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The Wonders of Ancient Crete

Group Tour | General Interest 8 Days & 7 Nights Lead-in price: £1595

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.

The Cox & Kings signature experiences

  • Beekeeping experience & honey tasting
  • Visits to the archaeological sites of Knossos & Eleftherna
  • Boat trip to the isle of Spinalonga, once home to a leper colony
  • Wine tasting with traditional Cretan lunch
  • 4- & 5-star accommodation throughout
  • Small group size - average 14 people (max 18)
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Superior Group Tour in brief

Day 1: Fly to Heraklion - Rethymno

Fly from London (regional connections available) to Heraklion with British Airways. Transfer to Theartemis Palace in Rethymno (or similar) for 3 nights. Welcome drink. (N)

Day 2: Aptera - Venizelos - Chania

Morning visit to the ancient site of Aptera. Continue to the town of Chania with its Venetian harbour. Also make a poignant visit to the Allied Cemetery, containing Second World War burials. (B)

Day 3 : Arkadi - Eleftherna - Rethymno

This morning, visit the fortified monastery of Arkadi. Near Eleftherna, visit the MAE museum with its impressive collection of artefacts from Greece, Cyprus and Egypt. Afterwards, visit a beekeeper for an introduction to beehives and their cultivation on Crete. Continue to Rethymno for a guided city walk. (B)

Day 4: Phaestos - Matala - Heraklion

Drive across the island to the Messara plain and visit Phaestos, the second Minoan palace. Continue to Matala, a pretty seaside town, and enjoy a swim or relax on the beach. Drive to Heraklion, stopping en route at the archaeological site of Gortys. Stay 4 nights at the Aquila Atlantis Hotel (or similar). (B)

Day 5: Knossos - Wine tasting

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.

Then drive into the Pediados region south of Heraklion, Crete’s most famous wine producing area. Visit a wine domaine for an introduction to Cretan wine, with tasting and a traditional lunch. Afternoon at leisure. (B, L)

Day 6: Kera - Spinalonga - Heraklion

Visit the Church of Panagia Kera to view the finest Byzantine frescoes in Crete. Continue to Elounda and take a boat to Spinalonga. 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 via the port town of Agios Nikolaos. (B)

Day 7: Heraklion

Morning at leisure to relax by the pool or explore Heraklion’s old town. Afternoon guided visit to the Heraklion Archaeological Museum with its collection of Minoan treasure. Farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B, D)

Day 8: Fly to London

Morning at leisure. Afternoon flight to London with British Airways. (B)

Meal basis: As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.


Tour & Santorini: 4 days & 3 nights from £925 The island of Santorini sits on the edge of a giant volcanic caldera that erupted some 3,600 years ago, tearing the existing island apart and leaving behind a large lagoon. Many of the island’s villages offer spectacular views of the caldera’s steep cliffs and the lagoon. The island is known for its striking sunsets and its unusual black and red beaches. Stay 3 nights at the El Greco Hotel, transfers included.

Tour & Mykonos: 4 days & 3 nights from £595 Mykonos is part of the Cyclades islands and is arguably one of the most beautiful islands in Greece. In addition to its superb beaches, other sites of interest include its iconic windmills, the district of Little Venice in Mykonos Town and the church of Panagia Paraportiani. Stay 3 nights at the Petasos Beach Hotel, transfers included.


Private & tailor-made travel: This itinerary can be taken privately on a date that suits you, for which guideline prices are shown. Alternatively, it can be tailored to your exact requirements.

Superior group tour accommodation

  • Theartemis Palace Hotel
    Theartemis Palace Hotel

    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, television.

  • Aquila Atlantis Hotel
    Aquila Atlantis Hotel

    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 evening.

Superior group tour extensions

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Dates & prices


Main Costs
Departure-Return date Original Price Saving Single Supplement Guaranteed Departures Click to Book
16 Sep 2022 - 23 Sep 2022 £1,595 £0 £245 Yes Reserve
7 Oct 2022 - 14 Oct 2022 £1,645 £0 £245 Yes Reserve

Vaccination Travel Policy
All clients must be fully vaccinated before travelling with us on a Cox & Kings (C&K) group tour. This means that a customer must have received their full two doses of the COVID‑19 vaccination at least 14 days before travelling with us. This does not apply to our private tours or tailor-made travel. If you have any questions please call us or visit our FAQs page on our website here

Flexible Prices & Itineraries
For a quote based on alternative accommodation standards or flight options, or to tailor this itinerary, please call 020 7873 5000 or send an email enquiry

Guaranteed Departures Where a tour date has ‘yes’ listed, this tour is guaranteed to run.

For all other departure dates, once the minimum number of people booked has been reached, this tour is also guaranteed to run. Our sales consultants will be able to advise how many people are booked for your chosen date at the time of enquiry, giving you the confidence to book safe in the knowledge your tour will go ahead.

Terms & Conditions Guaranteed departures will run except in the circumstances where travel to the destination is advised against by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or entry restrictions relating to COVID-19 preclude travel.

Additional Information

Please call 020 7873 5000 for more information or to make a booking.

Prices above are per person in pounds sterling (£), based on two people sharing a twin-room. The prices which were valid at the time of publication, may be subject to change, particularly as a result of variable flight costs. You will be informed of any such changes prior to booking.

  • * No single supplement on selected departure dates (limited availability)
  • * Small group size - average 14 people (max 18)
  • * 4- & 5-star accommodation
  • * Flexible - extensions, room & flight upgrades available
  • * Direct international flights with British Airways
  • * Transfers in air-conditioned vehicles
  • * Experienced local tour manager
  • * 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch & 1 dinner
  • * Guided sightseeing & entrance fees
  • * Welcome drink & farewell dinner

Destinations on this tour

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