Map of Highlights of Crete including Greece

Tour the ancient histories and sun-kissed shores of Crete

The island of Crete has so much history and natural wonder to offer to a curious traveller. And in seven days on its shores, you’ll see what’s known as Europe’s oldest city, taste some of the region’s best food and wine, and discover some of the world’s most picturesque beaches. From Heraklion, visit the famous archaeological site of Knossos, hike through forests and gorges, unwind in the secluded seaside village of Sougia, and sip wine in the vibrant port city of Chania to show you what makes the island so special. So quintessentially ‘Greece’ and so full of life, the best of Crete is waiting.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Heraklion, Greece
Finish
Chania, Greece
Destination
Greece
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer
Code
ZLSA
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Did you know that Crete is home to Europe’s oldest city? From Heraklion, head to the famous ruins and archaeological site of Knossos – the former capital of Minoan Crete.

  • Uncover the real Crete during visits to its quiet corners. We’ve partnered with non-profit organisation MEET to bring you an ecotourism experience in the delightful village of Agios Ioannis. Spend an evening dining in a local restaurant to the soundtrack of live traditional music and stay the night in a guesthouse with a welcoming local family.

  • Get off the beaten path – literally – during a visit to the charming fishing village of Sougia. Hike, swim, or relax on the beach with a cold drink in hand.

  • Visit the colourful port town of Chania and discover one of its most loved commodities during a visit to a local winery for a wonderful tasting experience.

  • Explore Crete’s natural wonders on foot during a hike through the Agia Irini Gorge, learning about its historical significance and rare wildlife as you go.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Please ensure you consult your local government’s advice regarding domestic travel prior to booking this trip.

  • Just as a heads up before you book: this trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

  • Summer temperatures in Greece can reach up to 40°C, which can be uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. On the other hand, early in the season (April) many businesses may still be closed and the weather is unpredictable, however you may have some of the major sights of the Greek islands almost to yourself. Please consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.

  • Please be aware that some of the Greek Islands are very hilly and mountainous, which means lots & lots of steps are an inherent feature of the landscape. You will have to be able to easily lift your luggage and carry it up and down stairs and inclines. Also, stone streets become very slippery when wet. Some people may find Greece's topography very demanding.

  • As accommodation on this trip is twin-share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same gender. In the village of Agios Ioannis you may be allocated to a triple room.

Itinerary

Welcome to Crete! Greece’s largest island delights with clear waters, charming villages and a tangible history. Your island adventure begins with an 6pm welcome meeting where you’ll meet your local leader and fellow travellers. After the group meeting, perhaps head out for dinner with the group, and get your bearings around the capital with a leader-led orientation walk of Heraklion.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance and emergency contact details at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
This morning head out of the city to the renowned archaeological site of Knossos, considered to be Europe’s oldest city. Explore the ruins with your leader and soak in hundreds and thousands of years of history within its walls. Then it’s time to check out some quiet corners of Crete – continue to the tiny coastal town of Chora Sfakion (sometimes referred to as Sfakia) and the historic village of Anopolis for some short stops, then carry on to Aradaina, teetering on the edge of a gorge, and learn about the history of this dramatic area. Your final stop for the day is the delightful village of Agios Ioannis, nestled into the foothills of the White Mountains. Your well-earned dinner this evening will be a lively affair – feast on local specialties accompanied by a wonderful live performance of traditional music, a perfect introduction to village life in Crete. Spend the night in a traditional guesthouse
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Knossos - Archaeological Site
  • Agios Ioannis - Village Visits
  • Agios Ioannis - Live Music Evening
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
To bring you today’s activities, we’ve partnered with MEET, a non-profit organisation which supports local providers in national parks throughout the Mediterranean by giving them the tools to develop community-based ecotourism projects. This partnership gives you the opportunity to visit these protected places in an authentic and sustainable way.
Bid farewell to Agios Ioannis and drive back to Chora Sfakion where you’ll board our private boat along Crete's stunning south coast to the village of Sougia. This is Crete at its very best – an undiscovered sweep of beach overlooked by brooding mountains. It’s almost too pretty to believe, but believe it, you’re here! Upon arrival in Sougia the afternoon is yours to spend at leisure, and it’s certainly not hard to find something amazing to do. You may like to explore one of the coastal trails, take a swim in the warm waters, or just lay back on the beach and let life tick along around you with a drink in hand.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chora Sfakion - Coastal Boat Ride
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Rise early and board a local bus bound for the Agia Irini Gorge, carved through the west side of the White Mountains. Set off on a shady hike through the gorge as your leader shares stories of the area’s historical past and how it once hid Greek rebels during the Turkish Occupation. The hike is expected to take around three hours and you’ll be rewarded with fantastic views along the way, plus the chance to spot the unique flora and fauna of the region, including endangered Cretan wild goats, cypress, pine, and dittany trees. The rest of the afternoon is yours to spend as you please in Sougia.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sougia - Agia Irini Gorge Hike
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today's hike is about 8km / 3 hours. It isn't particularly strenuous, however please note that the surface varies between well worn forest paths to gravel and loose rocks. There are multiple uphill and downhill sections. Please speak to your leader for more details if you have any concerns, and you can always opt out if you prefer to explore Sougia's surrounds instead, or have a leisurely day on the beach.
Say goodbye to Sougia this morning and catch a local bus to Chania. Beachside, colourful and full of culture, Chania is definitely a traveller’s favourite. On arrival, get a feel for the place during an orientation walk with your leader. The rest of the afternoon is free for your own explorations in Chania. Perhaps take a walk through the city markets, the Ottoman neighbourhood and Jewish quarter, passing by the workshops of traditional artisans. The town is also bursting with excellent restaurants, so be sure to ask your leader for dinner recommendations this evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Start the day with a ‘kalitsounia’ workshop and experience firsthand how one of the most famous Cretan pastries is made. Kalitsounia is commonly had as an appetizer or for breakfast and you can choose your fillings according to your taste: Cretan ‘mizithra’ or ‘anthotyro’ cheese, legendary Cretan greens or choose a sweet filling instead. It’s tasty, nutritious and you can take them with you to enjoy later in the day. Enjoy some free time at leisure in Chania, perhaps taking the time to visit any spots you may have missed yesterday, or simply sitting back with a coffee and watching the locals go about their business. This afternoon meet up with your group again and get to know one of Crete’s most celebrated commodities during a visit to a nearby winery for a wine tasting. Take your time discovering the grape varietals grown in Crete, sampling a range of small-batch vintages. This evening you may like to head out to a local restaurant for a final dinner and use your newfound knowledge of Cretan wine to pair with your meal.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chania - Wine Tasting
  • Chania - Kalitsounia Bakery Workshop
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
With no activities planned for the day, your adventure on Crete comes to an end after breakfast this morning. If you’d like to spend some more time exploring the island, just get in touch ahead of time and we can assist in arranging some additional accommodation to extend your stay (subject to availability).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

6 breakfasts, 1 dinner

Transport

Public bus, Private vehicle, Boat, On foot

Accommodation

Hotel (3 nights), Guesthouse (3 nights)

Included activities

  • Knossos - Archaeological Site
  • Agios Ioannis - Village Visits
  • Agios Ioannis - Live Music Evening
  • Chora Sfakion - Coastal Boat Ride
  • Sougia - Agia Irini Gorge Hike
  • Chania - Wine Tasting
  • Chania - Kalitsounia Bakery Workshop

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Highlights of Crete trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

All travellers on Intrepid trips (outside Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands) are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. From 1 December 2021, all travellers on Intrepid trips, including in Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands, are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Read details here.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A single supplement is bookable on this trip, subject to availability at the time of booking. The price of the single supplement does not include the following nights, where a single room does not form part of the package. In this case you will be matched up with another traveller of the same gender. If a single room becomes available at check-in for these nights, there may be the option for you to upgrade to a single room and pay the surcharge locally for that night:
- Day 2 - Agios Ioannis
- Days 3-4 - Sougia
Please note that due to the small properties we use in Europe there is only a limited amount of single supplements available per trip departure. If you would like to book a single supplement and enquire about availability please speak to your booking agent.

START & END OF TOUR
This trip starts with a group meeting at 6pm on day 1, and ends in the morning of the last day after breakfast. Please take this into consideration when booking your flights to Heraklion and from Chania. We are happy to book additional accommodation before or after the trip for you in either location, subject to availability.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

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