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Crete

Meet the Locals

Our most recommended Crete Meet the Locals

From Heraklion: Lasithi Plateau, Villages & Zeus Cave Tour

1. From Heraklion: Lasithi Plateau, Villages & Zeus Cave Tour

Enjoy some time away from the beaches and explore a different side of Crete on a guided excursion. See the freshwater springs in the small town of Krasi, visit the Kera and Vidiani monasteries, step into the mythical Psychro Cave, and take part in a traditional ceramics workshop. Get picked up from your accommodation in the morning and take a short drive to the traditional village of Krasi. Gaze at the beautiful freshwater springs and the oldest tree on Crete as you take in the countryside scenery. Up next, stop at two local monasteries. See the Monastery of Kera dedicated to the Virgin Mary, located near the town of Kera. Move on to Vidiani Monastery, a small male monastery at the foot of Louloudaki Mountain. Uncover the secrets of the mythical birthplace of Zeus, Psychro Cave, decorated with impressive stalactites and stalagmites. Lastly, participate in a ceramics workshop and see how traditional pieces are made, before heading over to a typical Cretan tavern with local products and dishes to enjoy lunch at your own expense.

Heraklion: Finikia Horse Riding in the Cretan Mountains

2. Heraklion: Finikia Horse Riding in the Cretan Mountains

Take a trip to the Cretan Mountains as you ride a horse along the paths and hilltops of the mountains. Admire the panoramic view of Giouhtas mountain and Agios Silas village. Start your day by meeting your guide at the farm. Take a basic training session to make sure you feel safe and comfortable while riding a horse. Then, hop on your horse to begin your ride out into the mountains. Stretch your legs with a short break made during the trip with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape of the mountains. Refresh yourself with a glass of orange juice and take amazing pictures of the beautiful scenery. Feel the fresh Mediterranean breeze at the top of the mountain.

Crete: Dikti Mountains and Lasithi Plateau Tour by SUV

3. Crete: Dikti Mountains and Lasithi Plateau Tour by SUV

Discover traditional life in rural Crete by witnessing the daily activities of the locals and visiting the sites where Greek myths were born. Get picked up from your accommodation for a tour of Potamies, Aposelemis dam, Empasa, and the Dikti mountain range. Visit one of the most characteristic Cretan villages, Potamies, for a tour of a traditional paddock. See the process of milking and cheese-making, meet the animals, and sample their fresh cheese. Next, head to the Aposelemis dam, the largest water supply project in Crete. See the village of Sfendili submerged in the waters of the dam with its impressive old houses fading on the surface of the water. Explore the natural wetlands and spot a unique variety of birds. Continue uphill on the dirt roads to the gorge of Empasa. Feel in awe of the mountainous landscape and thriving wildlife. Try your hand at foraging for native herbs or relax and take in the panoramic views. If your group all agrees, take a trip to Lassithi Plateau to enter Psychro Cave, the fabled birthplace of the Greek God Zeus. Venture further up the route to an altitude of 1250m in the Limnakaro Plateau, where you can fully appreciate the majesty of the vast mountains. Finally, enjoy authentic food baked in the wood oven in one of the most celebrated taverns in the picturesque village of Krasi. Admire the town square filled with fountains and see imposing plane trees that are up to 2000 years old. Return to your hotel full of unforgettable memories of Crete.

From Hersonissos: Quad Bike Safari in the Mountains of Crete

4. From Hersonissos: Quad Bike Safari in the Mountains of Crete

Depart Hersonissos on a Quad Bike safari into the mountains of Crete and discover a more authentic side of the island as you get back to nature on small, traffic-free roads. Drive to the traditional villages of Koutouloufari, Piscopiano and old Hersonissos before heading to the Lasithi plateau. Continue along the riverbed en route to the village of Potamies, and pass small gardens of fruit trees and olive groves along the way. Enjoy the scent of different herbs and listen to the sound of millions of tiny tsitsikia (insects). Visit some small churches and see sheep and goats grazing as you continue to the traditional village of Karouzanos. Stop at a café before driving towards Askous village. Get an amazing view of Lyttos and Kasteli before traveling downhill to the village. Enjoy an authentic tsikoudia (raki) and some tasty snacks. Then, continue downhill to the Aposelemis dam and underwater village of Sfentili en route to the Panagias monastery. 

The Miracle of Wine and Olive Oil: Day Tour from Chania

5. The Miracle of Wine and Olive Oil: Day Tour from Chania

Travel through stunning natural landscapes up into the mountains of the Kissamos region on this 7-hour tour from Chania. Stop at a traditional family winery, established in 1993, and learn about the varieties of wine they produce and their ideas for modern farming processes and wine production. Taste award-winning local Vidiano, Muscat of Spina and some international varieties such as Grenache rouge, Syrah and Mourvèdre that each have a unique taste due the local terroir. Next you’ll visit a traditional village and see the oldest olive tree in the world, with an estimated age of 3,000 years. This is a day filled with tasting different wine expressions of noble grapes and a variety of delicious foods. Head to another winery in the Kissamos region to taste a special local blend of white wines with Vilana, Vidiano and Assyrtiko varieties. Walk through the idyllic landscape of the vineyards and visit the family’s olive oil factory. Learn about extra virgin olive oil production. The wine tasting here will be accompanied by a tasting of extra virgin olive oils and local pure products, creating combinations your palate will never forget. You’ll also learn the Cretan way of saying goodbye drinking the award-winning Tsikoudia.

Chania: Authentic Cooking Class in the White Mountains

6. Chania: Authentic Cooking Class in the White Mountains

Taste the authentic foods of Crete at a unique cooking class using only healthy organic ingredients, such as extra virgin olive oil, local meats, aromatic herbs and freshly picked vegetables. Stroll around the vegetable garden to get a feel for the raw produce and learn more about the herbs. Then, prepare a traditional meal and learn the secrets of how the locals cook. Go for a mountain walk to a shepherds and hear how olives are harvested. Return to the house to sample some cheese and wine from Crete and prepare some appetizers such as ntakos and tzatziki. End with a tasty lunch with wine pairings and traditional jar desserts.

From Rethymno/Chania: Imbros Gorge Hike

7. From Rethymno/Chania: Imbros Gorge Hike

Discover the Imbros Gorge, which runs parallel to the more famous Samaria Gorge. Although the Imbros Gorge is smaller, many people prefer to cross here because it offers a very different hiking experience than the Samaria Gorge. Of the 11 kilometers, 8.5 kilometers are suitable for hiking. Discover the exquisite beauty of nature in this narrow passage and learn about the stunning rock formations.  According to legend, the name Imbros was given to the village, and subsequently the gorge, because two Greek brothers chose to live here after they were banished from Imbros Island when it was connected to Turkey. For many years, the Imbros Gorge served as part of the trail that connected the city of Chania to the Hora Sfakion village. It is notable that during World War II, after the Battle of Crete was lost by Greece and her allies, many thousands of British soldiers passed through the Imbros Gorge towards South Crete in order to get to Egypt.  After the hike, take a swim in the stunning refreshing Libyan sea. Eat lunch with the locals in the taverns. 

Heraklion: Finikia Horse Riding Day Tour with Lunch

8. Heraklion: Finikia Horse Riding Day Tour with Lunch

Start your day by meeting your guide at the farm, where you will have a relaxed cup of coffee before taking a basic training session to make sure you feel safe and comfortable while riding a horse. Then, hop on your horse to begin your ride out into the mountains. After riding for about an hour, you'll arrive at the top of the Finikia mountains, where you'll stop for a break. Help yourself to a soft drink, or fruit, and take a moment to admire the amazing views and snap a picture or two. In the distance, you can spot the nearby mountain of Archanes, the place where the Greek God Zeus is said to be sleeping. Then get back on your horses and make your way back to the starting point. After riding for another hour, you'll arrive at the stables and then sit down for a delicious traditional Cretan lunch, including homemade wine. After lunch, have a seat out in the garden of the farm, help yourself to some more wine, or enjoy a few more minutes of riding. At about 1:15 PM, you will head back to your hotel or apartment.

Rethymno: Wine and Olive Oil Tasting Tour with Village Lunch

9. Rethymno: Wine and Olive Oil Tasting Tour with Village Lunch

Learn about traditional Cretan olive oil and wine on this tasting tour through the island of Crete. Begin your tour at the Kanakis olive oil mill, and learn all about the process of making olive oil. Hear experts describe the steps of production and afterward, enjoy a taste of their exquisite virgin olive oil. Continue on to one of the best wineries of the region, Dourakis Winery. There, enjoy a half-hour guided tour to learn about the history, tradition, and production of Cretan wine. After the tour, move to the wine tasting room, where you can taste up to five types of Cretan wine. Finally, end the tour with a visit to either the village of Nipos or Vryses (depending on the weather and the day). Both villages offer up beautiful natural views alongside a traditional delicious lunch.

Rethymno: Open-Top Jeep Nature Safari with Lunch

10. Rethymno: Open-Top Jeep Nature Safari with Lunch

Your tour starts with a drive down a beautiful off-road track that will lead you away from the city. After an hour of driving, arrive at a small village and take a walk to visit a Byzantine church. After, get back in your jeep and head to the south coast of the island. You’ll follow an adventurous route with mesmerizing views all the way to the beach. Hop in the water for a refreshing swim before sitting down for a delicious Cretan buffet. Your last stop will be the popular beachfront center of Plakia. Enjoy some free time for shopping or a coffee, before heading back to Rethymno through the breathtaking "Kourtaliotiko" canyon - where you can take some of the most amazing photos of the day.

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What people are saying about Crete

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 221 reviews

Great Wine, Great Cheese and Great Host. Andreas a.k.a. 'The Brave Chickpea' does an amazing job getting us to experience a wonderful half day worth more than any other full day tours we've been on, on our holiday in Crete. Pronounced sense of humour and a Master Sommelier in disguise, you'll uncover great beauty and tastes of the 7 villages with your esteemed guide. 5/5 stars!

Yesterday we had our tour across the mountains. Our guide Paul (Pablos) led our super through the mountains. He was totally safe on the track and was able to tell a lot. We felt very safe and comfortable with him. I can only recommend this tour to everyone. She is more than her money's worth.

Our guide was SO knowledgeable and beautifully intertwined the gastronomy with the history of the island. I actually think I could replicate these dishes! Also, the views were incredible.

Very good time spent with Mina, all the stops were beautiful and interesting. Very nice refreshing break! Mina is really welcoming and friendly.

An amazing day!!! So many wonderful sites to visit, very well balanced trip and well worth the money. I would go again!