Make your own excursions
Willtransfer provides you the opportunity to create your own excursion, tailored to your personal needs and wishes or you can select one of the following pre-planned journeys.
Arolithos Traditional Village
Ιn the area of the traditional village you will meet the museum of Local Art and Agricultural History. This museum exhibits old household objects of everyday life, agricultural tools and various items of local art. Some of these items are: a complete traditional living room, large earthen pots (used for storing water, wine and oil), flat irons which run on coal, weaving looms, combs used for sheep, pots used for the preparation of bread, a shepherd’s coat (gambas), a wooden box used for storage (kasela), an old clock, lamp stands, scales, strainers, household utensils (pans, pots, etc.), a wooden bed, a shepherd’s bag, a sewing machine, embroidery, traditional Cretan dresses, a dowry bag, a straw basket, plates, religious icons, plows, hand - mills, sickles, pack saddles, various crockery (glasses, cups, plates, etc.), Cretan weapons, guns and swords. Continuing your excursion you will meet various popular art workshops, such as ceramics, weaving. Also you can visit the woven textile exhibition, the blacksmith's, the mosaic, the wood oven, the grocers and the traditional cafe(Cafenion).
The tour will start with the departure from the hotel at the scheduled time. We will be transferred to a local olive mill to start your tour of the area. Initially we will tour olive groves where we will get to know the olive tree and we will learn a lot about the harvest and the stages of ripening. Then we will tour the premises of the estate. We will meet the old olive mill and then we will proceed to the modern factory where you will be informed about the production process of olive oil. After the tour you will have the opportunity to taste the award-winning olive oils as well as traditional local products. You will also have the opportunity, if you wish, to choose one of the award-winning olive oils as a souvenir.
- Free entrance
- Multilingual tour guides
Thrapsano village is located in roughly 30 km south-eastern from Heraklion and is built in an altitude of 340m. In Thrapsano village live 1,400 inhabitants and it is well known for its pottery, a hereditary profession taught by parents to their children. Apart from pottery, the people of Thrapsano village are also engaged in agriculture (vineyards, olives) and less in animal husbandry. According to one version, the name of the village came from thrapsala, the shells of broken vessels that abound around the kilns.
In the vineyard there are some unique Cretan wines, including Scalarea and Fantaxometocho. During its first era the vineyard has focused on the Kotsifali, Syrah, Chardonnay and Malvasia Aromatica, Vidiano, Assyrtiko and Mavrotragano varieties.Via guided tours at the vineyard and the winery, the visitor has the opportunity to experience the special delights of wine: the art of wine tasting, “vertical” wine tasting, as well as enjoy the wines alongside those dishes and flavours which traditionally complement them in the specially constructed reception hall.
Dia is a small island in the north Crete, in the region of Heraklion. It is located about 7 nautical miles from Heraklion, with only one local guard. Also there is one small and beautiful church of Analipsis (Ascension of Christ). Detailed aerial photos also pointed out traces of settlements, confirming the hypothesis that the island was previously inhabited. The island had a small area where vine was grown by fishermen, till 1937.
Dia is an archeological site and part of the European Network of Nature (Natura) 2000, due to the high biodiversity of the island.There are many protected endemic species of flora and fauna such as snails (Albinaria retusa), lizards (Pdacris erchardii schiebeli), wild rabbits (Oryctolagus), a falcon named “mavropetritis”, the well-known kri-kri and protected plants such as Carlina diae. There are no poisonous animals or fish.
According to the legend, the island was created by Zeus: Zeus, from his throne in Olympus looked to his birthplace, Crete, and he was surprised to see Cretans hunting his beloved Cretan wildgoats. The goats were children of Amalthea, the goat that nurtured Zeus with milk while he was hiding from his father Kronus in Diktaean Antron Cave He was so angry, that he decided to kill all Cretans. Immediately, he blew a lightning into the sea and a monster was born to destroy the Cretans. Then, Poseidon, the god of Sea, try to stop him reminding him of Kourites(Cretans) who protected him from his father Cronus who was about to eat Zeus. Zeus immediately changed his mind and he took two pieces of rusk and threw them towards Crete. When the monster tried to eat them, Zeus with a thunderbolt petrified the dragon with the rusks. This is how Dia and the two islets of Paximadi and Petalidi were born, and the islet looks like a giant lizard when viewed from the city of Heraklion.
According to another legend, Theseus, after killing the Minotaur, fled to Dia with Ariadne.
Moreover, the French oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau carried out an underwater exploration with a special bathyscaphe around Dia in 1974-1975 and seven wrecks were found on it.
In 1976, he discovered, at the bottom of the sea, square and rectangular rocks. These rocks formed an artificial pier and it was the ancient port between Heraklion and Dia. According to Cousteau, it was the largest and most important port of Knossos.
A unique experience is waiting every nature lover in one of the deepest and adventurous gorge in Europe, created by a small river running between the White Mountains (Lefká Óri) and Mt. Volakias. We will start our exploration early in the morning as Samaria gorge is located on the western side of the island. The gorge northern entrance, starts from Omalos Plateau, Xiloskalo (1,277m altitude) and extends over a distance of 16 km to the village of Agia Roumeli, at the shores of the Libyan Sea. The route through the main trail is almost 13 km to the south entrance but you have to walk another three kilometers to Agia Roumeli and we usually need 5-7 hours of hicking. Three kilometers before the exit, we reach the Gates or Iron Gates or Sideroportes. Iron Gates is an imposing point, the narrowest of the route, with only 4 meters width and 300 meters height. Along the route you can also meet the rear kri-kri (cretan goat), a lot of endemic species and remnants of Byzantine churches and Venetian castles. At the end of the route you will arrive to Agia Roumeli, a small fishing village, where you can enjoy your meal and get a refreshing swim in the deep blue crystal water of the Libyan Sea. At the end of this magestic day you will board to the ship which will take you back to Hora Sfakion where we will be ready for our return trip. Some tips for every hiker of Samaria gorge: good hiking shoes, a bottle of water, sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen, an extra pair of socks and a swimsuit.
Nikos Kazantzakis was a Greek writer and he is considered one of the greatest writers in Greece, whose books have been translated in many foreign languages. The writer waw awarded for his books "The Last Temptation of Christ ", "Christ Recrucified " and "Captain Michalis" and the Church came very close to its apostasy in 1955 because of the religious references in his work. His tomb stands over the Venetian walls where you can have a nice panoramic view of the city of Heraklion. His tomb is very simple, it has a wooden cross and his famous phrase engraved on it: “I hope nothing. I'm not afraid of anything. I am free".
Agios Nikolaos is one of the most beautiful cities in Crete. It's well known for its beautiful and award-winning beaches, its idyllic landscapes, restaurants and cafes.The main attraction of Agios Nikolaos is Lake Voulismeni or Lake of Agios Nikolaos as it is widely known. It is suitable for moments of relaxation along the lake and is very high in the preferences of both, tourists and locals of the island.
Kritsa is only 10 km away from Agios Nikolaos and is one of the oldest villages in Crete. It is built amphitheatrically at the foot of Mount Kastellos at an altitude of 330 to 365 m.The inhabitants have managed to preserve an unchanged old architectural physiognomy of the village. Kritsa grew up during the Byzantine years, but the desolation came when the Arabs occupied Crete. From 961 the village began to be inhabited again and reached to be the largest village of Crete during the medieval period, from 12th to 16th century. Today the village is especially known around the world for its famous wefts.
Knossos Palace is only 5 minutes from the city of Heraklion in a lush olive groves, vineyards and cypress trees. The palace in its present form is associated with Minoan civilization, with the first traces of settlement appearing in the Neolithic era around 7000 BC. As you tour the Palace you will get to know the throne room, the royal apartments, the staff rooms, the Palace warehouses, the mosaics, the ceramics, the gold jewelry, the statues, the murals, the double horns and the theater.
This small island with such a long history is located north of the gulf of Elounda. All over the island there is a fortress that over the years has been engraved by the history of ancient Greece, as well as the fortress of the Venetians and the Turks. From 1903 the island was a place for lepers to stay and served patients from Crete. When Crete was united with the rest of Greece at 1913, the island started to receive people from all over the country and in many cases from abroad and characterized as the International Leprosy Hospital. The island closed in 1957 with the cure of all patients. More than a thousand people visit the island every year, arriving there with small traditional boats that cross the clear blue waters from the area of Elounda, Agios Nikolaos and the village opposite the island, Plaka.
Elounda is only 10 km from the picturesque town of Agios Nikolaos. The first known name of the area was Olous and was a city-state. It dates back to 4000 BC and now most of that city is submerged under the sea with several of its ruins to be visible in the sea but also along the area of today's Elounda. It is now one of the most popular destinations on the island with a large number of hotels and restaurants. It is also known for its award-winning beaches and many celebrities visit it every year.
The Archaeological Museum of Heraklion
The archaeological museum is one of the largest in Greece and one of the most important museum in Europe. The museum brings together representative samples from all periods of Cretan prehistory and history, from the Neolithic (7000 BC) to the Roman Empire. You can find the most remarkable and complete collection of Minoan civilization artifacts with several important exhibits, including the famous Phaistos disc.
Agios Minas Cathedral
The Cathedral of St. Minas is in the center of the city. It was built in 1895 and it is the largest temple on the island. Saint Minas is the patron Saint of Heraklion and celebrated on the 11th of November. There are many legends and stories how He protected the city. During the german bombardments in 1941, a bomb fell at the church but never exploded. Untill today you can see the bomb right next to the cathedral.
Agia Aikaterini Church
The church was the central temple of a Sinai Monastery that was founded at 10th century AD. The temple is the only remainant and it was built 600 years after the Monastery. On the building you can see many influences from the Venetian architecture.From 1967 until today, it houses a great exhibition of Byzantine icons and six unique works by the famous hagiographer Michael Damaskinos.
Koules Fortress (Rocca a Mare/Castello a Mare)
Koules is the Venetian fortress that adorns the city of Heraklion and is located at the entrance of the city's port. The castle in its present form was completed at 1540, with its original name Rocca al Mare, (the Fortress of the Sea), as the Venetian founders called it. During Ottoman period the castle was a prison and a small lighthouse was built there. It was built with large blocks and consists of two floors. Today, Koules is open to the publlic , and on the summer time many cultural events take place there.
Rethymno is the third largest city in Crete. Its history dates back to the 4th century BC and grew up during the Venetian occupation.Today it's an attraction for thousands of tourists. Beautiful beaches, cafes and restaurants along the coast, the old town, the alleys, the small port and the fortress Fortezza are ideal to create a sense of relaxation and rejuvenation.
Argyroupoli is a traditional village that was built near the city of Rethymnon and the ancient site of Lappa. The area is famous for its springs, called Agia Dynami. Some of the area's attractions are a mosaic of the Roman period and just beyond the village you can visit an ancient necropolis, as well as a tree that is several centuries old. There are also many beautiful springs and old mills in the area. A lot of locals and tourists visit Argyroupoli every year, where they combine walks and traditional dishes in this enchanting landscape.
Kournas Lake is one ofthelargest lakes in Crete. It is surrounded by a lush and enchanting landscape. It hosts several species of fish, while in the wider area you can find several species of birds and reptiles. Visiting the lake gives you the opportunity to walk around it, to cross it with a water bike as well as to enjoy local food in the restaurants around the lake.
Chania is considered to be the most beautiful city in Greece. The town is located on the west side of the island and divided in two sections, the old and the new town. In the old town you can see the beautiful harbor with the famous lighthouse, the paved streets and the historical museum. Along the port, there are several cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy the food or drink in front of the idyllic landscape and the beautiful sunset.Chania's modern section of the town the visitor can recognize all the flourishing and conquest periods that the city has known since the Neolithic era until today. Don't forget to go for a walk to the municipal market and the courts. The municipal market was built in 1913 according to the standards of the Marseille market and since then it has hosted various traditional shops and taverns. Chania has characterized as the "Venice of the East".
Gortys is one of the most important cities in Crete with an unbroken history of 6,000 years and one of the most extensive archaeological sites in Greece. It lies in south central Crete in the fertile Mesara plain, the
site of the first human habitation of Crete at the end of the Neolithic period (5th millennium BC). Some of the most important sights are the church of St. Titos, Odeon and the Chamber of the Law Code of Gortyna.
Phaistos was the second most important city in Crete after Knossos during the second millennium BC. Homer, in the Iliad and the Odyssey, mentions Phaistos in the list of cities that took part in the Trojan War and describes it as a well-inhabited city. The city was independent and autonomous and minted many coins depicting Europe sitting on a bull and a lion's head. The dynasty founded by Radamanthis, son of Zeus, who reigned in Phaistos.
Matala is a small seaside fishing village and a famous beach in southern Crete. The beach of Matala has been inhabited since antiquity and specifically since the Neolithic era, while it became famous as a place for hippies to live in the 60's and 70's. On the steep shore of the village there are several artificial caves and underwater caves, carved into the rock. Originally considered ancient tombs but some caves have rooms and windows and porches. So it seems that they were once used as dwellings. Several artists such as Bob Dylan have visited Matala. Also the song "Carey" by Joni Mitchell describes the sky in Matala. Ηere you will have the opportunity to swim in the deep blue and crystal waters and enjoy your meal near the sea.
Sfakia (or Chora Sfakion)
Hóra Sfakíon or Sfakia is a small tradional fishing village of just 265 inhabitants on the south coast of Crete, 75km south of Chania. Hóra Sfakíon is famous as one of the centers of resistance against the occupying forces of both the Venetians and the Turks. There are daily ferries from Sfakia port to the southest island of Europe, named Gavdos as well as the picturesque Loutro and Agia Roumeli where Samaria Gorge ends.
Omalos Plateau is situated 38 km south of Chania , at an altitude of 1,100m in the White Mountains (Lefka Ori). It has three entrances, one from the village Lakki , another one from Sfakia (a wooden staircase from where the well-known Samaria Gorge begins), and a last one from the province of Selino. In the past, due to its secluded and inaccessible location, the plateau was a refuge and stronghold of the revolutionaries during the Turkish occupation in Crete, but also to any foreign conqueror.
Krassi village is located 46 km southeast of Heraklion city at an altitude of 600 meters It is a rural settlement located at the foot of Mount Selena. Krassi is one of the most beautiful villages of the island as the visitor has the opportunity to walk in the narrow cobbled streets, to be photographed at the highest point of the village in Grand Fountain - "Megali Vrisi", which is a spring with plenty of water, and admire the perennial plane tree of about 2000 years old and about 24 meters in diameter.
Keras Kardiotissas Monastery
The Keras Kardiotissas Monastery is a nunnery monastery dedicated to Virgin Mary that is situated near the village of Kera. It was built on the north slopes of Lasithi Plateau. The exact date of its foundation is unknown. It is believed that the establishment of the monastery is connected with the miraculous icon of Virgin Mary. The icon was drawn by San Lazaro (9th century). During the Venetian Era, the icon was stolen from a wine merchant and moved to Rome, where it is stored till today in the Church of San Alfonso. In 1735, the icon was replaced by another one, which is also considered miraculous. Of particular interest are the 14th-century old frescoes that adorn the interior of the monastery.
The Lassithi Plateau is located about 70 km east of Heraklion. It's located at an altitude of 850 meters in a picturesque plain surrounded by imposing mountains above 1000 meters, creating a magnificent landscape with only 8 accessible entrances. The snowfall during the winter season is so much that the snow in the plain and the surrounding mountains remain until the middle of spring. Thousands of windmills that have dominated the site since the beginning of the 20th century remain stamped by every visitor. There were about 10.000-13.000 windmills pumping groundwater and it was the first and largest wind farm in Europe.
Psychro is one of 18 villages in the municipality of Lassithi Plateau. It has 133 inhabitants and is built at an altitude of 840 meters at the northern foot of Mount Toumba Moutsounas, 70 km from Heraklion. Psychro is situated in a beautiful green area with a lot of apple trees. There are a lot of theories about its name. Some claim that the village got its name because of its location(Psychro means cold in
English) , while others believe that it owes its name from a fountain of cold water inside the village.Psychro is probably the most famous and, at the same time, the most touristy village on the plateau due to the Cave of Zeus, which is located about a kilometer from the village, at a height of 1025 meters.
Dictean Cave (Cave of Zeus)
Diktaion Andro is located at an altitude of 1020 m. The route to the cave is magnificent as the view to the Lassithi Plateau is breathtaking. The cave has an area of 2,200 square meters and is open to the public.
The total length of the tourist route is 250 m. Inside there is a rich decoration of stalactites, stalagmites and a picturesque lake. The cave seems to have been used for residence and burials since 2800 BC. It
seems that in around 2000BC, the Diktaean Cave became a place of worship. The cave is full of various shapes that resemble humans or animals and it seems that they have been used as worship objects. The Dictaean cave is famous in Greek mythology as the cave where Rea took refuge to give birth to the future father of the gods, Zeus, for fear that Kronos might kill his son. Amalthea, nurtured the infant Zeus with her goat's milk.