Your itinerary

Look forward to a thrilling tour of Crete – the sunshine island & home of the gods. Explore the many relics of Greek history such as the Palace of Phaistos, the ancient city of Aptera. Be enchanted too by the wonderful natural landscape around you: white mountains, the Lassithi plateau and stunning coastal stretches await you on Crete! Then relax with a week of five-star comfort right on the beach.

Day 1: Travel to Heraklion and transfer to the hotel

Welcome to the sunshine island of the gods! Our English-speaking guide will give us a warm welcome at the airport. A bus will take us directly to our dream hotel in the environs of Rethymnon where we will spend the first three nights.

Day 2: Arkadi Monastery, arch. museum Eleftherna & Lake Kournas

With the Arkadi Monastery (admission included) on today‘s schedule, we will be visiting the great national shrine of Crete. Afterwards, we will experience the exciting day-to-day life of different historical periods when we visit the archaeological museum (admission included) in Eleftherna. The tour continues onwards to Lake Kournas, which, in addition to being in a highly impressive setting, is Crete’s only natural freshwater lake. We will then arrive in the romantic Old Town of Rethymnon. The Venetian port there is among the most beautiful on Crete. You‘ll love it!

Day 3: Rethymnon

Today, you can explore the wonderful port town of Rethymnon again on your own. The Old Town invites you to spend a blissful afternoon wandering around its beautiful streets, little shops and pretty squares. The Venetian port, with its lighthouse and beach promenade, is also simply magical. The nearby city of Chania is also well worth a visit. The picturesque, small coastal city offers many attractions, such as the splendid port, the market hall, the Jewish quarter – Evraiki – and the Hassan Pasha Mosque.

Day 4: Matala & Palace of Phaistos

The tour continues onwards to the majestic south. Along the coast, we will stop in the village of Matala which in the 60s was known as a hippie paradise. Afterwards, we will visit a modern rug production business and admire this centuries-old craft. In the afternoon, we will behold the spectacular Minoan Palace of Phaistos (admission included) on a hill – once one of the biggest on Crete. An outstanding discovery here was the Phaistos Disc – an ancient, disc of fired clay stamped with puzzling symbols. We will spend the next four nights at our star-hotel in the environs of Heraklion.

Day 5: Palace of Knossos, arch. museum & Old Town of Heraklion

The absolute highlight of any trip to Crete is arguably a visit to the legendary Royal Palace of Knossos (admission included). We will marvel and colourful frescoes, artistic ceramics, mighty city walls and labyrinthine pathways. The approximately 1,300 rooms hark back to a time of true splendour. Afterwards, we will explore the capital, Heraklion, with its picturesque Old Town, magnificent port and fine promenade. We will see the Venetian fortress, the church of Agios Titos, the Venetian loggia and the central Platia Venizelou. We will then make a stop at Heraklion‘s archeological museum. Here, countless stunning Cretan cultural treasures await us. Crete‘s great tradition of craftsmanship then takes us to a jewellery and leather factory. When we’re there, we’ll find out some interesting things about manufacturing and will have the opportunity to select a personal holiday souvenir.

Day 6: Heraklion

The day today will give everyone lots of time for relaxation. Enjoy the amenities of your dream hotel, relax by the pool or take a stroll along the sandy beach. If the mood takes you, you can explore the surrounding area independently. Agios Nikolaos is also certainly worth a visit. Its peaceful alleys and taverns make it one of the Crete’s most beautiful coastal towns.

Day 7: Palace of Malia, Lassithi plateau & Kera Monastery

In the morning, we will head out to the famous Palace of Malia (admission included), one of the largest Minoan complexes on Crete. The palace was built as long ago as 1,900 BC and was destroyed by an earthquake between 1,750 and 1,700 BC. The ruins are therefore largely more than three and a half centuries old. Afterwards we will travel through the stunning mountains up to the fertile Lassithi plateau. It is topped by the summits of the Dikti mountains. The unique Kera Monastery (admission included) is located close by. It is still inhabited by nuns to this day and is one of Crete’s most important religious centres. During the trip, we will see typical villages and make some photo stops along the way – including the mountain village of Krasi with it is 2,000 year old sycamore tree.

Days 8 – 15: Extented holiday in an exclusive 5-star luxury hotel right on the beach

Relax over the next 8 days in your 5-star luxury hotel right on the beach! The comfortable rooms are luxurious and modern. Relax in the hotel‘s stunning spa area, omplete with sauna. Take time out down by the hotel‘s outdoor or indoor pool, or go for a leisurely stroll along the beach. On the 15th day, we will be transferred directly to the hotel for your return flight.


Package includes:

  • Return flights with a reputable airline3 to and from Heraklion, incl. hotel transfers
  • 7-day 5-star cultural tour of Crete
    – 7 nights in a double room in selected 4- and 5-star hotels (national category)
    – 7× tasty breakfast
    – Round trip in our modern, air-conditioned travel coach
    – A spectacular range of excursions and admissions (as per itinerary), including:
    • Arkadi Monastery
    • Arch. museum Eleftherna
    • Lake Kournas
    • Rethymnon
    • Matala
    • Palace of Phaistos
    • Palace of Knossos
    • Arch. museum Heraklion
    • Heraklion
    • Palace of Malia
    • Lassithi plateau
    • Kera Monastery
    • Krasi mountain village
  • 8 days of relaxation in a 5-star luxury hotel right on the beach
    – 7 nights in a standard double room in a 5-star luxury hotel (national category)
    – 7× tasty breakfast
    – Free use of hotel facilities: attractive outdoor pool, heated indoor pool and wonderful spa area, including sauna
  • Qualified, English-speaking cultural tour guide

3 e.g. charter flights with Aegean Airlines (best European Regional Airline 2014-2017 according to the Sky Trax World Airline Award)


On request, you can book our additional tours and services at special prices:

Gourmet package:

The package includes half-board, i.e. delicious buffet every evening with international specialties during the 7-day cultural tour: only £159 .

Single room surcharge £229 per person (subject to availability)

Including a spectacular range of excursions + admissions !

Our 4- and 5- star hotels for cultural trips !

Extended holiday: 8 days of relaxation in an exclusive 5-star luxury hotel !

Comparison of temperatures

 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Athen91010122125282825181510
London68911152021201915107

Greece:

Greece is a peninsula or island state in south-east Europe. Thanks to its Mediterranean climate, the weather can change significantly from season to season. Since 1974, the country has been governed by a parliamentary democracy with a single-chamber system and 300 MPs. The rug, jewellery and leather goods industries are distinctive parts of the Greek culture and in some cases have been so for centuries. This is why, as part of our tour, we will be visiting a jewellery studio, a leather shop and a traditional rug-making factory. Here you will learn lots of interesting information about the art of rugmaking and experience how hand-knotted carpets have been made for generations. As part of an interesting demonstration, you will learn more about how the silk threads are prepared, the natural colours of the wool and the delicate and very time-consuming process of knotting. You will then also have 1-2 hours in each of our craftsman’s studios to take a look at the works of art and products on display. Haggling is part of the country’s culture. If you are not interested in buying anything, the sellers also accept a clear no. Haggling is not acceptable in department stores and supermarkets. This also applies to markets at which local farmers sell their produce. In Greece, it is customary to give tips. Similar to the USA, this forms part of income for people working in the service sector. Moreover, it symbolises recognition for the service provided. One can tip chambermaids £0.90 per night. In a restaurant or taxi, tipping around 10% of the billed sum is customary. Tips are not given in shops. On group trips, the suggested tip for a tour guide could be £1.80 per person per day, while for bus drivers the appropriate tip is around £0.90 to £1.35 per day per person. Of course, everyone may decide for themselves whether and how much of a tip they wish to give.

Electricity:

220V alternating current, and 110V DC in some areas

Local time:

Greece is two hours ahead of UK time, all year round.

Making telephone calls:

The country code for Greece is 0030 with the zero cancelled before the area code. If you are calling the UK from Greece, please dial 0044 and the area code without the zero.

Entry requirements for British citizens:

Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you do not need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this. You don’t need a visa to enter Greece. As a British passport holder, you can stay as a visitor for 3 months. For longer stays, you will need to apply for a residence permit. Nationals of other countries are advised to inquire at the Greek Embassy about the entry requirements applicable to them. Whilst we endeavour to provide guidance where necessary, we can not be responsible for any problems encountered (whether at any point of entry or elsewhere) in the event that passport and visa requirements are not satisfied.
The UK has left the European Union. The rules on travel to EU countries will stay the same until 31 December 2020 while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements. For up-to-date information on entry requirements, please visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/.

Tour guides:

Your expert tour guides will be able to provide you with detailed information about the country, people, history culture, etc., and offer advice and assistance for organising your trip. They can also help with room allocation and look forward to welcoming you with initial information. Here you will find out all you need to know and useful information about the trip. We have put together a varied programme including numerous highlights, enabling you to experience the culture and diversity of landscape that Crete has to offer, and learn all about the country and its people.

Additional packages:

Although your trip already includes a comprehensive package, you also have the option of choosing added extras. We recommend booking the following packages:
Gourmet package: The package includes half-board, i.e. delicious buffet every evening with international specialties during the 7-day cultural trip.
Explorer package: The package includes the “Day trip to Agios Nikolaos“, “Evening visit to a Cretan taverna (not including food and drinks)“ and „Ancient Knossos and the archaelogical museum“ excursions.

Currency/Banks/Credit cards:

Greece is a member of the EU. The currency is the Euro. Exchange rate (as at November 2019): 1 GBP = 1.17 Euro; 1 Euro = 0.86 GBP.
Bank opening times are Monday – Thursday 08:00 – 14:00, Friday 08:00 – 13:30. In major cities opening hours are sometimes longer. Popular credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted almost everywhere. A debit card and PIN number can be used to withdraw cash from cash machines for a fee. Cards bearing the Cirrus or Maestro symbol are also accepted as means of payment.
Caution: When paying with debit or credit cards, we recommend vigilance against fraudsters who will secretly try to copy tourists‘ bank cards and spy out the associated PIN so that they can then withdraw cash from cash machines using a cloned card. Travellers are therefore advised when paying by card to always keep their card in sight and to conceal the PIN when entering it. Caution is advised when using debit and credit cards with a PIN in currency exchanges.

Customs regulations:

When travelling from non-EU countries, goods for personal use can be imported without problems. The following guidelines apply for alcohol and tobacco: 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250 g of tobacco. 1 litre of spirits with an alcohol content of more than 22% or 2 litres of spirits with an alcohol content of no more than 22%. Other customs regulations can be obtained from the embassy of your destination country. This is the only place from which to obtain legally correct and binding information. Information regarding customs regulations governing the import of goods into the UK can be obtained from the website of the UK Customs and Excise service at https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control.

Special criminal law provisions:

In Greece, the acquisition, possession and export of “cultural and natural goods” is severely punished since these are regarded as state property. Violations can mean several months of custody and high bails (currently around Euro 9,000) even for tourists, even if the antiquities or oldlooking objects are of apparently little monetary value. It is therefore expressly advised not to buy antiques, old coins, fossils, etc. from dealers or to take any such objects away from sites you may visit. The acquisition, possession, import or export of drugs (even in small quantities) is severely punished. Do not carry defence sprays with you either. Their possession and use is banned in Greece and is a prosecutable offence. Photographing military installations and important civilian facilities (airports / ports) is prohibited due to the risk of spying. Violations will be prosecuted. Further information can be found at: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece/local-laws-and-customs.

Medical information:

No vaccinations are required for entry into Greece. All travellers should ensure they have sufficient protection against tetanus and polio, however, as well as hepatitis if necessary. Anyone entitled to free healthcare in the UK is also entitled to treatment in Greece – if it is urgently required – from doctors, dentists, hospitals, and so on. You should get a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. After 31 December 2020, your UK-issued EHIC might not be valid.
Travellers with separate medical insurance should check their level of cover with their provider before they travel. The Foreign Office also recommends taking out medical insurance with repatriation cover. The customer must ensure that they are physically and mentally well enough to undertake their chosen trip. They should find out for themselves the physical mobility levels and mental capacity required for the trip in question. Customers should ensure that they are physically and psychologically fit for undertaking the selected trip and make the necessary queries concerning the level of physical and psychological fitness required. Please observe that the excursions are accessible by foot only and that the buses used for the roundtrip are not customised to transport wheelchairs or similar devices.

All information is subject to change/Last updated: July 2020

Enlarge: