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So much to discover

  • Explore the old Venetian port of Chania on a guided tour
  • Marvel at the ancient Minoan palaces of Knossos and Phaistos
  • Explore the Hellenistic citadel of Aptera
  • Sample Cretan cuisine, famed for its organic olive oil, herbs, wine and seafood
  • Stroll through Crete’s beautiful Botanical Park
  • Visit Heraklion’s acclaimed archaeological museum with a local guide
  • Enjoy a country walk through charming Cretan villages
  • Experience the life of a Cretan farmer at Kamihis Farm
  • See the world’s oldest olive tree and visit the museum dedicated to this ancient wonder 
  • Enjoy a tasting of Cretan wines at a local winery

Relax, it's included in the price
7 nights in 3-star accommodation
Return flights & transfers
Daily breakfast & 3 dinners
Daily visits & tours
Expert tour manager
Checked luggage
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- Vera
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Overview

Like Sicily, Crete is a distinctively separate region, both geographically and culturally, from the country of which it is a part. As the cradle of the Minoans, the earliest of European civilisations, Crete’s long history has had an inordinate influence on subsequent peoples, including the Mycenaeans, Greeks, Romans and Venetians, who occupied the island for several hundred years. Our tour to the western part of this long, mountainous island will reveal all these and more. 

Even amongst the Greeks themselves, Cretan food and produce are acknowledged as the best in the country – its long growing season, fertile soils and proximity to the warmth of North Africa have created a perfect climate with an early spring, when every inch of the island seems covered in wildflowers, and a late autumn that sees wonderfully mild temperatures well into November. The famed Cretan cuisine is considered the best example of the Mediterranean diet – be sure to try kalitsounia – sweet or savoury pies – lamb casserole and, of course, the many local wines. 

Cretans are known for their directness, honesty and open hospitality, and like many other island people, they prize their traditions and independent spirit. British guests, in particular, are warmly welcomed as the Cretans still remember the support received from Britain during the Battle of Crete in May 1941 and the subsequent occupation of the island. 

We stay for four nights in Chania, the most picturesque port of the island, full of winding cobbled lanes, fascinating little shops, charming tavernas and old Venetian mansions. Our hotels are well-located in the heart of Chania, the perfect base for the first half of our tour.

Going even further back in history, we visit Aptera, a Hellenistic citadel and one of the most important city states of western Crete. Of course, we must explore two of the Mediterranean’s most significant archaeological sites: Knossos, capital of Minoan Crete, and Phaistos, the spectacular site of the second-largest Minoan palace. Our visit to Heraklion island’s main archaeological museum will complement our understanding of the Minoan civilisation’s artistic achievements from 1700 BC.

Inland Crete is home to some of the island’s loveliest and best-preserved villages, the essence of Crete untouched by mass tourism. We enjoy walks through charming villages against a backdrop of olive groves and rolling countryside, ending with traditional lunch in a rustic taverna to sample the local cuisine.

Our last three nights are spent just outside the lovely mountain village of Zaros on the southern slopes of Mount Ida, from where we visit a local farm hidden away in the undulating hills and gain a fascinating insight into the wonderful organic produce of the island. 

Crete is undoubtedly one of the most diverse and fascinating destinations in Europe. Its historical and cultural treasures are a pleasure to discover and explore, away from the popular resorts of the coast. Once you have visited it, we are sure you’ll want to return again and again.



Your itinerary


DAY 1 - ARRIVAL IN CHANIA

Chania

Fly to Chania or Heraklion in Crete. On arrival, we transfer by coach to the three-star Hotel Kriti, where we stay for the first four nights, with breakfast. Some departures will stay at the three-star Kydon Hotel, with breakfast.

Hotel Kriti Chania Twin Room

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3* Hotel Kriti - Chania

Kydon Hotel Chania double room

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3* Kydon Hotel - Chania

DAY 2 - APTERA & CHANIA

Streets of Chania in Crete

Morning

Today a local guide takes us on a walking tour of Aptera, one of the most powerful Graeco-Roman city states and a vast site with Roman ruins, a theatre and a Turkish fort. Set on a high bluff overlooking Souda Bay, its perfect strategic position is still evident today, as it controls the access to one of the best anchorages in the southeast Mediterranean. Most of the remains originate from the Hellenistic period and during the Roman occupation of the island.

Afternoon

This afternoon we have a guided tour of Chania, beginning with the old harbour, which has survived remarkably well from its heyday when it was a major outpost of the Venetian empire. The small port is wonderfully picturesque and there are numerous charming tavernas and shops to explore along the winding lanes.

DAY 3 - OLIVE TREE OF VOUVES, BOTANICAL PARK & WINE TASTING

DAY 4 - VAMOS COUNTRY WALK & OLIVE TASTING

DAY 5 - KNOSSOS & HERAKLION ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM

DAY 6 - PHAISTOS

DAY 7 - KAMIHIS FARM VISIT

DAY 8 - RETURN FLIGHT

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Transfer Times

All transfer times listed here are approximate, and dependent on traffic. If you have a question regarding transfer times please don't hesitate to contact us

 Arrival airport First hotel location  Transfer time  Final hotel location  Departure airport  Transfer time
Chania Airport  Chania  30 mins   Zaros Chania Airport   3 hrs 30 mins
Heraklion Airport 2 hrs 30 mins Heraklion Airport 1 hr

FAQs

Why should I choose Riviera Travel?

We care deeply about our customers and the holiday experience they have. We’re passionate about travel and we want all aspects to be perfect, with personal service and attention at every step of the way. Our world-class holidays include everything you need, with no detail overlooked. We carefully curate every aspect of your trip based on our own first-hand experience and expertise built up over decades in the travel industry.

What is included in the price?

The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a room. The price includes return flights, seven nights’ accommodation with breakfast and three dinners, all local taxes and transfers, all tours as mentioned and the services of a Riviera Travel tour manager. Hotel swimming pools are not heated and may not be open in early in summer or late autumn, weather permitting.

We guarantee there are never any hidden costs or surcharges, inflated prices or artificial discounts.

What is not included in the price?

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Mobility and accessibility

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Greece essential facts