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Exploring one of the most beautiful islands in Greece – Crete
Learning about the rich history of Crete and Minoan culture
Sampling unique Cretan dishes and delicious wines
Feasting on traditional Cretan cuisine in spectacular settings
Meeting incredible local artisans
Participating in cooking classes
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Day 1: Arrival Day Heraklion, Crete, Greece
Fly to Heraklion on the incredible island of Greece, transfer to a centrally located hotel. Orientation briefing and introduction to Crete’s amazing civilization. Welcome dinner at an awarded local restaurant ranked as one of the “top 10 restaurants in Europe”. The restaurant offers exclusively authentic Cretan dishes and excellent local wines.
Overnight in Heraklion.
Meals: – – D
Day 2: Crete’s Minoan Culture & Historical Stroll
Spend the morning at the archaeological museum of Heraklion which contains unique examples of Minoan art, many of them true masterpieces, thus considered as the museum of Minoan culture par excellence worldwide.
Light lunch where we are going to taste the “all time classic” Greek souvlaki.
Walk through the town’s historical center for viewing its interesting monuments and culinary corners. Dinner at a hand-picked sea-food restaurant.
Overnight in Heraklion.
Day 3: Knossos Archeological Site & Wine Tour
Start in the morning for our visit to Knossos, the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete and Europe’s oldest city! Stroll through the impressive remains and learn all about the fascinating legends, as well as the daily life of the ancient Minoans.
Depart for Arhanes, an area known since Minoan times for the production of excellent wines. Here we’ll visit a local winery and its vineyard, in order to learn about the history of Crete’s vines and the indigenous grape varieties. Then, the winery’s oenologist will offer a basic course on wine tasting, during which we can explore this mystical art and learn the secrets associated with wine and its production. After visiting the cellar, we’ll enjoy a traditional meal prepared with fresh local produce at a local restaurant.
Return to Heraklion. Dinner on our own.
Day 4: Eastern Crete & Local Delicacies
Drive to eastern Crete in order to reach the picturesque village of Lasithi region. Here we’ll meet with the village women who founded a cooperative producing the most delicious traditional delicacies!
A unique hands-on experience awaits our guests since we are going to learn how to make the famous kalitsounia pies, the local pasta as well as some traditional desserts. We’ll complete this authentic cooking experience by savouring our creations and drinking the locally produced tsikoudhia.
Time permitting, we may also visit the nearby little monastery, one of the most interesting and significant monuments of the island.
In the afternoon return to Heraklion for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Travel to Rethymnon – Visit Local Artisans
Depart with luggage for Rethymnon. Check-in at the hotel and start exploring what the town has to offer.
Stroll through the historical center with the beautiful Renaissance buildings, the Venetian monuments and the Ottoman mosques underlining the important historical moments the city has experienced. On the way, stop at one of the oldest city bakeries famous for the “wedding breads” produced here. Then visit a humble but famous baklava & kantaifi workshop for watching the family members of the last “pastry phyllo grand master”, at work.
Time to relax at the old Venetian harbor of Rethymnon and have something light to eat.
This afternoon we’ll experience one of the most ancient arts of the island: the art of cheese making. We’ll visit a Cheese factory where the owner will show us the process for producing the excellent local cheeses.
The local gruyere cheese as well as many other local cheese varieties are made by the finest quality of sheep & goat’s milk. The animals live a natural life and they are fed by the fresh wild greens and herbs which grow in profusion on the Cretan mountain slopes.
Return to Rethymnno for dinner at a hand-picked restaurant and overnight.
Day 6: Explore Chania
Depart for Chania. Upon arrival we check-in and start the exploration of the most picturesque city of Crete.
We’ll have a beautiful orientation walk, exploring the living monuments of the city. Walk through the Municipal Market of Chania, built between 1909 and 1913 and modelled on the covered market of Marseilles. It is an active market and houses shops selling local breads and cheeses, vegetables, olives, excellent olive oil, fish, meat, herbs and spices, spirits and so much more. There are also a few good workmen’s cafés offering local food.
We’ll stop for an excellent bougatsa, a pie prepared with thin, crispy phyllo, filled with Chaniot mizithra cheese and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Later in the afternoon we take an easy and scenic drive to Akrotiri, the peninsula that rises to the northeast of Chania and acts as a barrier protecting the strategic Souda Bay from heavy north winds. Its sandy beaches provide excellent swimming and its extraordinary flora attracts many visitors particularly in early spring.
Weather permitting, we may swim at the Marathi beach known for its crystal-clear waters but also for its excellent restaurants.
Dinner at Marathi at a hand-picked sea-food/fish restaurant
Return to Chania for overnight.
Day 7: Explore Western Crete
We drive south of Chania along Crete’s westernmost beautiful coast where we are going to have a short visit of the German war cemetery, one of the most important monuments of WWII in Crete.
Then we take the inland road in order to reach one of the oldest olive trees in the world! Scientists from the University of Crete have estimated it to be 4,000 years old and it is still producing!
In 1997, the tree was declared a protected natural monument. Branches from the tree were used to weave victors’ wreaths for the winners of the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
We’ll also visit the nearby Olive Tree Museum, inaugurated in October 2009, housed in a 19th-century house, displaying the traditional tools and process of olive cultivation.
Then we drive to a small village located in an enchanting and breathtaking location amongst acres of olive groves. This is where we visit a family-run olive oil mill specializing in the artisan production of organic olive oil using millstones and presses.
We’ll have the opportunity to taste some of the finest qualities of extra virgin olive oil, as well as some local snacks. On our way back to Chania and if time permits, we’ll allow some time for enjoying the extraordinary beauty of this magnificent part of Crete.
Afternoon at leisure.
Farewell dinner at a hand-picked restaurant specializing in traditional Cretan cuisine.
Day 8: Departure Day
Depending on your departure times, we may recommend that you fly from Chania or Heraklion
Please note that we are able to tailor this itinerary to best suit your travel needs. CONTACT US FOR MORE DETAILS!
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- 7 nights in 4 & 5* accommodation (based on double/twin occupancy)
- All transportation per itinerary (either car rental or private transfer*)
- All meals as per itinerary (7 Breakfasts / 5 Lunches / 5 Dinners)
- English-speaking Licensed Guide throughout
- Activities as per itinerary
- All entrance fees to archaeological sites & museums, culinary activities, tastings, etc mentioned in the itinerary
- International flights (can be arranged through [email protected])
- Mandatory travel medical insurance and optional cancellation insurance (can be arranged through [email protected])
- Activities and services not mentioned in itinerary
- Meals and beverages not mentioned in itinerary
- Items of a personal nature
- Tips for guides, drivers, servers, etc.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Pricing” tab_id=”1619201160847-4866f3b4-8b70″][vc_column_text]Dates: AVAILABLE ON A CUSTOM BASIS FROM APR to OCT
Option A > with a private car and driver: $4895 USD per person based on 2 participants
Option B > with a rental car: $4250 USD per person based on 2 participants
[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Important Info” tab_id=”1619201190625-20a35f2d-5388″][vc_column_text]Important:
- Proper documentation, visa fees, vaccinations, etc, are the responsibility of the traveller
– This itinerary is a sample and subject to change according to the season.
– The pace of the tour can be adjusted according to what you would like
– We may add lectures, cooking classes, visits to wineries or olive oil mills, visits of historical sites etc. Or you can make it “a slow culinary tour”. It’s up to you.
– It can also be enriched with a couple of days in Athens, especially in the beginning of the program. Spending a couple of days in Athens, guests will visit the Acropolis, walk through the old quarter of Athens for reaching the Municipal Market, enjoy traditional Greek coffee and moreover enjoy some special meals in Michelin-starred restaurants.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_tabs][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_masonry_media_grid grid_id=”vc_gid:1619200579439-ec6adab5-6cb1-9″ include=”55096,55098,55099,55101,55102,55103,55104,55100″][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]