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    Heraklion, capital of Crete

Captivating Crete

Crete

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  • A car with a tick VIP door to door

Bougainvillea-draped towns, windmill dotted landscapes and legends of a Minotaur

Crete is one of the most beautiful, interesting and diverse Greek islands to explore - we'll tick off some of its highlights on our captivating Crete holidays.

Stroll along the harbour - guarded by a Venetian fortress - of the island capital, Heraklion. Look out across the Lasithi Plateau, dotted with white-sailed windmills, then peek into the cave where Zeus is said to have been born. Sit back as the rugged, mountainous landscape of western Crete slides by, and enjoy a drink with new friends in one of charming Rethymnon’s harbourside bars.

Including...

A car with a tickVIP door-to-door travel service

A suitcase with a tick Included travel insurance

A bed 7 nights in hotel

A plate with a knife and fork 14 meals: 7 breakfasts (days 2-8) 7 dinners (days 1-7)

A person Tour manager

Plus...

  • International flights
  • Travel in destination by coach
  • Porterage

A camera Excursions and visits

  • Half-day excursion to Heraklion
  • Full-day excursion to Lasithi Plateau, including entrances to Panagia Kera monastery and Dikteon Cave
  • Full-day excursion to the west of the island, including Chania and Rethymnon

Prices are based on return flights with British Airways or easyJet from London Heathrow or Gatwick. Supplements may apply from other airports

A headset Portable audio headset system on excursions

View Full Itinerary

Day 1 UK to Heraklion to Hersonissos

Our VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Heraklion.

On arrival, we transfer to Hersonissos.

You stay at Hersonissos Maris Hotel (4*) or Aldemar Royal Mare Hotel (5*)


Day 2 Heraklion

We head for the dynamic capital of Crete today, the fifth largest city in Greece. Its inner harbour is guarded by the well-preserved Venetian fortress of Rocca al Mare and the bustling city has a rich cultural history, some of which can be seen in the Archaeological Museum.

After a guided tour, it’s a delight to explore its streets of cafés and small shops.


Day 3 Lasithi Plateau

We journey to the Lasithi Plateau, famous for its centuries-old white-sailed windmills, formerly used for irrigation. We’ll stop at the monastery of Panagia Kera, for a guided visit, before heading to the village of Psychro and nearby Dikteon Cave.

In Greek mythology, the cave was recognised as the birthplace of Zeus and is still a significant place to visit today. The energetic may wish to walk 200 steps and through five chambers into the cave, to see the stalactites and stalagmites.

Elsewhere on the fertile plateau, we’ll enjoy some free time in the picturesque village of Tzermidao.


Day 4 Hersonissos

The island of Crete is well known for its ancient Minoan past and the power of this civilisation is illustrated on an optional visit to the Palace of Knossos.

Visit the vast Minoan Palace, believed to be more than 4,000 years old. The complex has a number of buildings on four levels and most of what remains belongs to those built after 1700 BC. In Greek mythology, it is said that the Palace was the home of King Minos, whose wife bore the Minotaur who was imprisoned within the labyrinth and slain by Theseus.


Day 5 Hersonissos

Our holiday in Crete also have some leisure time.

Today you can relax on Hersonissos’ small sandy beaches, enjoy excellent shopping facilities, and sightseeing boat trips. The main centre has plenty of relaxing cafés and Greek tavernas from where you can watch the world go by. Or learn more about Crete’s folk traditions and culture at Lychnostatis Open Air Museum.


Day 6 West Crete

The wild and rugged landscape of western Crete, including snow-capped mountains, delightful villages and beautiful coastlines, are highlighted on today’s excursion. We visit Chania for a guided tour, the former capital, known as the ‘Little Venice’ of Crete is home to a street devoted almost entirely to leather goods. There’s also a beautiful Venetian harbour, which was the location for some of the scenes from the film Zorba the Greek.

We continue to Rethymnon, Crete’s third-largest town, on the north coast. Known as the ‘City of Scholars’, the old part of the town has numerous Venetian palazzos, Turkish houses with wooden balconies and a number of small 18th-century mosques.

After a tour, there’ll be free time to wander the old streets of the town, or perhaps spend time in a harbourside coffee bar.


Day 7 Hersonissos

There’s more time today to relax in your surroundings, or perhaps join an optional excursion to visit the island of Spinalonga.

The island has had a varied past, from Venetian rule in the 16th century to the setting for a leper colony four centuries later - a subject covered in Victoria Hislop’s 2005 novel ‘The Island’. It’s now an uninhabited island skirted with small pebble beaches.


Day 8 Hersonissos to Heraklion to UK

Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Upon arrival, your vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.


Captivating Crete

Crete