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Crete tickets and tours

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Nat Geo Day Tour: Discover Cretan Farm Life
Excursions & day trips

Nat Geo Day Tour: Discover Cretan Farm Life

Small-scale, family-run farms are integral to the Mediterranean diet that Crete is so famous for. A local family will welcome you to their Mitato, a small farmhouse, where you'll be greeted with the genuine warmth of Cretan hospitality. Listen to the local farmer tell the intriguing tale of King Minoas who watched from his observatory, and alerted locals to incoming pirates. Greetings over, it's time for a hands-on bread-making lesson, learning the techniques for typical Cretan bread, made with wheat and barley flour. Then, witness their cheese-making skills using goat's milk from the farm. Next, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in, helping out with daily farm tasks like feeding the goats, pigs, chickens, and rabbits, and tending to the gardens. The adventure continues with a snail hunt over the mountainside, exclusive to National Geographic travellers, peeking under rocks, and among shrubs and flowers. As the day unfolds, your collected treasures, including snails, eggs, fruit, and vegetables, become the ingredients for lunch. Alongside the family, you'll prepare a feast of local delicacies, all made from the products of your day's work. Finish off the experience with a taste of Crete's spirit, Raki, and why not sing along to their traditional Cretan ‘Mantinades,' - traditional Cretan couplets that express sentiments about Cretan daily life.

free cancellation
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de, en 

Nat Geo Day Tour: The Millenary History of Olive Oil
Excursions & day trips

Nat Geo Day Tour: The Millenary History of Olive Oil

Approximate itinerary and duration of activitiesIntroduction - 15 minutesWalking tour through the olive trees - 30 minutesPause for questions and raki drink - 15 minutesOlive oil factory tour - 40 minutesOlive oil tasting and questions - 55 minutesCooking demonstration and tastings - 30 minutesPlease note the order of activities may vary at your guide's discretion With millennia of experience behind them, it's no wonder the people of Crete produce some of the finest olive oil in the world. You will appreciate the timeless bond between Cretans and their revered olive trees as you trace the long heritage of olive cultivation on the island. Just outside Kritsa village in the hills of eastern Crete, you'll follow Nikos Plevritakis on a brief walk to his olive groves where some trees are 600-800 years old, and learn about olive cultivation from a true specialist. In the shade of the olive trees, you can try local raki known as ‘tsikoudia' with olives to nibble on while discussing the cultural and societal significance of olive cultivation in Crete. Then it's time to visit a local cooperative factory, to see up close how olives are processed into world-class olive oil. Back on the Olive Path, seize the chance to taste fresh figs, almonds, and grapes, see what the locals are growing, and find out all about the Cretan lifestyle and diet. Then, at an olive farm, you can sample olives, fresh tomatoes, and raki before your olive oil tasting session begins – a great opportunity to learn how to taste oils like a professional and compare the flavor profiles of different varieties. Finish off the day with a cooking lesson on various ways to use olive oil in Cretan cuisine. Authentic dishes, such as tzatziki and Greek salad will feature, and you'll find out why the traditional Cretan diet is so beneficial to health and longevity.

free cancellation
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de, en 

Knossos Palace and Heraklion Guided Tour with Transport
Excursions & day trips

Knossos Palace and Heraklion Guided Tour with Transport

'The Palace of Knossos is one of the most important archaeological sites in Crete because it's where Europe's first civilisation began,' says Veta, one of our guides. A born and bred local, she knows a thing or two about the legends and myths surrounding the island's most popular attraction. You'll spend the day watching history come to life as you tour the grounds of the palace, before crossing over to Heraklion for some free time in the capital.Once the hub of Crete's Minoan civilisation, Knossos Palace sits in the heart of what's considered to be Europe's oldest settlement. You'll enjoy a guided tour around its treasures, stopping by the throne room, royal apartments, frescoes and more. There'll even be a chance to see the Labyrinth, where the fearsome half-man, half-bull creature known as Minotaur was said to have lurked. And with fast-track access, there's no waiting around in queues.It's then time to head to Heraklion, the island's capital. See the 17th-century Morozini Lions fountain and the 400-year-old Venetian Loggia – which is still the city hall – during a short guided walk around the city. We'll round the day off by taking you to the open markets for some free time. Poke around stalls laden with hand-made trinkets and fresh local produce or stop off for a coffee at a local café for some people watching. Other must-sees include the Koule Fortress and the Church of Agios Titos.

free cancellation
Available in:

en 

Spinalonga Island Guided Tour with Lunch
Excursions & day trips

Spinalonga Island Guided Tour with Lunch

The tiny isle of Spinalonga is just a short hop away from Crete but a visit is like stepping back in time. Centuries of history are packed within the walls that encircle it. See it through the eyes of a true local on this full-day tour of its must-see monuments.

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en 

Mountains of Crete 4x4 Tour with Taverna Lunch
Activities

Mountains of Crete 4x4 Tour with Taverna Lunch

Get ready to go off-road on this adrenaline-pumping 4x4 adventure that will take you well and truly off the radar. Explore the more rural parts of Crete and the beautiful nature as you voyage through the mountains on this small group tour.

free cancellation
Available in:

de, en, fr, nl 

Knossos Palace, Rethymnon and Heraklion Tour
Excursions & day trips

Knossos Palace, Rethymnon and Heraklion Tour

Thought to be the cradle of Europe's first civilization, the UNESCO-listed Palace of Knossos is one of the most important ancient sites in Crete. Let an expert bring history to life as you explore the island's most-prized archaeological gem. This trip also includes free time in the resorts of Rethymnon, plus a tour of the Cretan capital, Heraklion. Andreas, one of our expert local guides, says, ‘The Minoans were very advanced, and the Palace of Knossos showcases architectural techniques such as multi-storey buildings and a sophisticated drainage system that were ahead of their time.'You'll start the morning in Rethymnon's maze of colourful streets, where you can browse the shops, find a little cafe or head down to the harbour. Curving around the small bay, Rethymnon harbour is as pretty as it is old. The views of the Venetian-era Fortezza and out to sea are a delight. Next up is Crete's capital, Heraklion. Here, you'll enjoy a guided tour of the city's best bits, such as the Venetian lion fountain and the loggia. There'll be some free time to explore at your own pace, too.Last but by no means least, the last stop of the day is a guided visit of the Palace of Knossos. Admire treasures like the throne room, royal apartments, and the fabulous frescoes. The ancient frescoes are particularly impressive, depicting scenes of everyday life, religious rituals, and mythical creatures. You'll also experience the Labyrinth, where legend has it, the fearsome half-man, half-bull creature known as the Minotaur lurked.

free cancellation
Available in:

en 

Tour of Western Crete with Winery and Olive Oil Estate
Excursions & day trips

Tour of Western Crete with Winery and Olive Oil Estate

Western Crete boasts wonderful local produce and spectacular beaches. This excursion showcases the area's best bits, with a wine tasting at the Karavitakis winery, sampling delicious local olive oil at Biolea estate and some relaxation on the white sands of Falassarna beach.

free cancellation
Available in:

en 

Tour of Loutro Village including a Typical Cretan Lunch
Excursions & day trips

Tour of Loutro Village including a Typical Cretan Lunch

Accessible only by boat, Loutro is an idyllic seaside village where you can completely disconnect. You'll journey from Sfakia to Loutro by boat and enjoy a day exploring at your own pace, lunch at a local taverna and time to recline under the bright Cretan sun.

free cancellation
Available in:

de, en, pl 

Cretan 4x4 Experience from Rethymnon
Activities

Cretan 4x4 Experience from Rethymnon

Go off-road on a 4x4 adventure that will take you well and truly off the radar. You'll bump down dirt tracks, bounce over potholes and drive through blink-and-you-miss-them villages. Plus, you'll tick off plenty of must-sees on the way. Your driver actually doubles up as a guide, giving you the insider's track on Crete's hidden gems as you go.

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de, en 

Crete Food and Wine Tasting with Wine Factory Visit
Excursions & day trips

Crete Food and Wine Tasting with Wine Factory Visit

Crete is the cradle of wine history, with its authentic country life and indigenous grape varieties dating far back to the ancient Minoans. Veta, one of our local guides, says ‘What I like most about showing visitors around on this tour is that they meet the local producers and farmers and hear their stories.' Over the course of the day, you'll taste locally produced olive oil, enjoy a typical Cretan lunch, and sip on regional whites and reds at an award-winning winery.We'll begin our culinary adventure at the Kriti Allios olive oil producer, set among olive groves to the south of Heraklion. Here we'll tour the facilities and surrounding groves before a Cretan olive oil tasting session. ‘Olive oil has been a Cretan staple since Minoan times. Archeologists have found evidence that the Minoans, the earliest Cretan civilization, used olive oil for rituals, medicine and culinary purposes,' adds Veta. After the tasting, there's a tasty farm fresh lunch to tuck into with traditional local delicacies.Next, we'll pay a visit to family-run Titakis Winery. Its wines have won multiple awards in the past decade, especially the Kotsifali reds. After a tour of the estate and the wine production areas, you'll taste four different wines, accompanied by breadsticks and olives. Veta says, ‘There's always a bottle on the dinner table in Cretan homes – and often it'll be from this winery. The Titakis family has a strong focus on the production of rare local varieties.'

free cancellation
Available in:

de, en 

Elafonisi Island Tour with Monastery and Agia Sophia Cave
Excursions & day trips

Elafonisi Island Tour with Monastery and Agia Sophia Cave

The uninhabited island of Elafonisi may be tiny but it's bursting with personality. This journey to this islet off southwestern Crete is steeped in myths and legends and boasts historic buildings and amazing natural scenery – making it an ideal excursion for all the family.

free cancellation
Available in:

en 

Western Crete Tour with Agia Triada Monastery and Chania
Excursions & day trips

Western Crete Tour with Agia Triada Monastery and Chania

Crete's western corner offers up some fantastic history and scenery. And this daytrip is great for taking it all in, from a monastery winery to a picturesque lake.

free cancellation
Available in:

en 

Things to do in Crete

Crete is a much-loved Greek island with something for everyone — think Caribbean-style sands, delicious cuisine and important archaeological sites. If you're looking for relaxation and beach life, you won't leave disappointed — you'll find many stretches of white sand with clear water, perfect for snorkelling. If you prefer a cultural holiday, there's a treasure-trove of interesting archaeological sites, dating back to the Minoan civilization. And in between, there's nature, trekking, food and wine experiences, as well as island-hopping excursions.

Top six things to do in Crete

1. Visit the Palace of Knossos

Located just a 15-minute drive - or 30-minutes by public transport - from Heraklion's city centre, the Palace of Knossos is an essential visit for anyone travelling to Crete. This ancient archaeological gem dates back to 1700 BC and stands as a testament to the Minoan civilisation's cultural legacy. As one of the most significant and well-preserved sites of Minoan culture, the palace is renowned for its connection to the famous Minotaur legend and its labyrinth. Recently renovated to preserve its historical allure, a variety of guided tours are available to explore this impressive piece of Crete's heritage.

2. Explore Spinalonga Island

Set sail from Agios Nikolaos by ferry to see the haunting yet beautiful Spinalonga — an abandoned island off the northeast coast of Crete. Steeped in history, this island traces its roots back to the late 16th century, when it was fortified by the Venetians. Over the centuries, Spinalonga has witnessed a multitude of eras, including a poignant chapter as a leper colony. Abandoned in 1957, the island now beckons visitors to explore within its ancient walls and hidden coves.

3. Hike through the Samaria Gorge

If you're after a more active experience on your Cretan holiday, don't miss trekking through the remarkable Samaria Gorge. All you'll need is a hat, sunblock and plenty of water to explore this spectacular canyon. The trail, spanning 16 km, is relatively easy to hike and predominantly downhill, especially starting from Omalos. You'll pass through untouched nature, remnants of abandoned villages and ancient chapels — all along a trail carved into the rock. A top thing to do whilst in Crete.

4. Discover the city of Chania

Chania, on the northwestern coast of the island, is often considered the most beautiful city in Crete, and we think you might well agree. Small and characteristic, colourful, vibrant and seafaring, Chania is truly surprising. You can have an iced coffee in a trendy bar, have lunch under a flowered pergola, stroll through the beautiful Venetian port, visit the archaeological museum, the maritime museum, the mosque, the Orthodox cathedral, and finish off with a bit of shopping in the local craft shops. A perfect trip for the whole family.

5. Discover olive oil production

Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, is famous for several culinary specialities including olive oil, a high-quality product that tells a story of passion for the land, family, tradition and harmony with nature. During your holiday, take half a day to explore inland to discover this fundamental ingredient of the Mediterranean diet. By visiting a farm or a cooperative, you will learn more about the product and its processing, and you’ll no doubt have the chance to taste it.

6. Relax on the beach at Elafonissi

Considered by many to be the most beautiful beach on Crete, Elafonissi needs little introduction. It's famous for its pinkish-hued sand and turquoise waters - Caribbean colours in the middle of the Mediterranean. Just offshore from the splendid beach is the islet of the same name, which, depending on the tides, is connected to the mainland by a sandbar or can be reached by walking through shallow water. The area is also important for its natural wonders - the presence of hundreds of rare plants and Loggerhead turtles, which come here to lay their eggs.

Plan your trip to Crete

When’s the best time to visit Crete?

Visiting Crete is enjoyable throughout the year, but the best months are April through June and September through October, when the weather is warm and sunny and the island is not too crowded with visitors. July and August are the peak season and often see very high temperatures, above 40 degrees. Winter is mild and sometimes rainy, but it is still a favourable season for visiting the cities and inland areas.

How many days should you spend in Crete?

Crete is a very large island with so much to offer. On a one-week holiday you can fit in a visit to Heraklion, see the Chania area and spend time at the spectacular beaches of the west coast. With more time on your hands, we recommend pushing on to the southeast of the island to discover a wilder and decidedly less touristy part of the island.

What are the best beaches in Crete?

Crete is famous for its west coast beaches, in the province of Chania. In particular, Balos Lagoon beach is known for its fine white sand, crystalline water, and scenic, wild landscapes. Falassarna is especially popular with surfers because of its reliable wind. By contrast, moving east, Elounda is the chicest beach on Crete, and the Golden Beach on the island of Chrissi is an absolute must-see.