The Wonders of Ancient Crete

Resort:The Wonders of Ancient Crete 2
Operator: Cox and Kings
Destination: Greece
Price From: £1895.00


As a strategic gateway to the eastern Mediterranean, Crete has been ruled by a number of great powers, from the Minoans, one of Europes first civilisations, to the Byzantine, Roman and Ottoman empires. This tour explores Cretes scenic and cultural highlights, including the Palace of Knossos, an incomparable monument of ancient Minoan society.


Day 1: Fly to Heraklion Rethymno

Fly from London (regional connections available) to Heraklion with British Airways. Transfer to Theartemis Palace in Rethymno (or similar) for 3 nights. (N)

Day 2: Aptera Venizelos Chania

Morning visit to the ancient site of Aptera and meet a beekeeper for an introduction to beehives and their cultivation. Continue to the town of Chania with its Venetian harbour. Also make a poignant visit to the Allied Cemetery, containing second world war burials. (B)

Day 3: Arkadi Eleftherna Rethymno

This morning, visit the fortified monastery of Arkadi. Near Eleftherna, visit the MAE museum with its impressive collection of artefacts from Greece, Cyprus and Egypt. Continue to Rethymno for a guided city walk. (B)

Day 4: Phaestos Matala Heraklion

Drive across the island to the Messara plain and visit Phaestos, the second Minoan palace. Continue to Matala, a pretty seaside town, and enjoy a swim or relax on the beach. Drive to Heraklion, stopping en route at the archaeological site of Gortys. Stay 4 nights at the Aquila Atlantis Hotel (or similar). (B)

Day 5: Knossos Wine tasting

Morning drive to the ancient Minoan Palace of Knossos, the centre of Europes first civilisation. According to myth, it was home to King Minos and site of the legend of Theseus slaying the Minotaur in the labyrinth. Then drive into the Pediados region south of Heraklion, Cretes most famous wine producing area. Visit a wine domaine for an introduction to Cretan wine, with tasting and a traditional lunch. Afternoon at leisure. (B, L)

Day 6: Kera Spinalonga Heraklion

Morning visit to the Church of Panagia Kera to view the finest Byzantine frescoes in Crete. Continue to Elounda and take a boat to Spinalonga. Formerly a leper colony, the legacies of Greek, Ottoman, Byzantine and Venetian occupation over the centuries have left their imprint on this fortified island. Return to Heraklion via the port town of Agios Nikolaos. (B)

Day 7: Heraklion

Morning at leisure to relax by the pool or explore Heraklions old town. Afternoon guided visit to the Heraklion Archaeological Museum with its collection of Minoan treasure. (B)

Day 8: Fly to London

Morning at leisure. Afternoon flight to London with British Airways. (B)