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Cox and Kings Wonders of Ancient Crete

Call free on 0800 707 6229 for huge extra savings on Cox and Kings Wonders of Ancient Crete Tour

As a strategic gateway to the eastern Mediterranean, Crete has been ruled by a number of great powers, from the Minoans, one of Europe’s first civilisations, to the Byzantine, Roman and Ottoman empires. This tour explores Crete’s scenic and cultural highlights, including the Palace of Knossos, an incomparable monument of ancient Minoan society.

  • 4-star accommodation
  • Flexible – extensions, room & flight upgrades available
  • Average group size – 14 people (max 18)
  • Direct international flights
  • Transfers in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Experienced local tour manager
  • 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 1 dinner
  • Guided sightseeing & entrance fees
  • Welcome drink and farewell dinner
  • Visits to the archaeological sites of Knossos & Eleftherna
  • Boat trip to the isle of Spinalonga, once home to a leper colony
  • Beekeeping experience and honey tasting
  • Wine tasting with traditional Cretan lunch

Day 1: Fly to Heraklion • Rethymno

Fly from London (regional connections available) to Heraklion. Transfer to the Hotel Theartemis Palace in Rethymno (or similar) for 3 nights. Welcome drink.
(No meals)

Day 2: Aptera • Venizelos • Chania

This morning, visit the ancient site of Aptera and meet a beekeeper to learn about beehives and their cultivation. Continue to the town of Chania with its Venetian harbour, as well as a visit to the Allied Cemetery.

Day 3: Arkadi • Eleftherna • Rethymno

Morning visit to Arkadi fortified monastery, celebrated due to the Cretan resistance that took place here against Ottoman rule. Continue to ancient Eleftherna village for a tour and a visit to its museum before returning to Rethymno for a guided walking tour, taking you past the facades of Venetian and Turkish buildings to the old port.

Day 4: Phaestos • Matala • Heraklion

Drive across the island to the Messara plain and visit Phaestos, the second Minoan Palace. Continue to Matala, a seaside town where you can swim or relax on the beach. After, travel on to Heraklion, stopping en route at Gortys. Stay 4 nights at the Aquila Atlantis Hotel (or similar)

Day 5: Knossos • Wine tasting

Take a morning drive to Knossos, to visit the ancient Minoan palace. Then, drive to the Pediados region, Crete’s most famous wine producing area. Visit a wine domaine to learn about Cretan wine, before enjoying a tasting and a traditional lunch. The afternoon is at leisure.
(Breakfast and lunch)

Day 6: Kera • Spinalonga • Heraklion

Morning visit to the Church of Panagia Kera to view the finest Byzantine frescoes in Crete. Continue to Elounda and take a boat to Spinalonga island. Formerly a leper colony, the legacies of Greek, Ottoman, Byzantine and Venetian occupation over the centuries have left their imprint on this fortified island. Return to Heraklion via the port town of Agios Nikolaos.

Day 7: Heraklion

Morning at leisure before an afternoon guided visit to the Heraklion Archaeological Museum to see its collection of Minoan treasures. Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
(Breakfast and dinner)

Day 8: Fly to London

Morning at leisure. Afternoon flight to London.

Hotel Aquila Atlantis, Heraklion (Crete)

The Hotel Aquila Atlantis is located less than 200 metres from the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion and just under 6km from the archaeological site of Knossos. The hotel’s outdoor swimming pool has unobstructed views across Heraklion harbour. In the impressive atrium of the hotel you will find the main restaurant, elegantly decorated and an ideal place to enjoy fresh local dishes. Features: 164 rooms & suites, restaurant, lounge bar, swimming pool, Wi-Fi.

Hotel Theartemis Palace, Rethymno

Hotel Theartemis Palace is located a short walk from the historic centre and sandy beach of Rethymno. Guestrooms are elegant and comfortable and public areas are furnished with antiques. Features: 245 rooms, outdoor pool, hot tub/jacuzzi, fitness centre, bar, restaurant, complimentary Wi-Fi.

Please note, prices listed are guide prices only and are based on 2 people sharing and don’t include any additional supplements. Holiday prices are fluid and dynamic and may be changed at a moment’s notice, prior to booking, at which point they are confirmed. Please call the team free on 0800 707 6229 for more departure dates available and a quote.

Please call us free on 0800 707 6229 for pricing and availability

Useful Info


Board Basis

Selected Meals Included


8 Days

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