Crete
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Our most recommended Crete Spring

From Chania: Gramvousa Island and Balos Bay Full-Day Tour

1. From Chania: Gramvousa Island and Balos Bay Full-Day Tour

Your day starts with a pickup from your hotel or at a specific pick-up point with the bus. Drive towards the west side of Crete in order to reach the port of Kissamos Kasteli. After receiving all the necessary information about the cruise from your escort, arrive at the port where the Gramvousa ferry awaits you to start the cruise. Your escort will collect the money for the boat tickets from you so you can skip the lines at the ticket offices. At about 10:20 AM set off for the island of Gramvousa which takes approximately 45 minutes. Help yourself to the ferry kitchen with self-service dishes, meals or snacks. You can sit back on a deck chair or in the lounge. During your cruise, see the elevation of the land along the cliff edges of Crete. This elevation has happened over 2000 years. The history of the island is explained through microphones in different languages. Once you arrive at the island of Gramvousa you can either swim or take a hike to the top of the island to the Venetian fortress. There you have 2.5 hours before you continue to the lagoon of Balos which is 20 minutes away. Enjoy 3 hours at the lagoon. You may go back to the boat for food at any time or hire umbrellas if the heat is too intense. After a swim and relaxation at the lagoon, the boat will take you straight back to the port of Kissamos. This is a great photo opportunity as the sun will be behind you as you look out to the scenery of the island. At 6:00 PM the ferry arrives at the port and the journey comes to an end. Return time to Chania is approximately 7.00 PM.

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Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Entry with Guided Walking Tour

2. Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Entry with Guided Walking Tour

Join a guided tour of Knossos, a complex of more than 1500 interlocking rooms, once an astonishing palace built for a mighty king of the Bronze Age. Knossos is considered Europe’s oldest city. As you wander through the labyrinthine ruins, get the chance to see the original throne of ‘’Minos”, the mystifying sanctuaries, the luxurious domestic quarters of the royal family, Crete’s treasures pantries, and the water-management systems. The first palace of Knossos was erected soon after 2000 BC. In 1700 BC, a catastrophic earthquake destroyed the Palace. A new palace was built immediately, the most monumental of all, and for over 300 years it represented the pre-eminent center of power in Bronze Age Crete. The new palace was an imposing complex with important architectural innovations, splendid frescoes adorning the walls, hundreds of rooms distributed in four storeys, impressive storage areas, specialized workshops, and spacious courts hosting ceremonies and feasts. Learn how during the last decades of the 14th century BC, a series of earthquakes led to the final destruction of the palace. 

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Samaria Gorge Trek: Full-Day Excursion from Rethymno

3. Samaria Gorge Trek: Full-Day Excursion from Rethymno

Samaria Gorge, the longest and likely the best-known gorge in Europe, lies 4,000 feet above sea level. Your full-day (12-hour) excursion to Samaria Gorge begins with a pick-up in Rethymno and a drive to Omalos, in the heart of the White Mountains, where you can enjoy breakfast before you start the hike. The trek will take you over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees and along a river and by fresh-water springs. Along the way, you’ll have spectacular views of Crete’s most beautiful mountain range and you are likely to see mountain goats roaming in the wild. You will be accompanied by a professional mountain escort who speaks English, German and Greek.  Your escort will be there to explain all the necessary information about your hike and provide you the tickets for the entrance and ferry boat. Entrance fee : 5€ (children up to the age of 15 years old are free of charge). Ferry fee : 11€ ( Sougia ferry). These fees have to be paid to the guide upon arrival. After your breakfast you enter the Samaria Gorge. Walk at your own pace as your guide will be at the end of the group to help out if you need them. At the end of the trek you’ll visit the village of Agia Roumeli, where you’ll find a number of taverns, bars and shops. Enjoy some free time to take a swim or have some lunch. A meeting point will be arranged so you can collect your ferry tickets from your guide. Late in the afternoon you’ll board a boat that will take you from Agia Roumeli to Sfakia, where the bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the starting point.

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From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

4. From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

Samaria Gorge, the longest gorge in Europe, is located 4,000 feet above sea level. Enjoy a trek in the gorge on a 12-hour excursion that begins with a pick-up in Chania and a drive to Omalos, in the White Mountains. Trek over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees, along a river and by freshwater springs. Take in spectacular views of Crete’s most beautiful mountain range and see mountain goats roaming in the wild. At the end of the trek, visit the village of Agia Roumeli that boasts numerous taverns and shops. Late in the afternoon, board a boat for the trip from Agia Roumeli to Sfakia, where a bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the starting point.

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From Rethymno: Full-Day Trip to Gramvousa Island & Balos Bay

5. From Rethymno: Full-Day Trip to Gramvousa Island & Balos Bay

Depart Rethymno at approximately 07:45 and travel by bus along the new national road towards the westernmost tip of Crete. Pass the bay of Souda and the former Cretan capital of Chania before your arrival in Kissamos. Upon arrival, climb aboard a boat and cross to Balos Bay at the northernmost tip of the peninsula. Relax on the 1-hour boat trip, and get 2.5 hours at Balos Bay to enjoy the soft white sands and unique blue and green waters of the lagoon. Next, take a 20-minute boat ride to Gramvousa Island for plenty of time to enjoy an unforgettable swim in the crystal clear waters. If you are feeling energetic, take an optional 137-meter climb up to the 16th-century Venetian Fortress for an incomparable view of the surrounding surroundings. Enjoy approximately 1.5 hours at peace on Gramvousa Island, and then take a 1-hour boat ride back to Kissamos. Upon arrival, continue to Rethymno by bus at the end of the laid-back tour.

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The Miracle of Wine and Olive Oil: Day Tour from Chania

6. The Miracle of Wine and Olive Oil: Day Tour from Chania

Travel through stunning natural landscapes up into the mountains of the Kissamos region on this 7-hour tour from Chania. Stop at a traditional family winery, established in 1993, and learn about the varieties of wine they produce and their ideas for modern farming processes and wine production. Taste award-winning local Vidiano, Muscat of Spina and some international varieties such as Grenache rouge, Syrah and Mourvèdre that each have a unique taste due the local terroir. Next you’ll visit a traditional village and see the oldest olive tree in the world, with an estimated age of 3,000 years. This is a day filled with tasting different wine expressions of noble grapes and a variety of delicious foods. Head to another winery in the Kissamos region to taste a special local blend of white wines with Vilana, Vidiano and Assyrtiko varieties. Walk through the idyllic landscape of the vineyards and visit the family’s olive oil factory. Learn about extra virgin olive oil production. The wine tasting here will be accompanied by a tasting of extra virgin olive oils and local pure products, creating combinations your palate will never forget. You’ll also learn the Cretan way of saying goodbye drinking the award-winning Tsikoudia.

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From Heraklion: Full-Day Gramvousa and Balos Tour

7. From Heraklion: Full-Day Gramvousa and Balos Tour

Travel by air-conditioned coach to the west of Crete. Enjoy a cup of coffee or breakfast at the small village of Skaleta and then continue to Kissamos to board a boat and start your cruise. Admire a vast cave that was most likely an ancient shipyard. See sea turtles and dolphins playing in the water. Disembark on the island of Gramvousa, also known as "Pirates' Island". Here, you can encounter over 100 bird and 400 plant species. Enjoy plenty of free time to swim at a gorgeous beach. Alternatively, feast from an (optional) lunch on board. Continue your cruise to the lagoon of Balos and discover one of the loveliest sites in Greece. Get a breathtaking view of the lagoon, before the return journey to the meeting point.   

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From Chania: Full-Day Trip to Santorini

8. From Chania: Full-Day Trip to Santorini

Board the luxury high-speed catamaran for the 2.5-hour trip to Santorini. Enjoy an island tour by air-conditioned bus and hear informative commentary about the history of one of Greece's most romantic islands. Travel to the village of Oia at the northernmost tip of the island. The village offers magnificent views of the blue and white houses scattered on the hillside. Continue to Fira, where you'll have free time to explore the island's capital. Browse the shops or enjoy a drink at a bar with stunning views of the volcano. Swim from a black sand beach at Perissa or Perivolos. Depart for Crete at 05:45 PM, where the 13-hour trip ends in the port of Rethymno.

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From Rethymno or Agios Nikolaos: Day Trip to Santorini

9. From Rethymno or Agios Nikolaos: Day Trip to Santorini

Start your day trip from Crete at the port of Rethymno or Agios Nikolaos. Select the option to be picked up from your hotel in an air-conditioned vehicle, and marvel at the blue and white buildings typical of the island on your way to the harbor. Climb aboard the luxury, high-speed Champion Jet 2 catamaran and journey to Santorini in just 2.5 hours. Upon arrival at the port of Athinios, take a tour of the island by air-conditioned bus. Listen to an informative commentary from your guide (available in English, German, French, Italian, Polish and Russian) about the history of one of the most romantic islands in Greece. Travel through the beautiful countryside en route to the village of Oia at the northernmost tip of the island. Built on the lip of a volcanic caldera, the village offers magnificent views of the blue and white houses studded along the hillside.   Continue to Fira and get plenty of free time to explore the island's capital. Stroll down the picturesque alleys and take in the views of the architecture typical to the Aegean. Browse the shops or enjoy a drink at a bar with stunning views of the volcano and its caldera cliffs. Then, get the option to stay in the capital or go for a 2-hour swim off the black sand beach of Perissa or Perivolos. Alternatively, travel by boat to the caldera (subject to availability) for views of the volcano up close. Depart for Crete at 17:45 and journey back to the Port of Rethymno, where the tour services end. Select the transfer option to be dropped off back at your hotel.

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Acqua Plus Water Park Admission with Optional Transfer

10. Acqua Plus Water Park Admission with Optional Transfer

Benefit from hotel pick-up at approximately 08:00 and journey to Acqua Plus Water Park in Heraklion for an estimated arrival time of around 10:30. Then, enjoy the park at leisure until 17:00. Situated just 5 kilometers from Hersonissos and 30 kilometers from Heraklion, Acqua Plus Water Park entertains thousands of visitors every year with its thrill rides and relaxation areas. Divided into 2 sections - one for adults and the other for kids - the park includes a large number of extreme slides and water features. Zig-zag your way through 3 different pools on the Crazy River, or ride through the Black Holes and experience beams of light that attack your senses before you emerge for the final splash! Stroll around the gorgeous garden, filled with native plants and exotic flowers to create a Garden of Eden. Perched on a hill, the park is easy to work your way around with little effort. Save your energy for rides such as the Kamikaze waterslide or Tsunami. Take the little ones to the dedicated kids area and drift around on the Lazy River or just watch them play in the active playground. Avoid waiting in lines with a unique system that ensures you can enjoy the slides and games as much as possible, and benefit from the park's reputation for cleanliness, hospitality and safety. Qualified lifeguards and a stand-by doctor are ready to assist and protect you at any minute of the day.

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What people are saying about Crete

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 1,958 reviews

We had a wonderful tour with our awesome guide Γιάννης. He provided so much interesting information about the history and culture of Crete along with what we would be seeing at the winery/olive oil factory. Effi was also wonderful explaining how the olive oil is made and then educating us on all the great wines her company makes We highly recommend this tour to anyone who loves wine and/or Olive Oil. 5***** all the way.

We had an amazing time and experience in this tour. The host of the tour Andreas, made it super interesting and entertaining, being professional sommelier he shared his knowledge with the group and made wine tasting even more enjoyable. Though it would be great to add to the tour actual walk through the grapevine field and wine making facilities.

Knossos was amazing, and our guide brought to life the history inside the myths! I had previous knowledge about both the Minoan civilization and general Greek mythology, but our tour taught me a surprising amount! This is a testament to the quality of our guide!

I can't imagine visiting Knossos without a guide to help bring it to life. My guide was waiting for me at the entrance with my name on a sign - couldn't have been simpler! Worth the extra money to get the most out of this incredible place.

I had a great trip and learned a lot about Cretan culture, history and food :) Our guide Yannis was very knowledgeable and kind! I totally recommend this tour!