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Crete's iconic white windmills on the Lassithi Plateau
Caption: Crete's iconic white windmills on the Lassithi Plateau
Caption: Heraklion Harbour, Crete
Caption: The 4,000 year old ruins of the Palace of Knossos, Crete
Caption: Lake Voulismeni looking over to Agios Nikolaos, Crete
Caption: Spinaloga Island at sunset, Crete
Caption: The striking Dikteo Andra cave, the 'birthplace of Zeus', Crete
Caption: Greek olives and olive oil, Crete

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Journey Snapshot

Activity level: Level 2 Requires moderate physical activity. You need to be able to participate in physical activities such as longer walking tours, walking over uneven terrain, climbing steps and be comfortable with some periods of standing. Not suitable if you have limited mobility.
Destination: Highlights of Crete
Duration: 6 nights / 7 days
Flight information: Return economy flights depart London Heathrow Airport [LHR] to Heraklion Airport [HER] on Day 1 and depart on Day 7
Pickup location: Heraklion Airport [HER]

Overview

Choose your own departure date for your group.

Crete is fascinating island, offering much to discover. With over 4,000 years of history, Crete's many rulers have all left their trace on the island's culture, food, architecture and customs. Join us to discover this Mediterranean jewel!

The island of Crete is the largest of Greece's many islands and one of the Mediterranean's most interesting spots. Many different powers have ruled the island over the centuries, from the Minoans, the Byzantine, Roman and Ottoman empires and of course, the Greeks, both ancient and modern. All have left their trace on Crete's history and shaped the culture you see today. 

On this tour, you can step back in time to visit ancient palaces dating back some 4,000 years. Discover the stunning scenery of the island's interior, with mountains, lush valleys and the iconic white windmills and explore bustling towns and quiet fishing ports. And of course, no visit to Greece could be complete without tasting their food - enjoy a cooking class, discover all about the island's olive oil and a chance to taste local wines and food. A week of fun, history, culture and flavours you are bound to enjoy!

Itinerary

Itinerary summary: DAY 1 - Welcome to Crete
DAY 2 - Heraklion & the Palace of Knossos
DAY 3 - Mount Dicti & the Lassithi Plateau
DAY 4 - Olive Oil Tasting & Spinaloga Island
DAY 5 - A Taste of Crete
DAY 6 - Agios Nikolaos & Farewell Dinner
DAY 7 - Farewell Crete
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Full Itinerary

DAY 1 - Welcome to Crete

Welcome to Crete, the largest of Greece's islands. You will be met on arrival at Heraklion Airport [HER] and transferred to your resort, the base for the next 6 nights.

After you are checked in to the resort, the rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy the facilities.

Included meals: none 
Accommodation: Hersonissos 

DAY 2 - Heraklion & the Palace of Knossos

We begin our day with a welcome buffet breakfast, giving you an opportunity to meet fellow group members and your representatives, and to get an overview of the exciting week ahead!

After breakfast, we head to the famous ruins of the Palace of Knossos, dating back to 2,000 BC. Knossos was the prosperous capital of the Minoan empire and the seat of King Minos.

We will then visit the Museum of Heraklion, one of the most important museums in the world, containing a magnificent collection of items from the Minoan period along with treasures from Phaestos, Zakros and other parts of Crete.

For the rest of the day, you will have free time to explore Heraklion, the island's capital city. Why not grab some lunch at Heraklion's market, one of the richest markets in the Mediterranean. Here you can find modern goods as well as traditional Cretan products such as local olive oil, Raki, local wine, honey and herbs

Included meals: Welcome Breakfast 
Accommodation: Hersonissos 

DAY 3 - Mount Dicti & the Lassithi Plateau

Today, we'll ascend 3,000 feet up to the west slope of Mount Dicti, to the stunning location of Lassithi Plateau.

Green, fertile and irrigated by thousands of white-sailed wind mills, it offers breathtaking views so be sure to bring your camera. We will pass many small villages along our way, which maintain their traditional colour and character, and you will be rewarded with nostalgic sights of authentic Greek farm living.

After a traditional Greek lunch, we will have the opportunity to see the spectacular cave where legend has it that Zeus, the 'father of the gods,' was born. The cave entrance cannot be reached by vehicle. A steep cobblestone pathway leads to the entrance, but taken at your own pace, you will find amazing views of the area and see the stunning beauty that awaits inside. (Not suitable for those with limited mobility or difficulties walking on uneven ground)

Included meals: Lunch 
Accommodation: Hersonissos 

DAY 4 - Olive Oil Tasting & Spinaloga Island

It is well known that the Greek diet is very healthy. Olive oil is not only a staple of the diet, but at the heart of almost every dish. Therefore, no trip to Greece would be complete without a visit to an olive oil factory see how extra virgin olive oil is produced. Of course, during the you will have the opportunity to taste the product and visit the shop to purchase not just the olive oils, but a host of related products - the olive oil skin care products are a must!

This afternoon, we head out to sea on a boat trip to the small island of Spinalonga. Enjoying a BBQ lunch on-board as we go, upon arrival we will tour the ruins that hold the secrets of a Venetian-period fortress and a leper colony. This small, rocky islet has become a very popular attraction after being the focus of Victoria Hislop's book, 'The Island'. Before heading back to shore, we will stop to enjoy the crystal-blue waters of the Mediterranean where you may choose to go for a swim…remember to bring your trunks! 

Included meals: Lunch 
Accommodation: Hersonissos 

DAY 5 - A Taste of Crete

Today we get to taste the flavours of Crete and Greece.

Our day begins with a fun morning of Greek cooking lessons, hosted by locals. We get to prepare a meal and get to learn about the Cretan diet and local organic products as we make authentic Greek dishes, enjoying different tastes, aromas and making memories.

Afterwards, we head to the beautiful village of Peza for an afternoon of wine tasting and a tour of a local winery. We'll take in the cellar, the production area and the rest of the vineyard. We will then visit the wine tasting area to sample some of their produce, accompanied by some Cretan dishes. Surrounded by beautiful scenery and good company, this is sure to be an afternoon to remember!

Included meals: Lunch 
Accommodation: Hersonissos 

DAY 6 - Agios Nikolaos & Farewell Dinner

On our last day, we will enjoy a visit to Agios Nikolaos, a pretty town with a lake that has inspired many people to write myths about its depth. Here, we will enjoy free time to explore and have lunch at leisure before heading back to the resort to relax.

Tonight, we will spend an unforgettable night in the village of Anopolis and experience the real life of a Cretan local. The evening includes a variety of delicious Cretan dishes, and plenty of local wine! Dancing groups will perform traditional Cretan and Greek dances, and you will also have the opportunity to join in the dancing!

Included meals: Farewell Dinner 
Accommodation: Hersonissos 

DAY 7 - Farewell Crete

All good things must come to an end, and today is that time. You will be transferred to Heraklion Airport for your journey home, or your onward travel plans.

Accommodation: none 

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More information

What's includedWhat's not includedImportant information

What's included

  • Return economy flights from London Heathrow Airport [LHR] to Heraklion Airport [HER]
  • Return airport transfers between Heraklion Airport [HER] and the resort
  • Self-catering accommodation as detailed in the itinerary
  • Meals as detailed in the itinerary
  • Transport as detailed in the itinerary
  • All activities, visits, guides and excursions as detailed in the itinerary
  • English speaking tour guide
  • Services of a Big Journey Company Tour Director

What's not included

  • Airport transfers outside the tour dates
  • Visas, travel or medical insurance
  • Any personal items and anything not mentioned under included in price above
  • Any food and beverage not detailed in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees to non-stipulated attractions
  • Any optional activities offered
  • Gratuities
  • Any COVID tests or related entry & exit requirements

Important information

  • Please let The Big Journey Company know prior to travelling if you have any medical needs or take any medication that we need to be made aware of to ensure that you have a safe and pleasant tour.
  • Check in is after 2:00 - 3:00 pm and check out is before 10:00am unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
  • Cancellation 90 – 0 days prior to departure cancellation fee is 100%. It is your responsibility to ensure the correct travel insurance in place to protect you against the need to cancel your holiday. Deposits are non-refundable. Final payments are due 14 weeks prior to departure.
  • Further terms and conditions apply and will be provided upon request or at the time of booking. The Big Journey Company reserves the right to withdraw any offer prior to accepting a reservation request. This does not affect your statutory rights. This offer is subject to availability and space is limited.

The big journey promise

The big journey company was set up with one goal in mind, to share our passion for inspirational cultures, destinations and experiences. Over the last 10 years we have had the privilege to escort thousands of travellers on awe inspiring and sometimes life changing journeys. Our promise to every guest who joins us is that we will do everything possible to make sure your journey not only exceeds expectations but delivers at least one moment of true amazement.

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Holiday tours are operated by The Big Journey Company Limited. Registered in England. Registered office: Marron Bank, Branthwaite, Cumbria, CA14 4SZ. Registered number: 6532140. The Big Journey Company Limited is a member of The Travel Trust Association member number U5675 and holds an Air Travel Organiser’s License number T7282.

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