Aegean gems
CRETE & SANTORINI

GENERAL INFO

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.

DAILY ITINERARY

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)

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
Driving distance:
Chania to Entrance of the gorge 53 km / 1 hour
Exit of the gorge to Chania 67 km / 1h 30min

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)
Driving distance:

Chania to Balos 50 km / 1 hour
Balos to Chania 50 km / 1hour

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
Driving distance:

Chania to Ancient Eleftherna 90km / 1h 30min
Margarites to Rethymnon 30km / 40min

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)
Driving distance:

Rethymnon to Κnossos 85 km / 1h 15min
Knossos to Heraklion 8 km / 15min

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
Driving distance:
Santorini Port to Oia 15km / 40min
Oia to Fira 11km / 20min
Ferry:
Crete to Santorini 8:40-10:35

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
Driving distance: 
Oia to Akrotiri 22km / 40min
Akrotiri to Oia 22km / 40min

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.

(B)

WHAT'S INCLUDED

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
  • Ferry tickets
  • 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

NOT INCLUDED

  • Domestic and/or international air fare
  • Medical expenses
  • 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

INCLUDED MEALS

  • Breakfast
  • Lunches and dinners as indicated in the itinerary
  • Snacks during activities

ITINERARY CHANGES

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.

TRIP NOTES

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Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included
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