Experience the real Crete with a walk through one of its most picturesque cities. Chania is a kaleidoscope of different elements: ancient ruins, strong local culture and traditions, and delectable cuisine.
- Travel through time and discover what rural life was like on Crete back in the late 19th century.
- Learn Cretan cooking skills, then enjoy your own home-cooked meal made with organic products.
- Discover Cretan herbs and flora while walking through a remote village that doesn’t host too many tourists.
- Channel your inner explorer at an abandoned monastery and on a trek through the greenest gorge you’ve ever seen!
- Adults 12+ years old
- Children 6-11 years old
- Infants 0-5 years old
- Private Tour Starting price per person
Explore the Rich Cretan Culture in Bygone
Spend a day in the great outdoors exploring the rich Cretan culture, villages, and hiking trails that don’t see too many tourists. We’ll visit a medieval town, pass through the oldest olive groves in the Mediterranean, see iconic historic sites, learn the culinary secrets of the island with a hands-on cooking class, explore an abandoned monastery, and even trek through a gorge! Adventures await!
Local impact — How you help the local community by joining this tour:
- Your tour promotes rural tourism, which supports deep-rooted traditions and local economies that don’t generally benefit from tourism.
- You meet a local family in their traditional home who preserve the traditional way of living and the customs of the area.
- You also visit a family farm where you participate in a hands-on cooking class and learn about local products and traditional cooking techniques.
- Your tour also supports traditional ways of cooking that could be lost if not preserved.
Inclusions: Local English-speaking guide, transportation, coffee, sweets, lunch, light dinner, fresh orange juice for children
Exclusions: Additional food and drinks, souvenirs or personal shopping, tips/gratuities for your driver and guide
- Duration: 11 hours
- Meeting point: There are two meeting points – please check the meeting point in your chosen city
- Chania: Chania Municipal Market 8:15 am
- Rethymnon: Square of the Four Martyrs in the center 9:30 am
- Find the exact meeting point with what3words: ///forever.snoring.fancy
- Starting time: 8.15 am
- Ending point: Chania Municipal Market. Alternatively, we can drop off any tour participants whose hotels are along the route from Rethymnon back to the Chania Municipal Market.
Your Crete tour will commence with a wonderful scenic ride to a tiny village set in rolling hillsides. If that alone isn’t enough to entice you, we’ll spend the morning sipping coffees in the courtyard of a house made famous through folklore, and we’ll also get to meet the owner of the house and hear about life in 19th-century Crete. As we continue our drive, you’ll see a side of Crete that tourists don’t often get to see – namely, the rural areas beyond the city centres.
Our next stop is one of the island’s most famous landmarks: the Monastery of Arkadi. Surrounded by striking natural beauty, and combined with a rich and prestigious history and numerous legends, this landmark of architecture will steal your heart. You’ll also have time to take a tour within its walls and admire the refectory, the museum, an icon shop, as well as the religious edifices.
From here on, our next mission will be to get you acquainted with rural life — so roll up your sleeves as we teach you how to cook, Cretan style! We’ll participate in a hands-on cooking class in a picturesque mountaintop village. Discover all the techniques required to make the perfect Cretan meal.
While your food is slowly cooked, we’ll grasp the opportunity to explore this remote region. With the help of a local, we’ll marvel at a quaint Byzantine church from the 11th century. The exceptionally beautiful and well-preserved mosaics and frescoes are certainly something to marvel at! We’ll also spend some time exploring the nature around us and learn all about Cretan herbs and their use in everyday life — from medicine to cooking!
We will then take some time to explore an abandoned monastery located in the heart of the Amari Valley. This Byzantine monastery flourished during the late Venetian and Turkish rule but was turned into an agricultural school in the mid-20th century. You’ll feel like an explorer as we walk through the deserted rooms that were once full of life.
At this point, you’ll be probably be starving. But worry not, our bus will take us back to the village, where we’ll get to taste not only our fresh-baked bread but also other products from the family’s farm! A three-course meal and a million-dollar view — what else could one need?
With our bellies stuffed and our hearts content, we’ll end our night off with a walk through one of the most beautiful gorges in Crete. We’ll venture and explore for about half an hour through lush, green scenery and along running waters — to make room for some traditional Cretan sweets and raki, of course!
Though the day may come to a close very quickly, you’ll be left with a sense of appreciation for being able to experience a side of Crete that most tourists on the island are unaware of.
Dress standard: Please wear comfortable walking shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. A hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses are must-haves in the summer!
Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We’ll see you at the start point. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
Additional Information: Please inform us upon booking of your preferred meeting point, Chania or Rethymnon city.
Child policy: This is a child-friendly tour. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ when booking. Children under the age of 6 are permitted to join this tour free of charge. Please inform us at the time of booking if you’ll be bringing a child under the age of 6. You can do so in the special request box on the checkout page.
Mrs. Maureen K. from USA travelled on 16 Aug 2018:
This was an 11 hour tour so we were a bit hesitant to book. We were ever surprised…IT WAS AWESOME. Giannis was our guide. He was also our guide the next day in Chania. We were so lucky. He was EXCELLENT. very interesting, thoughtful, fun. Just a great guy and guide. We are planning to ask for him on our next visit