Explore the largest of the Greek islands on this tour of Crete, and suspend disbelief to enjoy the myths and legends of the ancient sites, as you visit Roman ruins and Ottoman streets, Byzantine churches and Venetian ports, mountain villages and Minoan Palaces
Focused on the central and western regions of this big and rugged island, the tour begins in Heraklion. With a treasure chest of artefacts in its revered Archaeological Museum, the city’s 16th-century Koules Fortress dominates the old port; the fabled Palace of Knossos is on its doorstep; religious reverence meets iconic art in its Byzantine churches; and street names like ‘25th August’ and ‘1866’ recall events in its dramatic past.
From here we visit the historic and heroic village of Archanes, the Roman ruins of Gortys and Minoan remains of Phaestos, pottery shops in pretty Margarites, and the holy sites of Arkadi Monastery and the cave chapel of St. Anthony. This takes us to ‘part two’ of the tour, based in relaxing Rethymnon.
A strollable town, strewn with landmark architecture, its old stone lighthouse is a focal point on the harbour, and the long shoreline is hemmed by a sandy beach and alfresco restaurants. A coast and country tour includes visits the ancient city of Aptera, the Commonwealth War Cemetery, on to the Akrotiri peninsula to see the Tzagarolon Monastery; and time to explore charismatic Chania, the island’s former capital, oozing charm and atmosphere, from its wonderful Venetian port to the covered market and narrow Old Town lanes.
- Heraklion - 4 nights
- Rethymnon - 3 nights
- Unravel the history and mysteries of the Minoans
- Marvel at the well-preserved Palace of Knossos
- Try traditional Cretan mezzes with wine tasting
- Admire the natural beauty of Patsos Gorge
- Discover the most interesting ancient city of Aptera
- Explore the colourful and charming coastal town of Chania
Cretan Food & Wine Tasting
Cretan cuisine is packed with delicious Mediterranean flavours and fresh ingredients! Enjoy a cooking demonstration, and try a selection of traditional and scrumptious mezze using locally sourced produce. Learn about local wines and taste them.