The Wonders of Ancient Crete

Resort: The Wonders of Ancient Crete
Operator: Cox and Kings
Destination: Europe
Price From: £1595.00

Overview

As a strategic gateway to the eastern Mediterranean, Crete has been ruled by a number of great powers, from the Minoans, one of Europes first civilisations, to the Byzantine, Roman and Ottoman empires. This tour explores Cretes scenic and cultural highlights, including the Palace of Knossos, an incomparable monument of ancient Minoan society.

Itinerary

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
and meet a beekeeper for an introduction to beehives and their cultivation. 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. 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 Europes 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, Cretes 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

Morning visit to 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 Heraklions 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)

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