- Hike through one of Crete’s prettiest off-the-beaten-path gorges with a local mountain guide by your side
- Enjoy a coffee under the shaded square of Kritsa village
- Catch a speedboat to explore a spectacular Venetian fortress islet Spinalonga in the Gulf of Elounda
- Participate in a hands-on cooking class, making your own traditional Greek dolmades and enjoying a mouthwatering traditional Greek lunch
- Learn all about the ‘green gold’ in a local olive farm and participate in an olive oil tasting session
Experience an action-packed day by hiking, swimming, eating, and cruising your way around the island! Admire astonishing scenery, taste the traditional Cretan cuisine, soak up sun and sea and conquer Spinalonga tiny island with its old fortresses. Be prepared to fall in Love with the Cretan countryside, all in one day!
Local impact — How you help the local community by joining this tour:
- You support a local, family-owned business by visiting them and learning about making the traditional Greek dish of dolmades.
- During this tour, you sample locally-sourced food from Crete’s villages, farmers and stock-breeders
Your adventure into the Cretan countryside will start with a drive away from the coast, through green olive groves and an ancient forest. The first stop of your tour will be at the traditional village of Kritsa, located near the entry of the dazzling Kritsa Gorge.
Compared to the other gorges on the island, the lesser-known Kritsa Gorge is the right place for those who want to admire nature at its best away from tourist hordes, feeling the beauty and the tranquillity of the place. Pass through the spectacular gorge’s entrance where the mountain seems to have been cracked in two and follow the old donkey Minoan path, reaching the middle of the gorge where a valley full of olive groves will be revealed. Apart from one or two boulders to climb over, the 4-kilometer trail is a relatively easy hike even for children.
Finishing the gorge, you’ll follow an ancient Minoan path, passing along shepherd huts and fields. From here, you’ll take a drive out to a traditional Cretan olive oil farm where you’ll participate in an olive oil tasting session paired with some delicious local wine. While the farm’s expert will show you around the place, learn all about the high-quality Cretan green gold, such as how to cultivate it and what to look for when tasting olive oil’s different varieties.
Next, you’ll participate in a hands-on experience by learning the art of making the traditional Greek dolmades, one of Greeks-favourite dishes. Wrap the vine leaves stuffed with rice and then, enjoy a delicious Greek-style lunch including Cretan Dako (rusks with dressing), salad, tzatziki and other small seasonal plates, accompanied with a glass of wine or a shot of local raki.
After this mouthwatering lunch, you’ll head to the seaside village of Plaka where you’ll hop on a speedboat to explore the Gulf of Elounda and the fortress island of Spinalonga.
The outstanding fortress islet of Spinaloga has a turbulent story starting in the 16th century as an important Venetian fortified spot against the Ottomans. Immerse in islet’s quirky mystery by strolling around the alleys of the abandoned village. A walk around Spinaloga can lavishly offer you some of the finest views of the clear blue sea surrounding the island.
After an hour, the speedboat will pick you up for a fun spin around Spinalonga where you’ll have the chance to jump in for a swim. Alternatively, you can have a quick swim at the beach in Plaka village where there are cabins to change into your swimwear.
After soaking up the sun and sea, your speedboat will bring you back to your starting point. Before we part ways, don’t forget to ask your local guide for more hints and tips on how to get the best of your trip to amazing Crete.
Inclusions: Local English-speaking guide, round-trip transportation via private 4×4 vehicle, speedboat ride with a professional driver, olive oil tasting, dolmades, traditional Greek lunch (seasonal dishes), one glass of wine and shots of raki (a local spirit), coffee, water, and refreshments (iced tea, seasonal fruits, energy snacks)
Exclusions: Additional food and drink, souvenirs and items of a personal nature, tips and gratuities for your guide