Our highly researched self-drive tour will help you explore the very best of Crete, Greece’s largest and most diverse island. You’ll visit all of Crete’s most famous ancient sites, such as the Minoan palace complexes of Knossos and Phaistos, as well as lesser-known archaeological gems, such as Ancient Eleftherna. But you’ll have plenty of time to escape the crowds and experience the timeless rural way of life in authentic villages, such as Zoniana, Spili, Margarites and Enargon. At every destination, you’ll have our tips on the best beaches to swim, the finest restaurants to sample the local cuisine and more.
Our app will give you the freedom to modify and adjust your itinerary according to your interests and pace, while maximizing your time. All content is presented in a clear and simple way to give you a deeper understanding of Greek history and culture.
Day 1: A view from the throne | Heraklion - Knossos
We set off from the city of Heraklion, the centre of decision-making and contemporary life on the island, before exploring Knossos, one of the most powerful and palatial ancient cities, which mark the beginning of sophisticated civilisation on the European continent. Overnight in Heraklion.
Day 2: Origins to exile | Spinalonga - Kritsa - Diktaion Andron - Lasithi Plateau
We embark on a day’s journey of discovery through eastern Crete and the prefecture of Lassithi. We will visit the islet of Spinalonga, which for years was home to the most misunderstood patients: lepers. Eventually, we’ll reach the most famous cave in the ancient world, Diktaion Andron: the place where Zeus, the king of the ancient gods, spent his childhood. Overnight in Heraklion.
Day 3: Harmony and hospitality | Anogia - Melidoni Cave - Bali - Rethymno
Away from the crowds of tourists, we’ll explore Anogia, the village that gave birth to Greece's most beloved musicians. Then we continue to the picturesque cave of Melidoni and the beautiful resort of Bali which make up the dazzling mosaic of coastal Crete and offer many opportunities to enjoy the Cretan sea and Cretan cuisine – just like the locals do. Overnight in Rethymno
Day 4: The Cretan spirit | Eleftherna - Margarites
The day opens with a visit to the most intriguing archaeological site in Crete, Ancient Eleftherna. We continue to the Arkadi Monastery, one of the most emblematic sites of the heroic spirit of the Cretans and their struggle for freedom. In the village of Margarites, we marvel at the artistry of the local people and their love for crafts, before arriving in the charming and cosmopolitan city of Rethymno. Overnight in Rethymno
Day 5: Faith and heroes I Preveli Monastery - Spili - Patsos Gorge
We head to the monastery of Preveli, a stronghold of faith and the Greek sense of freedom. On our return, we’ll follow a fascinating route through the forests of Rethymno prefecture, visiting the traditional village of Spili, known for its cooling, shady square and running waters. Our final stop is the gorge of Patsos, a smaller and less crowded gorge that the famous Samaria gorge. Overnight in Rethymno.
Day 6: A bridge to the past | Vamos - Aptera - Chania
This day is dedicated to the exploration of Apokoronas, the geographical bridge between Chania and the rest of the island. Apokoronas is one of the most interesting on the island, as it combines wild coastal beauty with traditional village architecture. We will visit the most beautiful of its villages, Vrisses and Vamos, that sit at a semi-mountainous altitude and are surrounded by farmland and a wild nature, as well as the remarkable archaeological site of Aptera, before arriving in enchanting Chania. Overnight in Chania.
Day 7: Fairytales I Fragokastello - Chora Sfakion
We will visit the fairytale castle of Frangokastello, where the ghosts of the Drosoulites warriors, appear at dawn each May. We will continue to explore the picturesque region of Sfakia, a group of small villages backed by the steep White Mountains, the most rebellious part of Crete where the conquerors never lived. Finally take a dive in one of the many beautiful beaches of southern Crete. Overnight in Chania.
Day 8: Safe travels | Elafonisi beach - Chryssoskalitissa monastery - Elos
Discover one of the most famous beaches and biosites of Crete, Elafonissi. As we cross the island to reach its southernmost and westernmost point, we’ll visit the Monastery of Chrysoskalitissa, built on the rocks overlooking the sea and protecting travellers. Our final stop will be Elos, a tiny, picturesque village, full of plane and chestnut trees. Overnight in Chania.
Day 9: Body and soul | Balos beach - Falassarna
We set off on a day trip from Chania to enjoy the two most famous and enchanting beaches of Crete: Balos and Falassarna. They are the two most exotic and extraordinary places on the island, which make memories of Crete unforgettable and offer relaxation for soul and body. Overnight in Chania.
Day 10: Save the best till last | Gavalochori - Lake Kournas
We left two very special places until last: Lake Kournas and the traditional village of Gavalochori. The coexistence of a traditional urban settlement with the rich natural landscape is a fitting way to end this adventure through such a diverse and bountiful island.