CRETAN VILLAGES ADVENTURE PRIVATE TOUR
From May to November
Food & Culture Tour
- Discover Cretan rural life in one of the most spectacular hilly parts of Crete (Rethymno region) and get a glimpse of how life was back in the late 19th century
- Participate in a hands-on cooking class with organic products and learn the culinary secrets of the island
- Reveal your explorer instincts at an abandoned monastery and through a lush gorge
- Visit the most sacred symbol of Cretans’ struggle for Freedom as well, other amazing hidden gems
- Explore an off the beaten path village and learn about Cretan herbs and their use in everyday life
- Enjoy memorable views of the surrounding mountains and capture your best photos
On our Cretan Villages Adventure tour, we will hit the road to the lush rolling hills area of the Rethymnon region where bucolic medieval villages and iconic historic sites are located. Let us introduce you to the authentic rural areas of Crete, a side of the island beyond the city centers that don’t see too many tourists by exploring abandoned historic monasteries and a medieval town, passing through the oldest olive groves in the Mediterranean, and even trekking through a gorge! Learn the culinary secrets of the island and test your skills in a hands-on cooking class. Adventures await!
Local impact — How you help the local community by joining this tour:
- Rural tourism is promoted as we support local economies and deep-rooted traditions that don’t generally benefit from tourism.
- You visit a family farm where you learn about local products and traditional cooking techniques as you participate in a hands-on cooking class
- Traditional ways of cooking are supported that could be lost if not preserved.
- This tour promotes the traditional way of living and the customs of the area by visiting a local family in their traditional home
You begin our Crete adventure tour with a wonderful scenic ride to the rolling hillsides of Crete’s countryside. In a tiny village, you’ll visit a courtyard of a house, made famous through folklore where you will sip a morning Greek coffee or local mountain tea while hearing stories about life in the 19th-century Crete by the house’s owner. As we continue our drive, you’ll see the authentic side of Crete, a side of the island that is not often enjoyed by tourists.
Next, you’ll visit the Monastery of Arkadi, one of the island’s most famous landmarks and the most sacred symbol of Cretans’ struggle for Freedom. Explore this fortified monastery surrounded by striking natural beauty, enjoy its monumental architecture that will steal your heart and listen to revolutionary stories and numerous legends of proud-Cretan people. The time will be enough for taking a tour within its walls and admiring the refectory, the museum, an icon shop, as well as the religious edifices.
Continuing the tour, your next mission will be to discover Cretan rural life and experience local cuisine. Roll up your sleeves and participate in a hands-on cooking class in a charming traditional mountaintop village. Learn about local products and traditional cooking techniques and prepare your own Cretan-style mouthwatering lunch.
While your food is slowly cooked, explore this remote region more, having a village’s resident by your side. Discover a quaint Byzantine church from the 11th century and admire its well-preserved, outstanding mosaics and frescoes. Moreover, explore nearby nature and learn about the importance of Cretan herbs in locals’ everyday life as they still use them following centuries-old recipes, from medicine to cooking!
Then, in the heart of the Amari Valley you’ll discover an abandoned monastery, an amazing hidden gem that flourished during the medieval times but was turned into an agricultural school in the mid-20th century. Walk through the deserted rooms that were once full of life and reveal your explorer instincts!
As you are probably starving, you’ll catch our vehicle that will take you back to the village. Your lunch will be ready for you to enjoy. Experience a three-course meal by tasting apart from your fresh-baked bread, other products from the family’s farm while enjoying breathtaking views of the region’s mountains.
Once you’ve filled your belly, you’ll venture for about half an hour through one of the most beautiful landscapes of Crete, a lush gorge with running waters and a cave church. Capture here some of your best photos!
Before your tour comes to an end, finish your day off with some traditional Cretan sweets and raki, of course!
Don’t forget to ask your local guide for more hints and tips on how to get the best out of your trip to amazing Crete.
Inclusions: Local English-speaking guide, transportation, coffee, sweets, 3-course lunch, local wine, fresh orange juice for children
Exclusions: Additional food and drink, souvenirs and items of a personal nature, tips and gratuities for your guide