8 days | ALL AROUND THE CLASSICS OF CRETE Self-Guided Trip

Ideal for couples, friends, famillies, groups.

An 8-day (7 nights) fly & drive tour with car rental and the full support of our experts

This trip allows you to explore the most important sites and feel the authentic taste of Crete. Visit its classic must-see places, its enchanting historical cities, its famous archaeological sites, the seducing wine routes and the traditional villages located inside the vast olive groves, the impressive mountains of the mainland, and of course, the excellent cuisine of the traditional restaurants and taverns.

The essentials

  • 8 days - 7 nights.
  • Quality 2-3* hotels, double rooms with breakfast, Wi-Fi, air-condition and hospitable owners.
  • Car rental for 7 days.
  • Mixte insurance for a car, 2nd driver free of charge, free kilometers.
  • Short olive-oil tasting in a traditional olive-mill.
  • Short wine-tasting in a winery in the famous wine routes area of Archanes.
  • Our constant assistance and especially ... our suggestions for tours that suit your needs.

 

The highlights of the trip

City of Heraklion

City of Agios Nikolaos

Cosmopolitan village of Elounda

Rethymno City

City of Chania

Balos lagoon

Archaeological Museum of Heraklion

Cnossos archeological site

Monastery of Arkadi

Ancient site of Eleftherna

Spinalonga Island

 

 

Day-to-day programme

 

Day 1 - Welcome to Crete!

Arrival at Heraklion airport and transfer by taxi to your hotel which is located in the city center. There you will be met with our representative who will deliver you the documents for the trip (travel-book, maps) in order to make a thorough discussion with him/her about the trip.

Depending on the time of your arrival*, you could start exploring the lively city center and dine in one of the marvelous taverns or restaurants that we could recommend you (if you wish, we can also book one for you). Or we could organize for you a marvelous tasting experience with our expert, in order to be introduced to the world of olive oil and the famous Cretan gastronomy.

Another option (in case you arrive very early) is to start exploring on foot the unknown Heraklion (with a guide-on request or by yourselves, with our advice).

What is this alternative visit of the unknown Heraklion?

We will help you discover the unknown and unusual parts of this city but very often neglected by most visitors. With a map of the old town (that we will give you), you will walk on a pedestrian path, laid out along the Venetian fortifications. You will pass by the most important monuments and places which reveal a history dating back more than 2000 years. You will discover the life of sailors, soldiers, politicians and traitors, musicians and writers, prostitutes, engineers, immigrants, martyrs, or popes ... you will discover the history of these people from all backgrounds, of all nationalities who have left their mark on the walls of Heraklion. Whether they were Turkish, Venetian, Cretan, Greek, Italian, Arab, French or German ... they lived here and bequeathed their history over the centuries.

At the end of your excursion (around 2 hours) you will arrive in a district occupied by artists where graffiti and paintings have transformed the rather derelict urban landscape into an open-air gallery. For 3 years these artists have been involved in a project to rehabilitate the old town under a difficult socio-economic context linked to the economic and migratory crisis **. Finally, you could choose to have a quality dinner (optional, at an additional cost) in a typical Greek / Cretan tavern/restaurant with a reputation among the locals for its grandma cuisine. In this case, we will order for you a meal around the theme: “Venetian gastronomy or eating habits during the Venetian occupation of Heraklion city”.

 

* it is always best to arrive as early as possible to make the most of the day.

** due to recent migratory flows from Eastern countries

 

Transfer: By taxi from the airport to the hotel: 15 minutes

Accommodation: 3 * in the center of Heraklion

 

 

Day 2 -Discovering the great Minoan Civilization: Minoan sites and wine routes: Knossos - museum - Archanes


Today after your breakfast, you will be delivered the car in the hotel.

You can decide to visit the archeological museum of Heraklion, one of the most important in Greece. In this case, we will arrange the car delivery right after your visit to the museum.

You take your luggage and you drive towards the areas of Cnossos, where is located one of the most traditional olive mills, where they produce an extra extra virgin olive oil and other excellent sub-products of the olive tree. You will have the opportunity to visit the area with a passionate person of the olive mill and right after that you will continue to the village Alagni for the next visit of the day: a quality winery, where you will participate in a tasting of local varieties of wine.

Right after these visits, you will drive towards Elounda where you will overnight.

 

Included: Accommodation, breakfast, tasting in a winery, visit of 1-2h in a traditional mill, car rental

ACCOMMODATION

(Depending on the availability)

Overnight at a 3-star hotel at the entrance to Elounda village, from where you have a breathtaking view over the Kolokitha peninsula and the island of Spinalonga │ Double room with 2 single beds or with a double bed (if you have a special preference, please inform us) │ balcony per room │ Restaurant with excellent cuisine │ Services of very good massage and relaxation on request

The hotel is simple, typical, clean and with nice owners.

Basic services of the hotel included in your price: European breakfast, WiFi and air conditioning

 

 

Day 3 - The zone of Elounda – Spinalonga / East of Crete

 

Breakfast.

Today you will be met with several different facets of a particularly interesting history of one of the most cosmopolitan areas of Crete.

At first you will ‘meet’ a sweet but at the same time so hard story... The story of the island of Spinalonga that hospitalized for many years the lives and souls of the lepers of Crete.

Furthermore, you could go for a walk around the harbor of Elounda and discover abandoned salt mines of the recent past with the remnants of the mills and other stone-constructions.

At the end of the day, you could try to visit the stunning archeological site of Lato, and/or the incredible frescoes of the famous church of kritsa as well as enjoy a juice by the legendary lake of Agios Nikolaos (depending on your mood).

Possibility of swimming in several places that we will suggest you.

Return back to your hotel - same as previous day.

Travel time: 1h

Trekking time: Walks in the port of Elounda and in the island of Spinalonga

 

Included in the day: Accommodation, breakfast, car rental

Not included: Guided visit INSIDE Spinalonga, neither the admission fees for the archeological site and the boat.

Accommodation: Hotel at the village of Elounda

 

Day 4 - A journey through mountains, villages, tradition and antiquity

Breakfast.

Changing destination. You take your luggage to go to Rethymnon. In order to get there, we will propose you a route that will take you through the mountainous beauty of Psiloritis and its robust villages ... According to your wishes that day, you will have the option to go through an area where you keep the traditions Cretans very strong!

 

At the end of the afternoon, arrival to the most charming city of Crete, Rethymnon.

Settling into your room and later, visits to the Venetian port, with several historic buildings, taverns near the picturesque harbor, workshops, museums etc...

Traveling time: 150 km (2h00)

Walking / trekking time: It varies from 1 to 3 hours, depending on your decision to walk.

Included in the day: Accommodation, breakfast, car rental, mixed insurance

 

ACCOMMODATION (Depending on the availability)

Overnight at a 3-star hotel at the historical center of Rethymnon │ Double room with 2 single beds or with a double bed (if you have a special preference, please inform us) │ The hotel is simple, typical, clean and with nice owners.

Basic services of the hotel included in your price: European breakfast, WiFi and air conditioning.

 

 

 

Day 5 -The region of Rethymno, one of the richest in Crete in terms of nature and culture. Several options for activities, to chose


You are in Rethymno, the city of the prefecture of Rethymno which is particularly beautiful, diverse and full of archaeological sites, monasteries, villages with well-preserved architecture, etc. Below we present you some options of visits or activities you can choose according to your own preferences:

 

Self-guided with our advices

- Visit to Arkadi Monastery, Eleftherna archaeological site and Margarites pottery village

- Short and easy hike in the Patsos gorge and road-trip in the Amari valley famous for its traditional villages

- Easy hike in the Mili gorge

- Visit to the palm grove of Preveli (1h30 to go + return)

 

Guided Visits (with an extra cost)

- Gastronomic visit to Rethymno accompanied by a French speaking guide.

- Hike (4h walk) and birdwatching in the Platania gorge (1h to go + return) - with an ornithologist

https://www.petassostravel.com/en/tours/birdwatching-in-european-avifauna-hot-spots-heraklion-lassithi-rehymnon

- Guided visit to Eleftherna and Arkadi monastery with a French-speaking guide

- Discover the old town of Rethymno and its monuments through photography! With an experienced professional photographer and an archaeologist, you will immerse yourself in the beauty of this picturesque seaside town of the Renaissance era, with the culture so influenced by the Ottomans and Venetians.

https://www.petassostravel.com/fr/tours/phot%CE%BFgraphic-trip-rethymnon

- Participate in a magnificent program for the music of Crete, which takes place at an idyllic location in Margarites, with 2 Cretan musicians.

https://www.petassostravel.com/fr/tours/cretan-music-and-dance-workshop

 

 

 

Day 6: Visits to the hinterland of Chania. The must-see areas of Crete. Travel to the most famous city of Crete - Chania

 

Breakfast. Today you change destination. Direction West, towards Chania. The route we chose for you, takes you from the Apokoronas areas, with the lake of Cournas and the water springs of Argiroupoli. In the itinerary we will prepare for you in the detailed travel book we will deliver you, we will also suggest other visits to give you the opportunity to choose (according to your wishes) between simple classical visits, or to explore the landscape discovering gorges, trails and sometimes workshops and producers.

Arrival at Chania.

Settling into the rooms and visits in the charming city.

Travel time: Around 3 hours

 

Included in the day: Accommodation, breakfast, car rental, mixed insurance

 

ACCOMMODATION

(Depending on the availability)

Overnight at a 3-star hotel at the historical center of Chania, very near the bus station │ Double room with 2 single beds or with a double bed (if you have a special preference, please inform us) │

The hotel is simple, typical, clean and with nice owners.

Basic services of the hotel included in your price: European breakfast, WiFi and air conditioning.

 

 

 

Day 7 - Balos

 

Breakfast. Visit to the most famous lagoon of Crete: Gramvousa or Balos. After this unforgettable visit (especially at a non-touristy period of year), we will prepare for you an itinerary that will take you through the villages of Chestnuts to admire the rich nature and small hidden villages with excellent suggestions for local cuisine...

Travel time: About 1 hour to go + return

Walking time: About 1 hour round trip (according to your preferences)

 

Included in the day: Accommodation, breakfast, car rental, mixed insurance

 

 

 

Day 8 - End of the trip

 

Breakfast. Back to Heraklion. Flight back home.

Travel time: 3 hours

 

 

Included in the day: Breakfast, car rental, mixed insurance

 

The price includes:

  • Assistance at the airport and the hotel (providing the maps and printed material for your trip and talking thoroughly about the itinerary)
  • A detailed manual specially prepared for your trip (with references, texts, photos, maps and proposals for wonderful treks etc.)
  • Breakfast in all hotels and apartments
  • 3* hotels or traditional apts of high quality
  • Car rental all the days (starting from the second)
  • Short tasting of olive oil as described on day 2
  • Short tasting of wine as described on day 2
  • Phone support 24 hours a day

 

The price does not include:

  • International flights
  • Guided tours and entrance fees to museums and organised archaeological sites, except when it is mentioned in the above offer
  • Thematic guided tours as described above (extra costs are mentioned separately)
  • Beverages (soft drinks), tips and personal expenses
  • Petrol
  • GPS for the car
  • Personal insurance
  • VAT for accommodation (it depends on the type of hotel): it varies from 0.50 to 5 euros per day, per room to be paid by you directly to each hotel.
  • Anything not mentioned above

 

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT ACCOMMODATION

The photos of the accommodation that we send you, are apartment-studios which we propose to you when we send you the proposal. The availability of the rooms depends on how quickly we will book them. It is important for you to know that it is not always possible to find available rooms. If that happens, we are going to find different rooms of the same quality in the nearby villages.

 

What's more?

The accommodation that we propose to our clients is generally in areas which are less touristy. In these areas one cannot find easily typical hotels with small rooms (beds, toilet, and shower). In the regions that we suggest to our clients, there are traditional apartments, which have toilets, bathrooms and beds but also small kitchens where one can prepare a meal, balconies etc. and usually they are a lot more spacious than hotel rooms. That doesn't necessarily mean that they are more expensive. Their price depends on the region and on the services they offer.

 

Payment terms

In order to confirm your reservation, you must pay a deposit of 50% of the total amount of your file (namely ………… GBP) by credit card or by transfer, by clicking on the link that will be sent to you by our local agent. The balance is due 30 days prior to departure at the latest.

 

Conditions of cancellation

All cancellations need to be done by e-mail to the local agency. The money to be paid varies depending on the date of the cancellation:

  • more than 50 days from the date of departure: 50 euros per person for the cost of the ‘planning of Dossier”
  • 49-30 days from the date of departure: 20% of the price
  • 29-21 days from the date of departure: 50 % of the price
  • 20-8 days from the date of departure : 70% of the price
  • 7-4 days from the date of departure : 90% of the price
  • less than 3 days from the date of departure or after the date of departure : 100% of the price

 

SERVICES RENDERED

  Services not used

  • All trips which are cut short, or all services concerning land, rivers, sea or air if they are not used for any reason, there will be no reimbursement by the local agent.
  • It is the traveler’s responsibility to draw an insurance contract based on which he will be able to be reimbursed in case services are not rendered.

......................................................................................................................................

Possibility for extension of trip with 1-2-3 more days

 

Option - Extra day 1: VAI PALM BEACH, CITY OF SITIA ARCHEOLOGICAL SITE OF ITANOS

When you are at Elounda

 

With 1h30 drive you can find yourself at an incredible area at the east extremity of Crete… In particular, after a short visit at the charming city of the poets, the city of Sitia, you continue to the Monastery of Toploy, an architectural ornament in the desert-like landscape of East Crete. At Toplou, except from the visit to the monastery and its winery, where you can participate in a wine and olive oil tasting, you can also visit the strange Taffony formations at a nearby gorge that belongs at the Unesco Geopark’s routes, important for the geological heritage.

5 min from the monastery of Toplou and its olive groves and wine production, you think you are in an oasis… a route with palm trees, takes you to the beach of Vai from where you can definitely admire the palm forest bus also the sand-dunes of the nearby little beach.

Last but not least, the incredible sandy beach of Itanos, with the ancient ruins dispersed everywhere… Like in Fairy tales..

Before returning to Elounda, you can’t miss the excellent cuisine of Sitia people in the best tavern of the area.

Travel time: 3 hours in total (go and return)

Trekking Time:  from half an hour to 3-4 hours  

 

 

Option- Extra day 2: Aradena gorge

When you are at Chania city

 

Breakfast

You drive 1 hours from Chania city to the Sfakia area. Ou meet with our partner at the parking areas of the Chora Sfakion village. You park your car and our partner transfers you at the beginning of the path.

You arrive at an incredibly beautiful area, the South part of the glorious White Mountains. You descend the stunning gorge of Aradena. Its entrance is located at the deserted village of Aradena. Near its entrance there is an iron Bailey bridge, the tallest bridge in Greece and the second tallest in Europe, therefore ideal for bungee jumping.

Arrival at the marble’s beach with the beautiful sea caverns and you continue eastwards until you arrive to Loutro coastal village.

You take the boat to the next port of Sfakia where you find your car and you go back to Cania.

Travelling distance: 3 hours go and return

Time/distance of trekking: 5h00 – 5h30

 

 

 

Option- Extra day 3: Samaria gorge

When you are at Chania city

 

You take the public bus to Omalos. From there, you buy your tickets and you start descending the gorge.

You walk along the amazing gorge, the longest trekking gorge in Europe and also the most famous of all. It has been designated as a Protected Monument of Nature, by the European Council, and it is one of the most important National Parks in Greece.

After almost 4-6 hours of hiking from Omalos (Xiloskalo) you arrive at the coastal village of Agia Roumeli and the stunning beach. Youn take the boat back to Chora Sfakion from where you take the public bus to return to Cania city.

Travelling distance: 3 km in total, with the public bus

Time/distance of trekking: 16 km - Level of difficulty: moderate

Notes:

* This trip is a private excursion.
* It may be extended by 1-3 days and to include more options for visits in the area of Chania.
* It may be modified according to the travellers' preferences and needs.
* (!) Please inform us of any dietary needs/particularities you might have (allergies, intolerances) or other health issues we have to take into consideration.
INFORMATION
Click to enlarge map
Duration: 8 days (7 nights)
Dates: Throughout the year
Location: Crete: Heraklion | Rethymnon | Chania
Difficulty: None | Trekking and hiking options: Easy - Moderate
Languages: Phone support 24h in English, French, German
Documents for the trip (maps, books) in English, French, German
Cost: Upon request
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