Crete and Santorini

5 nights Crete - 3 nights Santorini

Activities

Trek from the start of Aradena gorge, hike through whitewashed villages, Kayak by the dramatic white and red cliffs of the south-west coast of Santorini

9 Days

Tour starts in Crete.

Greece

Crete- Santorini

Lato hotel Herakleion

Pepi studios Rethymno

Rose Bay hotel Santorini

Additional Info: This trip level is moderate

VIEW THE PHOTOS

INCLUDED AND NOT

INCLUDED:

  • All accommodations as listed (or similar) based on double occupancy,
  • all transportation during the trip,
  • admissions fees to itinerary sites and museums,
  • a bottle of water per day services of leader/guide throughout the tour,
  • tourist guide for the Archeological museum of Heraklion,
  • wine tasting on day 2,
  • cooking lesson on day 5,
  • sea Kayak on day 7,
  • ferry ticket Loutro-Sfakia and Crete-Santorini,
  • hotel taxes and service charges,
  • transport and handling of one reasonably sized suitcase and one carry-on per person,
  • all activities mentioned in the program.
    Included meals: Breakfast, lunches and dinners as indicated in the itinerary, snacks during activities.

NOT INCLUDED:

  • What is mentioned as optional
  • Entrance fees
  • International air tickets
  • Medical expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • Graduities for leader, guide or driver
  • Alcoholic beverages and meals other than outlined in itinerary
  • Visas
  • City taxes
  • Other personal expenses.

Minimum pax. 10

PACKAGE DETAILS

Day 1 - Arrival in Heraklion and welcome dinner

Located in the center of the island, the sprawling city of Heraklion is home to a magnificent archaeological museum and lies just few kilometres from Knossos, the greatest of the Minoan palaces. You will find other reminders of history all over Crete, but the best known are mostly here, near the heart of the island.

In the afternoon we will meet at our hotel and after a brief orientation meeting, we’ll set off to explore the old part of this lively city. To conclude the night, we will have our first dinner together in a traditional Cretan restaurant while getting to know each other in eager anticipation of our adventure.

Overnight in Heraklion

Day 2 - Archeological museum, the palace of Knossos and a winery tour

You will start your day visiting the Archeological museum of Heraklion, with the finest collection of Minoan artifacts in the world. It’s a great introduction to Crete’s biggest attraction, the 3500-year-old Minoan palace of Knossos, a sprawling maze of royal chambers, grand staircases, storerooms, and workshops.

After lunch we will head towards the wine country of Heraklion. Locals claim, with some justification, that wine has been being made in the area for four thousand years, probably using grape varieties not far removed from the ones that you are going to try today. Our day ends at the city of Rethymnon, the island’s intellectual and cultural capital, which is going to be our base for the next days.

Overnight  in Rethymno

Day 3 - Ancient Eleftherna hike and pottery visit

Ancient Eleftherna, a Dorian built settlement, lies in the foothills of Psiloritis, the highest mountain of Crete.  The Archeological Institute of America included Eleftherna archeological site in its top discoveries of 2009. We start our hike from the ancient Acropolis, and on our way we will pass the remarkable Roman cisterns, which are carved into the hill’s west side, the Necropolis and a 3rd century BC ancient bridge.

Our hike finishes in the tiny village of Margarites, known for its pottery. Learn about the traditional techniques from a local potter who derives inspiration for his ceramics from Minoan and Byzantine originals.

In the afternoon we will have time to explore the labyrinthine lanes of the historic quarter of Rethymnon which still preserves much of its Venetian and Ottoman appearance.

Overnight in Rethymnon

Hiking distance: 8km / Hiking Duration: 3 hours

Day 4 - Hike Aradena gorge

In the southern slopes of White Mountains there is one of the most fascinating gorges in Crete. Aradena gorge is not as famous as Samaria gorge but is in physical terms as impressive and much less crowded. Moreover the hike itself is challenging and the sense of achievement is immense. We start from the abandon village of Aradena and we descend all the way down to the Libyan sea with the beach of Marmara at the end as a reward.

After lunch we will take the coastal path towards Loutro and we will enjoy awe-inspiring views of the dramatic, rocky seascape while breathing in the fresh, salty air of remote and unspoiled beaches.

Overnight  in Rethymnon

Hiking distance: 12km / Hiking Duration: 5 hours

Day 5 - Cooking class and Chania Visit

One of the delights of travelling through Crete is food. The local cuisine has its own distinct identity within Greek cooking and great claims are made for the Cretan diet. After breakfast we will drive toward the quaint village of  Vamos for a cooking class which takes place in an old olive press dating from 1846. In a unique setting we will take a ride on a “journey” into the aromas and tastes of traditional Cretan Cuisine.

Early in the afternoon, we will drive to Chania. Littered with remnant from its Turkish and Venetian past and bustling with harbor-side life, Chania is one of the most beautiful towns of Crete. Take a walking tour and enjoy our guide’s insight on the history of the area

Overnight  in Rethymnon

Hiking distance: 7km / Hiking Duration: 3h 30min

Day 6 - Ferry to Santorini and hike from Fira to Oia

Today we will catch the morning ferry to Santorini which was the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions of all time. Here everything is brighter: the whitewashed cube-shaped houses, the lapis lazuli sea and the sunsets that light up the caldera. After settling in our hotel, located next to the sea, on the famous black beach of Kamari we will be transferred to the modern capital of the island, Fira. From there, we will hike towards picturesque Oia, the most beautiful village of the island if not the whole Aegean sea. The cobblestone trail follows the rim of the Caldera, taking you away from the crowds, permitting you to admire the power of the natural forces that shaped this amazing environment.

Overnight in Kamari

Hiking distance: 10km / Hiking Duration: 4 hours

Day 7 - Akrotiri archeological site visit and sea kayaking

Dorians, Venetians, and Turks occupied Santorini, but its most influential early inhabitants were Minoans. They came from Crete sometime between 2000 BC and 1600 BC and the settlement of Akrotiri, dubbed as the Greek Pompeii, dates from the peak years of their civilization. Alongside with a guide you will have the opportunity to walk along the streets and squares of the city, which was buried in volcanic ash after the eruption of the volcano and frozen in time.

Finishing the walk it is time for kayaking. We will explore the south side of the island as few people do.  Seeing Santorini from the sea level is a real treat, plus paddling gives your upper body a bit of exercise. We will paddle by the Red and White beach with stops on the way for swimming and snorkeling.

Overnight  in Kamari

Hiking distance: 8km / Hiking Duration: 3 hours

Day 8 - Hike from Pyrgos to Kamari and Ancient Thira visit

Medieval Santorini comes to life in the lovely village of Pyrgos, which used to be the capital of the island. Here Cycladic houses blend harmoniously with the Venetian manors and the few remaining old stores. This will be the start of our hike, which takes us to the highest point of Santorini, and from there to the ruins of Ancient Thira, located on a headland between the two popular beaches of Kamari and Perissa with dramatic cliffs plunging into the blue waters of the Mediterranean. The change of scenery will make you feel like you are on a mountain, and you will fully experience the diversity and beauty of this amazing island. After visiting the site, we finish our hike in Kamari village and our hotel. We will have time to rest before heading to Fira for the farewell dinner in a restaurant overlooking the Caldera.

Overnight  in Kamari.

Hiking distance: 8km / Hiking Duration: 3 hours

Day 9 - Departure day

After breakfast and a final coffee transfer to the airport and connect to your return flight home.

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