Old shakes hands with new in Crete’s capital. The city’s taken on a vibrant, cosmopolitan air and brims with pavement cafés, bars and sleek boutiques. But peek into the backstreets and traditional life drifts gently by.
• Take a trip to Knossos Palace. After the Acropolis in Athens, it’s the second most visited place in the whole of Greece.
• Sink into a sofa in one of the ice cream parlours by Lake Voulismeni and ponder the local legend that the lake is bottomless.
• During a day in Rethymnon, you can explore the nooks and crannies of the old town, visit the 16th-century castle that overlooks the town, and stroll around the Venetian harbour.
SHORE EXCURSIONS► View all EXCURSIONS
Traditional Cretan Village & Knossos►
Your tour starts with a visit to Knossos, the most impressive and best known palace of the Minoan civilization. Famous from Greek Mythology as the capital of the Minoan culture, Knossos is inextricably linked to many thrilling myths and legends like the ‘Labyrinth of the Minotaur’. Your guide will inform you of the exciting history of this ancient civilisation. Next, you’ll step back in time and experience the magic of a bygone era. This traditional Cretan village is set in the most breathtaking locations, set amongst the rugged grandeur of the wild mountains Arolithos is a village not to be missed. With its cobbled streets and traditional Cretan architecture, recently built using traditional construction techniques and materials, you'll find genuine craftsmen and Cretan artisans, such as the ironsmith, the potter, the weavers. You’ll have the opportunity to visit the folklore museum with its informative collection of pottery and fine crafts. The shops of Arolithos contain an endless variety of beautiful traditional items for you to purchase and before leaving you’ll have the opportunity to try a selection of traditional Cretan food and drink.
Kritsa & Aghios Nikolaos►
The biggest of the Greek islands, Crete’s a place of amazing variety. We’re talking snow-capped peaks. Hills draped in olive trees. Hundreds of historical sites. And more than 1,000km of sun-kissed coastline. This tour introduces you to the beautiful mountain village of Kritsa, which has provided the backdrop for many a movie and documentary filmed in Greece. Stroll around its quaint little streets with the opportunity to explore many local handicraft and art stores. Then move on to the town of Aghios Nikolaos, Crete’s answer to St. Tropez. Set around a picturesque sleepy harbour overlooked by rolling green hills it really is an idyllic setting. Enjoy free time to browse around the small boutique style shops or pick up some knick knacks before heading back to the ship.
Elounda & Spinalonga►
Spinalonga is one of Crete’s most famous spots and is often referred to locally as ‘the island of tears’. After a scenic cruise over from the port of Elounda, your guide will take you on a walk through this old Venetian fortress that was used as a leper colony until 1957. Many books have been written about this famous little island and you’ll learn all about its sad but hopeful history as you explore this infamous isle. After your return cruise to pretty Elounda, you can enjoy a little free time to explore the shops and there’s a blue flag beach nearby, so if you wish, take your swimwear and beach towel with you. You’ll also be treated to a traditional buffet of snacks from Crete including mini pies, meatballs and different salads. The perfect way to round off your day!