Your holiday summary
|Price range||From £1035|
|Travel partner||Travel Editions|
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Minoan Crete & Stunning Santorini
This ancient history is a prominent focus of our tour but the island has seen numerous invaders in its long history so we will also discover some more recent historic periods, particularly the Byzantine and Venetian eras, which led to two of the islands most beautiful towns, Chania in the west and, our base for the week, Rethymnon, both of which are situated right next to the sea. We also visit the spectacular island of Santorini, where a volcanic eruption is believed to have contributed greatly to the demise of the Minoan Civilisation in Crete some 3600 years ago.
Our visits include the two most prominent of the Minoan Palaces found on Crete, Knossos and Phaestos, and the late Minoan Cemetery of Armeni. We will explore on foot the exceptionally charming towns of Rethymnon and Chania, where narrow cobbled lanes, lined with quaint and beautifully preserved Turkish, Venetian & Byzantine buildings, enticing tavernas, cafes and small shops, meander picturesquely behind glorious harbours. We spend time at the Roman and Hellenistic site of Aptera, a sprawling site in a beautiful rural location, which houses some exceptionally well-preserved Roman water cisterns. And, of course, we visit, by boat, ‘stunning Santorini’, one of the most spectacular islands in Greece, with its white-washed houses, string of picturesque villages and stunning views!
As the largest of the Greek islands Crete is too big to be able to do justice to its wealth of fascinating sites and places of interest in one once so we have arranged two tours, this fantastic tour of Minoan Crete which focuses on the central and west of the island, and our Hidden Gems of Eastern Crete tour, which focuses completly on the east of the island and encompasses a diverse range of spectacular sites and stunning scenery.
- Return charter flights from Gatwick to Heraklion including all payable taxes.
- 7 nights' accommodation in standard room on bed and buffet breakfast basis at 4-star Bio Suites Hotel in Rethymnon.
- Transfers and excursions as detailed
- Welcome dinner on first night
- Entrance fees
- Tour manager and local guide throughout
- Single room supplement
- Holiday insurance
- Regional flight supplement - regional flights are available from a number of UK airports including Manchester, Leeds Bradford, East Midlands, Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow and Bristol. These are subject to availability and supplement. Please contact us for a quote.
- Meals other than those stated
- Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc
- Porterage and gratuities.
Day 2: Half day guided walking tour of the 'old city' of Rethymnon. Free time in the afternoon with the opportunity to visit some of Rethymnons museums and its ancient fort or to enjoy a leisurely lunch and a swim!
Day 3: Full day tour to the Minoan cemetery of Armeni and the palace of Phaestos; the second in importance of Crete's four Minoan palaces.
Day 4: Full day visit by boat to the spectacular volcanic island of Santorini with lunch included and visits to Akrotiri and Oia.
Day 5: Day free with optional half day tour to Monastery of Arkadi and the village of Thronos, situated in the Amari Valley.
Day 6: Full day tour to the atmospheric Venetian harbour town of Chania. En-route to Chania we will stop briefly at the Souda Bay Commonwealth War Cemetery and hear the tragic tale of the 1941 'Battle of Crete'.
Day 7: Full day tour to the Minaon Palace of Knossos and 'The Archaeological Museum' taken from the Heraklion Archaeological musuem. The musuem displays some of the promient finds from all of the sites in Crete.
Day 8: Transfer back to Heraklion Airport for return flight home.
NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 49 passengers.
This comfortable 4-star hotel is in a convenient location and only a few minutes walk from Rethymnons long sandy beach. The Hotel offers excellent facilities including a spacious outdoor pool, gym, bar, restaurant and very comfortable rooms with balcony, private bath/shower, TV, telephone & simple kitchen facilities. A half board option is available at the hotel at a supplement and on request. However, the location of the Bio Suites makes dining out an attractive and easy option as there is a fantastic choice of tavernas located just a few minutes walk from the hotel many situated on the waterfront as well as amidst the pretty ‘back streets’ of the atmospheric ‘old town’.
This holiday is booked by phone. Click 'book now' to make a reservation request to our travel partner who will call you back to confirm your booking details and take payment. To speak to a representative now please call 0330 333 6761.
Accomodation stunning, as was Jane as facilitator and Constantine as our guide. we would have liked to have been told when booking we could extend stay at hotel for a few days after the tour ended, but otherwise super holiday which we'd strongly recommend.
Our courier Trish was extremely helpful, friendly and efficient. The guide Rita? (Pronounced Ritter?) was very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful, could not have been a better ambassador for Crete! WE would definitely travel with you again!
Mr J Tracey