Get out of town and work your way down the road less travelled to the southern coast of Crete on your own private tour of the island. You’ll meet your tour guide in Chania, and our tour will begin with a two-hour, local bus ride that will take us to a seaside village unknown to mass tourism.
Upon reaching this small, sleepy village by the sea, we’ll start our adventure off by fuelling up on a light, organic breakfast made with local products.
After the olives, rusks, and cheese have quickly been devoured, we’ll head off to the ancient city of Lissos. We’ll walk in the shade of old pine trees on an easy trail before slowly trekking up a hill that will offer breathtaking views of the gorge beneath us, and the turquoise sea in the distance.
When the trees disappear and a barren plateau appears, the rocks will meet the blue sea, and we’ll see the ruins of the ancient Asclepieion. This healing temple was dedicated to the god Asclepius, and was built in the 3rd century B.C.E. We’ll also point out the herbs and flora that are used in the Cretan diet.
While this walk is fairly easy and follows a trail, please note that it will take approximately 90 minutes with stops, with elevations of 250 metres up, and almost 400 metres down.
Lissos was known as a powerful trading and fishing hub from the 4th century B.C.E. up until the 7th to 9th century C.E., until it was abandoned after it was destroyed in a powerful earthquake. During the Hellenistic Times and until the 5th century C.E., it was a makeshift temple for the goddess Diktinna, whose actual temple has not been discovered yet as the site hasn’t been totally excavated.
You’ll have an hour to walk among the ruins and drink from the spring that gushes ‘healing water’ at the foundations of the Asclepieion. This is the very reason why Lissos was famous in the ancient world, and why it attracted hundreds of people every year.
From here, we’ll spend about half an hour making our way to a sandy beach with fine pebbles. We’ll spend two hours diving into the blue waters, or relaxing under the sun enjoying some fresh fruit.
From the small, pebbled beach, we’ll embark on a fishing boat to continue our exploration of the south coast. Our next stop will be a remote, but quaint village where we’ll have the opportunity to participate in making a local traditional sweet, which pairs well with a glass of raki after a hearty meal!
In the evening, before we depart for Chania, you’ll be able to spend an hour exploring the coastal town of Paleochora. You can take a walk around the promenade or along the smaller, quieter streets — either way, this tiny town has a cosmopolitan flair that you don’t want to miss out on!
By the end of the day we hope you’ll agree with us when we say the best way to explore any place is to check out the unspoiled, local hang-outs and hot-spots that would be hard to find without a local tour guide. We also hope you’ll have discovered the inner explorer within you!
(If you’d prefer to travel as part of a regular group experience, please book our Crete Antiquity & Adventurers group tour.)
Inclusions: Local English-speaking guide, bus fares, breakfast (local dish with rusks, olives, tomatoes, and cheese), seasonal fruit, a meal (starter and main course), local sweets, raki (a local spirit).
Exclusions: Additional food and drinks, souvenirs, personal items, tips/gratuities for your guide.
Dress standard: Please wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a hat, sunscreen, and a bottle of water. If it’s warm, bring your swimsuit!
Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We'll see you at the meeting point. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information, via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
Child Policy: Travellers under 14 years of age are not permitted on this tour.