Join us to a magical place… Crete. The largest island of Greece and one of the most popular destinations worldwide. The island has been famous to its visitors as a destination where crowdness and lacy shores make their presence strong…
Follow us on a unique journey with the “view” of Antaeus Travel…a wander at the “unknown parts” of Crete, where tradition, customs, activities in nature along with the genuine smile of the residents dominate!
Day 1st: Chania
Arrival at the city of Chania, where you will be picking up your car (airport or port depending on your arrival). You will be heading towards a traditional village that has been converted to an eco-touristic settlement, located among trees & rocky landscapes. You may settle in your rooms & soon after that you may wander around so to become familiar with the place & admire the natural beauty! There will be lunch or dinner prepared for you & you will taste local delicacies!
Day 2nd: Aradaina – Askyfou – Kournas Lake
In the morning you will be having traditional breakfast with organic & local products. Just after that, you may exercise by cycling around the region or if you are keen on cooking, you may join in kneading bread & you will be seeing your loaf to be baked in a traditional oven!
You may start your excursion by stopping at Aradaina’s bridge, located at the municipality of Sfakia & if you are funs of extreme sports, you can do bungee jumping from the bridge that has height 138 m., or just enjoy the view as just below is the gorge of the region….you will be receiving pictures in order to remember your fall!
You will be heading towards Askyfou village, where you may enjoy cretan delicacies!
Your next stop will be Kournas Lake, the only natural freshwater lake in Crete. The rich vegetation of the area is an important habitat & a superb place for strolling at the shade of eucalyptus trees that were planted by the first inhabitants of the village (walking around does not last more than an hour) or take a “water” bike. If you are fond of ducks, you will have the chance to dawdle them & even feed them! We advise you to discuss with local residents as they will tell you stories about the legends of the lake….you just have to listen carefully! Return & overnight at the traditional village.
Day 3rd: Samaria – Sougia
Today, you need to wake up early! You will be picked up & transferred at the entrance of Samaria’s gorge… one of the main sightseeing of Crete. The canyon is located in the “White Mountains” Sierra, it is 18 km long & is one of the main Parks in Europe because of its unique flora & fauna! You will begin hiking at 8:00 from the region Xylokastro at Omalos plateau & end up at the seaside village Agia Roumeli, at the southern Crete…in the mean time you will enjoy the breakfast that you have already taken with you.
When you exit the gorge, you will board on the ship that will take you to Sougia, one of the most picturesque beaches of southern Crete. You will swim & sunbathe & don’t miss out the opportunity to dine at one of the small taverns there.
Late in the evening, you will be transferred at the place of accommodation.
Day 4th: Elafonissi – Kedrodasos
After having breakfast, you will be driving to Elafonissi & Kedrodasos, two beautiful beaches found at the south of the prefecture of Chania, only 3 km distance between them. Kedrodasos, is a coastal forest of rare beauty at a quiet region with crystal clear waters…. Elafonissi is another beautiful beach with light blue waters and white sand. The access is really easy as it is located only 100 m. away from the shore & simply get there by walking as the water is very shallow! The water gets a pink color from the thousands of small shells that have been shattered over the years giving a special appearance on the beach.
Leaving from the beach, you may stop at the Monastery of “Virgin Mary Chrissoskalitissa”, a monastery which was built in the form of a fortress, perched on a rock 35m. with an amazing sea view! The name has been taken due to a single step from the existing 98 that according to tradition was gold! It is believed that only those that have faith can still see it…
Just after this short stop, you may return at your accommodation where you will also dine.
Day 5th: Chania – Rethymnon
During the 5th day, we recommend strolling around the city of Chania & the Venetian harbor… you may visit the Maritime Museum in the morning, to wander at the cobbled streets of the Old Town or even make a small tour of the city with carriages where the horses are decorated with cute accessories.
Do not forget to gaze at the Main Market of the city, where you may buy spices & herbs, cheese & fruit, jams & traditional sweets like “kalitsounia”.
We also suggest you to visit the area Halepa, where the tombs of Venizelos’ family are found, known politicians’ family that played an important role in the history of Greece. The region is famous for its magnificent view of the city & the little cafes that serve delicious desserts!
For those that don’t want to rest, we suggest you to visit the town of Rethymnon with a scent of East due to the presence of numerous minarets. Return at the guest house.
Day 6th: Rethymnon – Psiloritis – Anogeia – Heraklion – Elounda
After breakfast, you may prepare your suitcases, check-out & start your journey towards the eastern part of Crete… Following the highway, you will be heading towards Rethymnon, where you will make a stop at Arkadi Monastery, a historical settlement in which a holocaust had taken place in 1866. The UNESCO organization has declared Arkadi Monastery, the European Monument of Freedom.
Afterwards, you will be directing towards Nida, at the top of Mount Psiloritis. There exists Idaion Antron, in which Zeus was raised since he was an infant.
22 km away from the Cave, is situated Anogeia village, where you can watch how lamb on the spit (antikrysto) is prepared & cooked at a small tavern- they have a special way of preparation! You will let it simmer & in the meanwhile you will visit the Cheese Factory of Anogeia Association, where you will see how cheese is produced & where it is kept during its maturation. You will return to the tavern, to taste dishes-recipes where the raw products are exclusively from the village!
Continuing on your way to Lassithi prefecture, you may stop at Heraklion city. It’s worth walking at Koules, the Venetian fortress of the city, located next to the marina…& especially during the summer there are many people walking around & children learning how to bike… a really beautiful scenery! Alternatively you may visit the tomb of Nikos Kazantzakis, whose desire was to be buried at the highest point of the city, the bastion Martinengo.
You will be driving towards Elounda village, where you will be living for the rest of your holidays.
Day 7th: Aghios Nikolaos – Spinalonga – barbeque – Plaka
After having had breakfast, you will be driving to Aghios Nikolaos, where you will board on the boat to Spinalonga. An island that has been used as leprosarium, where all the lepers from Crete were led, who were formerly isolated in “Meskinia”, a region just outside Heraklion & was considered an outbreak for all other residents.
The island of Spinalonga is known worldwide, because of the best seller that was written by Victoria Hislop while recently has been filmed a new series showing the life of these people during that time (if you wish, you may visit the scenes of the film in Ano Elounda, after returning from the day-cruise!)
There will be guidance around & just after that you will be visiting Kolokytha beach, where we have organized a barbeque for you…. & by all means feel free to swim in the turquoise waters.
Late in the afternoon, you will return to Aghios Nikolaos, where you can walk around & enjoy a drink at the cafes near the lake. In the evening, you may visit Plaka, a fish-village, where small shops that serve raki & small mezes are found. Your overnight will be in Elounda.
Day 8th: Sitia – Mohlos
Enjoy your breakfast & then start your journey by driving towards the province of Sitia. Just half an hour before you arrive, you may stop & swim at the beach of Mochlos. It has taken its name after a small island that is located at Mirabello Gulf, 27 km away from Sitia. This island was just a peninsula in antiquity, which in venetian maps is mentioned as Scoglio de muflo, while the locals still call it St. Nicholas, after the church that is found there. You may dine at a tavern there, as all of them have fresh fish & urchin salad.
You may continue your journey towards Sitia, where you can walk to the harbor… there are nice pastry shops that sell kserotigana (local sweets), don’t forget to try them before you leave.
You will be heading east of Sitia, just 10 km away, where there is Toplou monastery, one of the most important & beautiful monasteries in Crete. The monastery stands imposing with the 33 m meters in high in a rough, almost deserted landscape with giant windmills in the background; they belong to one of the first wind parks in Crete. The Toplou monastery seems impressive from far as it looks like a small fortress surrounded by a high wall 10 m high. The creative & talented Abbot brought “new life” to the monastery, as the last decades organic goods , such as wine, olive oil & raki are produced, that are named under the brand “Toplou” & you may purchase them when visiting the monastery. Return to your guesthouse at Elounda village.
Day 9th: Ierapetra – Chryssi
When you finish your breakfast, you will be heading towards the county of Ierapetra, one of the biggest at Lassithi prefecture. At the port you will get on board to “Chryssi Island”. It is considered a paradise on earth, as it consists of beaches with golden & white sand, crystal clear waters, cedars centenarians & countless small shells found on many places on the coast! As your choices for food & beverages on the island are limited, we will make sure that you will be provided with a basket with fruit & snack.
Upon your return to Ierapetra late in the afternoon, we suggest you to visit Anatoli village, a traditional settlement that remained unaltered over the time & contains stone houses, narrow streets & the Old Spring. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful villages of Crete, with a great atmosphere & an amazing view. Within the village, there is a picturesque tavern where you may dine. Return & overnight at Elounda village.
Day 10th: Kritsa – Heraklion – departure
After having had breakfast, you may pack your luggage & leave the rooms. If you have free time, you may stroll around Kritsa, where you will see the scenery from Jules’ Dassin movie, “Christ Recrucified.” You will see vines that climb on balconies, arches that have been built decades ago and the main street with shops selling spices & beautifully woven … The oil produced in the region is known worldwide, but also the Byzantine church of Panagia Kera! Then drive back at the port or at the airport of Heraklion (depending on how you have chosen to travel) for your journey back home.
Package Price includes:
- 5 Overnights in an apartment at a traditional guest house in Chania including breakfast
- 4 Overnights in a double studio at a traditional guest house in Elounda including breakfast
- Ferry tickets in a double internal cabin Piraeus- Chania & Heraklion- Piraeus
- Car rental category B for 11 days with pick up at Chania and drop off at Heraklion
- Homemade packed lunch during the excursion at Samaria’s Gorge
- Transfer from the guest house to Samaria’s Gorge with private car
- Entrance ticket for Samaria’s Gorge
- Tour leader for Samaria gorge
- Boat ticket from Agia Roumeli to Sougia
- Transfer from Sougia to the guest house in Chania with private car
- Half day tour to Spinalonga by boat including barbeque on the beach of Kolokytha
- Boat excursion to Chryssi Island
- Lunch at a traditional tavern in Anogeia
- Homemade packed lunch for Chryssi Island
- Third party insurance
- Whatever is not mentioned or is mentioned as optional is not included
- Special prices for groups
- Schedule can be adjusted to your needs and requirements
- Bungee Jumping at Aradaina bridge
- Meals apart from the ones that are included
- Water bike for Kournas Lake