DAY 1 HERAKLION
Arrival in heraklion and transfer from the airport to hotel . Rest of day free. Overnight
DAY 2 HERAKLION –HALF DAY TOUR KNOSSOS PALACE MUSEUM AND CITY OF HERAKLION
After breakfast departure for a 5 hours half day tour to Heraklion , Knossos and archeological museum . Why is Crete called the Cradle of Europe A visit to Knossos the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete is a must to understand the Minoan civilization and culture.Let the rich history of Greece captivate you on this tour that takes you back 5000 years into myths and legends and secrets of Europes oldest civilization, the Minoans. See the most famous and popular of all attractions in Crete, the Palace of Knossos. The Minoan Palace of Knossos is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete and was probably the ceremonial and political center of the Minoan civilization and culture. After visiting the Knossos palace visit the archeological museum . Then take some time off for shopping at the colorful and goods-laden markets in Heraklion. Overnight
DAY 3 HERAKLION – OPTIONAL TOUR TO SAMARIA GORGE
Breakfast . Optional tour to Samaria gorge . Leaving early in the morning and driving along the north coastline, we stop for a short breakfast break outside Rethymnon, before we continue to Chania and on to the Plain of Omalos 1300 meters above sea level where we begin our descent into the gorge. The 18 klms walk begins with our descent from Xyloskalo (800 meters) onto the floor of the gorge.The gorge of Samaria is one of the longest in Europe, some 18 klms (12 miles) and varies from 2-40 meters width, with a depth of 250-600 meters. It takes 6-7 hours to walk through and it is essential for you to have the correct footwear as it is rocky in some places. However, the ever changing view and the wonderful scents of pinewood and Cretan herbs make the walk pleasant and the effort worthwhile.Following the path next to the river bed of Taras, with its crystal sparkling water, you pass the stone huts and Osia (Santa) Maria church in the deserted village of Samaria, through fantastic rock formations which have been carved and etched by thousands of years of winter torrents, taste the fresh cold water from the springs on these rocks, and finally get into the narrow pass of Sideroportes (Iron doors) that rises to a height of 300 meters but is only a few meters wide.This brings you to the mouth of the gorge, which is on the shores of the Libyan Sea, at the small fishing village of Aghia Roumeli.
Here you can taste a meal in one of the local taverns or enjoy a refreshing swim in the blue water of the Libyan Sea. From here you are transported by boat to Chora Sfakion, where we meet our coach for the return journey through the scenic route of Imbros Gorge and the Plateau, the villages of Askifou and Vrisses.Definitely a trip for the adventurous and fairly fit. Return to hotel . Overnight.
DAY 4 HERAKLION – RHODES
Transfer from hotel to heraklion airport for departure . Flight to Rhodes . Arrival. transfer from the airport to hotel . Rest day at leisure. Overnight.
DAY 5 RHODES – HALF DAY TOUR ACROPOLIS OF LINDOS AND CITY OF RHODES
Breakfast. Continue for a half day Lindos and city of Rhodes excursion The excursion includes licensed Guides and deluxe air-conditioned buses and commences with a one-hour scenic drive along the East Coast of the Island, which passes through different landscapes and many villages. At the village of Archangelos, the guests will enjoy a visit to a pottery factory, for a demonstration of handmade pottery being crafted at a Potter’s wheel. At Lindos the ‘Jewel of the Island’ with the most attractive village on Rhodes, the guests will enjoy a guided visit of the Acropolis, which includes the Great Stoa, the Temple of Athena Lindia of the 4th century BC, the ancient theatre and the few remains of the temple of Dionysus. The view from the rock of the Acropolis, which rises shear 115m above the sea, is unique. The guided visit continues through the picturesque medieval village, built amphitheatrically around the foot of the steep rock leading to the acropolis. The houses with their traditional architecture and decorated floors, many dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries, leaves one with a feeling of wonder. The final visit is to 15th century medieval church dedicated to the Virgin Mary, with its octagonal dome, unusual belfry, carved iconostasis and 17th century wall paintings.
The excursion continues back to the Medieval City where the guests disembark at the D’Amboise Gate and on foot visit the Grand Masters Palace, the most imposing building of medieval Rhodes. It was originally built in the 14th Century, but demolished by an explosion in 1856. It was restored in 1939, during the Italian occupation. The excursion continues down ‘The Street of the Knights,’ which, in spite of the restoration of its buildings, has remained untouched by the passage of 500 years, since it was originally built in the 14th century. The Gothic order predominate the entire street. The Inns of the various ‘Tongues’ stand in a row, with impressive arched doorways, their emblems carved above them.
Rest of day at leisure. Overnight
DAY 6 RETURN DAY
Breakfast . Transfer from the hotel to airport for departure .