Crete is the largest and most populous island in Greece and one of the largest in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located at the southern end of the country. The Cretan Sea lies to the north and the Libyan Sea to the south of the island. The economy of Crete plays a major role at the financial status of Greece. It focuses on tourism and services, as well as agriculture and farming. All these parts of Crete’s economy are related to the climate of the island. Its winters are mild; its summers are warm, while the southern part of the island belongs to the North African climatic zone. Even though it is mostly known for its beaches, Crete is a mountainous island with numerous gorges, rivers and even lakes.
Heraklion is the capital of Crete and has the largest urban population on the island. Other major cities are Chania, Rethymno and Agios Nikolaos. Crete’s history is very rich, going back into the Bronze Age. Minoan civilization is considered the oldest in Europe dating from 2700 BC. The name derives from Minos, a mythical figure thought to be the first king of Crete. According to Greek mythology, he was the son of Zeus and Europa, a Phoenician princess. She was abducted by the king of gods and was brought to Crete. The name of the mother of Minos is the source for the name of the European continent. During the abduction of the princess, Zeus had transformed into a bull. The animal was depicted numerous times during this period. The Minoan civilization was fairly sophisticated, as the remnants of Knossos and Phaistos can attest. There are many reasons to enjoy your stay in Crete. You can look into some of them in the following propositions.
You can book your preferred tour or register an accompanying person through the Online Registration Form.
Accompanying Persons Tour
(included in the registration fee package )
on Tuesday June 11, 2019
Minoan Palace of Knossos and
Archaeological Museum of Heraklion
You will start your tour by visiting the Palace of Knossos, symbol of the Minoan civilization. The archaeological site encompasses the remains of what is considered the oldest city in Europe. Afterwards you will visit Heraklion, the capital of Crete and you will have a guided tour at its Archaeological Museum, where you will get to marvel at the long history of the island. Before your way back to the hotel, there will be a guided tour of Heraklion, the most populous urban area in Crete.
Available on: Tuesday, June 11th. From 08:30 to 14:00.
1. Minoan Palace of Knossos, Archaeological Museum of Heraklion and Wine Tasting (Full Day)
You will start your tour by visiting the Palace of Knossos, symbol of the Minoan civilization. The archaeological site encompasses the remains of what is considered the oldest city in Europe. Afterwards, you will visit a winery where you will participate in a tasting event. Since there have been vineyards on the island for thousands of years, the Cretan wines have a tradition dating back to the Bronze Age.
You will then visit Heraklion, the capital of Crete. Firstly, you will have a guided tour at the Archaeological Museum, where you will get to marvel at the long history of the island. Afterwards, there will be a guided tour of Heraklion, the most populous urban area in Crete. Among other remnants, you will be able to visit the Koules fortress built in the early 16th century at the port of the city. Other vestiges of notice are the Morosini fountain in Lions Square and the Loggia, a 17th century building that hosts today the city hall of Heraklion. At the end of the tour you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Cost per person: 48 €. Available on: June 9th, 11th, 14th.
From 09:00 to 16:00. Minimum participation: 28 persons.
2. Elounda, Spinalonga Island and Agios Nikolaos city tour (Full Day)
The first step of your tour will be to head towards East Crete and visit Elounda, a renowned tourist resort with luxurious hotels. From Elounda’s port, you will take the boat to Spinalonga, a small island located at the northern end of the Gulf of Elounda.
The history of the island is awe-inspiring. It has been a Venetian fortress, a center of salt production, a refuge for rebels, as well as a leper colony. The last part of Spinalonga’s history inspired the author Victoria Hislop to write a fascinating novel titled “The Island”, published in 2005. It won the British Book Award of Newcomer of the Year in 2007. Upon your return to Elounda, you will have some free time for coffee or lunch.
Afterwards, you will visit the town of Agios Nikolaos, where you will have a guided tour. This peaceful urban area of 20000 permanent residents is the capital of the regional unit of Lasithi. The symbol of the city is the picturesque Lake Voulismeni. It is a small lagoon at the center of Agios Nikolaos used as a harbor for fishing boats. A walk around the lake will be a relaxing experience before returning back to the hotel.
Cost per person: 55 €. Available on: June 8th, 9th, 10th, 14th, 15th.
From 09:00 to 17:00. Minimum participation: 28 persons.
3. Rethymno – Chania city tour (Full Day)
During this tour, you will have the opportunity to discover the western part of the island. After your departure from the hotel, you will arrive at a Cretan scenic village for a short tour and a coffee break.
Your next stop will be at Chania, one of the most picturesque towns in Greece. You will have a guided tour there, which will help you learn about the history of the town via its main attractions. These ones include the Venetian port with its old lighthouse and the Küçük Hasan Pasha Mosque or Gialisi Tzami (which translates to “Mosque of the Sea”). You will also discover the pedestrian road of Koum Kapi (that means ”Sand Gate” in Turkish) as well as the central market of Chania. There will be some free time for coffee or lunch at the end of the guided tour.
You will then be transferred to Rethymno, where you will have a guided tour of the town. Probably the main attraction of Rethymno is the old part of the town. Its quaint streets and beautiful monuments preserve its Venetian and Ottoman hues. You shall also visit the largest fortress in Crete, the majestic Fortezza, which is located near the old town. It was built by the Venetians during the 16th century and stayed in use until the beginning of the 20th century. In the past, it has been used as a prison as well. At the end of the tour you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Cost per person: 41 €. Available on: June 8th, 9th, 10th, 13th, 15th.
From 08:00 to 18:00. Minimum participation: 28 persons.
4. Lassithi Plateau and Krasi village (Half Day)
This tour will take place at the largest plateau in Crete. Lassithi Plateau has an average altitude of about 840 meters above sea level. It is in the Dikti Mountains, located at the eastern part of the island. The surrounding villages are interconnected by road. The locals are cultivating the plains of the plateau.
The Venetians had installed wind pumps in the area. They were part of the irrigation system. They reached the 10000 mark during their peak, but today most of them are no longer in use.
A scenic route will lead you to Psychro village on the northern slopes of Mount Dikti, where you will visit the Diktaion Antron, a cave explored by archaeologists since the 19th century. According to Greek mythology, it was inside that cave that Zeus was born. The remains of worship that have been found inside Diktaion confirm the use of the cave within a ritual context. During your visit you will also locate some stalactites and stalagmites. After the end of the tour inside the cave, you will have some free time for refreshments at Krasi village before returning to the hotel.
Cost per person: 61 €. Available on: June 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 12th, 14th, 15th.
From 09:00 to 14:00. Minimum participation: 28 persons.
5. Kounaviano Gorge (Full Day)
Crete is renowned not only for its beautiful beaches, but also for its imposing canyons. For example, the Samaria Gorge near Chania is considered the longest one in Europe. This tour will give you the opportunity to visit the greenest canyon in the Heraklion area.
Kounaviano Gorge is located in the Pediada province, some 30 km east of Hersonissos. The origin of the canyon’s name derives from a nearby village called Kounavi. The length of Kounaviano Gorge is around 4 km and you will need around 2 hours of hiking to cross it. Your guide will be at your disposal throughout your hiking experience. You will find signs on the whole trail, as well as places to rest. After the end of your walk, you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Cost per person: 63 €. Available on: June 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th.
From 08:30 to 13:00. Minimum participation: 22 persons.
6. Ierapetra – Chrissi Island(Full Day)
The majority of the population of Crete lives on the northern coast of the island. Nevertheless, some of the most stunning areas can be found on its southern part. The climate is warmer as the Mediterranean is the only thing that separates it from Northern Africa. During this tour you will be able to visit the largest town on the south of Crete as well as its closest island. Ierapetra is the biggest city on the Agios Nikolaos prefecture. It is an hour drive approximately southeast of Hersonissos. You are scheduled to leave in the morning so as to arrive at Ierapetra in time to take the boat and travel 15 km south to Chryssi Island. You will spend the better part of your day there, enjoying its golden coast (hence its name), as well as its forest of junipers. It is an uninhabited area, certified as a natural reserve. After your return to Ierapetra, you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Cost per person: 105 €. Available on: June 8th, 9th, 14th, 15th.
From 08:00 to 19:00. Minimum participation: 20 persons.
7. Ierapetra & Chrissi Island (3 Days)
In order to make the most of your stay in Crete, you can participate in this 3 day tour and visit some of the landmarks of the island. On the first day, you will leave for Ierapetra, the largest town at the south of Crete. It is an hour drive southeast of Hersonissos. Before you get there, you will visit the Malia Archaeological Site, as well as Elounda and Spinalonga. You will stay at Ierapetra for the night. On the second day, you will take the boat and travel 15 km south to Chryssi Island. You will spend the better part of your day there, enjoying its golden coast, as well as its forest of junipers. It is an uninhabited area, certified as a natural reserve. You will stay for a second night at Ierapetra. On the third day, you will return to Hersonissos. Before you arrive there, you will visit the Archaeological Site of Gournia, a traditional Cretan village and Agios Nikolaos town.
Cost per person: 350 € (twin room), 400 € (single room). Available on: June 7th-9th or 15th-17th.
From 08:00 to 19:00. Minimum participation : 20 persons