Greece: Crete and Santorini

Greece is known throughout the world as the land of sun and sea. Our tour will partially explore some of the best areas of Greece where human culture and traces of the glorius past has been mixed with the beauty of the unspoilt nature of the country.

The first place will be the island of Crete. The largest in Greece, that embrace an infinite store of mosques and monasteries, mountain villages, gorges, grottoes, and beaches. Places to be visited include: Knossos, the most famous archaeological site in Crete, with a Minoan city that thrived 3500 years ago; Samaria Gorge, spectacular ravine that cuts through heavy forests and sheer granite cliffs.

The second place will be the island of Santorini, wildly beautiful and dramatic as the cataclysm that carved it, a massive volcanic eruption that gave rise to the Atlantis legend and is believed by many to have destroyed the Minoan civilization in Crete. Here we can walk along the ridge of what remains of an active volcano.

The group will meet in Heraklion Airport , Crete, and leave from Santorini Airport. Follow us on Facebook!

 

Additional information

IMPORTANT NOTEThe schedule might be subject to change; Depending on your needs and your requests, we can provide you individual services (accomodation, land service, guide service, single tours and activities) or a full package tour;
PriceUpon request
What is not included– All not expressed in the “What is included”, Hotel local tax, Optional activities, − Entrance fees to all scheduled stops, − extra drinks

Day 1 – HERAKLION

Arrive in Heraklion, the main city of Crete, and settle in our centrally located Hotel. If people arrive in convenient time, in the afternoon we drive the short way to Knosssos, to enjoy the magnificent archaeological area holding remains of a Minoan city that thrived 3500 years ago and the  famous palace dated 170-1450 B.C., excavated by Sir Arthur Evans at the beginning of this century. Lunch not included, dinner included.

Day 2 – CRETE: PALEOHORA TO SONGIA

We will begin at the southern coast of the island where the stars are the sea, the beautiful coastal scenery and the ruins of ancient civilizations. The route runs along the European path E4 that ideally joins Portugal to Crete. Our starting point is the tourist center of Paleohora. Soon we will abandon its hotels and restaurants to find ourselves along this beautiful path through gorgeous views of the Libyan Sea and inviting coves. Then we will meet interesting ruins of the ancient Roman city of Lissos, and we will end our journey in the quiet village of Sougia, where we can relax on the beautiful beach.

15km, 150mt descent

Day 3 – CRETE: THE SAMARIA’S GORGE

Heading south we cross the majestic views of the White Mountains, where we will meet some tiny villages that seem suspended in time until we reach the entrance of the Samaria Gorge, where we will walk along what is undoubtedly the most famous trekking of the island. Rock walls up to 500 meters high in some places they get very close together, while beautiful greenery will far outweigh our efforts.

16km, 500mt descent

Day 4 – CRETE: RETIMNO AND CNOSSO

Today we will leave the boots in the hotel and we will dedicate ourselves to visiting some of the main attractions of the island. Rethymno, with its beautiful Venetian vestiges, and Knossos, where history and myth intertwine, including the possibility of a dip in the sea in one of the beaches that we will meet along the way.

Day 5 –  CRETE: WHITE MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK

Today we drive to Xiloskala (“wooden stairs”), the ideal entry of the National Park of the White Mountains. From here we start walking toward Mount Gingilos, in the heart of the White Mountains, also known as Lefka Ori: real barrier between the coast north and south of the island from where you can enjoy a wonderful view of the whole island.

10km, 500mt ascent

Day 6 – CRETE/SANTORINI

After Breakfast, we leave to the city of Heraklion where we ride the ferry all the way to Santorini (about 4/ 5 hours). Here we settle at the hotel.

Santorini’s landscape is as wildly beautiful and dramatic as the cataclysm that carved it, a massive volcanic eruption that gave rise to the Atlantis legend and is believed by many to have destroyed the Minoan civilization on Crete.

Day 7 – SANTORINI: FROM THIRA TO OIA

Anyone visiting Santorini, asserts that the sunset is seen from Oia is the most beautiful that you can watch in the world. With this beautiful route that leads from Fira (or Thira) along the western side of the island, we never abandon the view of the sea, until we get to Oia, where we will enjoy the view waiting to judge for yourself if the sunset from here is really as good as they say.

12km, 300mt ascent

Day 8 – SANTORINI: AKROTIRI RED BEACH AND BLACK BEACH

Between monasteries and beaches, along a route where you can enjoy a superb view of the surrounding islands and the sea, we drive to the archaeological site of Akrotiri, one of the most important in the Mediterranean. The remains of the ancient city were discovered in the 1860s by some workers who worked in the quarries to extract the volcanic ash used in the construction of the Suez Canal. Today only the southern tip of the big city has been brought to light (200,000 square feet), but even this has proved complex of buildings, streets and squares, with remains of walls higher than 8 meters, all buried in the ash solidified and deposited in the course of  the Minoan eruption occurred in 1600 BC.  

12km, 200mt ascent

Day 9 – SANTORINI: FROM PROFITIS ILIAS TO ANCIENT THIRA AND EMBORIO

Along ancient walkways we will walk to the ruins of Ancient Thira, pointing toward the east coast. The fascinating ruins of Ancient Thira are located on the mountain of Mesa Vouno, at a height of 400 meters, from which you can enjoy magnificent views of the sea and on the two popular beaches of Kamari and Perissa. The ruins date back to the Hellenistic period (IV BC), but there are also numerous Roman and Byzantine remains: the Sanctuary of Artemidoros, built in the late fourth century BC, built into the rock and containing epigrams and engravings that include symbols of deities here revered: the eagle for Zeus, the dolphin for Poseidon and the lion for Apollo. In the Roman period were also added a porch, monuments and shrines erected in honour of dignitaries. The Temple of Dionysus (III BC) is a small Doric temple built on an artificial terrace. The Sanctuary of Apollo Karneios (BC), partly dug into the rock, includes a temple, a square courtyard with six large monolithic columns and an underground cistern. Finally, the Necropolis, located on both sides of the roads leading to the two ports of the ancient city, the modern villages of Kamari and Perissa, with tombs of the periods archaic and roman. From here we will walk downhill towards the village of Emborio, name which derives from the Greek word “trade” (Emporeio),  having this been for centuries the island’s commercial centre.

13km, 400mt descent

Day 10 – DEPARTURE

After breakfast, take people at the airport at convenient time.