A seven-day journey through the south of Crete. The accommodation is in good middle class hotels while the itinerary is filled with Mediterranean nature, breathtaking landscapes and beautiful beaches. This is the real Crete.
Day 1: Flight to Heraklion
Arrival at Heraklion airport where you meet your guide and are transferred to your hotel in the area of Heraklion. After room allocation we all meet for a welcoming cocktail and to go over the programme for the next few days.
Day 2: Knossos-Fodele-Rethymnon Plakias. (approx. 125km)
You start the day with a visit to the archaeological site of Knossos, the palace of the great King Minos who ruled almost 4000 years ago. You then continue along the north coast to Fodele, a small traditional village surrounded by orange groves, also birthplace to the famous medieval painter El Greco. Around lunch time you reach the beautiful town of Rethymnon, where you can take a walk along the beach up to the Venecian port and through the narrow streets of the old town with evident traces from the times of the turkish occupation. You then continue along the west side of Ida, Crete’s highest mountain range, towards the south, past the picturesque village of Spili, to Plakias right on the Lybian Sea. Overnight stay in Damnoni (2km from Plakias)
Day 3: Monastery of Preveli. (approx.40 km)
Today you visit the Monastery of Preveli, situated high above the south coast. From here you walk down to the fantastic beach of Preveli where a sweet water river meets the see and date palms offer their shade. You can relax and enjoy a swim in these amazing waters. Overnight stay in Damnoni.
Day 4: Samaria-Gorge, Agia Roumeli. (approx.80 km)
You travel along the south coast, through almost uninhabited regions, to the Venecian fort Fragokastello, situated on a long sandy beach. From here you continue to Sfakia and get the boat to the famous Samaria Gorge. With a length of 18km this is the longest gorge in Europe and a very popular destination and challenge for thousands of visitors each year. You can walk through this nature sanctuary to admire the unique landscape. Before returning to the hotel you can relax at the little village of Agia Roumeli for coffe or a swim at the main beach with crystal clear waters.
Day 5: Agia Galini-Matala-Ierapetra. (approx. 200 km)
Today you leave the hotel in Damnoni and head to the south east side of the island, stopping on the way at the picturesque village of Agia Galini and in Matala, the famous bay with the numerous cave. The next stop is Festos, the second largest Minoan palace built on a hill with a panoramic view to the Messara plain, the Ida mountains and south coast. You drive through Messara, past little villages, and arrive in Ierapetra, the most southern town of Europe. Overnight stay in Ierapetra.
Day 6: Sitia (approx. 60 km)
After a morning stroll through the pretty streets and promenade of Ierapetra with the many tavernas, cafeterias and shops you depart for the hilly north to Sitia, a small Cretan town built in Venetian style and a pretty port. Overnight stay in Sitia
Day 7: Vai and Monastery of Toplou. (approx. 80km)
The day begins with a swim in Vai, the only natural palm beach in Europe situated on the northeast corner of the island. According to legend, Arab pirates arrived here in the 8th century and the palm forest was created from the date pips they threw onto the beach. After Vai you visit the Monasteri of Toplou, the richest one in the area, known for its beautiful icons from the Middle Ages. Overnight stay in Sitia.
Day 8: Return flight
Transfer to Heraklion airport, after a short coffee break in Agios Nikolaos, the picturesque popular holiday resort. If you prefer you can prolonge your stay in a hotel of your choice.