Crete – Coast & Mountains

8 Days from £949 | May, September, October

Crete, the largest Greek island, offers a wide range of attractions: from sandy beaches to spectacular walks through gorges and ravines – there is something here for everyone! The island’s history – from the Minoan civilisation of 2000BC onwards – is remarkable. Crete has amazing landscapes, with opportunities for walks taking in some of the main historical and natural sights, such as the Saint George Ravine and Spinalonga. This two-centre walking holiday will get you close to the real heart of this wonderful island from the Gulf of Mirabello in the east, to the Botanical Park in the west.

Crete – Coast & Mountains

Past Customer Satisfaction Score for this holiday* - 88%
* as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details

  • 3 nights hb Eastern Crete, 4 nights hb Western Crete
  • Three varied guided walks
  • Visit to Elounda & Spinalonga Island
  • Walking tour of Rethymnon

DAY ONE: Flight to Heraklion. 20-minute transfer to your hotel in Gouves for three nights half board accommodation.

DAY TWO: At leisure in Gouves, or you can take an optional excursion in the afternoon to see the ancient ruins of the Minoan Palace of Malia.

DAY THREE: Walk 1. Kroustas and the Gulf of Mirabello. This is a full day with a guided walk in the morning and guided tour of Spinalonga Island in the afternoon. After a scenic drive through the spectacular ravine of Saint George, the walk starts in the narrow streets of the mountain village of Kroustas. Leaving the village, you enter a cultivated area of almond and olive trees. The route, which crosses the Kroustas valley and has amazing views over the Mirabello Gulf, ends near Pirgos. This is a downhill 4½ mile walk with 500m of descent and 50m ascent. At the end of the walk, you transfer to the coastal village of Elounda, from where you take a 20-minute boat trip across to the Venetian fortress island of Spinalonga – a leper colony for the first half of the 20th century. After a guided tour of the island, you return to your hotel. 72 miles of coach travel today.

DAY FOUR: Today you leave for Rethymnon in the west, for four nights half-board accommodation, with an included walk en-route.

Walk 2: Ancient Eleftherna. The walk starts near Eleftherna and ends in the village of Margarites. Using dirt roads and paths in lush, green scenery, you can see the ruins of Ancient Eleftherna and an amazing stone bridge well over 2000 years old and still in use. After some free time for lunch and to explore Margarites with its small ceramic workshops, you continue to Rethymnon. The walk is 4½ miles, with 180m ascent and 270m descent. 82 miles by coach today.

Rethymnon has a pleasant beach and resort area, but by contrast with your first centre, is quite a large town, with 40000 inhabitants, including a sizeable student population. It has an impressive Venetian fortress and harbour, and some interesting museums.

DAY FIVE: Included morning walking tour of Rethymnon. Walk into town with your guide via the promenade through the charming old quarter to the Venetian harbour, and then through narrow streets and squares with Turkish and Venetian architecture. During this pleasant walk, you’ll see in a local workshop how the Cretan musical instrument, the ‘Lyra’, is made and, at a pastry shop, how to make the wafer-thin phyllo dough for traditional pastries.

DAYS SIX and SEVEN: In Rethymnon with an included walking excursion.

Walk 3: Therisso and the Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete. You travel towards Chania in the west and then inland via the magnificent green Therisso Gorge to the village itself and the starting point of the walk. With the famous White Mountains as a backdrop, the walk takes you through olive groves near the village of Meskla. 5 ½ miles with 100m ascent and 300m descent. From here you have a short coach transfer to the Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete. Here you can walk the peaceful trails along the hill slope with herbs, shrubs and trees from all over the world. But don’t be late for your included lunch in the beautiful restaurant with magnificent views across to the mountains! 106 miles coach travel today.

There is also the chance to take an optional excursion to Southern Crete. You visit Phaestos, the second largest Minoan Palace in Crete, on a hill and overlooking the olive trees and greenhouses of the Messara Plain. Your lunchtime break is in the seaside village of Matala. It still retains the charm and character of a quiet fishing village, and the laid-back, hippy lifestyle of the 60’s and 70’s lives on. Here, you can have a dip in the Libyan Sea and still have time for a leisurely Cretan lunch at a beach tavern. On the way back to your hotel you stop in the mountain village of Spili to see the Kefalovrisi, a series of 25 Venetian lions heads spraying water from their mouths.

DAY EIGHT: Free time until your departure for the airport, just over an hour away. Depending on flight timings, there may be time for some last-minute sightseeing en route.

If you have friends who are not walkers interested in this itinerary, we also offer it with a touring programme.

Please note: A new tourist tax in Crete will come into effect in 2018. The amount is not yet known, but it is expected to be 3 euros per room per night. It is not included in the price of the holiday and will be payable by hotel guests directly to the hotel.

Crete – Coast & Mountains

Past Customer Satisfaction Score for this holiday* - 88%
* as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details

HOTEL ASTIR BEACH****, Gouves (three nights)
The hotel is situated on the beach in Gouves on the north coast, 10 miles from Heraklion airport. The hotel is modern in style and has a reception area, lounge with satellite TV, bar, spacious restaurant/dining room, two elevators, pool bar, snack bar, and mini market. All of the 179 rooms are equipped with bath or shower, wc, hairdryer, direct dial telephone, safe box (weekly charge), radio, satellite TV, mini-fridge and balcony or terrace. Sea view rooms are available at a supplement. In the hotel grounds, you will find a large sun terrace and a smartly designed freshwater swimming pool. Sporting facilities include volleyball, table tennis, and minigolf. There is also a gym with steam bath, sauna, and whirlpool. Free wifi in the public areas, chargeable LAN access in the bedrooms. (www.astirbeach.gr)  
Past Customer Satisfaction Score for this hotel* - 77%
*as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details
HOTEL THEARTEMIS PALACE ****, Rethymnon (four nights)
The hotel is close to the town’s long sandy beach and boulevard, and 20 minutes on foot from the old town of Rethymnon. It consists of 245 well-appointed and recently renovated rooms. All the rooms are equipped with satellite tv, direct dial telephone, refrigerator, safety deposit box, bath/shower, wc and hairdryer. The restaurant offers a variety of Greek and international specialities. (www.theartemis.gr)  
Past Customer Satisfaction Score for this hotel* - 87%
*as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details
Walking Holiday - Crete – Coast & Mountains
Holiday code: 7WHN
Supplements per person:
Single Room: £120
Twin/double - sea view in Gouves: £28
Travel Insurance: £44.95
Supplements on some holidays vary by departure date - the applicable price will be shown when booking.

Fly FromDateDaysAirlineDep.Rtn.AvailabilityPriceFly ToSingle

BirminghamTue 22/05/20188Thomas Cook16301515Places Available1009Heraklion12034BHX17WHNA1

BirminghamTue 25/09/20188Thomas Cook16301515Places Available1019Heraklion12046BHX17WHNA2

BirminghamTue 02/10/20188Thomas Cook16301515Places Available969Heraklion12050BHX17WHNA3

BristolTue 22/05/20188Thomas Cook14252340Places Available989Heraklion12034BRS17WHNA1

BristolTue 25/09/20188Thomas Cook14252340Places Available999Heraklion12046BRS17WHNA2

BristolTue 02/10/20188Thomas Cook14252340Places Available949Heraklion12050BRS17WHNA3

CardiffTue 22/05/20188Thomson12452200Places Available1009Heraklion12034CWL17WHNA1

CardiffTue 25/09/20188Thomson12452200Places Available1019Heraklion12046CWL17WHNA2

CardiffTue 02/10/20188Thomson12452200Places Available969Heraklion12050CWL17WHNA3

East MidlandsTue 22/05/20188Jet216400215Places Available1029Heraklion12034EMA17WHNA1

East MidlandsTue 25/09/20188Jet216400215Places Available1039Heraklion12046EMA17WHNA2

East MidlandsTue 02/10/20188Jet216400215Places Available989Heraklion12050EMA17WHNA3

EdinburghTue 22/05/20188Easyjet15250110Places Available989Heraklion12034EDI17WHNA1

EdinburghTue 25/09/20188Easyjet15250110Places Available999Heraklion12046EDI17WHNA2

EdinburghTue 02/10/20188Easyjet15250110Places Available949Heraklion12050EDI17WHNA3

GlasgowTue 22/05/20188Thomas Cook14400030Places Available989Heraklion12034GLA17WHNA1

GlasgowTue 25/09/20188Thomas Cook14400030Places Available999Heraklion12046GLA17WHNA2

GlasgowTue 02/10/20188Thomas Cook14400030Places Available949Heraklion12050GLA17WHNA3

London GatwickTue 22/05/20188Easyjet07151555Places Available989Heraklion12034LGW17WHNA1

London GatwickTue 25/09/20188Easyjet07151555Places Available999Heraklion12046LGW17WHNA2

London GatwickTue 02/10/20188Easyjet07151555Places Available949Heraklion12050LGW17WHNA3

ManchesterTue 22/05/20188Easyjet13502300Places Available989Heraklion12034MAN17WHNA1

ManchesterTue 25/09/20188Easyjet13502300Places Available999Heraklion12046MAN17WHNA2

ManchesterTue 02/10/20188Easyjet13502300Places Available949Heraklion12050MAN17WHNA3

NewcastleTue 22/05/20188Jet215100045Places Available1029Heraklion12034NCL17WHNA1

NewcastleTue 25/09/20188Jet215100045Places Available1039Heraklion12046NCL17WHNA2

NewcastleTue 02/10/20188Jet215100045Places Available989Heraklion12050NCL17WHNA3

StanstedTue 22/05/20188Jet207001600Places Available1029Heraklion12034STN17WHNA1

StanstedTue 25/09/20188Jet207001600Places Available1039Heraklion12046STN17WHNA2

StanstedTue 02/10/20188Jet207001600Places Available989Heraklion12050STN17WHNA3

Prices shown are based on the shared occupancy of twin/double standard rooms, and are subject to availability. Please refer to ‘Accommodation’ for details of any room supplements (including single rooms) and extended stay costs that apply to this holiday. Further details in our FAQ.

Data as at 21/01/2018 at 19:47:06

We were most impressed by our Tour Director, Walking Guide and Driver. All highly skilled. They worked very hard to make it a most enjoyable holiday. Our Tour Directors depth and breadth of knowledge enabled us to learn far more than on some holidays and her shared insights were thought provoking. The Walking Guide’s knowledge of plants and animals en route made walks even more enjoyable. Our Driver proved equal to the narrow steep bits of journeys and he seemed utterly calm and unflappable - a superb driver to have when wanting to relax and take it easy. The hotels were fine - no problems but it is the staff mentioned above who made the holiday work so well for us.

Dr J, Lancaster

Thank you for a brilliant holiday to Crete. We had not travelled with Preferred Travel Services before, but are already looking at holidays with you for next year. We enjoyed the mix of walking and optional tours on non-walking days. Joanna, our guide was knowledgeable and informative and passsionate about her country. She was approachable and imparted her knowledge in an easy to understand manner. Our Walking guide was very good and we felt in safe hands. The three walks were varied and we had no problem with them. The optional tours were in interesting places and we enjoyed them. the hotels were great, and the food in both was delicious, very fresh, well presented with lots of choice. And the weather was superb, a little hotter than we expected, but great. Altogether, a brilliant holiday. Thank you.

Mr & Mrs C, Leics

Well organised with excellent optional trips available. Preferred Travel Services Representative, Walking guide and Coach Driver first class - no complaints. Well done Preferred Travel Services.

Mr L, Cardiff

An excellent holiday. Well organised. I had a great time and would recommend it to anyone wanting to see Crete.

Ms S, Ireland

Excellent holiday!

Mr B, Carlisle

Thank you for a good holiday; we enjoyed Crete.

Mrs G, West Wales

Click to see whole photo

X

Don't forget, we fly from 20 airports right across the UK.
Most of our holidays include half board as standard.
All of our holidays have included visits and tours.

Holiday Search
Crete – Coast & Mountains 949