logo-travelidea-color
logo-travelidea-white

Into the Heart of Crete – 8 days/7 nights

An ideal tour for discovering the real Crete. This complete circuit is punctuated by the discovery of the main cultural and ancient sites of the Minoan civilization while passing through charming villages with numerous churches and monasteries perched in the mountains.
Traditional lunches in a tavern, the discovery of Cretan crafts, olive oil tasting, Cretan cooking class and wine tasting… complete this trip to Crete full of experiences!

DAY 1: ARRIVAL DAY – HERAKLION
Airport reception. Depending on arrival time, free lunch. Dinner is served at the hotel. Night in Heraklion.

DAY 2: HERAKLION – MUSEUM – ELOUNDA – AGIOS NIKOLAOS
We start the day in Heraklion to visit the archaological museum, a unique cultural place for its exceptional remains of the Minoan civilization. We head east to do an olive tasting. We then have lunch in a tavern in the small village of Elounda. Then, if time permits, we visit  the Venetian fortress around which a village developed and was maintained until 1903, the year when the Cretan authorities established a “colony” there for people suffering from leprosy: you can see the ghost village inside the fortress ramparts. Dinner and overnigh stay at the hotel in Agios Nikolaos.

DAY 3: AGIOS NIKOLAOS – LASSITHI – KRITSA – AGIOS NIKOLAOS
Departure for the Lassithi plateau, nicknamed the Valley for 10,000 windmills. It is located at approximately 866 meters above sea level and framed by the green peaks of Mount Dikté (2148m.). Stop to visit the Psychro cave, birthplace of the god Zeus (we recommend a good pair of shoes to go down into the cave). Then we will attend a cooking lesson – lunch. Then head towards the village of Kritsa, built in a fan shape, at the foot of which is the Byzantine church with three naves and a dome of Panagia Kéra dating from the 13th and 14th centuries, famous for its parietal frescoes. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel Agios Nikolaos.

DAY 4: AGIOS NIKOLAOS – KNOSSOS – GORTYS – MATALA
Visit the famous Minoan palace of Knossos, the flourishing center of Minoan power where King Minos reigned. Then we’ll go to the traditional village of Acharnés, where lunch will be served (possibility of having lunch in Heraklion). Then, we leave for the Roman period site of Gortys in the middle of wild romantic vegetation and go to discover the basilica of Saint Titus dating from the 6th century, built during the reign of Justinian and restored several times. A Gortys was probably engraved at the end of the 7th century B.C. The famous code or table of Laws:  this is the first known legislative system and the most complete that has survived from ancient Greece. Then on our way to Matala. Famous village with magnificent sandy beaches, overlooked by sandstone cliffs, riddled with caves cut into the rock having first served as a cemetery in ancient times, and closer to us with troglodyte houses for the “baba cool” community. Dinner and night at the hotel in Matala.

DAY 5: MATALA – PHAESTOS – RETHYMNON – CHANIA
The day begins with a visit to the Minoan palace of Phaestos, a site occupied since the end of the Bronze Age where you can see the remains of several palaces rebuilt on top of each other, following natural disasters. The place, like all ancient sites, was superbly chosen: it overlooks the entire fertile plain of Messara! Stop for wine tasting. We continue towards Chania, the former administrative capital of Crete, today a picturesque town with a pretty Venetian port. Visit to the old town.

DAY 6: CHANIA – AKROTIRI – ARGYROUPOULI – RETHYMNON
We head towards the Akrotiri peninsula (the Cape), where on the hill is the tomb of E. Venizelos (Greek statesman); the view is magnificent. We continue towards the ancient site of Aptera in the strategic position overlooking the bay of Souda: an important city during the Roman era and the first Byzantine period, which was finally destroyed by the Saracens in 828. On our way to Argyroupoli, built on the site of ancient Lappa. The meal will be taken in a tavern. In Argyroupoli, iscover a plethora of carob-based products. Continue to Rethymno to visit the old Venetian town, where in the evening it will be possible to stroll through the city’s lacework, marked by Ottoman and Venetian architecture. In Rethymnon, there will be a visit to a phillo dough workshop and tasting of honey cakes. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel in Rethymno.

DAY 7: RETHYMNON – ARKADI – ELEFTERNA – ANOGIA – HERAKLION
We leave Rethymno to head towards the monastery of Arkadi with its beautiful Renaissance portal. Arkadi was the Oradour of Crete and became the symbol of Cretan resistance against the Turkish yoke throughout the world where the explosion was heard! It was then that Victor Hugo espoused the cause of the Cretans. Then, we take the road back to Heraklion passing through the famous village of Margarités where potters still practice in numbers. Passing through the Eleftherna valley, the road to wild Crete winds up to the foot of Psiloritis. We see the magnificent landscapes and small villages inland. Stop at a “mitato” (cheese shop) to witness the artisanal production of Cretan cheese. Lunch is taken in the village of Anogia, undoubtedly the most typical village on the island which is known for its weaving and embroidery crafts. Visit the Sfendoni cave with its superb stalactites and stalagmites. Persuit to Heraklion Night and dinner at the hotel in Heraklion.

DAY 8: HERAKLION – ORIGIN – DEPARTURE DAY
After breakfast, depending on departure time, free time and meals. Transfer to the airport and flight to France or if you feel like it, you can extend your stay in Crete!

INCLUDED:

  • Full board from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 8, (7 breakfast, 6 lunch, 7 dinner)
  • Airport/hotel/airport transfers.
  • The tour in an air-conditioned, modern and comfortable coach
  • The program as described above and the excursions mentioned with French-or upon request other languages speaking guide
  • Individual audio system.
  • All the highlights of the trip
  • Accommodation in category 3* hotels (local standard) based on a double room.
  • Chania Hotel: Arkadi, Nefeli, or similar.
  • Rethymno Hotel: Olympic Palladium or similar
  • Hotel Matala or Zaros: Elea Terra, Zafiria or Idi
  • Agios Nikolaos Hotel/Elounda: Apollo, Selena or similar.
  • Heraklion Hotel: Olympic or similar.
  • Entrances to sites and museums – (prices established in 2023)
  • The journey can be reversed depending on hotel availability.
  • 50% reduction for children aged 2 to 12 sharing a double room with 2 paying people.
  • Our 24/7 assistance

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Tourist tax per room per day (4* 7€ per day per room and 3* 3€ per day per room)
  • Drinks
  • Anything not included or specifically mentioned as included.

SPECIAL CONDITION
The program could be reversed or undergo modifications, with or without notice, beyond our control, due to:

  • special climatic conditions
  • events linked to local life
  • hotel availability

But always with respect and the safety of the customer in mind.

Rates upon request.

*All our trips are suitable for individual travelers or groups and adjustable according to your specific needs*

You can send your enquiry via the form below

Package name : Into the Heart of Crete – 8 days/7 nights

Trip Facts

8 days/7 nights

Map