“In the middle of the wine-dark sea is a country called Crete, lovely and prosperous, surrounded by water, densely inhabited, and with ninety cities” says Homer about Crete. But whoever writes about Crete is often aware how impossible it is to describe this unique spot with its countless historical, cultural and natural attraction.
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||HERAKLION CRETE/HERAKLION CRETE|
|TOUR ENDS||NOON CHECK OUT ON DAY 5|
|PRICE FROM :||370 EUROS PER PERSON IN SHARING TWIN
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The distinct variety of the geophysical scenery, the mild climate, as well as the innumerable cultures influencing the island, spanning from 6.000 B.C. when the first prehistoric settlements appeared, to 1913, when Crete annexed the rest of Greece, are the decisive factors that created Crete’s image today. Spectacular, beautiful and unique, Crete dominates the southern Aegean, full of pride and enchants, all who visit, with its irresistible charm
WELCOME on CRETE! Our assistant will meet you there and provide you all the necessary information concerning your itinerary and hotel accommodation. Heraklion is the biggest city of the island.
Only few kilometers south of Heraklion, Knossos, the capital of King Minos and the center of the magnificent Minoan civilization is located. Then visit to the town’s famous Archeological Museum, which is situated in the center of the city. Overnight at hotel.
Driving along the North-East coast through the gorge of St George we reach the picturesque town of Agios Nikolaos. Here we board a boat and Spinalonga Cruise starts. A Cruise along the Mirabelo gulf. Later we return to Agios Nikolaos where you have time to look at the shop windows and visit the bottomless lake, where the “Lotus Eaters” the well-known film was shot.
Drive through the city to the famous wine producing area of Scalani, south of Heraklion. The drive is through breath-taking landscape of countryside and vineyards as old as Minoan times. Our stop is in a modern winery, where you will see the updated methods of wine making and sample some of the delicious Cretan wines. The drive continues through the rural village of Scalani.
Then we continue for a city tour in Heraklion, where we may wander on road, around the city to see its sightseeing, the Venetian buildings and castle, the Venetian Harbor, the impressive Cathedral, the fountains, the open street markets to sense the heart of the city. Overnight at hotel.
After breakfast transfer to Heraklion Port or airport for departure.
The massive Venetian walls, the medieval castle Koules in the Harbor, Morozini’s fountain in the center and other Venetian buildings & monuments, which gives a very special character to the city. The monastery of St. Catherine (Aghia Aikaterine – a metochi (dependency) of the monastery of synonymous on Mount Sinai) was an important cultural and artistic center from the 15th till 17thcentury. You can visit also the local market full with local products & souvenirs as well as the city center for leisure & shopping.
Spinalonga has had a very chequered history and today, although uninhabited, still echoes with ghostly reminders of the past. The Venetians constructed a very impressive fortress with40 cannons which has been guarding the bay since the 15th century. At the beginning of 19th century human pain and sorrow was scattered around this islet. It became a leper colony, the last active leper colony in Europe, and it remained so until 1957, when it was cleared by the Health Authorities, leaving the place uninhabited.
Crete boasts a wine tradition that is 4000 years old! Archaeological finds of the oldest vineyard in Europe, unearthed in the area of Kato Zakro, attest to the above. The oldest wine-press was discovered in nearby Archanes, aged over 3500 years.