Cretan experience (Gortyna and Phaistos)
Price in euro
Price upon request
Der oben genannte Ausflug kann in Deutsch mit einem diplomierten Fremdenfuehrer durchgefuehrt werden.
L’ escursione citata si puo effettuare con la guida ufficiale nella lingua italiana.
When: All year round
Languages: Greek, English, French, German, Italian, Russian
Duration: 2 days
Meeting Point: Liberty square (Heraklion downtown), or your hotel on request. Return to the meeting point.
Dress Code: Casual, hat, walking shoes, warm clothes in early spring, sunblock.
Including: Transfer to and from the meeting point, services of a qualified professional guide, entry costs, accommodation and breakfast with two meals in hotel, bottled water.
Food: Breakfast and two meals.
Walking Difficulty: Easy, recommended to everyone
Rest Rooms/ WC: Yes
This excursion offers the exclusive experience of visiting two main archaeological sites (Gortyna and Phaistos) and a European Community award-winning Cretan Folk Museum
(Voroi), accommodation overnight in the traditional village Zaros –nested on the foot of Ida mountain- , the joy of the culinary enchantment by Vivi Kalaitzaki, mother of Irene at Vengera tavern, and by Katerina Papadovasilaki in Keramos hotel, and a visit at an organic farm and a winery.
First day: This excursion sets off Heraklion and continues southwards to Mesara valley. First stop is Gortyna, an early Greek colony and later capital of Roman Crete. Additionally, the site hosted the first bishop Cretan church, erected in the sixth century and desecrated to Aghios Titos, St Paul’s comrade and student. Gortyna is known as the place where Europe, after mating with Zeus, gave birth to Minos, the famous king of Knossos. The eternal tree in situ mentioned in the tale, is a reminder of the myth. Besides, the ancient law code of Gortyna dating from the sixth century is here on display. This long text is engraved on several stone plates still unharmed and unscathed.
Later, we proceed to the next village, Voroi, known for its unique, European Community award-winning folk museum. Items of forgone professions, traditional Cretan architecture, art and craft are displayed here.
Next, we will visit the second largest Minoan palace, Phaistos, lying on Mesara fertile valley. Phaistos yielded the famous Kamaraic vessels and the unique, still not deciphered, hieroglyphics disc, one of the earliest writing samples from the Bronze Age. Meal and swimming are ahead in Matala, a lovely beach in the Lybian sea, where hippies from all over the world dwelled the caves that are an archaeological site today.
Later in the afternoon we reach Zaros, renowned for its hospitality. Catherine will welcome us in Keramos hotel (where we will stay) and Vivi with her mother will prepare a lovely meal at Vengera restaurant. The menu solely consists of local biological products and is distinguished by the Cretan Academy of Taste. Crete is the only place in the Mediterranean region with such an institution. If you want to lend a helping hand in the kitchen and learn techniques by top chefs you are more than welcome. Bear in mind that local musicians often drop by Vivi’s tavern and liven up the night. The village is a handcraft centre hosting a well-known weaver and one of the very few master craftsmen of traditional musical instruments.
The second day begins in Keramos hotel with an enjoyable breakfast of at least 8-10 different types of freshly baked sweets by Catherine. Then we go to a local farm of biological products, such as goat milk, cheese, bread, eggs, meat, fruits and olives for internal consumption. Farms like this have been the cornerstones of Cretan village existence. The nearby winery, Zaharioudakis family, in Plouti village, is included in the day’s schedule.
Later, in the afternoon, we return to Heraklion.
- The cost of the excursion does not include tips and personal expenses.
- The tour can be done in other languages upon request, apart from those mentioned.