Curated Road TripsCurated Road Trips
    34 Activities

    From Minoans to Hippies: A Journey Through the History of Crete

    From Minoans to Hippies: A Journey Through the History of Crete
    Starts from

    Heraklion

    Transportation

    By Car

    Guidance

    Self-Guided

    Activities

    34

    Duration

    4 days

    Length

    321 mi

    Guide details

    Starts from

    Heraklion

    Transportation

    By Car

    Guidance

    Self-Guided

    Duration

    4 days

    Length

    321 mi

    History and CultureUnusual Locations
    Map preview

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    Highlights

    • Climb inside the world's oldest olive tree.
    • Enter the labyrinth of the mythological half-man, half-beast Minotaur.
    • Admire the gorgeous old Venetian harbour of Chania.
    • Taste delicious olive oil and wine.
    • Follow the hippie trail to Matala.
    This is a 4-day circular tour around the centre of the island, taking in some of Crete's most famous and unique historic sites and natural landscapes.
    Beginning with the Minoan palace at Knossos, this is your introduction to Crete's sophisticated Bronze Age civilisation and the starting point for a discussion on whether archaeological sites should be 'restored' or not. Later in the trip, you will visit the 'unrestored' Phaistos palace, in contrast.
    Delving further into the island's history, you'll check out some legacies of the Greek and Roman civilisations, including the ancient theatre at Aptera, as well as two magnificent Ottoman fortresses.
    You'll visit the beautiful cities of Chania and Rethymno to explore the narrow streets of the old town quarters and the wonderful Venetian harbours, and also the old monasteries at Arkadi and Preveli, both of which have a fascinating and tragic history.
    But it's not all about history. Crete also has some magnificent landscapes, particularly gorges, and you'll walk through the Mili gorge and follow the winding mountain route along Imbros gorge. There's also time built in to enjoy the gorgeous palm forest beach at Preveli and to explore the 'hippy' caves at Matala beach, as well as taking a paddleboard ride around Lake Kournas.
    Finally, there's some great traditional tavernas and seafood restaurants to be enjoyed along the way, as well as visits to a winery and olive oil producer.
    Please note that this trip has been designed to be enjoyed in the summer – from May to October – as the winter weather is not good for beaches and some attractions are not open, or have limited opening hours.
    Some experiences on this trip require advance booking. Compare different car rental companies conveniently online via the TCS car rental platform. Whether in Switzerland or abroad, whether on holiday or on business trips. With TCS, you remain mobile and flexible and benefit from the best rental car offers, including many advantages and services.
    Book Car Rental Now

    Categories

    This is a 4-day circular tour around the centre of the island, taking in some of Crete's most famous and unique historic sites and natural landscapes.
    Beginning with the Minoan palace at Knossos, this is your introduction to Crete's sophisticated Bronze Age civilisation and the starting point for a discussion on whether archaeological sites should be 'restored' or not. Later in the trip, you will visit the 'unrestored' Phaistos palace, in contrast.
    Delving further into the island's history, you'll check out some legacies of the Greek and Roman civilisations, including the ancient theatre at Aptera, as well as two magnificent Ottoman fortresses.
    You'll visit the beautiful cities of Chania and Rethymno to explore the narrow streets of the old town quarters and the wonderful Venetian harbours, and also the old monasteries at Arkadi and Preveli, both of which have a fascinating and tragic history.
    But it's not all about history. Crete also has some magnificent landscapes, particularly gorges, and you'll walk through the Mili gorge and follow the winding mountain route along Imbros gorge. There's also time built in to enjoy the gorgeous palm forest beach at Preveli and to explore the 'hippy' caves at Matala beach, as well as taking a paddleboard ride around Lake Kournas.
    Finally, there's some great traditional tavernas and seafood restaurants to be enjoyed along the way, as well as visits to a winery and olive oil producer.
    Please note that this trip has been designed to be enjoyed in the summer – from May to October – as the winter weather is not good for beaches and some attractions are not open, or have limited opening hours.
    Some experiences on this trip require advance booking. Compare different car rental companies conveniently online via the TCS car rental platform. Whether in Switzerland or abroad, whether on holiday or on business trips. With TCS, you remain mobile and flexible and benefit from the best rental car offers, including many advantages and services.
    Book Car Rental Now
    TCS Roadtravel

    TCS Roadtravel

    • Climb inside the world's oldest olive tree.
    • Enter the labyrinth of the mythological half-man, half-beast Minotaur.
    • Admire the gorgeous old Venetian harbour of Chania.
    • Taste delicious olive oil and wine.
    • Follow the hippie trail to Matala.

    Travel itinerary

    Mili Gorge, Minoans and the Minotaur
    8 Activities

    Day 1

    75 mi1 mi

    Mili Gorge, Minoans and the Minotaur

    Today begins with a visit to the Knossos palace and an introduction to the grand Minoan civilisation. From here, you'll drive west to visit the stunning and tragic Arkadi monastery, followed by lunch at a seaside taverna. In the afternoon, you'll hike through one of Crete's renowned gorges before concluding the day in the historic Venetian city of Rethymno.
    Fortresses, Lakes, Grapes and Theatre
    9 Activities

    Day 2

    52 mi2 mi

    Fortresses, Lakes, Grapes and Theatre

    Today starts with a stroll around Rethymno's extensive defensive fortress before proceeding to relish a paddle boat trip around the picturesque Lake Kournas. There's a lunch and wine tasting experience at a fabulous organic winery, followed by a visit to the archaeological site of Aptera where you can sit amidst the remains of its grand theatre and explore the Roman baths and cisterns. The day concludes in Chania, with refreshments at the stunning Venetian harbour.
    Ancient Trees, Scenic Drives and Harbours
    10 Activities

    Day 3

    97 mi1 mi

    Ancient Trees, Scenic Drives and Harbours

    Today begins with an electric scooter tour around Chania’s historic sites, with lunch on the harbour. In the afternoon, you’ll go olive oil tasting and check out the world’s oldest olive tree, ending with a scenic drive along Imbros gorge to the pretty seaside town of Plakias.
    Monks, Minoans, and Flower Children
    7 Activities

    Day 4

    97 mi0.5 mi

    Monks, Minoans, and Flower Children

    Today begins with a visit to the Preveli monastery, where you can learn about its role in World War II before heading down to the glorious palm-forested beach. In the afternoon, you'll drive to the former hippy haunt of Matala beach, where you will also have lunch before ending the day at the ancient palace of Phaestos.
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    Curated Road Trips

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