Your immersion into the heart of Cretan life begins with a drive away from the coast, through lush olive groves and ancient woodlands. Our first top will be the traditional village of Kritsa, the gateway to the stunning Kritsa Gorge.
Kritsa Gorge isn’t as well-known as other gorges on the island but it is just as beautiful, if not more so because the peace and tranquillity of the place is rarely disturbed by large groups of tourists being herded through it.
The entrance to the gorge is spectacular, almost as if the mountain has been torn in two. Following the old donkey path, we will reach the middle of the gorge, a valley full of olive groves. The trail is approximately four kilometres long and is relatively easy apart from one or two boulders to climb over.
The gorge ends at an ancient Minoan path, which we will follow past shepherd huts and fields. From here we will take a drive out to a traditional Cretan olive oil farm. Our hosts will show you around the farm, sharing their knowledge of the green gold, including how to cultivate it and what to look for when tasting different varieties. We will finish with a tasting accompanied by some delicious local wine.
Next you will learn the secrets of making one of the most famous and beloved dishes in all of Greece, dolmades (vine leaves stuffed with rice). Enjoy your culinary creations alongside a traditional and delicious Greek lunch of salads, tzatziki, dako (rusks with dressing), and other small seasonal plates, with a glass of wine or shot of local raki, of course.
With our bellies full, we will leave for the village of Plaka where speedboats will be waiting to whisk you off to the fortress island of Spinalonga, located in the Gulf of Elounda.
Here you will have time to wander around by yourself and discover the turbulent history of this tiny islet; conquered by the Venetians in the 16th century, the ancient fortifications were built to act as first line of defence in the ferocious wars with the Ottoman Turks.
After an hour, our speedboat will pick you up and take you for a refreshing spin around Spinalonga. If you feel the need to cool off, jump in for a swim at Spinalonga or at the beach in Plaka village, where we board the boat. (There are cabins there for you to change into your swimwear.)
After all that fun in the sun, your speedboat will escort you back to your start point. But before you say goodbye, talk to your in-the-know local guide if you want the inside track on where to eat, drink, and visit during the rest of your stay on magical Crete.
Note that we also offer this experience as a private tour. For private tours, we will pick you up at your hotel in Plaka, Elounda, Agios Nikolaos, Kritsa, or Kalo Xorio. Please indicate at the time of booking where you will be staying; if you don’t have your hotel yet, you can email us later at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inclusions: Local English-speaking guide, roundtrip transportation via private 4x4 vehicle, speedboat ride with professional driver, olive oil tasting, dolmades, traditional Greek lunch (seasonal dishes), 1 glass of wine and shots of raki (a local spirit), coffee, water, and refreshments (iced tea, seasonal fruits, energy snacks).
Exclusions: Entrance ticket to Spinalonga archaeological site (EUR 8), additional food and drinks, souvenirs or personal shopping, tips/gratuities for your guide and driver.
Dress standard: Please wear comfortable shoes for walking, and bring a hat and sunscreen in the summer months.
Your Trip: For your Urban Adventure you will be in a small group of a maximum of 4 people.
Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We'll see you at the start 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: This is a child-friendly tour. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ above when booking. Children under the age of 6 are not permitted to join this tour.