Crete Organised Trips

4x4 Exploration Of Western Crete

Pilot your own jeep on a fun-filled driving adventure through some of Crete’s most stunning landscapes. With your hands on the steering wheel, you’ll cruise through a lush, steep-sided gorge to the village of Therisso at the foot of Lefka Ori, or the White Mountains. After a short briefing from your guide, you’ll head off-road and upwards along dirt tracks towards the village of Lakki, the perfect spot to pause for iced coffee, a stroll around the quiet streets and photos of the fabulous views. After that, you’ll drive on to Nea Roumata for lunch in a traditional Cretan tavern, before tackling some tricky dirt roads on the way to the mountain village of Sempronas and then picturesque Palaia Roumata, where you’ll stop again for coffee, photos and view admiring. The road back to the start point passes through the stunning Mesavlia gorge, a superb finale to a thrilling day.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
You will need to bring your driving license.

Duration:

Full day

Crete Snorkelling Experience

The Chania area is blessed with some of the island’s best beaches, and those warm, crystal-clear turquoise waters make this an excellent destination for a relaxed snorkelling adventure as well. Your day begins at a dive centre where you’ll be kitted out with a shortie wetsuit, fins, mask and snorkel and given some handy tips on making the most of your time in the water. Then it’s time to hop on a speedy RHIB – as in rigid-hull inflatable boat – for a 20-or-so-minute zip across the waves to your first guided snorkelling session. With superb visibility, you have a good chance of seeing starfish, sponges, crabs and an array of fish, and maybe even glimpsing an octopus. After a reviving snack, you’ll be off to the second, equally breathtaking snorkelling site for the day, where you’ll have another opportunity to discover the marine life of the Mediterranean.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
You’ll need to be able to swim, but otherwise the trip is suitable for all.

Duration:

Half day

Discover Akrotiri & Chania

Spend a fascinating day soaking up the sights in Chania and the rugged Akrotiri peninsula. From the city’s bustling Souda port, you’ll make the short trip to the Suda Bay War Cemetary, set on a small plateau overlooking the sea. This poignant site is the last resting place of around 1,500 Commonwealth servicemen, most of whom lost their lives in the Battle of Crete in May 1941. From here, the route takes you inland to another supremely atmospheric spot, the monastery of Agia Triada Tsangarolon, built towards the end of the 17th century. It’s a tranquil and photogenic complex, with elegant Venetian-style architecture and courtyard gardens filled with bougainvillaea and oleander. Afterwards, you’ll return to Chania for the rest of the day, pausing to drink in the view across the city from the Venizelos graves, the burial place of one of Greece’s most significant politicians. You’ll have plenty of time to explore the beautiful Old Town and colourful local neighbourhoods, before finishing with dinner overlooking the historic Venetian harbour.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
The entrance fee at Agia Triada is not included.

Duration:

Full day

Discover Knossos

Immerse yourself in the world of the ancient Minoans on a private tour of some of their most important sites. The first of these is the palace of Knossos, the ceremonial and political hub of this extraordinarily advanced Bronze Age civilisation and an archaeological site well worth lingering over. From here, you’ll be whisked in your Land Rover along a dirt road flanked by pine forests towards the summit of Giouhtas, regarded by the Minoans as a sacred mountain and where, legend has it, Zeus is buried. Along the way, you’ll have time to search for aromatic herbs, catch a glimpse of the vultures that live here, and soak up the stunning views of the vine-clad valley of Archanes. After the culture and vultures come wine and food: a tasting and tour at a local winery followed by a delicious Cretan lunch at a local tavern. Refreshed, you’ll head back through vineyards and olive groves to Heraklion Archaeological Museum to marvel at the beautifully made artefacts created by the Minoans so long ago.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know Specialist guides are available at Knossos and Heraklion Archaeological Museum for an extra fee.

Duration:

Full day

Discover Western Crete

Experience a different side of Crete with a trip into the western heart of the island. The first destination is the monastery of Arkadi, in a beautiful setting on the edge of the Psiloritis mountains. Its fabulous 16th-century church with its graceful Venetian facade makes it an essential stop on any tour of the area, but after the tragic events of 1866, which you’ll hear all about, it also became a symbol of the Cretan struggle for independence from the Ottoman Empire. From here, you’ll head to picturesque Thronos and its traditional taverna for a hands-on cookery class where you’ll learn how to make some traditional Greek dishes and then savour the results while enjoying spectacular views from the terrace. The day’s final discovery is the dramatic gorge of Patsos, where a path leads to an atmospheric 400-year-old chapel in a cave, dedicated to Agios Antonios.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
The entrance fee at Arkadi is not included.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 9am
End time: 3.15pm

Historical Crete

Dive into Crete’s rich traditions and folklore on a trip that also introduces you to some of the island’s most striking scenery. The adventure kicks off in the charming village of Vrisses, with its backdrop of the White Mountains, where you’ll visit a family-run vineyard and learn about the wines as well as olive oil and other local products. Heading eastward through more enchanting settlements, you’ll reach Myriokefala, home to a picturesque monastery dating from the 11th century. The main draw is its ancient frescoes, only rediscovered recently during renovation work, though the cheese pies with honey from a nearby coffee shop – a local speciality – are also well worth investigating. Your next stop was one of western Crete’s most important cities during Roman times, before being destroyed in 828 AD. You’ll find traces of ancient Lappa in what is now the village of Argyroupolis, where you can enjoy lunch in one of the local taverns. On the return to Chania, there’s one last pause: the stunning Lake Kournas, in a beautiful setting backed by hills.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
Lunch and drinks are not included.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 9am
End time: 4.30pm

Historical Rethymno

Rethymno is the focus of this enchanting day spent exploring Crete’s fascinating history and culture. Its well-preserved old town is like something from a fairytale, complete with an atmospheric old harbour lined with Venetian and Ottoman buildings, and a Venetial citadel from whose hilltop setting the views are a delight. Before you arrive, you’ll stop at Margarites, a village in the foothills of Mount Ida that’s known for its classic pottery, and in Rethymno itself, you’ll visit a bakery owned by one of the last traditional filo masters in Greece. Seeing the superfine pastry being made by hand is quite an experience, as is tasting some of the delicious sweetmeats made from it, such as baklava and kataifi. The final destination is Argiroupolis, a charming village now known for its springs and cascades, which in Roman times was the bustling city of Lappa.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
Lunch and entrance fees are not included.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 9am
End time: 5.30pm

In The Footsteps Of Zeus

Live like a Cretan for a day at the foot of Psiloritis, the island’s highest mountain, in one of whose caves Zeus was supposedly raised. Located in the village of Krana, the Shepherd’s Shelter is the picturesque setting for a host of enjoyable hands-on experiences designed to give an insight into the traditional way of life. Depending on the season, there’ll be various workshops, such as milking the sheep and cheesemaking, growing mountain herbs and vegetables, preparing typical local dishes – which you’ll be able to sample – and sheep shearing. Getting there is all part of the adventure, too. In your comfortable Land Rover, you’ll be whisked up the eastern flank of Psiloritis to the Livadi plateau, following narrow roads that offer incredible views of Heraklion and the sea beyond and dirt tracks lined with pear and apple orchards that are a particularly enchanting sight in spring.

• Departures daily • Operates year round • Private experience

Good to know
Comfortable footwear is recommended.

Duration:

Full day

The Olive & Wine Groves of Crete

Spend a relaxing day savouring the authentic flavours of Crete, from local wines to olive oil. You’ll begin with a pilgrimage to the cave of St John the Hermit in Marathokefala, a village near Kolymbari, where the saint is believed to have lived for three years and which houses a famous healing spring. Continuing through more sleepy villages, you’ll arrive at Vouves. You’ll stop here to have a look at one of the oldest olive trees in Crete, thought to be 3,000 years old, and drop in at the olive tree museum. The award-winning Anoskeli Olive Mill & Winery is the next destination on the itinerary, where you’ll learn about different types of olive oil and the various stages of its preparation before enjoying a guided tasting. From here, you’ll head to the winery for the second part of the tour, an in-depth discovery of the five Anoskeli wines made here, including a chance to taste them. To round off the day, you’ll halt at a tavern overlooking some olive groves, where you can opt to try some typical Cretan dishes or just sip a reviving coffee.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
Lunch, drinks and the entrance fee to Marathokefala cave are not included.

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 8.30am
End time: 3.30pm

Traditions Of Crete

Enjoy an authentic taste of Crete on a journey that combines history, culture and scenery to memorable effect. The day begins with a visit to Savvathiana, a thousand-year-old monastery in a breathtaking wooded setting chosen, it’s said, to protect the inhabitants from pirate attacks. From here, the route takes you to Arolithos Traditional Cretan Village, created in the 1980s to preserve local culture and customs. You’ll take a tour of the buildings – built with materials salvaged from elsewhere on the island – led by a guide in typical Cretan dress, visit the charming museum devoted to art and agriculture, and make your own ‘komboloi’, otherwise known as worry beads. After this, you’ll be able to relax over a typically Greek mezze lunch, rounded off with a much-loved local dish of fruit salad with raki. From here, you’ll finish the day with a scenic drive through some of the island’s unspoiled landscapes.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Duration:

Full day

Start time: 9am
End time: 3,15pm

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