Exclusive Private Services: Excursions, Shore Trips, Daily Tours & Transfers

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The archaeological site of Knossos is at a distance of 5 Kms. southeast of Heraklion city. The name Knossos is mentioned by Homer, who speaks of Knossos as a big city. The Knossos palace is famous all over the world through the myths of Europa, the Minotaur, the Labyrinth and Theseus, Daedalus and Ikarus. It is the most ancient civilization of Europe and its reality you can’t miss. The first palace of Knossos was built around 1900 BC, on the remains of a pre-existing Neolithic settlement, which had been inhabited since 6000 BC. This palace was destroyed around 1700 BC and, in its place, another one was built. During the period between 1700-1450 BC, Minoan Crete, and especially Knossos, was at the height of its brilliance and power. In 1600, a destructive earthquake caused serious damage. Soon however, the necessary repairs were made and, at the same time, other sumptuous…
Gortys or Gortyna, as it is called today was one of the strongest and most ancient towns of Crete. During the Roman and early Byzantine times, it was the capital of the island. It was in constant conflict with Knossos, but cultivated peaceful relations with the Achaeans and the Ptolemies of Egypt. During the period of Roman domination it knew its greatest period of prosperity, since it took the side of the Romans and did not put up a resistance against them. Gortyna accepted Christianity early and became the see of the first Bishop of Crete, the Apostle Titus. In the early Byzantine period it flourished and retained its prestige until 828 AD, when it was taken and destroyed by the Saracens. From that time on, the town was deserted and was never again inhabited. Phaestos is second in importance only to Knossos, from the archaeological point of view. It…
This route covers a large part of the northeastern axis of the island. All along its length, one comes across important archaeological sites and many attractive places. Our route arrives at the archaeological site of Malia, 3 kms. east of the modern town of the same name. Malia was an important Minoan town with a palace equivalent in size to those of Knossos and Phaestos, but not so grand. The first palace was built around 1900 BC, was destroyed around 1700 BC, following which a new one was built. However, around 1450 BC, this new palace suffered the same fate. The ruins to be seen on the northwestern side, belong to the old palace, while the remainders of the ruins belong to the new palace. Continuing our tour and at a distance of 11 kilometers southwest of Aghios Nikolaos lies the picturesque village of Kritsa, built amphitheatrically on a hill.…
Going west, we leave behind the range of Mount Ida (Psiloritis mountain) and the village of Fodele. A picturesque little village surrounded by rich orange groves. This is the native village of the great painter Dominicos Theotokopoulos, or “El Greco” (1541-1614). The house where he was born is still standing. A short visit is always recommended. We continue westwards and 48 kms. from Heraklion to the right leads to the lovely coastal settlement of Bali, built on a picturesque little bay. Not far from the settlement is the monastery of St. John the Baptist, dating from the 16th century. Eventually our tour will take us to the historic Monastery of Arkadi, the Cretan symbol of freedom, built on a hill with a magnificent view over the verdant area surrounding it. The monastery is built like a fortress. It is surrounded by several buildings and its external walls are 1.2 m.…
Driving southeast the road leads to Potamies. Near the village is an old monastery of Panaghia Gouverniotissa, dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin and in which can been seen frescoes of the 14th century. Continuing and near the neighborhoods of Ano and Kato Kera and in a superb setting with a beautiful view is the monastery of Panaghia Kardiotissa or Kera (Lady), dedicated to the Birthday of the Holy Virgin. In the monastery is kept an icon of the “Virgin Enchained”, believed to be miraculous. We continue to the south passing through the village Pikiano, the road forks out, to the right and to the left, encircling the Lasithi plateau. The view from the high up on the road is magnificent. The picturesque windmills work regularly to water the fertile plain, which covers as area of approximately 2500 hectare. During the period of Venetian rule and later under the…
The Wine as a core element of the first European civilization, the Minoan Civilization. History of wine in Crete and its bonds with the island have deeper roots, dating even further back than the Homeric epics. The vine has known around 4000 years of systematic cultivation in Crete! No wonder that the oldest wine-press (3500 years old) was found in the region of Vathipetro. Vine-growing and winemaking continued unabated throughout the ages. The Law Code of Gortyn, the oldest legal text in Europe, includes the first set of rules on vine-growing. Crete hosts one of the largest vineyards in Greece, in terms of both size and production. The Cretan vineyard has the longest history and continuous presence in Europe, if not in the whole world. Archaeological findings and historical sources have proven that the Cretan vineyard has never ceased to produce wine from the Minoan times to the present day.…
Heraklion Shopping Tour On this private tour, you will be personally escorted for your exclusive shopping wishes. A private shopping tour is a 4 hour (pick-up & drop off travel time is not included), private shopping experience in Heraklion’s city shops. Heraklion holds one of the best shopping locations in Greece & is yet another experience combining stops to stylish shops and the market of the city. Longer or shorter customized tours can always be arranged. There are a large variety of shops from jewelry, handbags, accessories, cosmetics, and perfumes, furs and leather goods, dresses (day & evening), women’s clothing (contemporary, classic, dressy and casual) men’s clothing, children clothing, children toys, souvenirs and gifts, traditional goods etc.         Heraklion shopping tour is perfect for: Husband & Wife, Boyfriend & Girlfriend Girls Day Out Anniversary Celebrations Birthday Celebrations Mother & Daughter Families Visiting Crete Tourists / Locals Spousal…
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  Yiannis Saridakis
  Ethnikis Antistaseos 176 - Heraklion - 71306 - Crete - Greece