Crete Round Trip8 days - flight - from /to Heraklion or Chania
4x in the Heraklion area
3x in the Chania area
Day 1 Arrival Heraklion
Arrival at the airport in Heraklion, the capital of Crete. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight stay in the Heraklion area.
Day 2 Knossos - Heraklion
Today you begin with a visit to the archaeological site of Knossos. You will see the excavations of the Minoan palace complex. Afterwards you will drive to Heraklion, the largest city of Crete and seat of the archbishopric of the island. First you visit the National Archaeological Museum, which gives a complete overview of Minoan art through the fascinating exhibits. Afterwards, the program includes a tour of the city center with evidence of the Venetian period, such as Morosini Fountain, Agios Markus Basilica, the Loggia and the Goules harbor fort. In the Agios Titos Basilica you can admire (visit) the relics of the first bishop of Crete, which are still worshiped today. Overnight stay in the Heraklion area.
Day 3 Agios Nikolaos - Spinalonga Island
Today you will first drive to the beautiful harbor town of Agios Nikolaos. Then a boat will take you to the small stone island of Spinalonga. It is located about 12 km from Agios Nikolaos, at the entrance to Elounda Bay. In ancient times, the acropolis of the mighty city of Olounda is said to have stood here. Excavations have also uncovered the foundation walls of a Byzantine Basilica with ornate mosaic floors. The island was under Venetian rule until 1715. Then the Turk, Kapoudan Pasha, made Spinalonga his own and settled here. Later, lepers who had been banished, found refuge on the small island. Return to the hotel. Part of the afternoon is at your leisure. Overnight stay in the Heraklion area.
Day 4 South Crete (Gortys - Optional: Wine tasting - Festos - Matala)
Excursion to the scenically impressive Messara plain to Gortys. Visit to the Odeion with the first carved Doric legal code (around 500 BC). Gortys was one of the first towns in Crete to accept Christianity and where the first Christian churches were built. Optional: wine tasting at a winery. Then drive to the ruins and visit the Minoan palace complex of Festos situated on a hill with beautiful view. Continue to the coast of the Libyan Sea and visit the fishing village of Matala. Return to the hotel. Overnight stay in the Heraklion area.
Day 5 West Crete (Fodele - Arkadi - Rethymnon)
Today’s drive takes you into a valley with orange and lemon trees as well as plane trees. Not far from the village of Fodele, where the famous painter El Greco was born in 1545, lies the El Greco Museum. You can see copies and photos of his works there. The journey continues to Arkadi. Here you will find the most famous and historically most important monastery in Crete. The fortress-like Arkadi Monastery developed into a rallying point for the rebels during the occupation. Today, the symbol of Cretan love of freedom is a protected monument. Then drive to the picturesque town of Rethymnon, whose old town with its many buildings from the time of Venetian and Turkish rule will enchant you. Overnight stay in the Chania area.
Day 6 Chania - Akrotiri Peninsula
Today we drive to Chania, the old capital of Crete with its Turkish buildings and mosques, the Venetian harbor and the large fortress. Not far from there is the tomb of the Greek politician Eleftherios Venizelos, who paved the way for Crete’s unification with Greece. Continue to the Akrotiri peninsula. There you will first visit the solitary monastery of Agia Triada, which was built in 1612 by the Venetian noble family Tsangaroli and is influenced by the Italian Renaissance. Overnight stay in the Chania area.
Day 7 Western tip of Crete - afternoon at leisure
Today the journey continues to the west coast of Crete. First you will visit the monastery of Gonia and the important collection of icons. Continue west to the ancient port of Falassarna, set amidst olive trees and cypresses. On the way back, see the consecrated Venetian Episcopal church of Rotonda in Episkopi, dedicated to the shrine of the Archangel Michael. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Overnight stay in the Chania area.
Day 8 Return journey
Transfer to Heraklion airport. Return flight home.