, you return to Rethymnon for accommodation and common dinner at the hotel.

4th day: Excursion Samaria Gorge
The gorge of Samaria is one of the main sights of Crete. It is in west Crete, in the White Mountains and it’s the longest gorge in Europe, with a length of 18 kilometers. The Samaria National Park is exceptionally rich in plant and animal life. In the gorge you will find unique species protected under international law. Τhe Samaria footpath is very well signposted all along its length and is thought to be the most-walked footpath in the whole of Greece (the second is the Mount Olympus path). The path ends in Agia Roumeli, where you take the boat to Sfakia and finally drive back to Rethymnon for accommodation and common dinner.

5th day: Free day
This day is free and you can spend your time in Rethymnon.

6th day: Excursion Knossos
In the morning, you get transfered to Knossos, 5 km south of Heraklion. Knossos is the site of the most important and better known palace of Minoan civilization, excavated by Sir Arthur Evans. According to tradition, it was the seat of the legendary king Minos. The Palace is also connected with thrilling legends, such as the myth of the Labyrinth with the Minotaur, and the story of Dedalos and Icaros. Here you will be guided among others through the Palace of Knossos, the largest of the preserved Minoan palatial centers, dated to 2000-1350 B.C.; the Little Palace; and the Royal Villa. Finally, you return to Rethymnon for accommodation and common dinner at the hotel.

7th day: Malia, Agios Nikolaos
Today you begin your tour with a first stop at Malia, located 37 km east of Heraklion. Here you will visit the Minoan Palace. This is the third-largest Minoan palace in Crete, built in a wonderful setting near the sea, on the road linking eastern and central Crete. This palace – the seat, according to myth, of Minos’ brother Sarpedon – was first constructed circa 1900 BC. Afterwards you ‘ll get transferred to Agios Nikolaos for 5 night-stay. Accommodation and common dinner at the hotel.

8th day: Excursion Lassithi
The day begins with a visit at the byzantine monastery Kera Kardiotissa, one of the most important monastery complex of Crete and dedicated to the Holy Mary (Panagia). Your next stop is Lassithi Plateau, one of the few areas in the Mediterranean with permanent inhabitants at an altitude over 800 meters. Lassithi Plateau rings with the trill of goat bells, is hemmed by the cloudy peaks of the rock-studded Dikti range, and is arrestingly beautiful, offering a glimpse of secluded, rural Crete at its most authentic. You drive further to Psychro village, with one main street, a sword-waving memorial statue, a few tavernas, and plenty of souvenir shops. It is the closest village to Dicteon Cave, our next stop. Dicteon Cave, one of the most important and famous of the 3,000 caves in Crete and the 8,500 in Greece. It is in the impressive Dicteon Cave, rich in stalagmites and stalactites, that Zeus was born according to legend. This is why the Dicteon Cave was already famous in antiquity, dedicated to the worship of the greatest of the gods, as the many offerings found there indicate. Our final stop is at Agios Georgios village, where you have the chance to visit the folklore museum and walk through the village. Finally, you return to Agios Nikolaos for accommodation and common dinner at the hotel.

9th day: Excursion Sitia, Zakros
In the morning begins your excursion eastern part of Crete. Your first stop is at Sitia with its picturesque port. Its history begins in the Minoan period. Sitia is identified with the Minoan city of Eteia or Etida, the home of Myson, one of the Seven Sages of antiquity. Afterwards you reach the Toplou Monastery or Monastery of Panagia Akrotiriani (Our Lady of Akrotiri), which is one of the most important and beautiful monasteries in Crete. The monastery with its imposing belfry, 33 meters high, stands in a harsh, almost desert landscape with giant wind turbines turning in the background. Your next stop the Zakros gorge (the Gorge of the Dead). The Zakros Gorge is a small gorge, which starts a little after the village of Ano Zakros (Upper Zakros) and ends at the village and beach of Kato Zakros (Lower Zakros). It was called that because the ancient Minoans used the caves in its steep cliffs to bury their dead. Finally, you drive back to Agios Nikolaos for accommodation and common dinner at the hotel.

10th day: Excursion Gournia, Ierapetra
Today your excursion begins with a visit at the archaeological site of the minoan city Gournia. Possessing some 50 well-preserved houses, a system of cobbled streets, a central court, a Minoan palace, and cemetery, Gournia gives the visitor the best picture of what a Late Bronze Age (1500 B.C.) town looked like. Your next stop is at Ierapetra, a seaside town with an exceptional beach and its busy center, where you ‚ll have the chance for a stroll. Finally, return to Agios Nikolaos for accomodation and common dinner at the hotel.

11th day: Free day
This day is free and you can spend your time in Agios Nikolaos.

12th day: Departure
Full of memories, you get transfered to he airport of Heraklion for your departure.

  • Welcome drink
  • Modern transportation
  • First or middle class lodging
  • Half-board in hotels & restaurants
  • Professional guide
  • Entrance fees
  • Tips
  • Drinks
  • Optional tours

12 days / 11 nights

Arriving by ferry
Arriving by plane

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