Excursions from Heraklion Area
Essence of Crete. Half day tour to Boutari Winery, Archanes traditional village
The tour starts from the Venetian lion-guarded port of Heraklion with a drive through the city to the famous wine producing area of Peza. The drive is through breathtaking landscape of countryside and old vineyards. The first stop is the modern Boutari-winery, where you will see the updated methods of wine making and taste some of the delicious wines of the island. The drive continues through rural villages to the traditional village of Archanes. On the way to Archanes we'll do a stop at Vathypetro to view one of the oldest farmhouses in Crete (dating to the Minoan period). At a taverna in the villages’ tree-shaded square, you can sample an assortment of Cretan snacks and locally produced wine, themselves while listening greek live music. You will have some free time before the return drive to the port of Heraklion.
Probably is not well known, but Crete is an island on which a 4x4 wheel-drives-safaris arestill an exciting adventure. The group will have a maximum of 16 persons guided by the tour- leader. We cross the west area of Rethymno, and finish on south coast of Crete. Of course there are some stops on the way to stretch our legs and take some nice pictures. By coffetime we arrive in Spili village.After coffe we continue southwords to Preveli palm beach where we have a delicious meal next to the beach. We drive through Kourtaliotis gorge climbing the mountains again and have beautiful view on the wonderful, wild, impressive nature. This adventure is not a dangerous one and certainly not a survival expedition but a healthy attitude and a good sense of humor are the best ingredients. Est. 8-9 hrs .
Kritsa traditional village, Elounda Bay and Aghios Nikolaos
Along the north coast we drive through the spectacular ravine of Saint George to Kritsa. This typical whitewashed mountain village of Crete with hell blue and green doors and shutters, is famous for its woven handicrafts and its Byzantine church Kera with frescoes from the 13th century. Driving down to Elounda we will have marvellous views over the Mirabello Bay and Spinalonga Island. In the fishing village Elounda, you will have free time to make a stroll along the shops and harbour side, and/or to have a lunch in a tavern. We will continue by coach to the picturesque town of Aghios Nikolaos and the landmark of the town the "lake" Voulismeni at the foot of the cliffs. Walk around and take delight from the panoramic view of the lake and the small harbour. Walk into the narrow streets full of shops and stores.
A world away from the coast surrounded by high mountains, the Lasithi Plateau is a flat fertile plain lying 900 meters above sea level. Lasithi is dotted with hundreds of windmills which were used to pump underground water and unspoilt rural villages. Pay a visit to the Diktaion cave ( according mythology the birthpalce of Zeus the father of the Greek gods).Worth to visit is also Lasinthos Eco-park where you can see many animals from Crete as well craftsmen making local products.
Palace of Knossos
The palace of Knossos, re-discovered by the British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans in 1900. The palace is dated 2000 BC. The excursion takes you straight to the heart of the Minoan civilization in Crete .We visit the most important Minoan palace on Crete, residence of the King Minos and the legendary Minotaur which is associated with a rich tapestry of Greek myth. During the excavations a large number of objects were found and today exposed in the archaeological museum of Heraklion which we will explore in the afternoon.
The town of Rethymno
A travel in time as if time had never passed. Rethymno represents a place of contrasts, boasting a long and remarkable history as well as untouched places of natural beauty and living traditions. This small Mediterranean town will enchant you with its centre dating from the period of the Renaissance, its fortress and museums as well as its beaches. The excursion may include Arkadi, the most famous monastery of Crete and/or Margarites village famous for its ceramic workshops.