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Crete

Meet the Locals

Our most recommended Crete Meet the Locals

Heraklion: Finikia Horse Riding Day Tour with Lunch

1. Heraklion: Finikia Horse Riding Day Tour with Lunch

Start your day by meeting your guide at the farm, where you will have a relaxed cup of coffee before taking a basic training session to make sure you feel safe and comfortable while riding a horse. Then, hop on your horse to begin your ride out into the mountains. After riding for about an hour, you'll arrive at the top of the Finikia mountains, where you'll stop for a break. Help yourself to a soft drink, or fruit, and take a moment to admire the amazing views and snap a picture or two. In the distance, you can spot the nearby mountain of Archanes, the place where the Greek God Zeus is said to be sleeping. Then get back on your horses and make your way back to the starting point. After riding for another hour, you'll arrive at the stables and then sit down for a delicious traditional Cretan lunch, including homemade wine. After lunch, have a seat out in the garden of the farm, help yourself to some more wine, or enjoy a few more minutes of riding. At about 1:15 PM, you will head back to your hotel or apartment.

From Heraklion: Lasithi Plateau, Villages & Zeus Cave Tour

2. From Heraklion: Lasithi Plateau, Villages & Zeus Cave Tour

Enjoy some time away from the beaches and explore a different side of Crete on a guided excursion. See the freshwater springs in the small town of Krasi, visit the Kera and Vidiani monasteries, step into the mythical Psychro Cave, and take part in a traditional ceramics workshop. Get picked up from your accommodation in the morning and take a short drive to the traditional village of Krasi. Gaze at the beautiful freshwater springs and the oldest tree on Crete as you take in the countryside scenery. Up next, stop at two local monasteries. See the Monastery of Kera dedicated to the Virgin Mary, located near the town of Kera. Move on to Vidiani Monastery, a small male monastery at the foot of Louloudaki Mountain. Uncover the secrets of the mythical birthplace of Zeus, Psychro Cave, decorated with impressive stalactites and stalagmites. Lastly, participate in a ceramics workshop and see how traditional pieces are made, before heading over to a typical Cretan tavern with local products and dishes to enjoy lunch at your own expense.

Rethymno: Wine and Olive Oil Tasting Tour with Village Lunch

3. Rethymno: Wine and Olive Oil Tasting Tour with Village Lunch

Learn about traditional Cretan olive oil and wine on this tasting tour through the island of Crete. Begin your tour at the Kanakis olive oil mill, and learn all about the process of making olive oil. Hear experts describe the steps of production and afterward, enjoy a taste of their exquisite virgin olive oil. Continue on to one of the best wineries of the region, Dourakis Winery. There, enjoy a half-hour guided tour to learn about the history, tradition, and production of Cretan wine. After the tour, move to the wine tasting room, where you can taste up to five types of Cretan wine. Finally, end the tour with a visit to either the village of Nipos or Vryses (depending on the weather and the day). Both villages offer up beautiful natural views alongside a traditional delicious lunch.

The Miracle of Wine and Olive Oil: Day Tour from Chania

4. The Miracle of Wine and Olive Oil: Day Tour from Chania

Travel through stunning natural landscapes up into the mountains of the Kissamos region on this 7-hour tour from Chania. Stop at a traditional family winery, established in 1993, and learn about the varieties of wine they produce and their ideas for modern farming processes and wine production. Taste award-winning local Vidiano, Muscat of Spina and some international varieties such as Grenache rouge, Syrah and Mourvèdre that each have a unique taste due the local terroir. Next you’ll visit a traditional village and see the oldest olive tree in the world, with an estimated age of 3,000 years. This is a day filled with tasting different wine expressions of noble grapes and a variety of delicious foods. Head to another winery in the Kissamos region to taste a special local blend of white wines with Vilana, Vidiano and Assyrtiko varieties. Walk through the idyllic landscape of the vineyards and visit the family’s olive oil factory. Learn about extra virgin olive oil production. The wine tasting here will be accompanied by a tasting of extra virgin olive oils and local pure products, creating combinations your palate will never forget. You’ll also learn the Cretan way of saying goodbye drinking the award-winning Tsikoudia.

Heraklion: Finikia Horse Riding in the Cretan Mountains

5. Heraklion: Finikia Horse Riding in the Cretan Mountains

Take a trip to the Cretan Mountains as you ride a horse along the paths and hilltops of the mountains. Admire the panoramic view of Giouhtas mountain and Agios Silas village. Start your day by meeting your guide at the farm. Take a basic training session to make sure you feel safe and comfortable while riding a horse. Then, hop on your horse to begin your ride out into the mountains. Stretch your legs with a short break made during the trip with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape of the mountains. Refresh yourself with a glass of orange juice and take amazing pictures with the beautiful scenery. Feel the fresh Mediterranean breeze at the top of the mountain.

Chania: Wine, Food, and Sunset Tour with 3-Course Dinner

6. Chania: Wine, Food, and Sunset Tour with 3-Course Dinner

Let us introduce you to authentic Crete and our local traditions and customs by experiencing Chania like a local. Follow us on this late afternoon sunset tour through the old medieval town of Chania and the old port and discover all the hidden gems the city has to offer! Begin your amazing tour by meeting your local guide in front of the Municipal Market, the locals’ main meeting point for hanging out. Being built more than a century ago, the also-known as Dimotiki Agora was established to celebrate Crete’s unification with Greece. Through the windy cobblestone back streets, you’ll explore the lesser-known parts of the Venetial Old Port while hearing tales and myths about unique old buildings, famous locals, and rebellions, and keep in mind that although these stories sound like fiction, they are so real! On your way, we’ll show you funky, alternative bars where you can hang out later, and visit favourite-local stores such as a cooperative that is dedicated to the preservation of locally produced crafts and edibles and supports local producers and artisans directly. Then, you’ll head to a perfect vantage point from where you can enjoy the most captivating sunset with the old port in the foreground. Watch the sun slowly make its descent and post some of your once-in-life Instagram stories from here! As you capture the last rays of light, we’ll roam through Chania’s labyrinth streets to a secret garden of a historic building for a local wine and food appreciation feast. Participate in an exclusive wine tasting session of exceptional local wines with international awards, presented by a qualified sommelier, while pairing it with a three-course organic gourmet dinner. Here is the right place to learn everything about the Cretan wine varieties, and the Cretan cuisine, one of the healthiest worldwide. For sweet lovers, you’ll be glad to know that after the wine tasting there is something more sinful on this tour: ice cream! We’ll introduce you to the most delicious ice cream ever, made from fresh local sheep milk, nuts, fruits, and other ingredients. Your Chania by night tour wouldn’t be completed without drinking a nightcap in a local-favorite venue by sipping plenty of “raki” shots, our local spirit based on grapes, and mingling with locals. Before you go, don’t forget to ask your local guide for more hints and tips on how to get the best out of your trip to Crete.

From Hersonissos: Quad Bike Safari in the Mountains of Crete

7. From Hersonissos: Quad Bike Safari in the Mountains of Crete

Depart Hersonissos on a Quad Bike safari into the mountains of Crete and discover a more authentic side of the island as you get back to nature on small, traffic-free roads. Drive to the traditional villages of Koutouloufari, Piscopiano and old Hersonissos before heading to the Lasithi plateau. Continue along the riverbed en route to the village of Potamies, and pass small gardens of fruit trees and olive groves along the way. Enjoy the scent of different herbs and listen to the sound of millions of tiny tsitsikia (insects). Visit some small churches and see sheep and goats grazing as you continue to the traditional village of Karouzanos. Stop at a café before driving towards Askous village. Get an amazing view of Lyttos and Kasteli before traveling downhill to the village. Enjoy an authentic tsikoudia (raki) and some tasty snacks. Then, continue downhill to the Aposelemis dam and underwater village of Sfentili en route to the Panagias monastery. 

Chania: Authentic Cooking Class in the White Mountains

8. Chania: Authentic Cooking Class in the White Mountains

Taste the authentic foods of Crete at a unique cooking class using only healthy organic ingredients, such as extra virgin olive oil, local meats, aromatic herbs and freshly picked vegetables. Stroll around the vegetable garden to get a feel for the raw produce and learn more about the herbs. Then, prepare a traditional meal and learn the secrets of how the locals cook. Go for a mountain walk to a shepherds and hear how olives are harvested. Return to the house to sample some cheese and wine from Crete and prepare some appetizers such as ntakos and tzatziki. End with a tasty lunch with wine pairings and traditional jar desserts.

From Rethymno/Chania: Imbros Gorge Hike

9. From Rethymno/Chania: Imbros Gorge Hike

Discover the Imbros Gorge, which runs parallel to the more famous Samaria Gorge. Although the Imbros Gorge is smaller, many people prefer to cross here because it offers a very different hiking experience than the Samaria Gorge. Of the 11 kilometers, 8.5 kilometers are suitable for hiking. Discover the exquisite beauty of nature in this narrow passage and learn about the stunning rock formations.  According to legend, the name Imbros was given to the village, and subsequently the gorge, because two Greek brothers chose to live here after they were banished from Imbros Island when it was connected to Turkey. For many years, the Imbros Gorge served as part of the trail that connected the city of Chania to the Hora Sfakion village. It is notable that during World War II, after the Battle of Crete was lost by Greece and her allies, many thousands of British soldiers passed through the Imbros Gorge towards South Crete in order to get to Egypt.  After the hike, take a swim in the stunning refreshing Libyan sea. Eat lunch with the locals in the taverns. 

From Rethymno: Guided E-Bike Tour to Myli Gorge with Lunch

10. From Rethymno: Guided E-Bike Tour to Myli Gorge with Lunch

Discover the beauty surrounding Rethymno as you head uphill through picturesque olive groves and make the first stop at Halevi Monastery. See the church of Panagia with its flame-shaped windows and the ruin of the monastery building, which was recently renovated. Continue to the village of Chromonastiri and visit Villa Clodio where the Military Museum is housed. As you reach the Myli Gorge, a small oasis close to the city, set out on a short hike through a gorge with diverse flora and fauna and visit the abandoned village of Myli.  Stop and relax in the Cretan village of Roussospiti and be spoiled with a selection of traditional dishes from a family run taverna. Due to the elevated location you will have a breathtaking panoramic view over Rethymno and the Mediterranean coast. After lunch, ride to the monastery of Aghia Irini to talk to the nuns there and learn more about the history of this place before slowly starting your way back.

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What people are saying about Crete

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 221 reviews

Great Wine, Great Cheese and Great Host. Andreas a.k.a. 'The Brave Chickpea' does an amazing job getting us to experience a wonderful half day worth more than any other full day tours we've been on, on our holiday in Crete. Pronounced sense of humour and a Master Sommelier in disguise, you'll uncover great beauty and tastes of the 7 villages with your esteemed guide. 5/5 stars!

Yesterday we had our tour across the mountains. Our guide Paul (Pablos) led our super through the mountains. He was totally safe on the track and was able to tell a lot. We felt very safe and comfortable with him. I can only recommend this tour to everyone. She is more than her money's worth.

Our guide was SO knowledgeable and beautifully intertwined the gastronomy with the history of the island. I actually think I could replicate these dishes! Also, the views were incredible.

Very good time spent with Mina, all the stops were beautiful and interesting. Very nice refreshing break! Mina is really welcoming and friendly.

An amazing day!!! So many wonderful sites to visit, very well balanced trip and well worth the money. I would go again!