Departing by Air
Duration 8 Days
Available September 2019

From your holiday base in Kato Gouves you have three included full day tours with guided walks allowing you to really discover the beauty and variety of Northern Crete. The scenic Kounavi Gorge, the open-air museum at Lychnostatis, wine tasting, the amazing views on Mount Ida – these are just a few of the highlights for you to enjoy. And when you’re not appreciating the magnificent Cretan countryside on a guided walk there is plenty of time to relax and enjoy the facilities of your four star hotel in Kato Gouves.

Price Includes

  • 7 nights half board in 4* Astir Beach Hotel
  • 3 guided walking tours
  • Services of a tour representative
  • Return direct flights including transfers

No single room supplement

Itinerary

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

Days Two to Seven: Free in Gouves with three tours with guided walks.

Walk 1: Traditional Crete. After breakfast, you visit the open-air museum at Lychnostatis which offers an insight into authentic Cretan life. In a guided tour through the compound, you can marvel at Cretan architecture and the old traditional lifestyle. You then travel into the Mount Dicti area where your guided walk starts near the village of Kera. The walk covers fertile ground between thousands of olive trees, with splendid views of the mountain peaks, and passes a monastery before reaching the Aposelemis dam. You then have lunch in a Cretan mountain tavern with produce from its own garden. The walk is approximately 5.5 miles with ascents/descents of 140m/140m. The day’s tour includes a total of 32 miles by coach.

Walk 2: Mount Ida – the East slope. A scenic drive along olive groves and vineyards brings you to the east slope of Mount Ida, Crete’s highest mountain. The walk starts near the village of Assites, set in an agriculture region. During the walk, you visit a ceramic workshop and the Antonios church from where there is a spectacular view of the narrow gorge. The walk is mostly downhill over dirt roads and paths between olive trees and vineyards. The walk ends in the village of Dafnes where you have a wine tasting. The walk is approximately 6 miles, with ascents/descents of 150m/390m. The day’s tour includes a total of 44 miles by coach.

Walk 3: The Northern Crete Countryside. After breakfast, meet your local walking guide and depart for an introductory tour of Northern Crete and its countryside. When you get to the vineyards around the villages of Skalani and Mirtia your walk starts through the Kounavi Gorge. A scenic path goes along and over a stream through lush vegetation and abundant wildflowers and then continues through olive groves and vineyards. Short coach transfer to the traditional village of Skalani where you have free time for lunch. The guided walk through the Kounavi Gorge is approximately 5 miles with ascents/descents of 120m/340m. The day’s tour includes a total of 46 miles by coach.

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.

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

Hotel

ASTIR BEACH 4*, Kato Gouves

The hotel is situated on the beach in Kato Gouves on the north coast, 10 miles from Heraklion airport. Major refurbishment of the public areas including the restaurant, lobby bar and terrace took place in 2018 along with the addition of two more swimming pools. The hotel is modern in style and has a reception area, lounge with satellite tv, bar, spacious restaurant/dining room, two elevators, a pool bar, a snack bar, and a mini market. All of the 179 rooms are equipped with bath or shower/wc, hairdryer, direct dial telephone, safe box (weekly charge), radio, satellite tv, mini-fridge and balcony or terrace. Sea view rooms are available at a supplement. In the hotel grounds you will find a large sun terrace and two adult and one children’s freshwater swimming pools. Sporting facilities include table tennis and minigolf. There is also a gym and spa centre with steam bath, sauna and whirlpool. Free wifi in the public areas and rooms, chargeable LAN access in the bedrooms. (www.astirbeach.gr)


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