Whether you've seen them in the movies or simply heard a friend speak about them after returning from holiday, the Greek islands are likely to have flirted with your imagination. With so many gorgeous islands scattered throughout Aegean Sea, you may feel like a kid in a candy shop, unable to choose which ones to try. This trip combines probably the two most beautiful: The spectacular Crete and the precious gem of the Aegean, Santorini.
Your trip starts in Crete. Placed midway between Africa and Europe, Crete is a world unto itself. Landscape and history have collaborated to make it one of the most evocative and multi-faceted of the Greek islands, with a rich tapestry of canyons, mountains and, of course, blissful beaches.
Afterwards we take the ferry to the world-famous destination of Santorini. It is dramatic and unique, formed from the remains of a volcanic crater and even the most jaded traveler succumbs to the spectacle of this surreal landscape. During the days that will follow, we will explore the island from one end to the other.
Marvel at treasures of ancient worlds in the archaeological museum of Heraklion and palace of Knossos
Trek Imbros gorge, all the way down to the Libyan Sea, with only two meters wide at one point
Hike through whitewashed villages, while enjoying breathtaking views to the caldera and the volcano
Kayak by the dramatic white and red cliffs of the south-west coast of Santorini
Dates: September 7 - September 14
Days/Nights: 8 days / 7 nights
Price: Contact us for price
Single supplement: Cost based on request. Availability limited.
Condition grading: Easy Active
Arrival in Chania and welcome dinner
Chania is our favorite town in Crete and we believe that you will love them as we much as we do. It’s perfect setting with the White Mountains as a background, lively harbor, historical remains from its Turkish and Venetian past, busy market, and nearby beaches make it the ideal spot,
In the afternoon we will meet at our hotel and after a brief orientation meeting, we’ll set off to explore the old part of this lively city. To conclude the night, we will have our first dinner together in a traditional Cretan restaurant while getting to know each other in eager anticipation of our adventure.
Overnight in Chania, Hotel Off (D)
Hike Imbros Gorge and visit Frangokastello
To go to Crete without entering a gorge would be a missed opportunity for an incredible experience, and at the southern slopes of White Mountains there is one of the most fascinating.
The pine tree-lined Imbros gorge, is not as famous as Samaria but is in physical terms as impressive and much less crowded. Enjoy this wonderfully quiet walk, narrow and stiflingly confined in places, speckled with caves in others and at one point passing under a monumental natural stone archway. At the end of the gorge we will hop in our bus for a short ride to Frangokastello, a striking 14th century Venetian fortress on a fine stretch of a beach. Here we can wash off the gorge’s dust and enjoy our lunch overlooking the Libyan sea.
Overnight in Chania, Hotel Off (B,L,D)
Hiking distance: 8km / Hiking Duration: 3 hours
Chania to Entrance of the gorge 53 km / 1 hour
Exit of the gorge to Chania 67 km / 1h 30min
Swim at Balos and cooking lesson
Balos lagoun is one of Chania’s most prized gems and cannot be missed. It is an exotic sandy beach of turquoise waters with a unique geomorphological shape located on the northwest side of the prefecture. It is known for its wild natural beauty and it’s among the most beautiful beaches of the country.
One of the delights of travelling through Crete is food, so in the afternoon we will drive in a 300-year-old olive grove 5 kilometres from the city of Chania where we going to participate in a hands-on cooking lesson. This cooking class covers the culinary legacy of the ancient Greeks, offering seductive interpretations of the diet of the Classical world, from the banquets of the rich to the simpler meals of soldiers, farmers, and slaves. Using ancient Greek writings and archaeological research data as inspiration, you’ll learn how to reproduce ancient Greek recipes in both modern kitchens and according to experimental archaeology.
Overnight in Chania, Hotel Off (B,L,D)
Chania to Balos 50 km / 1 hour
Balos to Chania 50 km / 1hour
Ancient Eleftherna hike and pottery visit
Ancient Eleftherna, a Dorian built settlement, lies in the foothills of Psiloritis, the highest mountain of Crete. The Archaeological Institute of America included Eleftherna archaeological site in its top discoveries of 2009. We start our hike from the ancient Acropolis, and on our way we will pass the remarkable Roman cisterns, which are carved into the hill’s west side, the Necropolis and a 3rd century BC ancient bridge.
Our hike finishes in the tiny village of Margarites, known for its pottery. Learn about the traditional techniques from a local potter who derives inspiration for his ceramics from Minoan and Byzantine originals.
In the afternoon we will have time to explore the labyrinthine lanes of the historic quarter of Rethymnon which still preserves much of its Venetian and Ottoman appearance.
Overnight in Rethymnon, Avli Lounge Apartments (B,L,D)
Hiking distance: 8km / Hiking Duration: 3 hours
Chania to Ancient Eleftherna 90km / 1h 30min
Margarites to Rethymnon 30km / 40min
Archaeological museum, the palace of Knossos and walking tour in Heraklion
Crete’s natural beauty is equaled only by the richness of its history. Once here, grab the opportunity to start your day visiting the Archaeological museum of Heraklion. The museum houses the most important collection of Minoan art in the world. It’s a great introduction to our visit in Knossos, Crete’s must-see historical attraction, which will follow. The Minoans were ruling big parts of the Aegean from their palace in Knossos some 4000 years ago, giving the area a great strategic and cultural importance.
In the afternoon we will do a walking tour in Heraklion, and in order to experience it you have to penetrate the modern façade of the city and you will discover its attractive features. After all, it is the birthplace of El Greco and Nikos Kazantzakis.
Overnight in Heraklion, Olive Green hotel (B,L,D)
Rethymnon to Κnossos 85 km / 1h 15min
Knossos to Heraklion 8 km / 15min
Ferry to Santorini and hike from Fira to Oia
Today we will catch the morning ferry to Santorini which was the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions of all time. Here everything is brighter: the whitewashed cube-shaped houses, the lapis lazuli sea and the sunsets that light up the caldera.
After settling in our hotel, we will be transferred to the modern capital of the island, Fira. From there, we will hike towards picturesque Oia, the most beautiful village of the island if not the whole Aegean Sea. The cobblestone trail follows the rim of the Caldera, taking you away from the crowds, permitting you to admire the power of the natural forces that shaped this amazing environment.
Overnight in Oia, Aperanto Suites (B,L,D)
Hiking distance: 10km / Hiking Duration: 4 hours
Santorini Port to Oia 15km / 40min
Oia to Fira 11km / 20min
Crete to Santorini 8:40-10:35
Akrotiri archaeological site visit and sea kayaking
Dorians, Venetians, and Turks occupied Santorini, but its most influential early inhabitants were Minoans. They came from Crete sometime between 2000 BC and 1600 BC and the settlement of Akrotiri, dubbed as the Greek Pompeii, dates from the peak years of their civilization. Alongside with a guide you will have the opportunity to walk along the streets and squares of the city, which was buried in volcanic ash after the eruption of the volcano and frozen in time.
After the tour, it is time for kayaking. We will explore the south side of the island as few people do. Seeing Santorini from the sea level is a real treat, plus paddling gives your upper body a bit of exercise. We will paddle by the Red and White beach with stops on the way for swimming and snorkeling.
Overnight in Oia, Aperanto Suites (B,L,D)
Sea kayaking duration: 2 hours
Oia to Akrotiri 22km / 40min
Akrotiri to Oia 22km / 40min
Say farewell to Greece or continue on your own
Breakfast is at your leisure at the hotel and following that, your Tripin Adventures trip in Greece concludes. Transfer independently from our accommodations in Santorini to the international airport of the island for return flights home or continue your explorations of this marvelous region of Greece.
Price includes: All accommodations as listed (or similar) based on double occupancy
Hotel taxes and service charges
All transportation during the trip
All activities mentioned in the program
Entrance fees for the Archaeological site of Knossos, the Archeological museum of Heraklion and Akrotiri Archaeological site
Tourist guide for the Archaeological site of Knossos, the Archeological museum of Heraklion and Akrotiri Archaeological site
Services of a guide throughout the tour
Transport and handling of one reasonably sized suitcase and one carry-on per person
Included meals: Breakfast, lunches and dinners as indicated in the itinerary, snacks during activities.
Not Included: Domestic and/or international air fare
Travel or emergency evacuation insurance
Gratuities for leader/guide or driver
Alcoholic beverages and meals other than outlined in itinerary
Visas if needed
Transfer to and from the airport/port
Other items of a personal nature
Anything not mentioned in above program
We are constantly updating our unique itineraries based on new information and experiences available. The walks, accommodations, and visits listed may be adjusted. The itineraries presented are subject to modification and change by Tripin Adventures. We reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in our judgment, conditions warrant, or if we deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of participants, anything not mentioned in above program.
This trip level is Easy active and is suitable for most people that are in fairly good physical condition. The itinerary includes walking tours in cities and villages, and three days with hikes of 3-4 hours, including one sea-kayaking day with no previous experience needed.
Although the paths are quite well-kept the terrain often tends to be very stony and rocky, during the gorge-walking. You will mostly be walking on footpaths, mountain trails and on some tarmac roads.
Trips designated "Easy Active" are perfect for first-timers, or travelers looking for a mild physical challenge. A typical day will consist of 1-3 hours of activity.
Getting There & Away:Chania airport is about 14km from city center. There are many flights that connect it airport with Athens. Moreover,there are many direct flights from various cities in Europe. Santorini airport I located 6m from the main town of Fira. There are many flights that connect it airport with Athens. Moreover, there are many direct flights from various cities in Europe
Getting around: We can arrange for a transfer from the airport or the port to your hotel. If you want to come by yourself there is a bus line connecting the airport to the center of the town and there is also the option of the taxi.
Simple, nutritious and flavorsome, the food is one of the pleasures of travel through Greece. Rustic Greek Cuisine reflects the history and bounty of its diverse regions and relies in the fresh, seasonal home-grown produce and generally simple, unfussy cooking that brings out the rich flavors of the Mediterranean.
Greece's relaxed and hospitable dinning culture makes it easy to get into the local spirit. Greeks love to eat out and share impossibly big meals family style. Given the long summers and mild winters, alfresco dining is central to the dining experience. Service could be slow by Western standards, but why being in rush either way.
As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own. Note that alcohol and soda are not included.
Spring, summer and fall in Greece are sunny and warm. The daytime temperatures average 25-30 C though temperatures in the 35s are possible in the summer months. Nighttime temperatures cool off slightly to 20 C. Rain showers are rare in the islands, but it's often breezy and rainy on the coast.
Greece has a temperate climate. Base your clothing on the "layering system", if it is hot you can "peel off" layers quickly, if it is cooler and windy you can quickly "dress up". The lighter you travel, the easier you travel. Use your best judgement and pack as lightly as possible. You will appreciate light luggage towards the end of your trip.
Please consider taking along the following items on your trip.
Duffel bag or rolling luggage
Daypack to carry camera, water bottle and snacks etc.
Luggage locks and tags
Midweight polar fleece sweater
Rain jacket and rain pants, or poncho
Casual clothing made of light-weight fabrics
Hiking pants, loose and easy to move in
Sun hat or baseball cap
Lightweight and supportive hiking boots, broken-in with good ankle support
Casual, comfortable shoes for evening
Sunscreen and lip protection
Sunglasses and retainer strap
Security pouch or money belt
Trekking poles or walking staff
Camera, memory and batteries
Reading and writing materials
Watch with alarm or travel alarm
Motion sickness remedies
Personal first-aid kit
Insect repellent (lowrisk)
Electric adapter plug/converter
This is not a fixed list, but more of a guideline, so feel free to add and remove items as you see fit.
CURRENCY & BANKING
Greece has adopted the Euro as its currency. The easiest way to obtain local cash is from an ATM. Greek ATMs accept cards bearing the Cirrus, EC, Euro card, Visa and Plus symbols. If you take cash, US or Canadian Dollars can be easily exchanged at banks. Most major credit cards, Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted.
It is advisable to have some Euros with you upon arrival to be used for a taxi if necessary.
You may want to check the website www.xe.com for current exchange rates.
You must have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the conclusion of your trip. Please make sure that you have blank pages in your passport for your visa (if required), entry and exit stamps (one for each). Please make a copy to take with you in the event yours is lost or stolen and keep it separate from your actual passport.
Currently a Greek Tourist Visa is not required for citizens of Canada, United States, Britain and Australia. If you hold another passport, please check online http://visacentral.com/visas.php