Departing by Air
Duration 8 Days
Available Sep & May

Pay no single room supplement on this tour! 

This is a truly ‘laid-back’ holiday in Crete but with just the right amount of included visits to give you a flavour of what this ‘fabulous’ island, steeped as it is in Greek Mythology and ancient history, has to offer. From your holiday base in Gouves you have two included full day tours allowing you to really discover the wonderful history of the oldest civilisation in Europe and the truly beautiful landscapes of this island. The Minoan Palace of Knossos, the open-air museum at Lychnostatis, wine tasting, an introduction to Cretan cooking – these are just a few of the highlights for you to enjoy. And when you’re not appreciating the magnificent Cretan countryside there is plenty of time to relax and enjoy the facilities of your four star hotel in Gouves.

Price Includes

  • 7 nights half board in 4* Hotel Astir Beach, Kato Gouves in double rooms for single occupancy
  • Tour of Northern Crete countryside
  • Traditional Crete and cooking excursion
  • Return flights and coach transfers


Day One: Flight to Heraklion, short transfer to your hotel for seven nights half board accommodation in the resort of Gouves.

Days Two to Seven: Free in Gouves with two included tours.

The Northern Crete Countryside. An excursion with a visit to Knossos and wine-tasting! During this tour, you will be taken back 4.000 years to the time of the oldest civilisation in Europe. The Minoan Palace of Knossos, the centre of the Minoan Civilisation, will leave you breathless as you wonder over the technology and facilities of that period. Then experience a wonderful drive through the island’s hilly countryside where the olive groves, orchards and vineyards have changed little since Minoan times, before arriving at a local wine producer to learn about winemaking and taste local wines. There is free time for lunch and to see the day to day life in the traditional village of Skalani. 44 miles today.

Traditional Crete and cooking! After breakfast, you visit the open-air museum at Lychnostatis which offers an insight into authentic Cretan life. In a guided tour you will marvel at the Cretan architecture and the old traditional lifestyle. You can stroll in the gardens and admire the fruit trees and the bright coloured flowers. You then travel to a mountain village for an introduction to Cretan cooking and learn to prepare some Cretan specialities in the local style. As a reward for your efforts, lunch is included today! If you prefer to leave all your cooking skills at home and not participate in the cooking workshop, the surroundings are ideal for walking or a sit-down in a coffee house in the village and meet the locals. 32 miles today.

As well as the included tours there will be a full-day optional tour showcasing the history, culture and way of life, both in the mountains and along the coast. You drive west to the village of Tylissos where a short walk leads to the excavations of the Minoan settlement with beautiful views over the vineyards to the mountains. After a guided tour here, you continue by coach 2500ft up the slope of Mt. Psiloritis to the market town of Anogia for a short visit. Next stop is the Sfedoni Cave. A guided walking tour (270m) in this impressive cave reveals countless stalagmites and stalactites with a variety of shapes and colours in the labyrinthine chambers of the cave.

Another optional tour takes you to Southern Crete and the outskirts of Mount Ida. In the village of Assites you discover an ancient technique, while in Gortys, the Roman capital and stepping stone between East and West, you see the famous law stones and the amphitheatre. In the coastal village of Matala, once the place to be for hippies, you may enjoy a refreshing swim in the Libyan Sea or a leisurely Cretan lunch at a beach tavern.

Day Eight: Free time until departure for the airport and your flight home.

Please note: there is a local tourist tax of 3 euros per room per night. It is not included in the price of your holiday and will be payable by hotel guests directly to the hotel.

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