The people of Petassos

About 15 years ago, having just finished our university studies, we started travelling to Crete  and exploring its mountain tops and underground caves. We soon realized that the myths and the history of the places we visited were a vital part of what we experience today. The stage had been set and we were very keen to discover more.

Based on our academic backgrounds (archeology, regional planning, speleology) we gathered experiences and put them in order. Then we started sharing them with friends and acquaintances.

It was these friends and their enthusiastic reactions that got us going and finally made us start organizing all this material on a more systematic basis. That’s how our personal experiences got “translated” into specific tours. In the end, these friends are what PETASSOS is all about, since they were the ones who breathed life into our vision and made it happen.


the core...


DIMITRIS Sfakianakis - Archaeologist / Co-founder of PetassosTravel


Archaeologist specialized in East Mediterranean prehistory. His research is focused on human – natural environment dynamic relation and the construction of cultural landscapes, especially in exceptional locations, such as subaquatic - seashore, cave and mountain-ridge cultural assemblages.  






EMMANOUELA Pervolaraki - Designer / Co-founder of PetassosTravel

Εμμανουέλλα Περβολαράκη

 Ever since she was a young girl, Emmanuelle, a designer and a soul full of wanderlust, wanted to learn about the planet, its countries and, above all, the people living there. Fifteen years ago, she began travelling abroad, while also visiting Crete and the rest of Greece, both above and under the ground. Her participation in spelaeology seminars in 2000 and in mountaineering treks since 1995 – both with clubs and alone – taught her how to move safely on mountains and watch out not just for herself but also for her fellow trekkers. She favours small travelling groups and is a big believer in direct contact and substantial acquaintances in small groups, creating teams and friendships that are worth holding on to after the trek is over. One thing is for sure: you won't be seeking new paths, but you will walk along ones you already know, seeing them from her perspective.  /



CHRYSSA Mavrokosta  - Political Sciences / Speleologist / Co-founder of PetassosTravel

20171023 143924

Chryssa specializes in local and regional development issues and has been active for over 15 years in the area of empowerment of local communities within the context of endogenous development and local management. Since 1999, she is actively involved in caving as a member of the Speleological Association of Crete and has participated in many expeditions for the exploration and recording of caves and other Karst formations, as well as in studies and books aiming at promoting the study of the caves of Crete.  /  



Our partners


GIANNA Askianaki Political Sciences / In charge of the German market

Gianna is is charge of the German market

Gianna studied political science in Greece and museology - ethnology in Germany. The path of cultural tourism brought her back to her place, to work as a tour guide for small groups. She loves the different cultures, traditions and customs of each country and she is open to anything new. In Petassos wants to make your trip an unforgettable experience.


MARINA Smirli - Teacher of German language / In charge of the German market

George is an Anthropologist specializing in the Culinary Culture of Crete. He holds a PhD in Anthropology with research on food consumption patterns with a comparative research in the European Food Markets of Greece and Slovenia. He has been involved in the travel industry the past three years and has dedicated himself in bringing Crete in the attention of the world Traveler outside the mass tourism models emphasizing it as a unique and special destination. His main effort is to communicate cultures through the waking of the senses, with taste being in the starring role.



IRINI Legaki Librarian / In charge of the Scandinavian  market

The daughter of a Greek musician and a Swedish tour guide, Irini grew up multiculturally on the unique island of Crete! In the past a pupil of the Swedish school of Crete and currently a member of the Swedish association of Eastern Crete, Irini has studied Archives and Library Science at the Ionian University. She has since worked for the University of Crete and HAEF Athens College libraries. Revealing to visitors and guests the hidden gems and “secret” parts of her homeland offers her joy; watching them become one with the island's people and history is her passion. She believes that anyone visiting Crete should discover both the older and more current true essence of the island: the land of the South, its traditions, the diverse natural environment, the memorable aromas and flavours. That is, after all, why she became a part of Petassos travel.



Our specialists


SPIROS Staridas - Geologist

Spiros Staridaslast

Spiros has finished Geological studies at the University of Athens and he has been specialized in Geopark Management & Geotourism during his MSc course in the UK. He has great expertise in Geographical Information Systems (G.I.S.) as well as in field surveys and cartography. He has drew a significant number of print and digital thematic maps and he recently established his own publish firm which focuses in designing and publishing maps for geotourism, ecotourism and other thematic kinds of tourism. He has also mapped numerous trekking and bicycle trails and he has a great experience in organizing thematic trips and excursions. He obsessively loves the Greek nature as well as the blue crystal seas.



MANOLIS Avramakis - Botanist


Manolis, is an agronomy school graduate, specialized in Botany, with special interest in the flora of Crete. He is currently working at the Botany department of the “Natural History Museum of Crete”. He is a member of the “Heraklion Mountaineering Club” and has many years’ experience in organizing excursions in nature and in guiding nature-lovers in the paths of Crete.







STELLA Vasilaki - Oenologist

Tasting Wine 1

Stella studied Food Engineering in the Agricultural University of Athens and then Enology in the University of Bordeaux. Charmed by the wine world she traveled and worked in different viticultural areas of the world. After several years, she came back to where everything began…in Crete. Since 2014 she owns ‘Mesarmi’, a small tasting room in the middle of the most important viticultural area of Heraklion, where she organizes wine tastings and seminars and transmits her passion to wine lovers 



 MARIANA Katifori - Archeologist

Marianna is an archaeologist, who has chosen to live in a small village in Crete as a member of the local community, an amateur farmer and an explorer of the surrounding historical landscape. She has years of experience in archaeological survey, excavation and monument’s restoration, scientifically focused in medieval topography, architecture and wall painting’s ontology. She is specialized in cultural heritage management and thus, she loves to share her knowledge about the history of land and people of Crete.



CHRISTOS Diamantopoulos, Chimiste / Specialist in Food Quality 

Christos Diamantopoulos is a chemist and an expert on food technology. In the last few years he has been working on Crete as an advisor on developing food quality and security management systems. Through his professional activities he has discovered the nutritional treasures and wide variety of Cretan produce as well as the advantages of Cretan dietary customs and cuisine. In co-operation with Petasos he wants to share with travelers his knowledge of and love for Cretan products as well as the island’s food history from the past to present times



PENELOPE Gini - Journalist / Mountain Guide / Specialist on educational programs  

Penelope Gkini is working since 2007 guiding visitors during their adventure of discovering new places. What’s important to her is to give a meaning to the journey as an interpret guide of cultural and environmental heritage. Through her studies in communication and media and her training course in guide of dry stone circuits she tries to approach nature an culture from different perspectives. Her interests spin around the concept of travel and what does this infer: the journey of thought, of people and of nature through story telling. This is what she also wants to share participating to the travel guides of



GIORGOS  Spiridakis - Teacher / Environmentalist 

The past 10 years Yioryos Spyridakis has been working as a teacher in Primary Education. He is also the writer of two ecotourism guides for Asterousia and Agios Dikaios mountains, commissioned by Natural History Museum of Crete in 2006. His academic titles include a university degree in Education Science (2005), a postgraduate degree (M.Sc.) (2001) in History of Art and a second university degree in Journalism & Communication (1997). During the last 16 years he has been guiding travelers & visitors of special interests at East Crete, emphasizing on the cultural and environmental aspects of Cretan Landscape. Due to his personal fieldwork forgotten pathways and trails were re-used by hikers on the mountains of Thripti & Ornon, which in terms of space form his region of interest. The awareness about “Natura 2000” sites, the bird watching, the cultural history, the urban agriculture, the revival of traditional mountainous pathways or simply the trekking for fun make up what he is. 


our guides



GIANNIS Mavrokostas 

Giannis Mavrokostas

His passion for the nature led him into all kinds of excursions within and outside Crete. He deals with the study of aromatic plants and herbs, which he also cultivates. His aim is to ensure that the experiences, knowledge and sensitivities of the people of Petassos will be diffused with the most efficient and safe way.







CHRISTOPHOROS Baladimas - Mountain guide / Member of Mountaineering Club of Chania


Christophoros studied computer network technology, but his love for nature and the mountains prevailed. In recent years he has been involved in activities such as mountaineering, speleology, gorge crossing techniques as well as the management of the climbers’ shelter on the White Mountains. He has successfully completed numerous courses organized by Mountaineering and Speleology Federations and has participated in numerous expeditions in Greece and abroad. 



CHRISTOS Paterakis - Mountain guide / Member of Mountaineering Club of Chania / Skipper 


Christos Paterakis is a graduate of the school of the Hellenic Federation of Mountaineering & Climbing and is the founder and manager of Hiking Creta. He was not, as is widely believed, born at a hospital or an obstetrics clinic; his existence is a product of limestone and granite distillation. He breathes and lives through these rocks, throughout the year, hiking or climbing the dry, arid stones in the summer or leaving his ski trails in the winter, crisscrossing every slope. Since 1988, his first time on the White Mountains, he has become an inseparable friend of their summits, edges, cliffs and gorges.



ELEFTHERIA  Loupasaki - Architect / Mountain Guide / Member of Mountaineering Club of Chania 













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