Highlights of Crete

Highlights of Crete

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7 Days
From

$2356

$2062

Highlights of Crete

7 Days Starting in Heraklion and ending in Chania

Visiting: Heraklion, Knossos / Agios Ioannis, South Coast / Sougia, Agia Irini Gorge / Sougia, Chania

Tour operator:

Intrepid Travel

Tour code:

ZLSA

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 12

Physical rating:

Low, Low

Age range:

15-99 years

Trip Styles:

Small Group

Activities:

Boat/Cruise Excursion

From:
$2356
$2062 (USD) Operator discount: -$236 The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$58 -12%
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Tour Overview

The island of Crete has so much history and natural wonder to offer to a curious traveller. And in seven days on its shores, you’ll see what’s known as Europe’s oldest city, taste some of the region’s best food and wine, and discover some of the world’s most picturesque beaches. From Heraklion, visit the famous archaeological site of Knossos, hike through forests and gorges, unwind in the secluded seaside village of Sougia, and sip wine in the vibrant port city of Chania to show you what makes the island so special. So quintessentially ‘Greece’ and so full of life, the best of Crete is waiting.

Highlights

  • Did you know that Crete is home to Europe’s oldest city? From Heraklion, head to the famous ruins and archaeological site of Knossos – the former capital of Minoan Crete.

  • Uncover the real Crete during visits to its quiet corners. We’ve partnered with non-profit organisation MEET to bring you an ecotourism experience in the delightful village of Agios Ioannis. Spend an evening dining in a local restaurant to the soundtrack of live traditional music and stay the night in a guesthouse with a welcoming local family.

  • Get off the beaten path – literally – during a visit to the charming fishing village of Sougia. Hike, swim, or relax on the beach with a cold drink in hand.

  • Visit the colourful port town of Chania and discover one of its most loved commodities during a visit to a local winery for a wonderful tasting experience.

  • Explore Crete’s natural wonders on foot during a hike through the Agia Irini Gorge, learning about its historical significance and rare wildlife as you go.

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1: Heraklion
Location: Heraklion
Accommodation: Hotel

Welcome to Crete! Greece’s largest island delights with clear waters, charming villages and a tangible history. Your island adventure begins with an 6pm welcome meeting where you’ll meet your local leader and fellow travellers. After the group meeting, perhaps head out for dinner with the group, and get your bearings around the capital with a leader-led orientation walk of Heraklion.

Optional Activities:
-Heraklion - Arheological Musem of Heraklion
-Museum of Ancient Greek Technology

Day 2: Knossos / Agios Ioannis
Location: Knossos / Agios Ioannis
Accommodation: Guesthouse
Meals Included: breaksfast, dinner

This morning head out of the city to the renowned archaeological site of Knossos, considered to be Europe’s oldest city. Explore the ruins with your leader and soak in hundreds and thousands of years of history within its walls. Continue your Crete discovery with one of its most celebrated commodities during a visit to a nearby winery for a wine tasting. Take your time discovering the grape varietals grown in Crete, sampling a range of small-batch vintages. Then it’s time to check out some quiet corners of Crete – continue to the tiny coastal town of Chora Sfakion (sometimes referred to as Sfakia) and the historic village of Anopolis for some short stops, then carry on to Aradaina, teetering on the edge of a gorge, and learn about the history of this dramatic area. Your final stop for the day is the delightful village of Agios Ioannis, nestled into the foothills of the White Mountains. Your well-earned dinner this evening will be a lively affair – feast on local specialties accompanied by a wonderful live performance of traditional music, a perfect introduction to village life in Crete. Spend the night in a traditional guesthouse

Included Activities:
-Knossos - Archaeological Site
-Agios Ioannis - Village Visits
-Agios Ioannis - Live Music Evening
-Chania - Wine Tasting

Day 3: South Coast / Sougia
Location: South Coast / Sougia
Accommodation: Guesthouse
Meals Included: breaksfast

Bid farewell to Agios Ioannis and drive back to Chora Sfakion where you’ll board our private boat along Crete's stunning south coast to the village of Sougia. This is Crete at its very best – an undiscovered sweep of beach overlooked by brooding mountains. It’s almost too pretty to believe, but believe it, you’re here! Upon arrival in Sougia the afternoon is yours to spend at leisure, and it’s certainly not hard to find something amazing to do. You may like to explore one of the coastal trails, take a swim in the warm waters, or just lay back on the beach and let life tick along around you with a drink in hand.

Included Activities:
-Chora Sfakion - Coastal Boat Ride

Day 4: Agia Irini Gorge / Sougia
Location: Agia Irini Gorge / Sougia
Accommodation: Guesthouse
Meals Included: breaksfast

Rise early and board a local bus bound for the Agia Irini Gorge, carved through the west side of the White Mountains. Set off on a shady hike through the gorge as your leader shares stories of the area’s historical past and how it once hid Greek rebels during the Turkish Occupation. The hike is expected to take around three hours and you’ll be rewarded with fantastic views along the way, plus the chance to spot the unique flora and fauna of the region, including endangered Cretan wild goats, cypress, pine, and dittany trees. The rest of the afternoon is yours to spend as you please in Sougia.

Included Activities:
-Sougia - Agia Irini Gorge Hike

Day 5: Chania
Location: Chania
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: breaksfast

Say goodbye to Sougia this morning and catch a local bus to Chania. Beachside, colourful and full of culture, Chania is definitely a traveller’s favourite. On arrival, follow your leaders advice and directions to visit two local artisans and learn about how local pottery and knife are produced . The rest of the afternoon is free for your own explorations in Chania. Perhaps take a walk through the city markets, the Ottoman neighbourhood and Jewish quarter, passing by the workshops of traditional artisans of local pottery, knives and many more The town is also bursting with excellent restaurants, so be sure to ask your leader for dinner recommendations this evening.

Day 6: Chania
Location: Chania
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: breaksfast

Start the day with a ‘kalitsounia’ workshop and experience firsthand how one of the most famous Cretan pastries is made. Kalitsounia is commonly had as an appetizer or for breakfast and you can choose your fillings according to your taste: Cretan ‘mizithra’ or ‘anthotyro’ cheese, legendary Cretan greens or choose a sweet filling instead. It’s tasty, nutritious and you can take them with you to enjoy later in the day. Enjoy some free time at leisure in Chania, perhaps taking the time to visit any spots you may have missed yesterday, or simply sitting back with a coffee and watching the locals go about their business. This evening you may like to head out to a local restaurant for a final dinner and use your knowledge of Cretan wine to pair with your meal.


Included Activities:
-Chania - Kalitsounia Bakery Workshop

Day 7: Chania
Location: Chania
Meals Included: breaksfast

With no activities planned for the day, your adventure on Crete comes to an end after breakfast this morning. If you’d like to spend some more time exploring the island, just get in touch ahead of time and we can assist in arranging some additional accommodation to extend your stay (subject to availability).

What's Included

  • Accommodation
    Hotel (3 nights), Guesthouse (3 nights)

  • Meals
    6 breakfasts, 1 dinners

  • Knossos - Archaeological Site

  • Agios Ioannis - Village Visits

  • Agios Ioannis - Live Music Evening

  • Chora Sfakion - Coastal Boat Ride

  • Sougia - Agia Irini Gorge Hike

  • Chania - Wine Tasting

  • Chania - Kalitsounia Bakery Workshop

  • Transport

    Public bus, Private vehicle, Boat, On foot

What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • International Travel

Transport

  • TRANSPORT IN EUROPE
  • Half the fun of travel is the travelling itself, that's why we like to travel the local way – whether that means mingling with commuters on a local train, watching the scenery roll by from the window of a long distance bus, arriving on a high speed train in the city centre of your next destination, or navigating each city's public transport system. In Europe, you are guaranteed to travel by genuine local public transport wherever possible, which puts you right in the centre of the action.
  • STRIKES
  • Ferry strikes, bad weather and the general unpredictable nature of Greek public transport means you need to be prepared for possible delays and itinerary changes.

Accommodation

  • The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.
  • Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.
  • OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
  • The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
  • TWIN SHARE BASIS
  • Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. We pair up solo travellers with another traveller of the same gender as per the gender marker on each of their passports. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.
  • CHECK-IN TIME
  • Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.
  • PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
  • If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
  • FACILITIES
  • Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.

Important Information

  • 1. A single supplement is bookable on this trip, excluding Day 2,3&4. Availability is limited due to small properties we use. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

Check out our Q&As

  • Are all entrance fees included in the price?

    No

  • Is this trip right for you

    Summer temperatures in Greece can reach up to 40°C, which can be uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. On the other hand, early in the season (April) many businesses may still be closed and the weather is unpredictable, however you may have some of the major sights of the Greek islands almost to yourself. Please consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.

    Please be aware that some of the Greek Islands are very hilly and mountainous, which means lots & lots of steps are an inherent feature of the landscape. You will have to be able to easily lift your luggage and carry it up and down stairs and inclines. Also, stone streets become very slippery when wet. Some people may find Greece's topography very demanding.

    On this trip you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 15kg / 33lb. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are likely to encounter while carrying your luggage. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

  • Are all the relevant entry visa’s included in the price of the tour?

    No

  • Are international flights included in this tour?

    No

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    No

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    Yes if aged 15+ and accompanied by an adult

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please contact us for latest COVID-19 policies

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Intrepid Travel has been taking travellers around the world for over 30 years

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Since 2002, The Intrepid Foundation has supported over 130 organisations across the world. We’re creating positive impact through the joy of travel, community and connection.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Over 50% of traveller travel solo with Intrepid. You can choose to share a room with another solo travelle of the same sex for no additional charge, or choose to pay a single supplement if you’d like your own room. Please request this when booking, and we will secure you a single supplement wherever possible. Please note, if you are booking a last-minute trip, it may be harder for us to secure a single room

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Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Intrepid Travel allows you to make 10 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 56 days before the start of the tour.

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Intrepid Travel allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform intrepid travel, 56 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Intrepid Travel requires a minimum deposit of 400 USD per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 56 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of intrepid travel charges.

    Up to 56 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 55 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

  • COVID Protection

    Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
    From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

    However, we continue to strongly recommend that all travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and other Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

    This policy excludes all Polar trips and select adventure cruises, where testing and vaccination remains a requirement. Please refer to the Essential Trip Information of your chosen tour for more details.

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