Crete (Heraklion) Shore Excursions

Heraklion of Crete – Venetian Heraklion and the unique Archaeological Museum

Duration: 3 hours

Heraklion was founded in 824 and is an important homeland of many contributors to Literature and Art, some examples of which are the Nobel winning poet Odysseas Elytis, the Renaissance painter Domenikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco) and the writer Nikos Kazantzakis.
Heraklion is also endowed with some wonderful edifices: the “Koules” fortress, the award winning Venetian structure of the Loggia, the Morosini Fountain, the Basilica of Saint Mark, the Church of Agios Titos, the medieval monastery of Saint Catherine, the Cathedral of Agios Mina, the Historical Museum of Crete and of course the Palace of Knossos are some exceptional examples.

The tour will come to an end at the Archaeological Museum of the city. Through the exhibits of the Museum, the history of the Cretan culture will unfold and be visualized before you.

Heraklion of Crete – Minoan Palace of Knossos – 1st European Civilization

Duration: 3 hours

The ancient city of Knossos, with constant habitation from the Neolithic era until the 5th century A.D., is beyond doubt the land that “gave birth” to the first civilization of Europe, the Minoans.
The first excavations were begun in 1878 by the Heraklian Minos Kalokairinos. A bit later (1900-1913 & 1922-1930) the excavations by the British Sir Arthur Evans were to complete the scientific research, bringing to light the Minoan palace in its entirety, which was, according to tradition, the residence of the wise King Minos.

The palace of Knossos spreads around the large Central Court. You will reach the awe inspiring Throne Room, the fresco of the “Prince of the Lilies”, the imposing Grand Staircase, the Queen’s Megaron in the east.
Walking through the apartments of the Knossos palace and observing the finds even as passers-by, you will feel part of this cultural heritage.

Heraklion, Crete – Experience the Cretan countryside and lifestyle

Duration: 3 hours

We leave the Venetian walls of Heraklion behind us and drive deep into the beautiful Cretan countryside, through the villages of Episkopi and Sgourokefali, until we arrive at Agarathos, one of the oldest Orthodox monasteries in Crete. We’ll tour the church and the famous library at Agarathos, then we’ll return to the breathtaking country roads of Crete for our drive to the traditional village of Stironas. Take a deep breath here, and enjoy the fresh mountain air as you take in the majestic view – you are 550 meters above sea level. Stironas comprises traditional stone buildings arranged amphitheatrically, with a view toward the mountains. Here we’ll show you how traditional Cretans lived centuries ago. We’ll also visit a botanical parterre which is home to various aromatic and medicinal herbs from the mountains of Crete.

Wine has been made in Crete since the Minoans, and we’ll have a chance to literally put our lips to the deep cup of traditional Cretan winemaking when we visit a raki distiller and sample traditional raki directly from the barrels in his cellar! We’ll learn about wine production and bottling, followed by Cretan meze with pure Cretan olive oil and other local products, and traditional Cretan dancers will perform for us during our meal! This is a deep, satisfying draught of the countryside of Crete. Enjoy!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email