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Nat Geo Day Tour: Discover Cretan Farm Life
Excursions & day trips

Nat Geo Day Tour: Discover Cretan Farm Life

Small-scale, family-run farms are integral to the Mediterranean diet that Crete is so famous for. A local family will welcome you to their Mitato, a small farmhouse, where you'll be greeted with the genuine warmth of Cretan hospitality. Listen to the local farmer tell the intriguing tale of King Minoas who watched from his observatory, and alerted locals to incoming pirates. Greetings over, it's time for a hands-on bread-making lesson, learning the techniques for typical Cretan bread, made with wheat and barley flour. Then, witness their cheese-making skills using goat's milk from the farm. Next, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in, helping out with daily farm tasks like feeding the goats, pigs, chickens, and rabbits, and tending to the gardens. The adventure continues with a snail hunt over the mountainside, exclusive to National Geographic travellers, peeking under rocks, and among shrubs and flowers. As the day unfolds, your collected treasures, including snails, eggs, fruit, and vegetables, become the ingredients for lunch. Alongside the family, you'll prepare a feast of local delicacies, all made from the products of your day's work. Finish off the experience with a taste of Crete's spirit, Raki, and why not sing along to their traditional Cretan ‘Mantinades,' - traditional Cretan couplets that express sentiments about Cretan daily life.

free cancellation
Available in:

de, en 

Nat Geo Day Tour: The Millenary History of Olive Oil
Excursions & day trips

Nat Geo Day Tour: The Millenary History of Olive Oil

With millennia of experience behind them, it's no wonder the people of Crete produce some of the finest olive oil in the world. You will appreciate the timeless bond between Cretans and their revered olive trees as you trace the long heritage of olive cultivation on the island. Just outside Kritsa village in the hills of eastern Crete, you'll follow Nikos Plevritakis on a brief walk to his olive groves where some trees are 600-800 years old, and learn about olive cultivation from a true specialist. In the shade of the olive trees, you can try local raki known as ‘tsikoudia' with olives to nibble on while discussing the cultural and societal significance of olive cultivation in Crete. Then it's time to visit a local cooperative factory, to see up close how olives are processed into world-class olive oil. Back on the Olive Path, seize the chance to taste fresh figs, almonds, and grapes, see what the locals are growing, and find out all about the Cretan lifestyle and diet. Then, at an olive farm, you can sample olives, fresh tomatoes, and raki before your olive oil tasting session begins – a great opportunity to learn how to taste oils like a professional and compare the flavor profiles of different varieties. Finish off the day with a cooking lesson on various ways to use olive oil in Cretan cuisine. Authentic dishes, such as tzatziki and Greek salad will feature, and you'll find out why the traditional Cretan diet is so beneficial to health and longevity.

free cancellation
Available in:

de, en 

Knossos Palace and Heraklion Guided Tour with Transport
Excursions & day trips

Knossos Palace and Heraklion Guided Tour with Transport

'The Palace of Knossos is one of the most important archaeological sites in Crete because it's where Europe's first civilisation began,' says Veta, one of our guides. A born and bred local, she knows a thing or two about the legends and myths surrounding the island's most popular attraction. You'll spend the day watching history come to life as you tour the grounds of the palace, before crossing over to Heraklion for some free time in the capital.Once the hub of Crete's Minoan civilisation, Knossos Palace sits in the heart of what's considered to be Europe's oldest settlement. You'll enjoy a guided tour around its treasures, stopping by the throne room, royal apartments, frescoes and more. There'll even be a chance to see the Labyrinth, where the fearsome half-man, half-bull creature known as Minotaur was said to have lurked. And with fast-track access, there's no waiting around in queues.It's then time to head to Heraklion, the island's capital. See the 17th-century Morozini Lions fountain and the 400-year-old Venetian Loggia – which is still the city hall – during a short guided walk around the city. We'll round the day off by taking you to the open markets for some free time. Poke around stalls laden with hand-made trinkets and fresh local produce or stop off for a coffee at a local café for some people watching. Other must-sees include the Koule Fortress and the Church of Agios Titos.

free cancellation
Available in:

en 

Spinalonga Island Guided Tour with Lunch
Excursions & day trips

Spinalonga Island Guided Tour with Lunch

The tiny isle of Spinalonga is just a short hop away from Crete but a visit is like stepping back in time. Centuries of history are packed within the walls that encircle it. See it through the eyes of a true local on this full-day tour of its must-see monuments.

free cancellation
Available in:

en 

Mountains of Crete 4x4 Tour with Taverna Lunch
Activities

Mountains of Crete 4x4 Tour with Taverna Lunch

Get ready to go off-road on this adrenaline-pumping 4x4 adventure that will take you well and truly off the radar. Explore the more rural parts of Crete and the beautiful nature as you voyage through the mountains on this small group tour.

free cancellation
Available in:

de, en, fr, nl 

Knossos Palace, Rethymnon and Heraklion Tour
Excursions & day trips

Knossos Palace, Rethymnon and Heraklion Tour

Thought to be the cradle of Europe's first civilization, the UNESCO-listed Palace of Knossos is one of the most important ancient sites in Crete. Let an expert bring history to life as you explore the island's most-prized archaeological gem. This trip also includes free time in the resorts of Rethymnon, plus a tour of the Cretan capital, Heraklion. Andreas, one of our expert local guides, says, ‘The Minoans were very advanced, and the Palace of Knossos showcases architectural techniques such as multi-storey buildings and a sophisticated drainage system that were ahead of their time.'You'll start the morning in Rethymnon's maze of colourful streets, where you can browse the shops, find a little cafe or head down to the harbour. Curving around the small bay, Rethymnon harbour is as pretty as it is old. The views of the Venetian-era Fortezza and out to sea are a delight. Next up is Crete's capital, Heraklion. Here, you'll enjoy a guided tour of the city's best bits, such as the Venetian lion fountain and the loggia. There'll be some free time to explore at your own pace, too.Last but by no means least, the last stop of the day is a guided visit of the Palace of Knossos. Admire treasures like the throne room, royal apartments, and the fabulous frescoes. The ancient frescoes are particularly impressive, depicting scenes of everyday life, religious rituals, and mythical creatures. You'll also experience the Labyrinth, where legend has it, the fearsome half-man, half-bull creature known as the Minotaur lurked.

free cancellation
Available in:

en 

Tour of Western Crete with Winery and Olive Oil Estate
Excursions & day trips

Tour of Western Crete with Winery and Olive Oil Estate

Western Crete boasts wonderful local produce and spectacular beaches. This excursion showcases the area's best bits, with a wine tasting at the Karavitakis winery, sampling delicious local olive oil at Biolea estate and some relaxation on the white sands of Falassarna beach.

free cancellation
Available in:

en 

Tour of Loutro Village including a Typical Cretan Lunch
Excursions & day trips

Tour of Loutro Village including a Typical Cretan Lunch

Accessible only by boat, Loutro is an idyllic seaside village where you can completely disconnect. You'll journey from Sfakia to Loutro by boat and enjoy a day exploring at your own pace, lunch at a local taverna and time to recline under the bright Cretan sun.

free cancellation
Available in:

de, en 

Cretan 4x4 Experience from Rethymnon
Activities

Cretan 4x4 Experience from Rethymnon

Go off-road on a 4x4 adventure that will take you well and truly off the radar. You'll bump down dirt tracks, bounce over potholes and drive through blink-and-you-miss-them villages. Plus, you'll tick off plenty of must-sees on the way. Your driver actually doubles up as a guide, giving you the insider's track on Crete's hidden gems as you go.

free cancellation
Available in:

de, en 

Crete Food and Wine Tasting with Wine Factory Visit
Excursions & day trips

Crete Food and Wine Tasting with Wine Factory Visit

Crete is the cradle of wine history, with its authentic country life and indigenous grape varieties dating far back to the ancient Minoans. Veta, one of our local guides, says ‘What I like most about showing visitors around on this tour is that they meet the local producers and farmers and hear their stories.' Over the course of the day, you'll taste locally produced olive oil, enjoy a typical Cretan lunch, and sip on regional whites and reds at an award-winning winery.We'll begin our culinary adventure at the Kriti Allios olive oil producer, set among olive groves to the south of Heraklion. Here we'll tour the facilities and surrounding groves before a Cretan olive oil tasting session. ‘Olive oil has been a Cretan staple since Minoan times. Archeologists have found evidence that the Minoans, the earliest Cretan civilization, used olive oil for rituals, medicine and culinary purposes,' adds Veta. After the tasting, there's a tasty farm fresh lunch to tuck into with traditional local delicacies.Next, we'll pay a visit to family-run Titakis Winery. Its wines have won multiple awards in the past decade, especially the Kotsifali reds. After a tour of the estate and the wine production areas, you'll taste four different wines, accompanied by breadsticks and olives. Veta says, ‘There's always a bottle on the dinner table in Cretan homes – and often it'll be from this winery. The Titakis family has a strong focus on the production of rare local varieties.'

free cancellation
Available in:

de, en 

Elafonisi Island Tour with Monastery and Agia Sophia Cave
Excursions & day trips

Elafonisi Island Tour with Monastery and Agia Sophia Cave

The uninhabited island of Elafonisi may be tiny but it's bursting with personality. This journey to this islet off southwestern Crete is steeped in myths and legends and boasts historic buildings and amazing natural scenery – making it an ideal excursion for all the family.

free cancellation
Available in:

en 

Western Crete Tour with Agia Triada Monastery and Chania
Excursions & day trips

Western Crete Tour with Agia Triada Monastery and Chania

Crete's western corner offers up some fantastic history and scenery. And this daytrip is great for taking it all in, from a monastery winery to a picturesque lake.

free cancellation
Available in:

en 

Introducing Crete

Crete offers a diverse landscape with sunny beaches, gorges, rivers and rolling valleys dotted with rustic villages. Best seen by car or on a guided excursion, the mountainous inlands are definitely worth exploring, perhaps on a hike to discover one of Europe’s longest gorges. The beaches won’t disappoint, with their soft white sand and transparent waters. Perfect for snorkelling, kayaking and swimming, Crete is the ideal destination for relaxation and adventure alike. It also boasts a wealth of architectural and cultural treasures as well as a highly regarded herb-infused cuisine.

Top six things to do in Crete:

1. Take a tour of Spinalonga

A tour of Spinalonga is one of the most interesting things to do in Crete. This fortified islet, located in the Gulf of Elounda, has a long and turbulent history. Originally a Venetian outpost, it was later occupied by the Ottomans, but is most famous for housing a leper colony in the 20th century. Take a guided tour of the island, learn about its past, wander the cobbled streets, see the archaeological ruins of the Venetian castle and visit the school, hospital and church of the former leper colony.

2. Go on an off-road adventure

An island with rugged hills, sprawling canyons and traditional mountain villages, Crete is an adventure seeker’s dream. Go off-road with an adrenaline-pumping 4x4 adventure to explore the island’s most rural parts and tick off plenty of must-sees on the way. Bump down dirt tracks, pass through remote villages, see ancient temples and stop for a swim at beaches only accessible by 4x4 to wash off the heat and dust from the day’s exertions.

3. Catch the ferry to another island

There are many islets along off Crete that you can visit. On the south coast, Koufonisi and Chrissi are two uninhabited islands, where you can spend a wonderful day swimming in aquamarine seas and relaxing on the soft sands. The famous islet of Elafonisi draws beachgoers to the southwestern corner of Crete thanks to its pink-hued sands and glistening waters. While the island of Santorini, located north of Crete, is a popular day trip and usually involves a scenic tour taking in the whitewashed villages perched above its volcanic caldera.

4. Explore the ancient Palace of Knossos

Knossos is the most important Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete. Once the political centre of Minoan civilisation, it is considered Europe’s oldest city. Knossos was inhabited for several thousand years, beginning with a Neolithic settlement sometime in seventh century BC, and was abandoned after the late Bronze Age. After an initial discovery excavation in 1878, the ruins were fully unearthed in 1990. Highlights include the restored frescoes, the ancient courtyards, soaring columns and the reconstructed Throne Room.

5. Visit the capital, Heraklion

The island’s capital is full of history and attractions and is an ideal place to explore on foot. Heraklion’s Old Town is especially interesting and some of its most notable landmarks include the 16th century Koules Fortress, Jesus Gate and the Venetian city walls. The Heraklion Archaeological Museum in the centre of the city is also a must for history buffs and houses frescoes, pottery, jewellery, weapons and sculptures from Minoan civilisation.

6. Hike the Samaria Gorge

The 16km-long Samaria Gorge is one of the longest in Europe and attracts hiking enthusiasts to its trails every summer. Located in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the hike starts from the mountain village of Omalos and carves it way down through the countryside to the seaside village of Agia Roumeli. The trail is a must for adventure and nature lovers and takes in a variety of landscapes and wildlife. The walk can take from 4 to 6 hours, and an organised tour is highly recommended.