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CRETE PRIVATE SHORE EXCURSIONS


Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits (such as its own poetry, and music). Crete was once the centre of the Minoan civilization (c. 2700–1420 BC), which is currently regarded as the earliest recorded civilization in Europe.

 

HERAKLION CITY HALF DAY PRIVATE TOUR – DURATION 3,5 HOURS

The tour begins from the Venetian lion-guarded port of Heraklion with a drive through the city to the famous wine producing area of Peza, south of Heraklion. The drive is through breathtaking landscape of countryside and vineyards as old as Minoan times. The firststopis a modern winery, where you will see the updated methods of wine making and sample some of the delicious Cretan wines. The drive continues through rural villages to the village of Archanes, the municipality in the area. On the way, a photo stop is made at Vathypetro to view one of the oldest farmhouses in Crete, dating to the Minoan period 16th century B.C.. The tour continues through the island’s hilly countryside where olive groves and vineyards existed from as far back as 4.000 years. Arriving at the village of Archanes, which is situated 10km south of the Palace of Knossos, the quaint market town of Archanes has many restored sandstone houses dating from the Turkish period. At a taverna in the villages’ tree-shaded square, you can sample an assortment of Cretan snacks and locally produced wine, and have a chance to mingle with many of the locals themselves while listening to typical greek live music. You will have free time to browse before the return drive to the port of Heraklion and the ship.

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HERAKLION CITY & KNOSSOS PALACE HALF DAY PRIVATE TOUR – DURATION 4 HOURS

Crete is the largest and the most rugged of the Greek islands. It is also the home of the great Minoan Civilization and the mythological home of Zeus. After a short drive through the town of Heraklion the tour will arrive at the Knossos excavations. Here, Sir Arthur Evan’s archaeological discoveries revealed a civilization dating back to 4000 B.C., when a great empire flourished on the island of Crete. Based on the wealth of artefacts that were found, Evans theorized that this was the site of the ancient Minoan Kingdom. These findings will be viewed in detail, as your guide will lead you on a journey of discovery to learn of the sophisticated culture that flourished thousands of years ago on this island.The Palace, decorated with frescoes and shields houses the Hall of the Royal Guard, the Hall of the Double Axes, the King’s Chamber with the alabaster throne, the Queen’s Apartment, beautiful courtyards and shrines. Having visited this remarkable site your coaches will take you to the heart of Heraklion where you will be given some free time to explore its beauties combining the facilities of a modern city with the unique Greek islands’ ambience. You will then re board your motor coach for the return journey to the Venetian lion-guarder port of Heraklion to rejoin your ship. REMARKS Walking in the archaeological site of Knossos will be on uneven gravel surfaces. Passengers may not be allowed to enter the site with big bags/rucksacks.

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FULL DAY TOUR TO KRITSA, AGIOS NIKOLAOS AND ELOUNDA (6-7 HOURS)

Along the north coastal road, drive through the spectacular ravine of Saint George to Kritsa.  This whitewashed mountain village with hell blue and green doors and shutters, is famous for its woven handicrafts and its Byzantine church Kera with frescoes from the 13th century.

Going down to Elounda you will have marvellous views over the Mirabello Bay and Spinalonga Island.  In the charming fishing village Elounda, sheltered within the bay, free time to make a stroll along the shops and harbour side, and/or to have a lunch in a tavern.

Continue with drive by coach to the picturesque town of Aghios Nikolaos, its small lake is the landmark of the city, known as “Voulismeni” that is located in the centre, at the foot of the cliffs.  Walk around and take delight in the panoramic view on the lake and the harbour, and make as well a stroll in the narrow streets with a lot of shops and stores offering a large assortment of typical goods and fine jewellery.

Useful information:

1    Bathroom and refreshment facilities are available at Kritsa, Elounda, Aghios Nikolaos.

2    Appropriate dressing is required to enter the church.  No entry for men and women with shorts and/or uncovered shoulders.

Comments:

This excursion is a combination of Minoan history, religion and Traditional life in villages and popular holiday resorts.

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KNOSSOS LASSITHI PLATEAU

This tour combines archaeology, Mythology and nature. We visit the archaeological site of Knossos, the Palace of the mighty king Minos and the Lassithi Plateau wind mills in resend times.
Five kilometers south of Heraklion stands the Palace of Knossos, where the Minoan civilization flourished more than 3.500 years ago.

Myths and legends come alive through the narration of our official guide.
Our program continues driving up to the Dikti Mountain and de fertile plateau of Lassithi. We stop at Tzermiado villager for lunch break.
Then crossing the small villages of plateau we have another short visit at the traditional potter’s factory.

Then the visit of the Dikteon Cave follows the birthplace of Zeus full of fantastic stalagmites and stalactites.  Following the way back we have a short stop for photographs at Seli which is the highest point of our drive, where we see the old Venetian mills.

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SANTORINI DAY TOUR FROM HERAKLION

Sail by high-speed catamaran to the beautiful Greek Island of Santorini where the day is yours to explore at leisure. Admire the contrasting beauty of the red and black rock cliffs, white washed houses and blue domes churches.

Whilst on the island take a quick cable-car ride or a slow donkey ride to the top for sightseeing or souvenir shopping. These are just some of the options available for you to choose from as the day is yours to explore the island at your own pace.

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THE SAMARIA GORGE AND THE SOUTH COAST (FROM CHANIA)

FULL DAY TOUR / INCLUDING OPTIONAL HIKING

We will depart Chania in the morning. An hour's drive through the countryside and up to the White Mountains will take us to the plateau of Omalos, the starting point of the 16km long Samaria Gorge. You have the option of entering the gorge and hike just a small portion with your guide, then heading back following the same path
(your walk can be as long as you wish, but please note that the first part of the walk is not an easy one, as it is downhill and slippery). Should you not wish to enter the gorge, you can explore the plateau, enjoy the spectacular views, take pictures and have a mountain tea before the drive down to the coastal village of Sougia,
by the Libyan sea. Arriving in Sougia, you can either enjoy the rest of the day relaxing by the clear waters and the waterfront cafes or you could take a hike to the hidden archaeological site of Lissos – a 90min walk each way and of medium difficulty.

Lissos has an incredibly peaceful atmosphere, and beside the betterknown Aesculap temple and Roman necropolis, there are also two chapels, with interesting frescoes. Should you not wish to hike both ways, and weather permitting, a short boat ride can be arranged for the transfer from Lissos back to Sougia.
Early evening return to Chania.

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SPINALONGA ISLET & MIRAMBELLO GULF - FULL DAY TOUR

This excursion journeys along the north-east coast and first visits the cosmopolitan resort of Elounda. Continuing to the village of Plaka, we will embark a traditional wooden fishing boat, and sail to the island of Spinalonga, fortified by the Venetians and used at the beginning of this century as a leper colony. We will walk around and explore the island and than sail around the gulf and to the beach of Kolokytha islet, for a nice
swim.

Having returned to Plaka, we will enjoy lunch at a waterfront taverna and then travel down to Agios Nikolaos, for a stroll around its charming center, with colorful cafes around the lake and with nice little shops.

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WESTERN CRETE

Follow the nortern paths of the Ida Mountain, offering a bird’s-eye view of the Coast. A visit to the Arkadi Monastery, where 300 freedom fighters and 664 women and children chose death over Turkish domination in 1866. Next, discover the beauties of the cities of Rethymnon and Chania, replete with picturesque harbours,
museums, Venetian monuments & Turkish mosques.

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Contact Details

KIVOTOS OF AEGEAN TRAVEL
Name: Nikolas Zafiriou or Maria Renieri
Tel: +30-22860-21470
Fax: +30-22860-21475
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kivotostravel.com/