The island of Crete was the homeland of
the Minoan civilisation 4,000 years ago.
The Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Venetians
and Ottomans all left behind their legacy
as well. The rich cultural blend that is
Crete today mirrors these past influences.
Visit Bronze Age palaces, classical
cities, monasteries and medieval forts,
complemented by dramatic mountain
ranges, scenic coastlines and delicious
local cuisine, accompanied by experts Dr
Konstantine Politis or Dr George Manginis.
View special offer below
View more climate information & imperial units
Morning flight from London (regional
connections available) to Heraklion with British
Airways and transfer to the hotel. After an
introductory lecture and welcome dinner, stay 4
nights at Aquila Atlantis Hotel. (D)
Drive east to the Mirabello Gulf and visit the
Minoan town of Gournia. Exclusive visit to
the Instap study centre, founded by
archaeologist Harriet Boyd who discovered
the town in 1901. A local archaeologist (subject
to availability) will show us the finds before
visiting the site. Continue to Elounda for a boat
ride to Spinalonga island and take a walking
tour of this forbidding islet, formerly a leper
Morning visit to the Archaeological Museum
to see the collection of Minoan items, followed
by a walking tour of Crete’s capital, Heraklion.
In the afternoon, visit the Historical Museum.
Return to Heraklion and and visit the Museum
of Visual Arts. (B, D)
Visit the ancient Minoan palace of Knossos,
centre of Europe’s first civilisation. According
to myth, it was home to King Minos and site of
the legend of Theseus slaying the Minotaur in
the labyrinth. Its history dates back more than
4,000 years. Visit Villa Ariadne, the mansion
built by a British archaeologist at the beginning
of the 20th century and later used by occupying
German forces in the second world war. Drive
along the Venetian aqueduct to the area where
General Kreipe was kidnapped by Patrick Leigh
Fermor in 1944. (B)
Visit the Roman capital Gortys with its law
stones and amphitheatre. Saint Paul preached
here in the first Christian church. Visit the
Minoan palace of Phaestos, magnificently
situated above the fertile Messara plain, and
Ida mountain. After a break in seaside Matala,
continue to Rethymno and stay at Kyma Beach
Hotel for 4 nights. (B, D)
Drive south to visit Armenoi, an interesting
Mycenaean cemetery. Continue to see the
rebuilt convent of Agia Irini. After a private
guided tour by the nuns and a possible
demonstration of icon painting or weaving,
lunch will be served in the convent (subject to
confirmation). Return to Rethymno for a walk
through the charming old quarter to see the
Venetian harbour, narrow streets and squares
with Venetian and Ottoman architecture.
Sample Cretan mountain herbal tea and cookies, and see bakers making traditional
pastries (subject to availability). (B, L)
Drive to Souda for a poignant visit to the
second world war cemetery and view of
Chania. Visit the Venizelos tombs and the
city of Chania, with its Maritime Museum,
Venetian harbour, synagogue and mosque,
now converted into a gallery. Take a walking
tour of the old city centre with some time at
leisure to explore. (B)
Scenic drive to the village of Eleftherna to see
the archaeological site of the ancient city and
a state-of-the-art museum. Visit Arkadi
monastery, famous for its resistance against
the Ottoman occupation. Continue to the
village of Margarites, known for its pottery
workshops. See a local potter at work and learn
the history of Cretan ceramics. Farewell dinner
in a taverna. (B, D)
Return transfer to Heraklion airport and fly back
to London. (B)
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast,
L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
A collection of expert accompanied
tours focusing on creativity
in its many forms. No prior knowledge of the
subject matter is required.
This tour is based in 4-star accommodation.
This tour involves some long
walks over uneven ground and therefore
requires a good level of fitness.
Please note that the exclusive
and individual nature of private visits means
that they are subject to confirmation nearer
the time of departure. Also churches, private
houses and other buildings often have fluid
opening times. If any visits have to be rearranged,
please be assured that we will seek
alternatives of equal interest.
Dr Konstantine Politis
is a Greek archaeologist
and published scholar with
knowledge of an extensive
period from prehistory to
the medieval period in the
Capsis Astoria Hotel is located in the heart of Heraklion town next to the Archaeological Museum. Guestrooms are decorated with black and white photographs depicting the history of Heraklion. The swimming pool (open from May to October) is located on the sixth floor of the hotel with panoramic views over the city.
Features: 31 rooms, rooftop swimming pool, sun terrace, restaurant, bar.
Room amenities: Air conditioning, television, safety deposit box, minibar, hairdryer, complimentary...
Hotel Theartemis Palace is located a short walk from the historic centre and sandy beach of Rethymno. Guestrooms are elegant and comfortable and public areas are furnished with antiques.
Features: 245 rooms, outdoor pool, hot tub/jacuzzi, fitness centre, bar, restaurant, complimentary Wi-Fi.
Room amenities: Balcony, air conditioning, heating, hairdryer, desk, safe, telephone, minibar,...
Regional air connections are available from within the UK. Please contact your travel consultant for current prices from your nearest city.
We can also arrange flights from overseas, simply give us a call to find out more.
If you choose to take the tour without flights arranged through Cox & Kings, please contact one of our travel consultants prior to booking the flights to ensure that you are aware of the tour timings and all the implications of not booking through us. We strongly advise you not to book flights independently of Cox & Kings if significant charges would apply in case of cancellation.
Flight details may be subject to change prior to departure.
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
GMC2018: 8 Nights