Crete-Santorini

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Trip Highlights
Tour details
Itinerary
What's Included
Itinerary Changes
Terrain
Condition Grading
Accommodation
Starting point and getting there
Food, Weather
Gear checklist
Currency & Banking
Passports, Visas

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.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Marvel at treasures of ancient worlds in the archaeological museum of Heraklion and palace of Knossos
  • Trek from the start of Aradena gorge, all the way down to the Libyan Sea
  • 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

TOUR DETAILS

  • Dates: April 29-May 7, May 13-May 21, June 3- June 11, September 2-September 10, September 16-September 24
  • Days/Nights: 9 days / 8 nights
  • Price: Contact us for price
  • Single supplement: Cost based on request. Availability limited.
  • Condition grading: Moderate

ITINERARY

DAY 1

Arrival in Heraklion and welcome dinner

Located in the center of the island, the sprawling city of Heraklion is home to a magnificent archaeological museum and lies just few kilometres from Knossos, the greatest of the Minoan palaces. You will find other reminders of history all over Crete, but the best known are mostly here, near the heart of the island. 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 Heraklion, Lato hotel (D)

DAY 2

Archaeological museum, the palace of Knossos and a winery tour

You will start your day visiting the Archaeological museum of Heraklion, with the finest collection of Minoan artifacts in the world, and a brand new setting to do them justice. It’s a great introduction to Crete’s biggest attraction, the 3500-year-old Minoan palace of Knossos, a sprawling maze of royal chambers, grand staircases, storerooms, and workshops. After lunch we will head towards the wine country of Heraklion. Locals claim, with some justification, that wine has been being made in the area for four thousand years, probably using grape varieties not far removed from the ones that you are going to try today. Our day ends at the city of Rethymnon, the island’s intellectual and cultural capital, which is going to be our base for the next days.

Overnight in Rethymno, Pepi Studios (B,L,D)
Driving distance:
Heraklion to Knossos 5km / 15min
Knossos to Winery 15km / 25min
Winery to Rethymnon 100km / 2hours

DAY 3

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, Pepi Studios (B,L,D)
Hiking distance: 8km / Hiking Duration: 3 hours
Driving distance:
Rethymnon to Ancient Eleftherna 30km / 45min
Margarites to Rethymnon 30km / 40min

DAY 4

Hike Aradena gorge

In the southern slopes of White Mountains there is one of the most fascinating gorges in Crete. Aradena gorge is not as famous as Samaria gorge but is in physical terms as impressive and much less crowded. Moreover, the hike itself is challenging and the sense of achievement is immense. We start from the abandon village of Aradena and we descend all the way down to the Libyan sea with the beach of Marmara at the end as a reward. After lunch we will take the coastal path towards Loutro and we will enjoy awe-inspiring views of the dramatic, rocky seascape while breathing in the fresh, salty air of remote and unspoiled beaches.

Overnight in Rethymnon, Pepi Studios (B,L,D)
Hiking distance: 12km / Hiking Duration: 5 hours
Driving distance:
Rethymnon to Entrance of the gorge 80km / 2 hours
Chora Sfakion to Rethymnon 65km / 1h 30min

DAY 5

Cooking class and Chania Visit

One of the delights of travelling through Crete is food. The local cuisine has its own distinct identity within Greek cooking and great claims are made for the Cretan diet. After breakfast we will drive toward the quaint village of Vamos for a cooking class which takes place in an old olive press dating from 1846. In a unique setting we will take a ride on a "journey" into the aromas and tastes of traditional Cretan Cuisine. Early in the afternoon, we will drive to Chania. Littered with remnant from its Turkish and Venetian past and bustling with harbor-side life, Chania is one of the most beautiful towns of Crete. Take a walking tour and enjoy our guide’s insight on the history of the area

Overnight in Rethymnon, Pepi Studios (B,L,D)
Hiking distance: 7km / Hiking Duration: 3h 30min
Driving distance:
Rethymnon to Vamos 33km / 40min
Vamos to Chania 30km / 50min
Chania to Rethymnon 60km / 1h 10min

DAY 6

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, located next to the sea, on the famous black beach of Kamari 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 Kamari, Thalassa Hotel (B,L,D)
Hiking distance: 10km / Hiking Duration: 4 hours
Driving distance:
Santorini port to Kamari 9km / 30min
Kamari to Fira 7km / 15min
Oia to Kamari 18km / 30min

DAY 7

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. Finishing the walk 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 Kamari, Thalassa Hotel (B,L,D)
Hiking distance: 8km / Hiking Duration: 3 hours
Driving distance:
Kamari to Akrotiri 12km / 15min
Akrotiri to Kayak base 5km / 15min
Kayak base to Kamari 17km / 30min

DAY 8

Hike from Pyrgos to Kamari and Ancient Thira visit

Medieval Santorini comes to life in the lovely village of Pyrgos, which used to be the capital of the island. Here Cycladic houses blend harmoniously with the Venetian manors and the few remaining old stores. This will be the start of our hike, which takes us to the highest point of Santorini, and from there to the ruins of Ancient Thira, located on a headland between the two popular beaches of Kamari and Perissa with dramatic cliffs plunging into the blue waters of the Mediterranean. The change of scenery will make you feel like you are on a mountain, and you will fully experience the diversity and beauty of this amazing island. After visiting the site, we finish our hike in Kamari village and our hotel. We will have time to rest before heading to Fira for the farewell dinner in a restaurant overlooking the Caldera.

Overnight in Kamari, Thalassa Hotel (B,L,D)
Hiking distance: 8km / Hiking Duration: 3 hours
Driving distnace:
Kamari to Pyrgos 5km / 15min
Kamari to Fira 7km / 15min
Fira to Kamari 7km / 15min

DAY 9

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.

(B)

WHATS 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

Included meals:
Breakfast, lunches and dinners as indicated in the itinerary, snacks during activities.

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
Αnything not mentioned in above program

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.

TERRAIN

This trip level is Moderate and is suitable for most people that are in fairly good physical condition. Although the daily distances are not that far, it has been rated moderate as there are quite significant elevation gains and losses. The itinerary includes walking tours in cities and villages, and five days with moderate hikes of 1-5 hours. Although the paths are quite well-kept the terrain often tends to be very stony and rocky. You will mostly be walking on footpaths, mountain trails and on some tarmac roads and be prepared for few steeper passages.

CONDITION GRADING

Moderate
Trips designated “Moderate” are more active and require a bit more endurance. Hikes and treks includes occasional steep ascents. Trip members should be experienced hikers in good physical condition, capable of walking 3-5 hours

STARTING POINT AND GETTING THERE

Starting point is: Heraklion.

Getting There & Away:Crete biggest airport is about 5km east of the city center. There are many flights that connect Heraklion airport with Athens. Moreover there are many direct flights from various cities in Europe. Heraklion ferry port is located 500m east of the city center and is connected with major ports in Greece including Piraeus (Athens port), Mykonos and Santorini.

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. From the port you could take a taxi to your hotel or even walk for about 25 minutes.

FOOD

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.

WEATHER

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.

GEAR CHECKLIST

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.

OFFICIAL PAPERS

  • Valid passport
  • Airline tickets

LUGGAGE

  • Duffel bag or rolling luggage
  • Daypack to carry camera, water bottle and snacks etc.
  • Luggage locks and tags

OUTERWEAR

  • Midweight polar fleece sweater
  • Rain jacket and rain pants, or poncho

CLOTHING

  • Hiking shorts
  • Casual clothing made of light-weight fabrics
  • T-shirts
  • Long-sleeve shirt
  • Hiking pants, loose and easy to move in
  • Underwear
  • Swimsuit

CLOTHING ACCESSORIES

  • Sun hat or baseball cap

FOOTWEAR

  • Lightweight and supportive hiking boots, broken-in with good ankle support
  • Beach sandals
  • Casual, comfortable shoes for evening

ACCESSORIES

  • Sunscreen and lip protection
  • Sunglasses and retainer strap
  • Beach towel

OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES

  • Security pouch or money belt
  • Trekking poles or walking staff
  • Camera, memory and batteries
  • Reading and writing materials
  • Watch with alarm or travel alarm
  • Travel pillow
  • 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.

PASSPORTS

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.

VISAS

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

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