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Monastery of Arkadi

Monastery of Arkadi: Our most recommended tours and activities

Crete: Arkadi Monastery e-Bike Tour with Lunch

1. Crete: Arkadi Monastery e-Bike Tour with Lunch

Discover the beauty surrounding Rethymno as you cycle along the coastline. Just before you start the journey uphill, you will make your first stop at the Arsani Monastery. From there you will continue uphill through the olive groves, passing small picturesque villages before making your next stop to the village of Amnatos. There you can admire the mansion of Sanguinazzo, where you will discover above its main door the inscription which states "Initium sapientiae timor Domini". Your next stop is the Arkadi Monastery, which boasts a rich and prestigious history. You can learn about the resistance of the local people and the heroic acts of the monks, which will help you understand the significant role they played during the Greek revolution against the Ottomans. Following the monastery, you will be spoiled with a selection of traditional dishes in a traditional taverna. Due to the elevated location, you will also have breathtaking panoramic views over Rethymno and the Mediterranean Coast whilst you dine. Following lunch, you'll ride towards Pigi Village and make a final stop at Adele, before slowly making your way back to your starting point.

Crete: Cretan Culture Tour and Pottery Workshop

2. Crete: Cretan Culture Tour and Pottery Workshop

See Crete on a guided tour that combines history and craft for a hands-on experience. Visit the most historical spots on the island, learn their history, and enjoy a pottery lesson and olive oil tasting. Visit the Museum of Ancient Eleftherna, Melidoni Cave, and more. Start by getting picked up from your accommodation in Rethymno, then arrive at the most important monastery of Crete: the Monastery of Arkadi. Explore the museum where many icons, monastic relics, and weapons reveal the monastery’s history. Enjoy an hour of free time. Next, visit the Museum of Ancient Eleftherna with its historical findings from Homer’s era. This is the first archaeological site museum in Crete. The museum hosts the whole history of Eleftherna from 3000 B.C. to 1300 A.D. Afterward, enjoy a tour of the pottery workshop “TSIKALARIO” in the village of Margarites to learn about the art of pottery and create your own ceramic. The tradition of pottery goes back many generations in this villa. Later, visit Margarites village where you will have free time for lunch or a walk. Next, head to an olive oil manufactory. Learn how Cretan people made olive oil in the past and see the evolution up to today. Take part in an olive oil tasting before heading to the next stop, Melidoni Cave. Lastly, arrive at Melidoni, also called “Gerodospilios,” a historic cave filled with stalactites and stalagmites. This 220-meter altitude cave was used for religious ceremonies and as a place of worship. Learn the cave's archaeological and historical significance before heading back to Rethymno.

Crete: Rethymno Guided Bike Tour & Monastery of Arkadi

3. Crete: Rethymno Guided Bike Tour & Monastery of Arkadi

First we collect you by bus from your hotel and drive to the monastery of Arkadi. Before we set off on our bikes you will have a chance to visit the historic and very famous monastery. Arkadi played a very important part in Crete's history of resistance against the Turks and you will also be able to see a fascinating collection of icons, weapons and clerical items in the museum. We then get on our bikes and cycle through stunning scenery, olive groves and orange trees, passing through the villages of Amnatos, Kyrianna, Loutra and Asteri. Here you will get a glimpse of how Cretan people still live and work in the traditional way. We then pass through Hamalevri and eventually arrive at Stavromenos and then Scaleta. We will stop for a coffee break at the lovely village of Scaleta, next to the beach, just before we load all the bikes back to the trailer and drive to Margarites pottery village. Just outside the village we get back on the bikes and you will get a chance to explore this beautiful location, which has been famous for its pottery for centuries. Then we'll meet up and have a relaxing snack in the picturesque countryside and under a carob tree. After the snack we cycle down to Perama, before hopping back on the bus to drive to Melidoni and visit the famous cave. The history of this amazing archaeological site goes back thousands of years and it is said to be the mythical home of Talos, the giant bronze protector of Crete. From here we get back on the bus and visit a sandy beach, where you can swim or just laze in the sun, before we take you back to your hotel at the end of a perfect day.

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What people are saying about Monastery of Arkadi

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 10 reviews

The description of GYG did not come to full reality. The tour started at 09:20, instead of 06:00, what ist good if you like sleeping like me... :) But the bad thing about it was, that we had to rush rush rush through the whole day. There has been no free time between Arkadi and Eleftherna as described and don't expect to do your own pottery as the text suggests... this was really sad for me, because I would have loved to do that. :( But all the places and people we have seen, where really nice and the tourguide has been really funny and helpful, so it was a good experience at least. :)

Undoubtedly the highlight of a brilliant Crete holiday was the tour to Arkadi Monastery organised and led by the knowledgeable and professional Michalis of ebikes Rethymno. Suitable for all ages and abilities we cycled round the Rethymnon countryside making several stops at significant sites to learn for example the importance of the olive industry in the local economy and to visit buildings of historical importance. Before returning we enjoyed a delicious lunch of local specialities in a taverna overlooking the bay.

Our very pleasant cycling guide, Michaelis, guided us on beautiful country roads to the Arkadi Monastery. He was able to tell many interesting things about all kinds of things, including about olive cultivation, the history of Crete and much more. He left the pace with the e-bikes completely up to us and the Cretan dinner along the way was fantastic. An absolute must for every tour cyclist. Michaelis is very friendly and enthusiastic but never intrusive. This was a nice experience.

Very nice tour, even for inexperienced cyclists. Michaelis takes a lot of time and explains in detail the nature and surroundings of Rethymno! There were only two of us on the tour today, the climbs to the monastery are also easily doable for inexperienced people thanks to e-bikes. The tour was rounded off by an excellent multi-course critical lunch. We really enjoyed the tour with all its impressions and views.

Very good day ! Really nice guide. We made some superb discoveries and the day was well paced. It is good to know that the pottery activity consists in attending a realization made by a professional. And not to do it yourself, as we understood. On the other hand, it would take less time in the monastery and more in the cave (which is beautiful!).