This suggested itinerary takes in many of Crete’s most remarkable sites during the five days of this tour. Hiring a car is a delightful way to explore the Mediterranean’s largest island in your own time, stopping as the fancy takes you. With car rental, accommodation, and daily breakfasts included, this is a perfect way to explore this fascinating destination.
- Discover the ancient Minoan civilisation, claimed by some to be the mythological Atlantis.
- Explore the Neolithic-age manmade caves in Matala.
- Watch serene day turn into bustling night from a rooftop restaurant overlooking Heraklion
Day 1: Chania
Arrive in Chania and be met by our local operator in Crete and transferred to your hotel. Remainder of the day at leisure to unwind.
Day 2: Chania (B)
This morning your car will be delivered to your hotel to begin the self-drive portion of your tour.
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 or Souda Bay WWII War Cemetery.
Day 3: Chania – Matala (B)
Drive through small villages to Rethymnon before making your way 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.
Then, drive to Matala. 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 4: Matala – Heraklion (B)
Depart Matala and drive to Heraklion. 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.
Day 5: Heraklion (B)
This morning drive your way to the Heraklion port where you will drop off your rental vehicle.
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 hotels with private facilities
- Arrival transfer from the port / airport to your hotel
- 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.