11 days/10 nights | October 15-25, 2023
This is an active tour with hiking included. If you prefer not to do some of the hikes, you’re welcome to stay back and enjoy the amenities of the hotel.
The tour begins at 4 pm on October 15th. You should arrive into Athens no later than 1 pm on October 15th. The tour ends at the Athens airport at 8 am on October 25th. Your flight should depart no earlier than 10 am.
($1150 single supplement)
Additional hotel night before start of tour: $245 per room. Airport transfer and breakfast included
• 10 breakfasts,
• 4 lunches (wine included)
• 4 dinners (wine included)
• Transfers from and to Athens International Airport
• All accommodations from start to end of tour
• All transportation during the tour (air-conditioned bus or minivans, ferries and flights to/from Crete)
• All included group activities, wine tastings, entry fees as per itinerary
• A full-time Two Dog Travel tour director with you and available 24/7
• A local professional bi-lingual guide for activities
• All local guide, driver and restaurant tips are included per itinerary
• Airfare, airport taxes and other transportation to and from the pickup location
• Personal charges such as laundry, telephone calls, rooms service, mini-bar, souvenirs
• Private excursions not mentioned in the itinerary
• Gratuities for chambermaids or personal porters
• Gratuities for your Tour Dog Travel tour director (at your discretion)
• Travel Insurance
Tour Director - Becky Edwards
Day 1 - Athens, Herodion Hotel - D
After your overnight flight to Athens you will be met at the airport and transferred to our conveniently located hotel where your Two Dog Travel tour director will be waiting to greet you. If you arrive early in the day, your room may not be ready but the hotel will be happy to store your luggage. Your tour leader will be available to make suggestions on things to do and help get you acquainted with the area. We will all meet in the afternoon and join our local archaeologist/guide for a tour of Athens' crowning glory, the Acropolis. Our tour will end at a local restaurant where we will enjoy a welcome dinner and toast to our upcoming Crete adventure.
Day 2 - Heraklion, Lato Hotel - B, L (food tour), D
After breakfast, we’ll check out of the hotel and catch our flight to the beautiful island of Crete. After checking into the hotel we’ll enjoy a food tour in Heraklion, learn about the unique history of the cuisine of Crete and taste some of the products. Next we’ll visit the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion which holds amazings finds from the 3000-year-old Minoan Civilization. In the evening we'll meet at our hotel's rooftop restaurant for dinner with a view..
Day 3 - Dalabelos Estate - B
Today we’ll visit the famous Palace of Knossos, the ceremonial and political center of the Minoan civilization. We’ll spend the morning with our guide as we learn of this amazing place. Next we’ll head to the beautiful traditional village of Archanes. We’ll visit a local specialty shop and learn about the herbs and spices of Crete and taste some local mountain tea, said to cure many ailments. After free time to wander the village, do some shopping and grab lunch, we’ll drive to a mountain retreat, our home for the next few nights. In the evening you'll be free to enjoy the estate as you'd like.
Day 4 - Dalabelos Estate - B, L
Today we’ll explore the impressive mountain range of Psiloritis, visit the historical village of Anogia and continue to the Nida plateau. Here we’ll take a short hike to Ideon cave, said to be the birthplace of Zeus, the mythical king of the gods. Next we’ll visit an ancient sheperd’s hut called a mitato, meet a local cheese producer and learn about the process to make the cheese and, of course, have a taste. For lunch we’ll experience a traditional Cretan mountain meal. The rest of the evening will be free to enjoy the amenities of the estate where we're staying.
Day 5 - Dalabelos Estate - B, L, D
Today our first stop will be the Arkadi Monastery, well-known from the events of November 1866. Here tragic events took place to make it a national symbol of Crete’s heroic struggle for independence and secured support for Cretan independence. Our next stop is Ancient Eleftherna, dating from the 9th Century BC. We’ll visit the ancient site and enjoy a hike in this beautiful region of Crete, stopping for a picnic lunch of local products. After returning to our hotel we’ll have some free time before meeting back up for a cooking class. We’ll learn to make some of the Cretan specialties we’ve been learning about and then sit down for dinner and taste our creations.
Day 6 - Thalassa Beach Resort and Spa - B, L
After checking out we’ll make our way to Dourakis Winery. Here we’ll learn about the unique Cretan varietals, tour the winery and taste some of their wines. Next we’ll explore the Apokoronas province, stopping in the village of Gavalohori where we’ll visit the folklore art museum and enjoy a taverna lunch. Our last stop will be the beautifully renovated village of Vamos where you’ll have some free time to explore. Next we’ll drive to the coast and check into our seaside resort and spa, our home for the rest of the trip.
Day 7 - Thalassa Beach Resort and Spa - B
Today it’s time to slow down and enjoy the beach and spa. You’ll have the morning and early afternoon to spend as you’d like. Perhaps you’ll sleep in and enjoy the spa or spend the time on the beach. Either way, it’ll be time well spent. In the afternoon we’ll meet back up and drive to Chania and its gorgeous Venetian Old Town and harbor. Our guide will take us through the winding streets and we’ll learn of the history of this beautiful town. After our tour you'll have the rest of the evening free to explore the town, shop and grab dinner before we head back to our beach resort.
Day 8 - Thalassa Beach Resort and Spa - B
Today we’ll get out in nature as we hike the Imbros Gorge with its beautiful rock formations and narrow passages. It’s an easy downhill hike and sure to be an amazing morning. After our hike we’ll board a private boat that will take us along the southern coast to the town of Loutro, a remote seaside village only accessible via boat or foot. You’ll have free time to grab lunch and swim in the sea before we take our private boat back to our vehicle.
Day 9 - Thalassa Beach Resort and Spa - B, L
Today it’s all about the beautiful Cretan beaches. We’ll start with a drive across the white mountains to the southern coast and the beautiful beach of Elafonissi, often named one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Here’s you’ll have time to relax for several hours before we drive up the west coast to a local restaurant where we’ll sit by the sea and enjoy a fresh seafood lunch. The next stop is our last beach of the day, Falasarna, where the late afternoon sun creates some of the most beautiful light you may ever see. It’s sure to be a relaxing day of sun and sand.
Day 10 - Thalassa Beach Resort and Spa - B, D
Today you’ll have the morning free to enjoy the beach resort and spa before meeting up in the afternoon. We’ll start with a visit to an apiary where we’ll meet the beekeeper, learn about the importance of bees on Crete and taste the famous Cretan thyme honey, possibly the best honey you’ve ever had. After our honey experience we’ll visit an olive estate, another important product of Crete. We’ll tour the estate and learn about the production of olive oil, the processing methods and taste the difference. We’ll follow our tour with a relaxing Cretan farewell dinner at the estate where we’ll be entertained by a group of local Cretan dancers. You may even choose to join in and learn a few of theses traditional dances. We’ll toast to our amazing Cretan adventure and the fun memories we’ve made.
Day 11 - B
Unfortunately our time on Crete must come to an end. This morning we’ll transfer to the Chania airport to catch our early morning flight to Athens arriving in time to catch your flight home.
Interested in staying an extra day on Crete to hike the famous Samaria Gorge? Let us know and we’ll be happy to add the extra day just for you or, if we have enough interest, we’ll add an optional extension to the tour.
Note: The itinerary is descriptive, not definitive and is subject to change. In particular our actual itinerary will depend on the ferry and flight schedules, which vary from year to year. There also may be modifications due to weather and availability of local activities and guides.