CRETE

An island out of time

From Saturday 22 May to Sunday 30 May 2021

TRIP CONFIRMED

SUMMARY

Crete is an island out of time, where has passed historythat, intertwining with the Myth, has left tracesand indelible marks. Crete is also an artist’s canvas that combines a clean and intense sea with rugged mountain peaks, passing through the green valleys of olive treesand fruit trees, up to the romantic historical cities and archaeological sites.

We’ll take you to the largest Greek island, the fifth in the Mediterranean, through an exciting tour in 7 stages: from the pink beach of Elafonissi to the magnificent Palace of Knossos, from the lush palm forest, to the splendid Venetian fortress of Rethymno.

The typical Mediterranean climate is pleasant even in winter but the best time to visit Crete is certainly the mid-season, when the sea is still warm, the sun is less powerful, the great variety of landscapes is best expressed and especially the masses of tourists have left. The Meltemi, typical wind of the Aegean, which generally blows in summer, in autumn it calms down and it turns far and wide, riding our bikes, which is the best way to live it to the fullest, it will really be an unforgettable experience!

Duration

9 days / 8 nights

km

about 1.100

departure

Heraklion

arrival

Heraklion

daily avg

180 km

stops

1 day in Sougia

Travel program

Day 1, Saturday 22 May: arrival in Heraklion

Arrival of the participants at the Heraklion International Airport and transfer to the hotel. Meeting with the guide, welcome briefing and explanation of the travel program. Depending on the arrival time it’s possible to visit the Archaeological Museum.

Day 2, Sunday 23 May: Heraklion – Chania

about km 240

Let’s go! We head west and our first stop will be Fodele, birthplace of the painter El Greco. The next stop will be at the Cave of Melidoni, rich in stalactites and stalagmites, was the refuge of Talo, the legendary bronze giant that guarded the Cretan coasts. Another stop at a sad testimony is the Arkadi Monastery which owes its fame to a dramatic historical event that made it a symbol of Cretan independence and rebellion against the Turks. We continue our journey through Lake Kournasto see its clear waters change colour according to the time of the day and temperature. Before reaching our final destination, a stop at the inlet of Seitan Limania and the Church of San Spiridone that dominates it and that together form an idyllic picture is a must! Mid-afternoon we arrive in Chania, also called “The Venice of the East” because of its tall buildings overlooking the water!

Day 3, Monday 24 May: Chania – Sougia

km 190 approx.

The first stop of the day is Malemewhere in the nearby hill, called Hill 107, the German war cemetery offers a recent testimony of the history of the island. We will then make a brief foray into the Rodopou Peninsula where the Gonia Odigitria Monastery offers a delightful view of the bay below. Then, we will arrive at Balos Beach: warm and low water, transparent, pink sand, the Lagoon of Balos is a true paradise in the heart of the Mediterranean. We continue south on convoluted roads until we reach another religious gem, theMonastery of Chrisoskalitissa. Some more miles and we’re in a real paradise! Elafonissiis a lagoon of disarming beauty and, according to many, the most beautiful beach in Crete. We then head to today’s final destination not before having made another stop at Paleochora(in Greek Pelekanos), a small village that with the passage of time has transformed from an ancient fishing village first and from a hippy meeting place then to a popular tourist center nowadays.

Day 4, Tuesday 25 May: Sougia – Agia Roumeli – Sougia

Today we will visit the beautiful Samaria Gorges, one of the longest canyons in Europe, of 16 km. There will be a boat transfer from Sougia to Agia Roumeli from where a path of about 3.5 km will begin and it’ll take us until we reach theIron Gates, the narrowest and deepest tract of the entire gorge. Always on foot, we will return to Agia Roumeli, where, at the mouth of the river you can see the ruins of the temple of Apollo Tarraeus. Always with a boat we will return to Sougia in the middle of the afternoon.

Day 5, Wednesday 26 May: Sougia – Rethymno

approx. km 250

Today a stage completely to be driven but with a couple of exceptional stops along the way, the Gorges of Imbros will be the first attraction. The suggestive gorges that we will observe from above, are 8 kilometres long but practicable only during the summer months because of the flood of streams. We will also stop in Frangokastellowhere we will combine the beauty of natural landscapes with the ruins of the Venetian fortress. Arrival in the late afternoon in Rethymno, where we will visit the city centre that revolves around the Raimondi Fountain, not far from which there is the beautiful Venetian Loggia, and, above all, the Venetian harbour full of bars and restaurants with fishing boats anchored to the docks.

Day 6, Thursday 27 May: Rethymno – Ierapetra

about km 200

Shortly after the departure we take the green Amari Valley where you can admire fantastic landscapes, we then continue our descent towards the sea until we reach a vast archaeological complex consisting of Agia Triadaand the Minoan Palace of Phaestos built on a plateau overlooking the Plain of Messara. Not wanting to make us miss anything and if the desire to visit ruins has not been satisfied so far, we could make a stop at the Archaeological Site of Gortyna. We will arrive in the middle of the afternoon in the southernmost city of Europe, Ierapetra, on the Libyan Sea and reflected on the Island of Chrissi.

Day 7, Friday 28 May: Ierapetra – Agio Nikolaos

approx. km 220

Keeping the sea to the right we draw the perimeter of the island until we reach the Minoan Palace and the Zakros beach, tiny town with a quiet atmosphere ideal for a mid-morning stop. Once again, we head north until we reach Vai to admire, behind the emerald water and the warm golden sand, the largest natural palm grove in Europe of Phoneix Theoprastii. We turn around the peninsula passing by the Toplou Monastery, one of the richest on the island and famous throughout Greece for the excellent products it produces. On the way back an interesting stop could be given by Stia, very nice is the Kazarma Castle, that stands on a hill near the port and the fascinating ruins of the Venetian monastery to visit in the Old Town. We will arrive in mid-afternoon at Agios Nikolaos where the Venetian fortress stands out on the beautiful Gulf of Mirabello.

Day 8, Saturday 29 May: Agio Nikolaos – Heraklion

approx. km 150

Last stop of this wonderful journey and perhaps the shortest of all, but not for these reasons, without attractions. Indeed! We climb immediately to the top of the mountain that houses the ancient city of Latoto contemplate the spectacular views of the sea and then, we go back to Neapolito taste the almond milk produced in this area. They say it’s the best of the whole island if not of the whole Greece! But keep strong because one of the highlights of the day comes now: Psychro, the cave where according to mythology was born Zeus. We will start again crossing the Lassithi Plateau, punctuated by its windmillsuntil we reach Myrtia, birthplace of Nikos Kazantzakis, Cretan writer and author of Zorba the Greek. A visit to the small and delightful museum dedicated to him will not take more than half an hour. We then proceed to our final destination but you cannot leave Crete without visiting the places of the myth. The legendary Palace of Knossos, the one of the famous labyrinths of the Minotaur, mythological character half man and half bull that was killed by Theseuswith the help of Ariadne. The end of this adventure, if not the arrival at destination, will be in the middle/end of the afternoon even if the real epilogue of the day will be the pantagruelian dinner at the end of the trip!

Day 9, Sunday 30 May: Heraklion departure

Meeting of the participants and transfer to the airport. Return flight to Italy.

Time left to the departure

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The tour will be confirmed upon reaching 10 participants

Prices

Participation fees in shared room:

  • Driver: Euro 1.950
  • Passenger: Euro 1.750
  • Single room surcharge: Euro 490

Motorcycle transport Verona- Herakleio –VERONA: with a minimum of 8 bikes Euro 590

  • The price includes:
  • Transport insurance

 

  • Return ticket: Euro 300 (cost to be verified at the time of ticket issuance)
    R

    The price includes

    • 8 overnight stays with breakfast (4/5-star hotel)
    • 8 dinners
    • Boat trip to the Samaria Gorges
    • Companion on a motorbike
    • Companion in van
    • Support van for luggage transport and possible motorbike breakdown
    O

    The price doesn’t include

    • Transfer from/to airport
    • Fuel
    • Lunches
    • Drinks with meals
    • Admission tickets to the places visited (monasteries, museums, archaeological sites, etc.)
    • Possible parking costs of motorbikes
    • Tips and personal expenses
    • Everything not specified in “the price includes”

    Registration by 30 April 2021

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