Experiences

The largest of the Greek Islands, Crete offers a diverse range of activities from beaches, wineries, caves and more.

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Hiking Tours

The Samaria Gorge has rightly become one of the iconic hiking destinations of Europe. The 16km canyon runs from a plateau in the shadow of Crete’s White Mountains all the way to the Libyan Sea. It is the longest gorge in Greece and forms part of the E4 hiking trail that traverses Europe. But that’s just the start of a journey that has become a rite of passage for anyone wanting to explore the extraordinarily diverse region of Chania.

Sailing Tours

Golden by name, golden by nature. Chrissi takes its name from the colour of the shimmering sand on its beautiful beaches. Now add to that the experience of a tiny island of aquamarine water and colourful shells and the scent of cedar trees wafting through the air. There’s no question. If you take a day trip here, you’re in for a treat.

Walking tour

Sometimes Venetian, sometimes Ottoman but always unmistakably Cretan, Rethymno’s Old Town hides its secrets in plain sight. Taking a walk through the original settlement of the city located midway between Chania and Heraklion, on Crete’s northern coastline, is to relive its past through distinctive buildings, street markets, atmospheric alleyways and historical monuments.

Boat trip to Spinalonga

For a while, Spinalonga wasn’t on Greece’s tourist map, but today it stands as a poignant memorial to yet another chapter of Crete’s astonishingly diverse history. In Crete’s Gulf of Elounda, the teardrop-shaped island boasts a 16th century Venetian fortress, but its use as a leper colony for more than 50 years meant that authorities did little to publicise it. Tourists started to discover it when boats began making the short crossing from the mainland in the 1980s and, when it was the setting for Victoria Hislop’s best-selling novel The Island in 2005, it rightly gained international recognition.

The wine routes of Heraklion

It’s hardly surprising that Heraklion is attracting ever-greater attention as a wine destination. More than two-thirds of Crete’s vineyards are found here and the region accounts for some 80% of the island’s wine production. After all, the growing conditions – cool winters and long, dry summers accompanied by rich Mediterranean sunshine – would have been just as ideal when the first vines were cultivated here, an incredible 4,000 years ago.

Local cuisine in Crete

And most of all Crete, the island that gave the world one of its healthiest – and most delicious – ways of eating. Wild greens in abundance, the best olive oil, fresh fish and heavenly cheeses. As soon as you land, you’ll smell the herbs growing on its hillsides – oregano, thyme, rosemary and dittany – blended with the salty air from both the Libyan and Aegean sea. Just the appetiser for what you are about to discover on your culinary odyssey. Traditional Greek flavors in Santorini