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.
1. Knossos-Heraklion-Museum Minoan (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.
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 11th.
From 09:00 to 16:00. Minimum participation: 20 persons.
2. Spinalonga Island- Elounda and Agios Nikolaos (Full Day)
Afterwards, you will visit the town of Agios Nikolaos.
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.
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.
Cost per person: 70 €. Available on: June 12th.
From 09:00 to 17:00. Minimum participation: 20 persons.
3. Arkadi-Chania- Rethymno – (Full Day)
During this tour, you will have the opportunity to discover the western part of the island. We will start our journey by visiting the Arkadi Monastery which is an Eastern Orthodox monastery, situated on a fertile plateau 23 km to the southeast of Rethymnon. The current catholicon dates back to the 16th century and is marked by the influence of the Renaissance.
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.
At the end of the tour you will be transferred back to the Creta Maris Hotel.
Cost per person: 66 €. Available on: June 13th.
From 07:00 to 19:00. Minimum participation: 20 persons.
Tour #4. Archaeological Museum – Heraklion Tour (Half Day)
You will 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 the Creta Maris Hotel.
Cost per person: 45 €. Available on: June 14th.
From 09:00 to 13:00. Minimum participation: 20 persons.