Crete
Religious & Spiritual Activities

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Our most recommended Crete Religious & Spiritual Activities

From Rethymno: Explore the Real Crete in a Small Group

1. From Rethymno: Explore the Real Crete in a Small Group

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in the Rethymno area, and then explore the traditional lifestyle and historical legacy of Crete in a small group. Learn the Neolithic history of the Melidoni Cave and discover the pottery traditions of the village of Margarites. Continue to the Museum of Ancient Eleftherna, where artifacts found in the nearby archaeological site of Eleutherna and the necropolis of Orthi Petra are on display. Discover the oldest monastery in Crete at the 16th-century Arkadi Monastery, and then go to the village of Apostoli to visit an old olive oil factory. Enjoy lunch in a traditional tavern and listen to the beautiful sound of live folk music before making your way to St. Antonios Gorge. Stop at the Fragma Potamon dam before making your way back to Rethymno.

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Georgioupolis Safari Discover The Cretan Culture

2. Georgioupolis Safari Discover The Cretan Culture

This tour is for those who would like to get to know Cretan culture and traditions while enjoying a four-hour off-road excursion. You will visit a modern olive mill, so that you can see how olive oil is produced, and you can also enjoy the opportunity to sample some of the oils. After this, you will explore some myths and stories hidden in the stones of an early Christian church which was used as a hiding place by people who were evicted by the Turks. You also learn about the history of a 400-year-old tower which was built by the most fearsome Turkish Janissary and is still almost intact to this day. After that you will climb 1000 metres above sea-level on an off-road route. You will travel through the Lefka Ori woods and you will be stunned by the panoramic views from the trail. Later, you will meet a shepherd who will show you how Cretan cheeses are made and you can try some of the cheeses he makes himself.   Finally, the evening will come to a close with a traditional evening meal. There will be lots of food and traditional dishes for everyone to enjoy, and the evening will leave you with fond memories of your day spent exploring Crete. 

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Heraklion: SUV Tour to Matala and Ancient Phaistos

3. Heraklion: SUV Tour to Matala and Ancient Phaistos

Your experience starts from Heraklion, from where it will head south to Matala. In the 1960s, hippies from all over the world flocked to the area and lived in the caves as part of their beliefs and way of life. Along the road, you will come across the many vineyards and olive groves of the fertile plain of Messara. Next, stop at the Monastery of Panagia Kalyviani, which is famous for its charitable work. The compound of the monastery that was gradually formed around the 14th-century single-nave church became very famous in the 19th century, due to its reputation as a miraculous icon. Following that, visit the Palace of Phaistos, where the famous Phaistos Disc was unearthed and whose script was only recently deciphered. Your final stop is the famous Matala Beach, where you will visit the caves where the hippies used to live. It will be there that you can also cool off with a swim in the crystal waters of the Libyan Sea, before heading back to your point of origin.

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Agios Nikolaos: Toplou and Vai Palm Beach Day Trip

4. Agios Nikolaos: Toplou and Vai Palm Beach Day Trip

Following collection from select areas, the experience starts from Agios Nikolaos heading east. This is an excellent opportunity for you to admire the sublime Gulf of Mirabello, which is Eastern Crete's riviera. You will then pass through many picturesque villages before reaching the 15th-century Toplou Monastery. The compound features a small museum with notable exhibits of Christian-Orthodox art, such as sacred utensils and chalcography by the monks of Mount Athos. There is also an olive press which produces olive oil of outstanding quality, as well as wine-making facilities. Both the olive oil and the wine produced in the monastery are exported all over the world. You may participate in a wine and spirit tasting session (optional) at the monastery’s cellar, after which you will pay a visit to one of the main attractions in eastern Crete, the protected Palm Forest of Vai. It is unique in Europe and is located next to one of the most beautiful beaches of the island. At this location there will be plenty of time for you to enjoy swimming, as you bask in the rare beauty of the landscape. On your way back, you will stop at Platanos where you can watch the sunset in an area which boasts an enchanting view.

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Rethymno: Between East And West Self-Guided Mobile Tour

5. Rethymno: Between East And West Self-Guided Mobile Tour

This is a self-guided mobile tour provided by a tour-guide app. The tour is based on an award-winning storytelling concept and the fascinating narratives prepared by handpicked destination experts. Enjoy this multilingual tour by using your Android or iOS smartphone or tablet at your own pace, even if you are offline. The interactive map on your screen will guide you step by step to explore all the points of interest along your route. Each stop comes with a selection of signature stories, allowing you to tailor this experience to your personal interests and schedule. Rethymno: between East and West is a tour through space and time. It begins with the purchase of Crete by the Venetians in 1210 and culminates in the struggle for union with Greece in the late 19th Century. As you walk from the Venetian harbor to the heart of the city you are constantly reminded of the town’s tumultuous past. Fortifications preserve the memory of the bloody conflicts between the Venetians and the Ottomans for control of Crete and the Mediterranean. Mosques and churches glorify the generals, admirals, bishops, artists, and pirates that once fought and triumphed (or perished) here. Every building has a story to tell. The Kara Musa Pasha Mosque was initially a Venetian monastery dedicated to Saint Barbara, but upon the city’s conquest, the Ottomans replaced the roof with a dome and added a minaret. Today the complex houses the Byzantine Antiquities Department. There is even a distant connection with Miguel Cervantes, the celebrated author of Don Quixote. The Spanish writer fought in the Battle of Lepanto (1571) and in his writings he mentions Uluç Pasha, a Roman Catholic from Italy who was captured by the Turks, converted to Islam and rose to become an Ottoman admiral and ruler of Algiers. Along the way he managed to capture and plunder Rethymno a few months before his participation in the battle of Lepanto, opposite Cervantes.

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Heraklion, Knossos & Minoan Culture Show

6. Heraklion, Knossos & Minoan Culture Show

Immerse yourself in the history of Crete and visit one of the most famous archeological sites. The Minoan Palace of Knossos, first built in 2000 B.C., was the residence of the legendary King Minos. The building, with an estimated 1,300-1,400 rooms, was excavated around 1900 by Sir Arthur Evans and partially reconstructed. Afterwards, embark on a short journey into more recent history and discover the old town of Heraklion with the well-known Morosini Fountain in Lions Square, the Loggia and St. Mark's Basilica. Immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere, hike through the narrow streets, visit the market, browse the local shops, or visit the Venetian port with its fortress. Explore small parks, street cafés, and many historical buildings and fountains from Venetian and Turkish times. After visiting the excavation site see a very special performance. Once more experience Minoan culture with 3D video and traditional dancers wearing original costumes. Eat small appetizers prepared according to traditional Minoan recipes to bring history back to life.

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Chania: Discover the Religious Heritage Of Apokoronas

7. Chania: Discover the Religious Heritage Of Apokoronas

The province of Apokoronas stretches from the foothills of the White Mountains (Lefka Ori) to the northern coast of the island. Dynamic water routes form a region rich in vegetation of various kinds. Apokoronas has preserved the traditional character of its villages that constitute a living core of modern rural life. The whole history of its countryside, along with the history of Christian worship, is reflected in its churches that will be the focus of your tour. You will encounter exceptional examples of art and architecture situated in unique natural beauty. Your first stop will be a small Byzantine church in the middle of nowhere, almost caped by trees and plants around. It is located in a landscape of exceptional beauty, surrounded by vineyards and a rare Cretan oak. This type of the church is a typical example of pure Byzantine architecture and testifies to the radiation of the tradition of Constantinople even into the distant corners of the empire. You will also find traces of early worship in another church in a nearby village. Although the standing building dates back to the 15th century, the recent excavations inside indicate that worship began in the 8th century. See the excavation inside the church and discuss its relations with the great monasteries of Greece and the monastic tradition that was formed in the area. A symbol of the Cretan effort in their struggle against the Venetians is a glorious church at the foothills of the White Mountains. Its founder is the Emperor of Nicaea, John Vatatzis, who hastened to prevent the conqueror of the island. The exceptional frescoes within date back to the 13th century and represents a high quality example of painting. The tour will be completed in the exceptional beauty of a hidden church in one of the most charming villages of Apokoronas. Built in the 13th century, the church is a modern pilgrimage demonstrating that faith in this place is an ongoing feeling. Then, enjoy traditional local cuisine at a local kafeneion (tapas taverna) located in the unique square of a typical Cretan village, where you will find an expression of daily local life as the last satisfaction for your senses on this tour.

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From Heraklion: Day Trip to Knossos and the Lasithi Plateau

8. From Heraklion: Day Trip to Knossos and the Lasithi Plateau

Discover the breathtaking beauty of the Lasithi Plateau on a day trip from Heraklion. Admire the remaining windmills and the drainage system that dates back to the Venetian Empire. Pass through traditional villages such as Psychro. Visit the Dikteon Cave, where Zeus is said to have been born. Continue to the village of Tzermiado and enjoy lunch in an authentic tavern before going to the Keras Kardiotissas Monastery, known for its remarkable murals. Next, visit the Minoan Palace of Knossos and learn the legend of the settlement at sites such as the Throne Room and Royal Chambers.

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Chania: Akrotiri, Seitan Beach & Agia Triada Tour with Lunch

9. Chania: Akrotiri, Seitan Beach & Agia Triada Tour with Lunch

Explore the wonders of the Akrotiri Peninsula on a private tour from Chania with a local guide. Begin your day with pickup at your accommodation in Chania, then head to the scenic Seitan Limania Beach. Admire picturesque views of the beach from the clifftop, or hike down to the sand and go for a swim in the sea. From there, move on to the Agia Triada Monastery, also known as the Holy Trinity. Explore this 17th-century monastery and marvel at its Byzantine-style architecture. Wander around the monastery's many gardens and learn about its religious importance throughout history and the present day. Discover how the monastery’s monks produce olive oil and wine, then enjoy a tasting session. Afterward, travel to the famous Stavros Beach, known for its perfect swimming conditions. Cool off from the heat with a dip in the sea, or sunbathe on the sand. Once you've worked up a bit of an appetite, dine on a traditional Cretan lunch served by the beach. At the end of your adventure, relax on the return journey to your accommodation.

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Lasithi Area: Cretan Culture & Nature Tour

10. Lasithi Area: Cretan Culture & Nature Tour

After getting picked up from your hotel, begin your journey along a 100-kilometer route that will show you the best of Cretian culture and history. First, head to the traditional village of Kritsa. Here, stroll around picturesque alleys and admire handmade artifacts or pay a visit to Kritsa Agricultural Cooperative where award-winning olive oil is produced. Afterwards, don't miss a visit to Panagia Kera Church, where you can admire 1000-year old frescoes and murals. Continue towards Katharo Plateau, admiring sheep, goats, and maybe even Cretan vultures along the way. Afterwards, head to Lassithi Plateau, where you will have the opportunity to visit the birthplace of Zeus at the Diktaean Cave. Then, begin your descent through the village of Potamoi, where you will stop to refresh under the shade of palm trees and drink fresh spring water. Stop for a visit of the Monastery of Kremasta before continuing to the village of Houmeriako where you will visit a Venetian mansion and the home of the Ottoman Pasha. FInally, cross the plain of Limnes with its vineyards, olive groves, and orchards. Make a stop at the village of Limnes to stretch your legs and meet its kind-hearted residents before beginning the journey back to your hotel.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Crete

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What people are saying about Crete

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 19 reviews

A quality course that allows you to learn more about the history and personality of the Cretans. Our guides are committed to making the experience rewarding and are very friendly. Multiple talents, varied and very striking stages, especially the Arkadi Monastery which is charming and worth the detour. A very good atmosphere, I let you discover the stages full of surprises ... Downside: speak English or German to be able to follow, which was fortunately the case for me.

It was a wonderful day with Nectarius and Costas! The two are so friendly and easy-going that you feel like you are with old friends. The trips to the respective sightseeing points were sweetened with entertaining contributions to the country and culture and with local music. Both speak perfect German and English. You learned a lot about the sights and the proud character of Crete. Masks were always worn on the bus so that everyone felt safe despite Corona.

So big ❤ Thanks to the tour guide Viola, everything told and lived with heart! The only thing, you have to know, after the early meeting we rattled off many hotels for 1.45 hours to collect them all ... nervous. Trip highly recommended. 1 stop monastery 2 stop Zeus cave (scho bisl exhausting) a worthwhile 3 stop Knossos .... there is not much left, a is ok ... just history of Greece. Have fun after traveling

Full, fun packed trip covering some important aspects of Crete. Really well organised and Barbara the guide was excellent. Started with Melidoni Cave (home of the bronze giant Talos) we also visited Arkadi monastery, Margrites pottery village, a gorge and had lunch with music in a local taverna. By far the best of the tours we have done in Crete.

Great trip, great guide, great driver! We really enjoyed str small group environment and the genuine feeling of the tour.