As a strategic gateway to the eastern Mediterranean, Crete has been ruled by a number of great powers, from the Minoans, one of Europe’s first civilisations, to the Byzantine, Roman and Ottoman empires. This tour explores Crete’s scenic and cultural highlights, including the Palace of Knossos, an incomparable monument of ancient Minoan society.
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Fly from London (regional connections available) to Heraklion with easyJet. Transfer to the Hotel Theartemis Palace in Rethymno (or similar) for 3 nights. Welcome drink. (N)
Morning visit to Arkadi fortified monastery, celebrated due to the Cretan resistance that took place here against Ottoman rule. Continue to ancient Eleftherna village for a tour and a visit to its museum before returning to Rethymno for a guided walking tour, taking you past the facades of Venetian and Turkish buildings to the old port. (B)
This morning, visit the ancient site of Aptera and make a poignant visit to the second world war memorials. Continue to the Venizelos tombs and the port of Chania, with its Venetian harbour. Afternoon at leisure. (B)
Morning drive to the ancient Minoan Palace of Knossos, the 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. Continue to Crete’s capital, Heraklion. Afternoon visit to the Archaeological Museum, which contains an excellent collection of Minoan artefacts. View the Venetian harbour, Lions Square and city walls. Stay 4 nights at the Hotel Aquila Atlantis (or similar). (B)
Morning visit to the Church of Panagia Kera to view the finest Byzantine frescoes in Crete. Continue to Elounda and take a boat to Spinalonga island. Formerly a leper colony, the legacies of Greek, Ottoman, Byzantine and Venetian occupation over the centuries have left their imprint on this fortified island. Return to Heraklion for an afternoon at leisure. (B)
Morning visit to the Roman town of Gortys, home to the first Christian basilica. Continue to the Messara plain and visit the Minoan palace of Phaestos. Drive across the plain to the seaside town of Matala. Time at leisure for a swim in the Libyan Sea or lunch in a local tavern. (B)
Full day at leisure or optional tour to the nearby village of Tylissos, a small Minoan settlement located under high pine trees and with beautiful views of the vineyards and mountains, and the Cretan village of Arolithos to view traditional houses and art workshops. (B)
Morning at leisure. Afternoon flight to London with easyJet. (B)
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
This tour is based in 4- and 5-star accommodation.
For a price quote based on alternative accommodation standards, to discuss flight options or to tailor this itinerary, please call 020 3411 2135 or email Info@CoxandKings.co.uk.
The Hotel Aquila Atlantis is located less than 200 metres from the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion and just under 6km from the archaeological site of Knossos. The hotel's outdoor swimming pool has unobstructed views across Heraklion harbour. In the impressive atrium of the hotel you will find the main restaurant, elegantly decorated and an ideal place to enjoy fresh local dishes.
Features: 164 rooms & suites, restaurant, lounge bar, swimming pool, Wi-Fi.
Room amenities: Air conditioning, satellite television, coffee facilities, minibar.
Please note that gentlemen are kindly requested to respect hotel regulations and wear long trousers in all hotel areas during the...
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.
CRQ2018: 7 Nights