Excursions & Tours in Crete Greece
Find below our best deals, Packages and programs for tours and cruises in Crete island Greece.
Tour in Knossos Crete
The centre of Minoan civilisation and capital of Minoan Crete lay 5km south of Heraklion. Knossos flourished for approximately two thousand years. It had large palace buildings, extensive workshop installations and luxurious rock-cut cave and tholos tombs. As a major centre of trade and the economy, Knossos maintained ties with the majority of cities in the Eastern Mediterranean. Wealth accumulation and the advancement of an urban lifestyle were the hallmarks of this zenith, which began circa 2000 BC and was typified by magnificent monumental buildings and a complex social structure. The Minoan palace is the main site of interest at Knossos, an important city in antiquity, which was inhabited continuously from the Neolithic period until the 5th c. AD. The palace was built on the Kephala hill and had easy access to the sea and the Cretan interior. According to tradition, it was the seat of the wise king Minos. The Palace of Knossos is connected with thrilling legends, such as the myth of the Labyrinth, with the Minotaur, and the story of Daidalos and Ikaros. The first excavation of the site was conducted in 1878 by Minos Kalokerinos of Herakleion. This was followed by the long-term excavations 1900-1913 and 1922-1930) of the Englishman Sir Arthur Evans, who uncovered virtually the entire palace. The earliest traces of inhabitation in the area of the palace go back to the Neolithic period (7000-3000) BC). The site continued to be occupied in the Pre-palatial period (3000-1900 BC), at the end of which the area was leveled for the erection of a large palace. This first palace was destroyed, probably by an earthquake, about 1700 BC. A second, larger palace was built on the ruins of the old one. This was partially destroyed about 1450BC, after which the Mycenaeans established themselves at Knossos.The palace was finally destroyed about 1350 BC by a major conflagration. The site it covered was occupied again from the Late Mycenaean period until Roman times. Extensive reconstruction of the Palace of Knossos was carried out by the excavator, Sir Arthur Evans. It was a multi-storey building covering an area of 20.000 square meters. Impressive features of it are the variety of building materials used, and the painted plaster, marble revetment and wall-paintings adorning the rooms and passages. The advanced level of technology attained by the Minoans is also demonstrated by some original architectural and structural features, such as the light -wells and polythyra, the use of beams to reinforce the masonry, and the complex drainage and water-supply systems. The palace is set around a large Central Court, an area used for public meetings. A second courtyard, the West Court, acted both as the official approach to the palace and a ceremonial area. The west wing was occupied by the official rooms for administrative and religious activities, including the Tripartite Shrine, the Sacred Repositories and the Pillar Crypts. The Throne Room is out standing amongst them, with its lustral basin and the gypsum throne flanked by benches. The most important areas in the south wing are the South Propylon, the Corridor of the Procession and the South Entrance, with the fresco of the Prince of the Lilies. The east wing contained the residential quarters and large reception rooms, the most important being the Hall of the Double Axes and the Queen''s Hall. These rooms are approached by the imposing Grand Staircase. From the North Entrance, a road led to the harbour of Knossos. The North Entrance is flanked by elevated stoas, the one at the west being decorated with the Bull Hunt fresco. A large, stone-paved processional way, the Royal Road, led from the Small Palace and the city to the Norh-west conrner of the palace, where there was an open-air theatral area. Around the palace extended the Minoan settlement, with the cemeteries on the hills. Important buildings from this same period include: the South House, the House of ther Chancel Screen, the Small Palace, the Caravanserai, the Royal Villa and the Temple-Tomb. The Villa Dionysos with its floor mosaics (2nd c/. AD) is an important building of the Roman period. The numerous finds from the palace, all of exceptionally high quality art, pottery, vessels, figurines, the archive of Linear B tablets, and the original wall-paintings, are all housed in Herakleion Museum.
Tour in Samaria Crete
The deserted village of Samariá (GR: Σαμαριά) is located in the middle of the gorge of Samaria, 7.5 km away from Xyloskalo and 8.5km fro Agia Roumeli. This is the main resting point for the gorge walkers coming down from Omalos. There is a fountain with fresh drinkable water from the spring, benches and some tables, in the shade of tall plane trees where the visitors can relax and have some food (Only if they carry it with them). The village of Samaria was abandoned in 1962, when the area declared a National Park. The main occupations of its inhabitants were the wood cutting and bee keeping. Opposite the village are the old olive trees cultivated mainly for the residents' own consumption. Some of the village' s ruined housed are restored and are used today by the gorge authorities. One houses the guards' post, another the doctor's office and a third - the old olive mill - houses the information kiosk of the park where the visitors can view old pictures and folk art exhibits. Kri - kris (the Cetan Ibex) make their appearance here from time to time especially the young ones which are less shy. At the village's edge lies the byzantine church of "Osia Maria of Egypt" (Osia = Saint). The name Samaria is believed that is a corruption of the words "Osia Maria" or "Santa Maria". A little before the village (coming from Xyloskalo) in a small clearing lies the small church of Agios Geórgios.
Excursion Tour in Spinalonga Crete
Spinalonga is a small island located at the entrance of Elounda lagoon and north of the Gulf of Mirabello. It has an area of 85 acres and its maximum height is 53 meters. The history of the island still inspires awe. It has been a Venetian fortress, a castle colony, a rebel refuge, a place of exile for lepers, a communication link with Cairo during the Second World War. The island has been well fortified by the Venetians during their presence in Crete. From structural and architectural point of view and from an aesthetic view of the whole landscape, the island still retains an unsurpassed beauty. Its original name was Calydon, but the Venetians named it Spinalonga from the Venetian word Spina-Longa, which means long thorn. According to a second weaker interpretation, Spinalonga derives its name by paraphrasing "Stin Elounda”, meaning “In Elounda”. Another, version tells that the island got its name from a beautiful woman named Longa that was living in the fort.
Excursion Tour in Vai Crete
Considered one of the most beautiful and picturesque beaches in Crete and even the world, the Palm Beach of Vai, also known as Finikodasos is simply astonishing. The greatest highlight of this destination is the largest palm forest in Europe, growing naturally all the way to the beach. With about 6000 trees, this natural wonder greatly increases the charm of the sandy beach, offering shade a nice walking area. Vai Beach sits on a remote and sparsely populated peninsula in northeastern Crete. Awarded with the Blue Flag for its amazing location and perfect sand, Vai Palm Beach is one of the most fascinating destinations of Crete. Vai Beach is located in the northern part of Crete’s eastern coast, in a remote part of the island. The beach is quite far from any human settlement, increasing its charm and quaint atmosphere. The town of Sitia is located about 24 km to the west, while the village of Palekastro is located about 8 km to the south. If you arrive at Heraklion airport, the best option is to rent a car and drive there. There are a lot of amazing things to experience along the way and especially in the area around Vai Palm Beach. You can choose to stay in one of the villages further south and visit Vai Beach and other remote places each day.
Cruise Tour in Santorini Island
Santorini, known since ancient times as Thira, is one of the most famous islands in the world. The fact that you can sit in front of the caldera, enjoy local dishes, a drink or a coffee while gazing at the remarkable beauty of an active volcano is priceless! The island is actually a group of islands consisting of Thira, Thirassia, Aspronissi, Palea and Nea Kameni in the southernmost part of the Cyclades. Santorini’s volcano is one of the few active volcanoes on Greek and European land The islands that form Santorini came into existence as a result of intensive volcanic activity; twelve huge eruptions occurred, one every 20,000 years approximately, and each violent eruption caused the collapse of the volcano’s central part creating a large crater (caldera). The volcano, however, managed to recreate itself over and over again.