Crete
Meet the Locals

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Our most recommended Crete Meet the Locals

From Heraklion: Land Rover Safari to Tripiti Gorge & Beach

1. From Heraklion: Land Rover Safari to Tripiti Gorge & Beach

Our day is the perfect way to explore the central part of Crete from mountains to gorges to a beautiful beach. Our journey starts as we make our way to Mount Juktas with breathtaking views of the blue infinity of the Aegean Sea. God Zeus knew what he was doing by choosing Mount Juktas as his final resting place. From here we take the road through extensive vineyards where the Minoans built a wine press which is the oldest one in the world, to our next stop Charakas, a little mountain village where we join the locals for a coffee break in the traditional cafeneion. We continue on through dirt tracks, bumpy roads over the olive tree dotted hills to our next stop the top of Tripitis Gorge where you have a magnificent view over the Gorge with its different layers of rocks, Cretan wild herbs and the Libyan Sea. Driving down towards one of the most beautiful and pictures Gorges of Crete we stop to give you the possibility to walk thru the Gorge to the narrows place where you find the little church of Panagia which is built into the rocks. Building up an appetite, we drive down to Tripitis beach where we have a BBQ Lunch next to the beach with unlimited wine and water. Now you can enjoy some free time for a refreshing swim in the Libyan Sea where you have crystal clear blue water and the temperature of the water is always higher than in the Aegean Sea. Than we head back towards the South Coast passing through some small traditional villages full of character and interest until we stop for some refreshment and to try our local drink, Raki. This is a day full of many surprises and the excitement is second to none, you certainly won’t forget your fun day out with Safari Club Crete.

Agia Pelagia: Quad Safari-Family Tour

2. Agia Pelagia: Quad Safari-Family Tour

Begin the tour at the Peninsula Resort and Spa with a short theoretical introduction and a quad driving lesson before the adventure begins. Follow a beautiful off-road cliff path along the sea and into the heights of Achlada away from traffic and in the midst of the most beautiful nature the area has to offer. Enjoy breathtaking views over Agia Pelagia until reaching Heraklion, then continue to the ancient and abruptly abandoned ghost village of Achlada. Find out more about the background of the village and the traditional Cretan way of life and share a special personal moment with the last two remaining inhabitants of the village. Stroll through this otherwise inaccessible village at leisure. From the heights of Achlada, pass in between the mountains surrounded by breathtaking nature before continuing to Fodele, a traditional Cretan village, also called the village of the oranges and birthplace of the famous painter ‘El Greco’. Explore Crete’s culture and marvel at its local handicrafts. Take some time for shopping and a visit to the museum or to the village’s orthodox churches. Sit back and enjoy a famous freshly squeezed orange juice made from the local orange trees for a more relaxing experience. Return to the hotel at 1.00 p.m., just in time for lunch, or alternatively, there is the possibility to have lunch in a local restaurant and try Greek Meze – a variety of Greek delicacies served on small plates.

Heraklion: Finikia Horse Riding Day Tour with Lunch

3. 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.

Crete: Dikti Mountains and Lasithi Plateau Tour by SUV

4. 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

5. 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

6. 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.

From Heraklion: Lasithi Plateau & Psychro Cave Guided Trip

7. From Heraklion: Lasithi Plateau & Psychro Cave Guided Trip

Morning Pick up: We will start collecting participants from pick-up points in the morning. Depending on the place of your hotel/apartment the bus drive will differ. Bus Drive: 30 minutes 1st stop: Village of Krasi – 20 minutes This little traditional village with the beautiful freshwater springs and the oldest and biggest tree on Crete, will be our first stop to enjoy the Cretan landscape and the countryside. Bus Drive: 10 minutes 2nd stop: Monastery of Kera – 30 minutes Explore the Monastery dedicated to Virgin Mary that is situated near the village of Kera. Bus Drive: 15 minutes 3rd stop: Vidiani Monastery – 25 minutes A small, male monastery located at the foot of Louloudaki Mountain will be our next stop. Bus Drive: 1 hour 20 minutes 4th stop: Psychro Cave (Cave of Zeus) - 1 hour 10 minutes Explore the mythical birth place of the king of gods Zeus. Admire the unique site decorated with impressive stalactites and stalagmites. Bus Drive: 10 minutes 5th stop: Ceramics Workshop – 45 minutes Our participants will enjoy a professional workshop to see how traditional ceramics are made and why not try to create their own! Bus Drive: 10 minutes 6th stop: Traditional Tavern for lunch There will be a big variety of local dishes made from local products of the Lasithi plateau, homemade wine and products from the surrounding mountains. (The meal is not included.) End of the tour – Arrival at resorts: Embarkation in the buses and drive back to the hotels where we gathered participants in the morning. Depending on traffic and on the pick-up places of each one, the time of journey back to the hotel will differ.

Rethymno: Wine and Olive Oil Tasting Tour with Village Lunch

8. 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.

From Rethymno/Chania: Imbros Gorge Hike

9. 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. 

Vatolakkos, Crete: Organic Winery Tour with Tasting

10. Vatolakkos, Crete: Organic Winery Tour with Tasting

Tour a boutique winery in Vatolakkos and admire views of rolling vineyards in the countryside. Let the winemakers reveal the winemaking process to you. Savor a hand-picked selection of regional wines paired with some local snacks. Meet the staff and go down to see where the wine is stored in the cellar. Listen as you hear about how grape varieties are selected and cultivated following strict guidelines set by a an international team from France, the United States, and Greece. See the verdant vineyards where varieties of Rodanos of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Roussanne grapes are ripened to perfection. Head to the garden to satisfy your palate with 7 different wines that are accompanied by a simple traditional Cretan flatbread, sea salt, and olive oil.

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What people are saying about Crete

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 221 reviews

A great time for experienced and beginner riders. pre arranged travel is a must though,and it being a farm bug repellent is a good choice. The staff were very friendly and their instructions were helpful,and they accompanied us in case there was any issues. The horses themselves were extremely patient with us (special thank you to Angela Merkel) with many of us making mistakes riding them but they did not mind. A break at the top for a light snack and photos with the view was amazing. Great hospitality all round, especially when we had a travel issue, couldn't thank them enough for the extra mile they went to help us :)

A highlight of our vacation. A great tour followed by cooling off in the water and strengthening yourself with Greek snacks and wine served. What made this trip so special? The guide who took his time and clearly enjoys what he is doing. Just great!

What a lovely family! Irene and her father Gregory are so welcoming. Nothing was too much trouble. I’d definitely recommend a visit to this place.

Food options were great - a bit off the beaten path. Guide shared detailed history of the town and buildings.

Fun tour with lots of food and drinks. Small group helps to get to know your fellow travelers as well