You'll love this tour if you like:
- Archaeology - there are many fascinating sites to discover
- History - there is 4,500 years of it to explore
- Spectacular scenery, and lots of it
- Relaxed island atmosphere
- Authentic Greek cuisine
Crete is known for its wonderful scenery and its fantastic climate but it is also a fascinating destination for a cultural and historic tour, offering a wealth of sites that reflect its ancient Minoan culture, which dates back some 4,500 years or more!
This ancient history is a prominent focus of our tour but the island has seen numerous invaders in its long history so we will also discover some more recent historic periods, particularly the Byzantine and Venetian eras, which led to two of the islands most beautiful towns, Chania in the west and, our base for the week, Rethymnon, both of which are situated right next to the sea. We also visit the spectacular island of Santorini, where a volcanic eruption is believed to have contributed greatly to the demise of the Minoan Civilisation in Crete some 3600 years ago.
Our visits include the two most prominent of the Minoan Palaces found on Crete, Knossos and Phaestos, and the late Minoan Cemetery of Armeni. We will explore on foot the exceptionally charming towns of Rethymnon and Chania, where narrow cobbled lanes, lined with quaint and beautifully preserved Turkish, Venetian & Byzantine buildings, enticing tavernas, cafes and small shops, meander picturesquely behind glorious harbours. And of course, we visit, by boat, ‘stunning Santorini’, one of the most spectacular islands in Greece, with its white-washed houses, string of picturesque villages and stunning views!
As the largest of the Greek islands Crete is too big to be able to do justice to its wealth of fascinating sites and places of interest in one once so we have arranged two tours, this tour of Minoan Crete, which focuses on the central and west of the island, and our Hidden Gems of Eastern Crete tour, which focuses completely on the east of the island and encompasses a diverse range of spectacular sites and stunning scenery.
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