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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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Saving up to £100 on specific departures when booked by 28 Feb 19
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
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
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
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 to speak with a Cox & Kings consultant or
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
CRQ2019: 7 Nights