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Discover Crete Tour
Type of Holiday: Private Tour
Holiday length: 5 days / 4 nights
Start City: Heraklion
End City: Heraklion
Departures: Daily


This short tour of Crete allows you to discover the history and architecture of this special part of Greece.  Visit Heraklion, the ruins of Knossos, Agios Nikolaos, the wine growing area of Scalani; including a cruise along the Mirebelo Gulf for a different perspective on the island and what it has to offer.
Gain an understanding of the Minoan culture and the impact of the Venetians on Crete.                                                                                                                          

Day 1
Heraklion Arrival
  Welcome to Crete. You will be met and provided with all the necessary information concerning your itinerary and hotel accommodation. Heraklion is the biggest city of the island.  Free time
Sites to Visit during your free day: The massive Venetian walls, the medieval castle Koules in the Harbor, Morozini's fountain in the center and other Venetian buildings & monuments, which gives a very special character to the city. The monastery of St. Catherine (Aghia Aikaterine - a metochi (dependency) of the monastery of synonymous on Mount Sinai) was an important cultural and artistic center from the 15th till 17th century. You can visit also the local market full with local products & souvenirs as well as the city center for leisure & shopping.
Day 2
Knossos visit
  Only few kilometres south of Heraklion, Knossos, the capital of King Minos and the center of the magnificent Minoan civilisation is located. Our visit here will take you a step back in time and some 4000 years, 2000 BC. Knossos and her Palace, famous throughout the world through the myths of Europa, the Minotaur, the Labyrinth and Theseus, Daedalus and Icarus, will open a window to the most ancient civilisation of Europe - an unmissable experience.
Knossos' architecture includes multi-storey buildings (first in the world) with light wells and bathrooms, impressive pillars and an ingenuous drainage system, aqueducts, irrigation systems, paved roads and magnificent frescoes - illustrating a way of life unimagined at this time.
Next visit the town's famous Archeological Museum, situated in the center of the city. Gain an understanding of the masterpieces through the ages with selected items from each period displayed in a specially designed wing. (B)
Day 3
Agios Nikolaos - Spinalonga Cruise - Agios Nikolas
  Today drive along the North-East coast through the gorge of St George to reach the picturesque town of Agios Nikolaos. Here you will board a boat and commence a cruise to Spinalonga Island. Cruise along the Mirabelo gulf passing Kri-Kri Island, the Cave of the pirate Barbarossa and the bird island before reaching the small island of Spinalonga.
Spinalonga has had a very chequered history and today, although uninhabited, still echoes with ghostly reminders of the past. The Venetians constructed a very impressive fortress with 40 cannons which has been guarding the bay since the 15th century. At the beginning of 19th century it became a leper colony, the last active leper colony in Europe, and it remained so until 1957, when it was cleared by the Health Authorities, leaving the place uninhabited.
Return to Agios Nikolaos where you have time to browse the shop windows and visit the bottomless lake, where the "Lotus Eaters" a well-known film - was shot. Return to Heraklion for overnight. (B)
Day 4
Wine growing area of Scalani & Heraklion sightseeing

Drive through the city and breathtaking landscapes of country and vineyards to the famous wine producing area of Scalani, south of Heraklion.  Stop at a modern winery to view modern wine making methods and sample some of the delicious Cretan wines. The drive continues through the rural village of Scalani before returning to Heraklion to continue a city tour - wander the streets around the city to view the Venetial buildings and castle, the Venetian harbour, impressive Cathedral, fountains, and open street markets to gain a sense of the heart of the city. (B)

Day 5
Heraklion departure
Departure transfer to the airport or port. (B)



Tourist or first class accommodation (as requested)
Transfers and transportation as per itinerary
Meals and sightseeing as per itinerary
Crete Travel notes issued by Innovative Travel

Personal expenses
Travel Insurance
Optional tours
All meals not specified
Any other service not clearly mentioned in the inclusions above

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