Experience the culinary traditions of Crete

GENERAL INFO

Mountains rearing straight up from the sea, gorges, and valleys and yet more glorious mountains. There are few places in the world where high mountains so close to the sea combine with an often perfect climate. Crete’s rugged terrain is an adventurer’s paradise and in many respects the culmination of the Greek experience. Its natural beauty is equaled only by the richness of its history. The island after all is the birthplace of the first advanced society in European soil. Our trip starts in the bustling city of Heraklion and after visiting one of the most important archaeological sites of the Mediterranean, Knossos, we’ll drive towards the enchanting city of Rethymno, which will be our base for the next two days. Our trip will end in the picturesque city of Chania, probably the most charming of Crete.
This trip combines the sensual pleasures of Crete’s sublime cuisine, delicious wine, and Mediterranean sunshine with the physical pleasure of an active holiday walking through some of the most beautiful countryside in the world

DAILY ITINERARY

Heraklion is the fifth largest city of Greece. 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 and Heraklion province hosts some of the most fascinating Minoan sites in all of Crete.
Today we will meet at our hotel for an introductory talk and afterwards we will wander the streets and have our first dinner. Our dinner features delicious local ingredients and traditional Cretan dishes. Based on simple techniques, it’s the variety of local produce that distinguishes the dishes: mountain herbs and greens, bulbs, unique cheeses, fresh fish, and the famous Cretan oil.

Overnight in Heraklion in a 4* hotel
Dinner included

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.
From culture to cultivation we will head towards the wine country of Heraklion. Nestled in a picturesque landscape of rolling hills and verdant valleys, more than twenty wineries contribute to the rich winemaking tradition dating back to Minoan times. Our chosen stop is a family estate crafting exceptional wines since 1966, focusing on rare local varieties and single-variety productions. Here, we'll enjoy a guided tour through vineyards, cellar, and vine-museum, followed by the essential pleasure of tasting the local wines!

Overnight in Heraklion in a 4* hotel
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
Driving distance:
Heraklion to Knossos 5 km / 15 min
Knossos to Heraklion 5 km / 15 min

Today, grab your hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and comfortable shoes for an easy guided walk in an organic olive field with more than 2 centuries old olive trees. You will see that they are farmed with respect and care to preserve the natural flavors, aromas, and polyphenols.
How does the farming impact these flavors and healthy benefits? What are the challenges we face in organic farming? How and when do we harvest the olives? These are just some of the topics, the Master Miller, will be discussing with you. After lunch in the nearby village of Archanes, we will drive towards the Mediterranean pearl, city of Rethymnon. In the afternoon we will have time to explore the labyrinthine lanes of the historic quarter, which still preserves much of its Venetian and Turkish appearance.

Overnight in Rethymnon in a boutique hotel
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
Driving distance:
Heraklion to Archanes 16 km / 17 min
Archanes to Rethymnon 91 km / 1 hr 30 min

In the morning we will drive towards Arkadi Monastery, the most celebrated of Crete’s numerous monasteries which has a fine Venetian church and it is an emblem of the island’s struggle for independence. We will continue towards, Ancient Eleftherna, a Dorian built settlement, which lies in the foothills of Psiloritis, the highest mountain of Crete. We start our hike from the ancient Acropolis of the town, 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.

Overnight in Rethymnon in a boutique hotel
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
Hiking distance: 4,4 km / Hiking Duration: 2 hr
Elevation gain & loss: 223 m & 308 m
Driving distance:
Rethymnon to Ancient Eleftherna 30 km / 45 min
Margarites to Rethymnon 30 km / 40 min

Today we will drive toward the quaint village of Vamos for a cooking class which takes place in an old olive press dating from 1846 with Venetian arches and large millstones in the centre. This unique setting will enliven your "journey" into the aromas and tastes of traditional Cretan Cuisine.  Of course, we will eat what we have cooked!
Early in the afternoon we will drive to Chania, Crete’s most beautiful town. It’s perfect setting with the White Mountains as background, lively harbor, historical remains, busy market, and nearby beaches make it the ideal spot. The winding old streets conceal charming boutique hotels and some of the island’s best dining options.

Overnight in Chania in a boutique hotel
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
Driving distance:
Rethymnon to Vamos 30 km / 45 min
Vamos to Chania 30 km / 45 min

Today we will head towards Imbros gorge at the south side of the island, driving by the rugged interior, which is largely untouched by mass tourism. A dreamy mosaic of sleepy villages and fertile valleys, dotted with Byzantine churches.
The pine tree-lined Imbros gorge was part of the route that linked the city of Chania with the Chora Sfakion village. Here, you’ll set off on your three-hour hike, following footpaths through wildflower meadows. Keep watch for Crete’s ‘kri-kri’ wild goats as you go. And reach for your camera at the most spectacular section, where everything narrows into a 2-meter passageway twisting steep, 300-foot walls.

Overnight in Chania in a boutique hotel
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included 
Hiking distance: 6 km / Hiking Duration: 3 hr
Elevation gain & loss: 75 m & 700 m
Driving distance:
Chania to Entrance of the gorge 53 km / 1 hr
Exit of the gorge to Chania 66 km / 1 hr 20 min

Today we will hop on a 4WD and drive towards Balos lagoon, one of Chania’s most prized gems which 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. Renowned for its untamed natural beauty, it stands proudly among the most beautiful beaches in the country. Take some time to relax and soak it all in before saying goodbye to this coastal paradise.
In the evening, you'll be free to delve deeper into the Venetian city, exploring its enchanting streets and the numerous local designer shops. Later, we'll reunite for our farewell dinner, a perfect culmination of our time together!

Overnight in Chania in a boutique hotel
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
Hiking distance: 2,4 km / Hiking Duration: 2 hr
Elevation gain & loss: 160 m & 160 m

Driving distance:
Chania to Balos 50 km / 1 hr 30 min
Balos to Chania 50 km / 1 hr 30 min

Breakfast is at your leisure at the hotel and following that, your Tripin Adventures trip in Greece concludes. Transfer independently from our accommodations in Chania to one of the international airports of the island for return flights home or continue your explorations of this marvelous region of Greece.

Breakfast included

WHAT'S INCLUDED

PRICE INCLUDES

  • All accommodations 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 and the Archaeological museum of Heraklion
  • Tourist guide for the Archaeological site of Knossos and the Archaeological museum of Heraklion
  • 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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