Begin your Crete tour with a wonderful scenic ride to a tiny village set in rolling hillsides. If that alone isn’t enough to entice you, spend the morning sipping coffees in the courtyard of a house made famous in local folklore. You’ll also get to meet the owner of the house and hear about life in 19th-century Crete. As you continue your drive, you’ll see a side of Crete that tourists don’t often get to see: namely, the rural areas beyond the city center.
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, and the religious edifices.
From here on, your next mission will be to get better acquainted with rural life. Roll up your sleeves as your learn how to make and bake bread. 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 up a wood-fire stone oven.
While your bread slowly bakes, take an opportunity to explore this remote region. With the help of a local, you'll visit a quaint Byzantine church from the 11th century. The exceptionally beautiful and well-preserved mosaics and frescoes are a testament to the church's unique history. You’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.
Next you'll explore an abandoned monastery, located in the heart of the Amari Valley. This Byzantine monastery flourished during the late periods of 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, a bus will take you back to the village, where you’ll get to taste not only your fresh-baked bread, but other products from a local family’s farm. A three-course meal and a million-dollar view — what else could one need?
With your belly stuffed and heart content, end your day with a walk through one of the most beautiful gorges in Crete. You'll explore for about half an hour through lush, green scenery and along running waters, enough time to make room for 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.
Centrally located meeting points in Chania and Rethymnon.