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Toplou Monastery, Crete

Culture & History

Our most recommended Toplou Monastery, Crete Culture & History

From Heraklion: Palm Forest Beach of Vai, Ierapetra & Sitia

1. From Heraklion: Palm Forest Beach of Vai, Ierapetra & Sitia

Start your day tour from the lovely town of Ierapetra, the sounthern most of Europe, known for its warm weather and local products. Continue the tour, to discover the beautiful east part of Crete. Visit the largest palm forest in Europe, Vai Palm Beach. The palm forest draws thousands of visitors each year. They come not only for its wonderful palm forest, but also for the large sandy beach spread out at its foot. The day tour includes a visit to Toplou, a 15th-century monastery located in a dry and barren area. Toplou monastery is one of the most significant monasteries in Crete, dedicated to Panagia (Virgin Mary) and St. John the Theologian. Last stop of the day the cozy town of Sitia, with a lovely beach road and Venetian castle. Detailed Time Schedule: 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 to Ierapetra: almost 1.5 – 2 hours 1st stop: Ierapetra. 40 minutes Visit Tthe most southern and warm town of Europe, famous worldwide for its agricultural products distributedall year round. Enjoy some free time for a walk on the lovely beach road. Bus Drive: 1 hour 30 minutes 2nd stop: Toplou Monastery – 40 minutes Our participants willenjoy a visit to the historical and beautiful Monastery of Toplou.There they will spend about 40' of guided time and free time to take photos of the unique architecture and the Cretan Natural landscape outdoors. Bus Drive to Vai Beach: 20 minutes 3rd stop: Vai Beach – 2 hours Stop at Vai, the biggest natural palm forest in Europe. Enjoy 2 hours of free time to swim, sunbathe, have lunch and take photos of this exotic landscape of Crete. Bus Drive to Sitia: 30 minutes 4th stop: Sitia – 40 minutes Participants will enjoy some free time to explore the town on their own pace, walk by the cosmopolitan beach road, have a coffee at a traditional cafe or taste the delicious local homemade sweets. 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. Return Bus Drive to Heraklion: Around 2 – 3 hours hours

Agios Nikolaos: Toplou and Vai Palm Beach Day Trip

2. Agios Nikolaos: Toplou and Vai Palm Beach Day Trip

Following collection from select areas, the experience starts from Agios Nikolaos heading east. This is an excellent opportunity for you to admire the sublime Gulf of Mirabello, which is Eastern Crete's riviera. You will then pass through many picturesque villages before reaching the 15th-century Toplou Monastery. The compound features a small museum with notable exhibits of Christian-Orthodox art, such as sacred utensils and chalcography by the monks of Mount Athos. There is also an olive press which produces olive oil of outstanding quality, as well as wine-making facilities. Both the olive oil and the wine produced in the monastery are exported all over the world. You may participate in a wine and spirit tasting session (optional) at the monastery’s cellar, after which you will pay a visit to one of the main attractions in eastern Crete, the protected Palm Forest of Vai. It is unique in Europe and is located next to one of the most beautiful beaches of the island. At this location there will be plenty of time for you to enjoy swimming, as you bask in the rare beauty of the landscape. On your way back, you will stop at Platanos where you can watch the sunset in an area which boasts an enchanting view.

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What people are saying about Toplou Monastery, Crete

Beautiful experience! Enchanted places, but it is a pity that we were very little at the beach of Vai and at the other cities as the journey took us twice as long as the time spent in the place