Crete: Bygone Crete Adventure
Spend a day in the great outdoors, exploring the rich Cretan culture, villages, and hiking trails that don’t see too many tourists. We’ll visit a medieval town, pass through the oldest olive groves in the Mediterranean, see iconic historic sites, bake bread in a wood-fire oven, explore an abandoned monastery, and even trek through a gorge!
- Travel through time and discover what rural life was like on Crete back in the late 19th century;
- Take a jab at making your own bread in a wood-fire oven, then enjoy a home-cooked meal made with organic products;
- Learn all about Cretan herbs and flora while walking through a remote village that doesn’t host too many tourists;
- Channel your inner explorer at an abandoned monastery, and on a trek, through the greenest gorge, you’ve ever seen.
Your Crete tour will commence with a wonderful scenic ride to a tiny village set in rolling hillsides. If that alone isn’t enough to entice you, we’ll spend the morning sipping coffees in the courtyard of a house made famous through folklore, and we’ll also get to meet the owner of the house and hear about life in 19th-century Crete. As we continue our drive, you’ll see a side of Crete that tourists don’t often get to see – namely, the rural areas beyond the city centers.
Our next stop is one of the island’s most famous landmarks: the Monastery of Arkadi. Surrounded by striking natural beauty, and combined with a rich and prestigious history and numerous legends, this landmark of architecture will steal your heart. You’ll also have time to take a tour within its walls and admire the refectory, the museum, an icon shop, as well as the religious edifices.
From here on, our next mission will be to get you acquainted with rural life — so roll up your sleeves as we teach you how to make and bake bread! We’ll participate in a hands-on cooking class in a picturesque mountaintop village. Discover all the techniques required to make the perfect loaf of bread — from preparing the dough to how to heat a wood-fire stone oven!
While our bread slowly bakes, we’ll grasp the opportunity to explore this remote region. With the help of a local, we’ll marvel at a quaint Byzantine church from the 11th century. The exceptionally beautiful and well-preserved mosaics and frescoes are certainly something to marvel at! We’ll also spend some time exploring the nature around us and learn all about Cretan herbs and their use in everyday life — from medicine to cooking!
We will then take some time to explore an abandoned monastery, located in the heart of the Amari Valley. This Byzantine monastery flourished during the late Venetian and Turkish rule but was turned into an agricultural school in the mid-20th century. You’ll feel like an explorer as we walk through the deserted rooms that were once full of life.
At this point, you’ll be probably be starving. But worry not, our bus will take us back to the village, where we’ll get to taste not only our fresh-baked bread but other products from the family’s farm! A three-course meal and a million-dollar view — what else could one need?
With our bellies stuffed and our heart's content, we’ll end our night off with a walk through one of the most beautiful gorges in Crete. We’ll venture and explore for about half an hour through lush, green scenery and along with running waters — to make room for some traditional Cretan sweets and raki, of course!
Though the day may come to a close very quickly, you’ll be left with a sense of appreciation for being able to experience a side of Crete that most tourists on the island are unaware of.
- Local English-speaking guide
- Light dinner
- Fresh orange juice for children
Price does not include
- Additional food and drinks
- Souvenirs or personal shopping
- Tips/gratuities for your driver and guide
- Starting time: 8.15 AM
- Duration: 11 hours
- Language: English
- Meeting point: There are 2 meeting points – please double check the meeting point in your chosen departure city:
- Chania: Chania Municipal Market at 8:15 AM
- Rethymnon: The Square of the Four Martyrs in the centre of Rethymnon at 9:00 AM
- Ending point: Chania Municipal Market. Alternately, we can drop off any tour participants whose hotels are along the route from Rethymnon back to the Chania Municipal Market.
- Dress standard: Please wear comfortable walking shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. A hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses are must-haves in the summer!
- This is a child-friendly tour. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ above when booking. Children under the age of 6 are permitted to join this tour free of charge. Please inform us at the time of booking if you’ll be bringing a child under the age of 6. You can do so in the special request box on the checkout page.