- Knossos Palace
- Coastal towns
- The Aegean
The Wonders of Crete
- All Inclusive
Lose yourself in Crete’s culture and history spanning millennia on this magical island odyssey
With the luxury of the all-inclusive Imperial Belvedere, you’ll be perfectly placed to enjoy the locale and the many delights beyond too. You will step back in time to the era of the Minoans and find the many treasures of the past, from the magnificent site of the Palace of Knossos to antiquities from across Crete. And along with the ancient, we have the treasures of the present; the beauty of the island lies not purely in its long history, but in the dramatic landscapes and scenic coastlines.
On your travels, you’ll see that over the centuries, different civilisations and cultures have made Crete what it is today, including the remarkable influence of the Venetians and the architecture lifted straight from the famous city of canals to this sunny island, the birthplace of Zeus.
7 nights at your hotel
20 meals: 7 breakfasts (B), 6 lunches (L), 7 dinners (D)
Free bar open 15 hours a day (local drinks)
Saga tour manager
- Return flights and transfers
- Complimentary snacks at the snack bar
- Welcome drink
- Porterage at your hotel
- Wine tasting
- Local pottery demonstration
Included excursions and visits
- Heraklion city tour (half day)
- Knossos Palace and Heraklion archaeological museum (full day)
- Rural Crete (half day)
- Spinalonga (full day)
Use of audio headsets on guided tours
Day 1 UK to Heraklion
After a short transfer from the airport to the Imperial Belvedere hotel (3Q), you can settle in and join your Saga tour manager for a welcome reception before dinner. D
Day 2 Heraklion
Enjoy a leisurely morning. After lunch, set off to explore Crete’s capital, Heraklion. You’ll see the imposing Venetian city walls and old harbour, then Lions Square and its majestic fountain, the seventeenth-century Loggia city hall and St Minas Cathedral, with plenty of time to explore for yourself. B, L, D
Day 3 At leisure
Spend the day enjoying your time at the resort or head off elsewhere with independent activities. You are welcome to join an optional half-day tour to Archanes. B, L, D
Day 4 Knossos Palace
Travel to Knossos Palace, home to the mythical Minotaur’s labyrinth. This enormous site dates from Neolithic times with palaces appearing in the Bronze Age, where excavations began in 1900.
In the afternoon, you can admire the island’s breathtaking artefacts, found in places such as Knossos, at Heraklion’s Archaeological Museum. B, L, D
Day 5 Countryside tour
Spend the morning relaxing.
After lunch, wend our way into the island’s dramatic countryside of mountains, hillside groves and carpet of wild herbs. On your travels we shall stop at a winery for a tasting and later see local pottery being made. B, L, D
Day 6 At leisure
You can take full advantage of the resort today or go exploring for yourself. You also have the option of joining a trip to Fodele and Rethymno. B, L, D
Day 7 Spinalonga, Elounda and Agios Nikolaos
Today head east to spend the day touring the Spinalonga area, home to the now uninhabited island of the same name. The island is known locally as ‘the Island of the Living Dead’ as it served as a leper colony between 1903-1957.
You’ll visit the charming coastal towns of Elounda and Agios Nikolaos, which is built around a deep, natural salt lagoon. B, L, D
Day 8 Heraklion to UK
Transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK. B, L, D
Archanes Present and Past
Archanes is renowned for its architecture and archaeology which dates back to Minoan times. A walking tour of this traditional village will reveal its colourful houses and includes a visit to the Archaeological collection so you can view some of the treasured Minoan artefacts.
Optional on 7 nights itinerary
Fodele and Rethymno
You’ll first head to Fodele, the birthplace of El Greco, which is also renowned for its lacemaking. After some time here, you’ll travel on to Rethymno, a Venetian fishing town overlooked by a citadel, where you can enjoy a walking tour to take in the beautiful architecture.
Optional on 7 nights itinerary
Extend your holiday
Spend a further week at the Imperial Belvedere – perfect for a little more relaxing and independent exploration.
The 4-star Imperial Belvedere (3Q) is in Hersónissos, on a spot where the hills meet the sea. In under 30 minutes from the airport you’ll be here at your holiday home, and just a short hop on the hotel shuttle bus from the town centre and beach. The Imperial Belvedere is set in a busy wider resort that also includes the Royal Belvedere Hotel, and hosts an amazing array of amenities, all available to you during your stay.
The hotel has a heated indoor pool as well as six other outdoor ones around the complex. There is a spa and sauna for massages and beauty treatments (extra charge) and, if you’re feeling more active, a gym, tennis courts and mini golf.There are many spots for a relaxing drink, including on your own furnished balcony or terrace. All 341 bedrooms include a satellite television, hairdryer, mini-fridge, tea and coffee-making facilities, safe (extra charge), free Wi-Fi. Saga rooms have double beds and are located in the main building on the first and second floors. Upgrade to a sea-view or superior room for a supplement, subject to availability.
The beach, promenade and glistening sea are just a short shuttle bus ride from your hotel. And 2.5km away is the Lychnostatis Open Air Museum where you’ll be transported back to the traditional culture, natural history and folklore of Crete. With the sparkling waters of the Aegean so close, there are many boat trips departing from the harbour, and of course the clear waters are ideal for snorkelling and diving.
Or you can see marine life without getting wet at the Aquaworld Aquarium and Reptile Rescue Centre. The proliferation of tiny churches, hidden Roman remains and other gems are here to be uncovered, even before you start venturing further afield.
On some departures your itinerary may run in a different order.