With included hotels, rental car, and daily breakfasts, this suggested itinerary gives you many points of interest during your discovery of Crete. The largest of the Mediterranean islands, Crete is full of history dramatic landscapes and delicious local foods and wine. This eight day tour is the perfect way to discover all of these secrets and more in your own time and pace.
- Discover the ancient and enigmatic sites of the Minoan civilisation – the oldest in Europe and one whom many claim is the ancient Atlantis.
- Explore the myriad of local restaurants and cafes serving delectable local foods and wines.
- Soak in the tranquil charm of traditional Greek fishing villages.
Day 1: Heraklion
Arrive in Heraklion and be met by our local representative in Crete and transferred to your hotel. Remainder of the day at leisure.
Day 2: Heraklion – Aghios Nikolaos (B)
This morning your car will be delivered to your hotel for the start of your self-drive journey of Crete.
Depart Heraklion and visit the ruins of the Minoan palace of Knossos. This enigmatic site was named for the famed King Minos and is said to have been the home of the Minotaur. South of Knossos at the foot of Juchtas Mountain (the mountain range resembles the face of a sleeping man thus called “Sleeping Zeus”) is the village of Archanes well known since the Minoan period for its vineyards. In the village there are beautiful restored Turkish houses.
In Heraklion visit the Archaeological Museum with its important finds from the Minoan period and the Cathedral of St. Minas - protector of the city.
Continue towards the quaint fishing village of Elounda the island of Spinalonga and arrive to the lively Aghios Nikolaos for overnight.
Day 3: Aghios Nikolaos - Sitia (B)
Today a short drive to Sitia, birth place of the poet Vincenzos Cornaros (17th century). Visit the picturesque harbour and the fortress Kazarmas built during Byzantine times. You may continue to the East coast to relax on the Palm Beach of Vai, the first place in Europe to watch the sun rise every morning or visit the Monastery of Toplou. Dating back to the 15th century, the monastery contains an inscription from the 2nd century BC and a famous 18th century icon by loannis Kornaros. Overnight Sitia.
Day 4: Sitia – Ierapetra (B)
Drive along the beautiful eastern coast of Crete. You might stop en route to visit the Minoan palace of Zakros, the site of a luxurious Minoan Palace the 4th of significance on the island.
Overnight in Ierapetra the southernmost city in Europe.
Day 5: Ierapetra – Matala (B)
Today continue your drive West to Matala. En route stop at the small fishing harbour of Myrtos, a charming village along the southern coast that has preserved its strong Greek character. Overnight in the pleasant seaside village of Matala, famous for its pre-historic caves and for being a centre for the hippies during the 70’s.
Day 6: Matala – Chania (B)
Drive to Preveli Monastery built on a high rocky plateau. Drive via the narrow gorge Kourtaliotiko and hear the mysterious sounds of the constant blowing wind. Continue through small villages to Rethymnon before making your way to the charming town of Chania.
Day 7: Chania (B)
Spend the day exploring the Old Centre of Chania. Walk through the old centre and along the Venetian harbour. This afternoon you may visit some of Crete’s most famous beaches in Elafonissi or Falasarna, or visit the famous Samaria Gorge.
Day 8: Chania (B)
Visit Souda Bay WWII War Cemetery en route to Chania airport or Heraklion to return your rental car.
Note: The itinerary above is a suggestion only and you may want to visit different sites along the way. We recommend you buy a comprehensive map and guidebook of Crete to plan your self-drive according to your specific points of interests and make the most of your holiday.
- Accommodation in Moderate Tourist & Tourist class hotels with private facilities
- Arrival transfer from the port / airport to your hotel with assistance
- Car hire in selected category
- Travel Notes
- International airfares
- Optional tours and excursions
- Port Taxes and fuel surcharges
- Tipping/Gratuities (please refer to tour notes for a recommended guideline)
- Personal Expenses
- Departure taxes
- Hotel charges for minibar or any extra charges
- Visas (unless specified)
- Any other services not clearly mentioned in the inclusions above
Cars in Crete: The standard of the rental vehicles in Crete is generally lower than that of Central Europe and New Zealand. These cars are late model manual vehicles as opposed to new cars. They are well serviced and reliable. Automatic vehicles can be requested a surcharge applies. It is common practice that the car is delivered with a non-full (and quite often almost empty) tank. Make sure you fill in your tank before leaving town. At the end of your tour the car is expected to be returned with a similar level of fuel as when first delivered.
Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however all offers are subject to reconfirmation at the time of booking. Note prices usually display available discounted rates if any, (eg. Early Bird Deals if applicable). All featured tour itineraries and offers maybe subject to change due to seasonal variations without notice, or due to local conditions or other conditions. Please confirm all details at time of booking. Travel insurance is mandatory for all Innovative Travel bookings. All passports must be valid for 6 months prior to your return to your home country. Visas are the responsibility of the traveller. Special VIP meet and assist offers are valid for New Zealand passport holders, for other nationalities please check at the time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.