Diktaion Andron

Diktaion Andron: Our most recommended tours and activities

Crete: Lasithi Plateau and Cave of Zeus Off Road Safari Tour

1. Crete: Lasithi Plateau and Cave of Zeus Off Road Safari Tour

Discover traditional life in rural Crete by witnessing the daily activities of the locals and visiting the sites where Greek myths were born. Enjoy a tour of Potamies, Aposelemis dam, Empasa, the cave of Zeus, and the beautiful scenery of the plateau. Start with pickup from your accommodation. Visit one of the most characteristic Cretan villages, Potamies, for a tour of a traditional local farm. 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. Enjoy the views of the mountainous landscape and thriving wildlife. Try your hand at foraging for native herbs or relax and take in the panoramic views. Take a trip to Lassithi Plateau to enter Psychro Cave, the fabled birthplace of the Greek God Zeus. Follow the trails of the gods and after that take a tour around the plateau to get a sense of local life. 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 Heraklion: Cave of Zeus & Knossos Palace Private Tour

2. From Heraklion: Cave of Zeus & Knossos Palace Private Tour

Embark on a private day trip and leave Heraklion to explore the archeological site of the Palace of Knossos. Learn more about Cretan history at the site, take in the art and architecture, and relax while absorbing the local atmosphere and admiring the local villages. Journey through East Crete and admire the sights of the Lassithi Plateau and its forests and fertile land. Discover quaint villages, learn more about the local lifestyle, and see Cretan art and the remnants of the Byzantine Empire. Tuck in to delicious local food at an eatery recommended by your guide, and enjoy authentic Cretan food while on the tour. Amble in the footsteps of gods to the Cave of Zeus. Plunge into the mythical birthplace of the god Zeus sense the sanctity of this ancient site. Luxuriate in the eternal magnificence of the Minoan ruins and frescoes while in Knossos Palace. Succumb to the personalized service of a top history-archaeology guide and be stimulated by eclectic information and a stress-free pace in all archaeological areas.

Crete: Sarakina Gorge, Forests, and South Coast Safari

3. Crete: Sarakina Gorge, Forests, and South Coast Safari

This tour will take you high into the mountains of the Lassithi Range (or Dikti Range), offering you an abundance of stunning panoramic views. Picking you up from your accommodation at 10:00AM, you will then start your climb up through several very picturesque traditional villages, one of which you shall stop at for a short break to shop or grab coffee. You will next go off road and move on up through the Kroustas Forest to a point approximately 1,000 meters above sea level. From way up there you will be able to see both the Lybian Sea (south coast) and the Aegean Sea (north coast). You will also be able to view the stunning peaks of the snow capped Mount Spathi (2,140 meters above sea level, second highest on the island), whose north face is home of the Psychro Cave, birth place of the Greek god Zeus. The views you will encounter throughout your tour can't be beaten, and there will be plenty of opportunities to stop for photographs. Whilst in the mountains you will be taken to a traditional Greek taverna for a meze lunch with local wine, and at the conclusion of your tour, you will be returned to your point of origin.

Private Group Tour in Lasithi & Traditional Cretan Villages

4. Private Group Tour in Lasithi & Traditional Cretan Villages

Ever felt you wanted to get away from crowds and blaze your own trail? This is your chance to enjoy the many sights, tastes and aromas of Crete on your own terms. Take advantage of this personalized tour service and get ready for private tour that will take you from one sight to the next, from breathtaking views to traditional villages to the secret villages of Crete – each one chosen by you. Are you into wine culture, archaeological sites, traditional Greek cooking lessons, unique beaches, or Mediterranean gastronomy? This tour will take you from the heights of the rocky Lassithi plateau to the traditional villages tucked away off the beaten path. Start at the village of Krasi and visit the huge 2,400-years-old Writer’s Plane Tree, named so because it was beloved by Nikos Kazantzakis, one of the most famous Greek writers of the 20th century. In the same village, see how the Cretans used to wash their clothes in the traditional manner. Next up is Panagia Kera, a 13th century Byzantine monastery where you can find a depiction of the Catholic St. Francis, who is famous in Crete among the gorgeous iconography. Afterwards, the tour will ascend to the unique Lassithi Plateau, a rocky and austere place, long treasured for the beauty of its scenery. There you can visit the Diktaion Andron, an ancient cave believed to be the mythological birthplace of Zeus. Have lunch in a traditional taverna outside Krasi, at your own expense.

From Agios Nikolaos: Day Tour to Zeus Cave & Lasithi Plateau

5. From Agios Nikolaos: Day Tour to Zeus Cave & Lasithi Plateau

After pickup from your hotel, the first stop on your tour is Kritsa, a historical village rich in legends. Here you'll discover picturesque gorges and several ancient archaeological and religious sites. From Kritsa, drive higher into the mountains through the pine forest and past Katharo Plateau (altitude 1250m). This plateau is famous for the Cretan dwarf hippopotamus fossils found in the area and features a magnificent landscape surrounded that is home to many legends dating back to the Ottoman era. Next you'll visit the impressive Lassithi Plateau (altitude 1150m). More than 10,000 traditional windmills operated in the area until just a few decades ago. In the 1950s and 1960s, the plateau was actually one of the first wind farms in Europe. If you're lucky, you'll also have a chance to see some native wildlife. From here you'll continue on to the Diktaean Cave, that is, the birthplace of Zeus, which is located at the village of Psychro (altitude 840m). Finally, explore the village of Krasi and take photos of the famous Cretan author Nikos Kazantzakis’ beloved plane tree. This particular plane tree’s circumference is approximately 24 metres and it is estimated that it is 2400 years old.

Heraklion: Tour to Cave of Zeus, Mochos Village, & Knossos

6. Heraklion: Tour to Cave of Zeus, Mochos Village, & Knossos

Explore the history of Crete on this tour from Heraklion. Soak up local culture at the villages of Mochos and Krasi. Find out where the mythological figure Zeus was thought to have been born. Travel to the archaeological site of Knossos and the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Enjoy the convenience of being picked up in a comfortable van from your accommodation in Heraklion. Sit back and relax on the way to the traditional mountain village of Mochos. Admire its narrow alleys, cobbled streets, and colorful gardens.  Continue to Krasi village to view a Platanus tree that is 2,400-year-old. Stand in the shade of this tree which is locally known as the Writer's Tree. Travel to the cave of Diktaion Andron, which is believed to be the birthplace of Zeus. Have the chance to purchase tickets to go inside the cave. Admire views of the Lasithi Plateau before heading to the archaeological site of Knossos. Buy a ticket to the site to see richly colored frescos amid the remains of this Bronze Age palace. Purchase a ticket to the Heraklion Archaeological Museum to explore collections of Minoan art and artefacts. Feel free to stop and purchase lunch during the tour. Return to your accommodation in Heraklion at the end of the tour. 

Crete: Lasithi Plateau and Knossos Palace Day Tour

7. Crete: Lasithi Plateau and Knossos Palace Day Tour

Visit the monastery of Kera Kardiotissa and the Dictaean Cave then meet a potter at work on this exciting day trip. You’ll see panoramic views of the Lasithi Plateau and discover the epic Minoan Palace of Knossos. Your first stop is the Monastery of Kera Kardiotissa, an Orthodox nunnery dedicated to the Virgin Mary, situated near the village of Kera. Famous for the icon of Mary, believed to be miraculous, it’s surrounded by fortified walls and the church features murals dating back to the 14th century. The next stop is the village of Psychro, where you’ll take a walk to reach the Dictaean Cave, found above the village of Psychro at 1025 meters altitude. According to Greek mythology, it’s believed to be the place where Zeus, the father of Greek gods, was kept and fed from Amalthia, a goat, in secret to be protected from his father.  A most impressive sight is the lake at the lowest point, surrounded by massive stalactites and stalagmites. In the village of Psychro, a local potter will show the process of making his art at his ceramic workshop, following centuries-old traditions. A great opportunity to try it for yourself!  The next stop is Seli Ambelou for lunch with a panoramic view of the Lassithi Plateau.  It’s then time for the final destination, a visit to Knossos Palace, the capital of Minoan civilization. You’ll walk through the ancient site and learn how the citizens, believed to be the first Europeans in an organized community, lived 4,000 years ago. You’ll explore the palace and learn about the throne room, the frescoes, and the Minoan columns. 

From Chania: Cave of Zeus and Knossos Palace Private Tour

8. From Chania: Cave of Zeus and Knossos Palace Private Tour

Come with us on a journey along East Crete reveling in the endless luxuries of the Lassithi Plateau which is basked in allure forests & fertile land dotted with iconic windmills. From the comfort of a luxury chauffeured vehicle at your disposal, our knowledgeable local insider will ensure you experience the best of the whole itinerary. Discover quaint villages, local lifestyle, storied monuments, Byzantine Monasteries & Cretan art. Tuck into a culinary odyssey & savor genuine tastes loved by our legendary forefathers. It’s our job to hook you up with only the most authentic eateries. Amble in the footsteps of gods to the Cave of Zeus. Plunge into the mythical birthplace & sense the sanctity of this ancient site. When in Knossos Palace, luxuriate in the eternal magnificence of the Minoan ruins & frescoes. Succumb to the personalized service of a top history-archaeology guide & let us stimulate you with eclectic information by ensuring a stress-free pace in all archaeological areas.

Heraklion: Private Tour to Cave of Zeus & Palace of Knossos

9. Heraklion: Private Tour to Cave of Zeus & Palace of Knossos

Take a day trip from Heraklion to Crete’s important mythological sites. Travel to the palace of Knossos, home to the legendary labyrinth that contained the Minotaur. Climb to the Psychro Cave, a sacred Minoan site associated with the birth of Zeus, and visit traditional Cretan villages as you go. Start in Heraklion, where you will meet your driver and, optionally, your guide. Drive into the hills to Knossos, the large Bronze Age site of ancient Crete’s major city and the political center for the Minoan civilization. Wander through the remains of large palace buildings and past the intricate foundations of what is believed to be the labyrinth built by Deadelus to hide the Minotaur. Next, head into the center of the island to the traditional village of Krasi, home to the enormous 2,400 year-old Platanus tree. Drive further into the hills toward Psychro. After a short climb, admire panoramic views of Crete from the top of the hill before descending into the cave. The cave was an important site for cult worship during the Minoan period and is associated with the legend of the birth of Zeus. Your final stop will be at the CretAquarium to admire the variety of sea creatures that inhabit the Mediterranean sea bed, including sharks and ghost jellyfish. Finish the tour back in Heraklion, where your driver will drop you off.

From Elounda or Agios Nikolaos: Private Truffle Hunting Tour

10. From Elounda or Agios Nikolaos: Private Truffle Hunting Tour

Immerse yourself in Cretan culture with a private day trip into its renowned truffle country: Lasithi Plateau. Take part in a traditional truffle hunt and learn about the art of cooking them from a local chef. Enjoy stops at the village of Krasi, Psychro Cave, and an ancient monastery. Get picked up from your accommodation in Elounda or Agios Nikolaos and head into the striking Lasithi Plateau. Join a search for the rare Cretan black truffle. Hear all about the importance of this typical ingredient and learned how to cook it in a typical family restaurant. Travel through the vast fields and iconic windmills of the plateau while gaining a deeper understanding of the relationship between recipes, people, and traditions. Explore the quaint village of Krasi, admire the mindblowing formations of Psychro Cave, and see an ancient monastery.

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What people are saying about Diktaion Andron

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 202 reviews

Our full day adventure was incredible, our tour guide Michael was very friendly and extremely knowledgeable - from Cretan history and culture to Greek Mythology and vegetation. The hike through the gorge was exhilarating, not too long but not too short either! Michael was very helpful, guiding everyone up and down the gorge. The food at lunch was amazing - we stopped at a very local taverna (very authentic compared to other touristy one we have stopped at on different tours). However, we must mention the wasps flying around whilst try to eat really wasn’t nice. They had smoke to try keep them away but it didn’t work that well.

The travel guide was top You only have to reckon with the fact that you have a 2-3 hour drive if you have accommodation in Nea Alikarnassos/Heraklion. Otherwise you can see a lot!

Honestly the best trip I’ve ever done, it was so fun, interesting & had breathtaking views. Our tour guide Demetris made the day so enjoyable

The tour is well chosen, although long in time, not too strenuous due to interesting destinations and breaks. We will consider other offers.

Best travel experience: great guide, nice and authentic programs, beautiful natrue and landscape. Defenetely recommended.