- Wander through layers of Heraklion’s history and cultural influences and listen to stories of its turbulent past while exploring legendary monuments, fountains, and churches
- Discover Crete’s culinary traditions by sampling the best products at the local market and find out why it’s home to one of the healthiest diets in the world
- Explore the off-the-beaten-path side of Heraklion that only locals know by winding your way through hidden laneways and old city walls
- Enjoy Crete’s oh-hey-that’s-strong raki and tsikoudia spirits and a mouthwatering meze platter of local flavors
Scratch the concrete surface of the city and head straight for the heart of Heraklion. Discover the hidden laneways and the lesser-known backstreets, but also explore the city’s highlights, indulge in local tastes, and experience all these ‘spicy ingredients’ as a local insider.
Local impact — How you help the local community by joining this tour:
- Visit local market vendors and 100% local family-owned businesses that sell their own and Cretan-only products.
- During this tour, you sample locally-sourced food from Crete’s villages, farmers, and stock-breeders.
- You’ll have the opportunity to buy from stores and support locals who don’t generally benefit from tourism.
Heraklion isn’t a city that captivates you from the first sight but that is exactly why you should book this bites and sights tour as with your local guide you will bypass the capital’s concrete buildings and dive into the fascinating soul of our city.
Upon meeting your guide we head off to the center of Heraklion to start our day with a traditional Greek coffee paired with “koulouri” that delicious circular bread, typically encrusted with sesame seeds, and get an introduction to the local history. Heading off from “Freedom Square,” a.k.a. Eleftherias Square, get to know the city as it is now, but also as it was centuries ago, uncovering remnants of occupations by the Byzantines, Arabs, Venetians, Turks, and pirates… yes, pirates.
Moving on, we’ll walk along the pedestrian street of 25 August, admiring some of Heraklion’s major highlights, like St. Titus Cathedral and the Morosini Fountain in the heart of the city. Continue along the hidden backstreets of Heraklion, where your local guide will discuss the city’s history and point out further evidence of how the city has been shaped into the lively place it is today.
From there, take a hop back in time with a walk atop Heraklion’s great Venetian wall fortifications for some of the best view of the city. It’s also a great vantage point to see how these walls (ahem, the longest in Europe, ahem) divide the old city from the new city. Continue along to the lonesome tomb and monument of Nikos Kazantzakis, the son of Crete, and discover what inspired him to write Zorba.
Nothing better exemplifies Crete than its food and wine and both are plenty on our last stop. Discover a side to this city only heard from the mouths of locals, while indulging in typical cuisine and one of Crete’s most delectable exports – wine. Dig into a meze platter and sip local specialties like raki and tsikoudia, the island’s famous (and oh so strong) distilled spirit. Opa!
Inclusions: Local English-speaking guide, food and beverage samples as indicated in the itinerary, rusks, olives, and cheese, coffee or soft drink, a meze platter, and a glass of wine
Exclusions: Additional food and drink, items of a personal nature, tips/gratuities for your local guide