Crete is one of the most beautiful, interesting and diverse Greek islands to explore. Stroll along the harbour – guarded by a Venetian fortress – of its 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 Rethymnons harbourside bars.
3 excursions and visits
Day 1 UK – Heraklion – Hersonissos
Titans VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Heraklion. On arrival, we transfer to Hersonissos.
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, its a delight to explore its streets of cafs 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. Well 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, well 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 holidays 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 cafs and Greek tavernas from where you can watch the world go by. Or learn more about Cretes 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 todays 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. Theres also a beautiful Venetian harbour, which was the location for some of the scenes from the film Zorba the Greek.
We continue to Rethymnon, Cretes 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, therell be free time to wander the old streets of the town, or perhaps spend time in a harbourside coffee bar.
Day 7 Hersonissos
Theres 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 Hislops 2005 novel The Island. Its now an uninhabited island skirted with small pebble beaches.
Day 8 Hersonissos – Heraklion – UK
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.