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7 Day Unique Private Tour and Culinary Vacation in Crete, Aegean Islands

Villa Kerasia, Vlahiana, Greece

Olive Oil Tasting and Culinary Vacation in Greece

This package will be a unique private experience in Crete. You will visit four famous towns of Crete, Heraklio, Chania, Rethymno, and Agios Nikolaos. The tour also includes Spinaloga Island. Along with the private tour experiences, you will enjoy a cooking class, wine tasting, walking food tour in Heraklio, cheese making, olive oil tasting, and visit a tavern with real Cretan traditional food. You will also have the opportunity to admire Knossos Palace and the archaeological museum.

Meet the instructors

Rallou
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Highlights

  • Taste the famous bread of Georgioupolis
  • Visit Chania’s town market dating back to the 1900s
  • Cooking class, wine tasting, walking food tour, cheesemaking
  • Visit Rethymnon, which bears traces of the many different periods of its long history
  • Visit Heraklio city and admire castle Koule with old port and archaeological museum
  • Visit Agios Nikolaos with its beautiful lake and port
  • Visit the Palace of Knossos, Spinalonga Island
  • 6 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner

Styles


4 days with instruction
Group size: Maximum of 15 participants
Airport transfer included: Heraklion International Airport
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Accommodation

Villa Kerasia is a registered villa in Crete and offers a wide range of quality services. It is featured in some of the most popular magazines and ranks among the most exclusive destinations in the area, in terms of design and aesthetics, location, character, and services. Porto Planet's experience has shown that guests who have enjoyed a proper “villa experience” in Crete or abroad, never go back to hotels for their holidays.

Staying in a villa versus staying in a hotel couldn’t be more different:

  • Villas are usually built in secluded areas offering privacy, far from busy and noisy crowds. It is up to you whether or when you want to see and be seen.
  • Experience the freedom only a villa offers: Imagine the luxury of having your breakfast all carefree and barefoot or choosing where and when your dinner would be served.
  • The staff takes care of all your needs, for a relaxing and worry-free stay, just as you expected. Your hosts will be serving a variety of wines by the pool while our chef will be preparing delicious meals previously arranged with you. And there is more! The staff is there just for you! Discuss with the chef how you wish to have your meals prepared.
  • All dishes are prepared using fresh local products. In addition, the venue offers traditional Cretan cuisine, a variety of appetizers, as well as specially-prepared dishes for vegetarians and diabetics.

Basic room benefits

  • Occupancy: 2 persons
  • Double-bed
  • Shower
  • Air conditioner
  • Central heating
  • Satellite TV-Radio
  • Telephone (direct connection)
  • Refrigerator
  • Hairdryer
  • Safe

Services and facilities

  • Traditional Cretan breakfast
  • Potential choice of dinner
  • Swimming pool
  • Swimming pool towels
  • Sunbeds
  • Laundry service
  • Transfer service
  • Parking
  • Wireless internet access
  • Hydro massage

Program

Day 1: Arrival in Heraklion

Arrival and reception at Heraklion Airport. Check in to your room, relax and explore your surroundings before dinner. Overnight in Heraklio.

Meals included: Dinner

Day 2: Heraklio Knossos - Archeological Museum - city / food tour - cooking class

Today you will visit the Palace of Knossos. The Palace of Knossos is one monument you must see in Crete. It was built 3500 years ago! After you drive in Heraklio and you have the chance to admire Minoan culture at the archaeological museum.

After visiting the museum, you will start the walking food tour. You will walk on the streets of the city and tasting unique flavors that will elevate your palate to heaven!

In the evening, you will do the cooking class. After the cooking class, you will sit down and enjoyed the meal you’ve learned to cook, accompanied by local wine. Overnight in Heraklio.

Meals included: Breakfast, dinner.

Day 3: Agios Nikolaos - Elounda-Spinaloga

You will drive along the north coast of the island and get an amazing view of the Selinari gorge on the way to the Elounda. Elounda's harbor, known as the Gulf of Korfos, is a natural, beautiful lagoon which is bordered by rugged peninsulas, and with the island of Spinalonga.

Let's head to fascinating Spinalonga Island or just "The Island" according to Viktoria's Hislop book. For decades from 1913, it was a leper colony serving the whole of Greece. Its small inner network of run-down streets and houses, abandoned by Turkish occupants at the end of the previous century, became home to the so-called "living dead".

After walking to the Spinaloga, you drive to Ag. Nikolaos. Agios Nikolaos is different from other towns in Crete. The town's graphic and has a beautiful lake and port. Its unique features, start with the lake ("Voulismeni"), a folklore-inspiringly deep body of water which is connected to the sea by a narrow inlet. Overnight in Heraklio.

Meals included: Breakfast, dinner.

Day 4: Rethymno city tour - Geni Gave - lunch / cheese-making class

Your first break is the city of Rethymnon, the capital city of the region. It bears traces of the many different periods of its long history. A beautiful fine, sandy beach surrounds the city. During the Venetian occupation, the city was considered to be the commercial and cultural center of Crete. Byzantine churches stand alongside the Turkish minaret and characteristic stone Venetian buildings show the traditional character of the city.

You can visit the castle of Fortezza, built on the hilltop that overlooks the city, Lotzia which is an archaeological museum, the Rimondi Fountain, the remains of the Venetian fortifications and several residences characteristic to the Venetian architectural style. Walk the narrow streets with hundreds of small tourist shops.

After you drive in the maintenance of the Rethymno area, you will have lunch in one of the famous taverns in Crete with real Cretan food. Here also you have the opportunity to learn about the cheese production process! Overnight in Heraklio.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5: Wine tour and olive oil tasting - olive oil and tree museum

Drive through the beautiful Cretan mainland scenery to the Kydonia Mountain. You will visit a traditional winery. They will sit in a beautiful olive grove and sample a fleet of local wines including Vidiano and Muscat of Spinas as well as some international wines such as Grenache Rouge, Syrah, and Mourvedre.

You will visit the Olive Tree Museum. They will see the oldest olive tree in the world, one of 14 classified as Monumental Olive Trees in Crete, aged an estimated 3,000 years.

You will drive to a different winery in Kissavos Mountain, where your Cretan wine tasting experience continues. You will taste a new fleet of wines consisting of local varieties including Vilana, Vidiano, and Assyrtiko, accompanied by food comprising local products. Then you will visit an olive oil factory owned by the same family, where you will learn about extra virgin olive oil production. Overnight in Chania.

Meals included: Breakfast, dinner

Day 6: Chania city free day

You have a free day to spend in Chania. Chania is a scenic city that combines the strong traditional color of living history with the virtues of a modern city. The traces of all cultures and nations that dominated the city in the past are more than obvious as the city is a living museum where architectural styles and cultural attitudes have been harmonically blended.

Visit the Chania town market dating from the 1900’s – it is a cross-shaped gallery that houses over 65 food stores, presenting fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy products, bread, legumes and anything else you may like, such as cafés, restaurants, and shopping, to the old town of Chania.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight on a ferry.

Day 7: Chania – Departure

Breakfast.

This is the end of the holiday. Thank you for coming. Have a nice flight back home! Kalo taxidi!

Instructors

Rallou Portokalaki

Location

Accommodation for four days will be in Villa Kerasia and two days in the hotel in Chania town.

Villa Kerasia is located at the settlement of Vlahiana, 15 kilometers southwest of the town of Heraklion. It lies at the southeast foot of Mount Psiloritis, amphitheatrically located at an altitude of 580 meters, overlooking the villages of Kerasia, Venerato, and Avgeniki at a distance of about one kilometer.

The area’s breathtaking natural beauty is accentuated by the intense morphological contrast of the terrain and the vineyards that embrace the settlement, along with the intrinsic beauty and sweeping views of the gorges at Ano Asites, Agia Irini, and Venerato.

The area around Villa Kerasia Hotel is ideal for walking through the old trails leading to nearby Byzantine churches. The international hiking trail (E4) crossing next to the settlement leads to the organized shelter of the local mountaineering club (Prinos, 1200 meters altitude). You may also join organized climbing groups to Psiloritis.

Within a short distance of about two km from the settlement there is the archaeological site of Ancient Rizinia. The city was discovered during an excavation between 1906-1908 and prospered from the late Minoan period of 600 B.C. until the Hellenistic period of 67 B.C.

The location of Rizinia on top of a hill, at about the center of Crete and midway between the two large Minoan cities of Knossos and Faistos, was of great strategic importance.

Food

Included in the package are six breakfasts, one lunch, and six dinners at the hotel with Cretan and Greek flavors to satisfy your gastronomic desires.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 6 nights accommodation
  • Transportation from the airport / hotel on the day of arrival and hotel / airport on the day of departure
  • Vehicle / mini van with English speaking driver
  • Professional travel manager
  • Meals: 6 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 6 dinners at the hotel with Cretan and Greek flavors to satisfy your gastronomic desires
  • All private tours
  • All excursions tranfers
  • All entrance fees

What's not included

  • Guiding at the Knossos Palace and Archaeological Museum
  • Overnight tax
  • Tips
  • Anything not mentioned above or below

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Airport: Heraklion International Airport Airport transfer included: Heraklion International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
7 days / 6 nights
from --
Solo travelers

This retreat can accommodate solo travelers.

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