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10-Day Culture and Gastronomy Tour in Crete Greece

  • cooking class crete
  • Chania city Crete
  • Chania Crete Greece
  • Boat tour southern Crete
  • Knossos_temple_Crete
  • Heraklion Crete Greece
  • cooking class crete
  • Chania city Crete
  • Chania Crete Greece
  • Boat tour southern Crete
  • Knossos_temple_Crete
  • Heraklion Crete Greece


The cuisine of Crete, being a crossroad island, has been influenced, at different times, by both Western and Eastern Mediterranean cultures.

What many don’t know is that the Mediterranean diet, famous for its health benefits, has its origin in Cretan cuisine. The European voyagers and explorers in the 1950s who started to show an interest in other cultures’ nutritional habits noticed the Cretans’ surprising longevity despite their poverty and the simplicity of their diet. This inspired them to investigate the eating habits of all neighboring Mediterranean cultures until they formed a clear suggestion of what we today know as the Mediterranean Diet, one of the most healthy eating styles worldwide.

During your stay and culinary adventure, you will not just learn the secrets of Cretan cooking but will experience with all your senses the journey from the heart to the stomach and from nature to the table.

We invite you to cook, learn, laugh, feel, and travel with us to return to your country as a proud sharer of our culinary and overall cultural tradition.

Tour highlights


  • 8 times culinary experiences in handpicked taverns or restaurants

  • an olive oil tour and tasting

  • a wine tasting

  • a fresh beer tasting (optional)

  • a guided culinary walking tour

  • an authentic cooking class on a family farm (optional)

  • a pastry-tasting at a 75-year-old pastry shop in a mountain village


  • at least 5 scenic bus tours through the mainland or along the coastline of Crete

  • many beach opportunities

  • a Southern Crete boat tour (weather dependent)

  • a gorge hiking experience

  • a natural spring water experience

  • an encounter with an ancient olive tree

  • a beehive experience and bee product tasting (optional)

  • a Volcano visit on Santorini island (optional and weather dependent)


  • a guided visit to Knossos Palace

  • a visit to the Archaeological Museum in Chania (optional)

  • a visit to the Archaeological Museum in Heraklion (optional)

  • a visit to the Venetian Fortress Museum of Heraklion (optional)

  • a guided visit to Chania City and its Venetian Old Port

  • a guided visit to the Venetian fortress of Rethymnon City

  • a guided visit to an Orthodox Monastery

  • a guided visit to the Islet of Spinalonga (optional)

  • a guided visit to an ancient seaside Asklepion (weather dependent)

  • a live music dinner

  • a guided history tour (optional)

Available dates in 2024

  • May 18 to 27

  • June 21 to 30

  • September 28 to October 7


Based on availability, you will be staying HALFBOARD at one of the following seafront resorts or character hotels*:

In Chania area:

Porto Veneziano (first accommodation choice, if available)

Minoa Palace

Myrion Beach Resort

In Heraklion City:

Megaron Hotel


*A same category/similar quality hotel may be used in case of non-availability of the above

Tour information


  • – A small group of 4-18 travelers to maximize quality and personal attention

  • – Private pick up from Chania International Airport (CHQ) and drop off at Heraklion International Airport (HER).

  • – 9 nights of accommodation in 2 seafront hotels (6 nights in Chania, 3 nights in Heraklion). Room service/cleaning tips included.

  • – Half board meals, including water, refreshments, beer, and wine (special drinks like Prosecco bear an extra cost). Restaurant tips included.

  • – Authentic cultural experiences on privately guided day trips. All itinerary transfer costs, including driver tips, are included.

  • – Add-on tour options to tailor the trip to your very own needs and preferences (these are optional at an extra cost)


  • – International air transfer to/ from Crete

  • – Main meal on days 4 (free day) and 10 (departure day)

  • – Travel and medical insurance

  • – Tour leader gratuities (optional)


Day 1: Adjust to the Cretan climate

Arrival, Airport (CHQ) Pick-Up, Check-in, and Settling
18:30 Introductions and Briefing
19:30 Group Welcome Dinner

Day 2: The Natural Wonders of Crete

09:30 Meet at the lobby to depart for our half-day tour
Today, we will explore the mountains, springs, valleys, and gorges of Western Crete, enjoying stunning views of pristine nature. We will start our tour by visiting the breathtaking monastery of Metamorfosi Soteeros. There are about 130 active monasteries on the island of Crete; visiting one is the least we can do as mindful travelers. We will learn about the Christian Orthodox Religion, which constitutes one of the main pillars of the Greek nation and is intertwined with its history. We will touch upon monastic life and hermeticism and explore some interesting concepts and ideas. Continue our tour by driving through the historic gorge of Therisso, then having an early group lunch with a view of the Zourva mountains, and finally drinking water from a natural spring at Meskla. We will finish this quiet, self-reflective, and new-environment-adapting day with an easy yet breathtaking 1-hour gorge hike. We will be back around 17:30. Dinner is on your own. We will provide a list of recommended restaurants in Chania.

Day 3: Guided Food Tour and Cultural Discovery of Chania City

09:30 Meet at the lobby to depart for the day tour
Today, you better eat a light hotel breakfast because you will be guided around Chania city and learn about its history and local food culture over tasting:
– various kinds of Cretan sheep-milk cheese,
– Cretan yogurt with thyme honey,
– local sweets and pastries,
– the famous Greek street food Gyros (different kinds of meat wrapped in pita bread with an array of traditional toppings or alternatively a vegetarian version with mushrooms and local cheese),
– and finally, drink Malotira, a local mountain tea infusion.
12:30- 19:00 Free time in the city to explore on your own (different restaurants, shops, beaches, and museum suggestions will be provided by us) and meet again at 19:00 for a live music dinner.

Day 4: FREE DAY with three optional group tours*

This day can be used to enjoy SPA services, relax at a beach, explore on your own, or attend one or more of our optional tours.

Day 5: Southern Crete – The ultimate exotic experience, including a boat trip!

09:00 Meet at the lobby to depart for our full-day tour
Today, we will drive to Crete’s wildest and most impressive part. To reach the south of Crete from our location, we must cross the White Mountains, where tradition is alive and time refuses to run fast. This is an excellent opportunity to visit some picturesque mountain villages on the way, learn moving history facts, and enjoy great landscape views.
10:00 On our first stop, after about one hour of drive, we will sample traditional sweets in a 75-year-old pastry shop in the historic Kandanos mountain village!
11:30 Paleochora, our next destination, is a seaside town built on a small peninsula with exotic beaches and a fortress facing the Libyan Sea and Africa. You will have one and a half hours to explore this picturesque town before meeting for group lunch.
13:15 Seafront group lunch
15:00 Weather permitting, we will board our small boat for a 4-hour adventure along the southern coast of Crete, first admiring a sea cave, then visiting the ancient Asklepion of Lissos, and finally, enjoying beach time and having a refreshment drink at Gialiskari, one of the most exotic beaches of Crete. If the weather does not permit the boat ride, we will spend our 4 hours at one of the wonderful beaches of Paleochora town instead.
We will be back in Chania around 20:30. Dinner is on your own.

Day 6: Taste the famous olive oil and wine of the Cretans

09:00 Meet at the lobby to depart for our half-day tour, where we will learn more about the two agricultural pillars of the Cretan economy since antiquity.
10:00 Guided tour and olive oil tasting at Biolea. Here, you will enjoy a guided tour of a one-of-a-kind traditional olive oil press and learn about olive oil production and why Cretan olive oil is of unique quality. You will get the chance to taste different gourmet olive oils and buy a small bottle that can safely be transferred back home in your luggage. Wine tasting at an awarded wine producer will come next. The Minoans, who were the first advanced civilization in Europe, were making wines from Vitis Vinifera vines as long as 4000 years ago.
Today, an industry of character, quality, and value wines is thriving on the island.
Ancient grape varieties are rediscovered and honored. Crete has at least 11 indigenous grape varieties. They are truly unique, hard to pronounce, and express themselves differently in each wine region.
Later on, you will visit an ancient olive tree and learn all about its unique connection with the modern Olympic games!
14:00 The day’s adventure will conclude with lunch at a character tavern only locals know of.
We will be back around 16:00. Dinner is on your own.

Day 7: Rethymnon Old Town and Fortezza

09:30, you will check out of your hotel and board our private bus. After about 80 minutes of driving, we will stop in Rethymnon for a 2-hour guided walking tour of its old Venetian fortress with breathtaking views of the city and the Archipelago. Group lunch at around 13:00 in a boutique restaurant. Then, free afternoon to stroll the market of the Old Town.
17:00, continue to Heraklion City on a further 80-minute drive to check in our new hotel. Dinner is on your own. We will provide a list of recommended restaurants in Heraklion.

Day 8: FREE DAY with two optional tours*

Heraklion, being the fifth largest city in Greece, has a lot to offer. A bursting city day and night gives you options of exquisite shops, wonderful museums, and chic restaurants, amongst others.  You can rest and assimilate your experiences, relax at your hotel’s SPA, or explore the city. Alternatively, you can join one of our optional tours*.
Meet for group dinner at 19:30.

Day 9: Discover the advanced civilization of the Ancient Minoans

You will have a free morning in the city of Heraklion to explore and go shopping.
Some excellent choices for your free time in the city would be visiting the Archaeological Museum (you will need 2.5 hours, including the transfer time; a tour guide can be arranged upon request) or the Venetian Fortress of Heraklion (you will need 1.5 to 2 hours, including the transfer time). Both venues open at 08:30.
12:00, we will meet and depart to a nearby beach, where you can also get an optional lunch.
16:00, we will have a 2-hour guided tour of the ancient city of Knossos. Knossos is the ancient Western world’s oldest and most sophisticated city. This site was the first inhabited area of ancient Crete, from as early as 7000 BC, and subsequently became the largest and most influential of the Minoan centers. Meet for farewell dinner at 19:00.

Day 10: Departure

Check out at 11:00 at the latest
20-minute taxi transfer to Heraklion Airport (HER)


On day 4 – Afternoon FARM TOUR and COOKING CLASS, including dinner

An authentic Cretan cuisine cooking class at a farm!
Eleni and her mother, Chrisoula, are ready to help you prepare some fabulously tasty dishes made with hearty Cretan ingredients such as extra-virgin olive oil, fresh vegetables, local meats, delectable cheeses, aromatic herbs, and a splash of wine. They will also reveal exciting information about the island’s herbs, including the therapeutic properties of olive oil and tips about the products they use. After preparing the main dish and while you wait for it to cook, head out on a guided tour of the farm and their traditional house. You’ll discover their enchanting vegetable garden, see all the produce in season, and take in the scents of the aromatic and therapeutic herbs. You can also admire the free-range chicken and sheep before heading to the olive groves to learn about olive oil production. Lastly, you will head to their wine cellar for an entertaining wine-tasting session to try a variety of bouquets. Don’t hesitate to try the Tsikoudia local spirit before passing by the wine press and ending the tour at the citrus orchard. Finally, you will all sit down to try the different plates you have prepared together, along with good local wine, and sample some traditional sweets at the end.
This is a small-group activity, meaning that a small number of people outside our group may also be participating. Possible only on day 4. It should be booked as early as possible to ensure availability.
Time on the bus: About 1h 20min
Total duration, including bus transfers: About 6,5 hours
Tour pick-up time: 15:00
Price: EUR 85 per person, including transfers and dinner (basic alcoholic drinks included).


We will visit a beekeeper’s house and his beehives to enter the magic world of bees. Then, we will taste the best quality honey and other bee products.
This is a small-group activity, meaning that a small number of people outside our group may also be participating. Possible only on day 4. It should be booked as early as possible to ensure availability.
Tour depends on the weather; thus, it may be canceled at the last moment.
Time on the bus: About 1h 30 min
Total duration, including bus transfers: About 4,5 hours
Tour pick-up time: 09:30
Price: EUR 70 per person, including transfers and snacks. For an extra EUR 35 and about 2 more hours, you can sample 5 fresh beers over a light lunch at a microbrewery.

On day 4 – Morning HISTORY TOUR, including BEACH TIME

You will be toured by car around your new neighborhood, enjoying stunning views and learning the fascinating history of the area that is hosting you. At the German Military Cemetery, you will find out why Maleme may be the most critical village in modern Europe. At Moni Gonias Odigitrias, you will see and understand why this is one of the most famous monasteries in Crete. Here, you will also enjoy a guided monastery museum visit and learn a few basic things about the Christian Orthodox religion. Then, beach time and optional seafront lunch.
Time on the bus: About 1h 30 min
Total duration, including bus transfers: About 5 hours
Tour pick-up time: 09:00
Price: EUR 70 per person, including transfers and snacks.

On day 8 – SANTORINI ISLAND FULL-DAY TOUR by boat and bus

This is a group activity with transfers in a 50-seater bus. A significant number of people outside our group will be participating. Possible only on day 8. It should be booked as soon as possible to ensure availability.
Tour depends on the weather; thus, it may be canceled at the last moment.
Time on the boat: 5 hours collectively
Time on the bus in Santorini: About 1 hour
Total duration, including transfers: About 11 hours (about 5 free hours on the island)
Tour pick-up time: 07:30
Price: EUR 235 per person, including all transfers, a snack package, and a volcano boat tour on Santorini.


Elounda is a small coastal tourist town. Here, we will catch our boat to Spinalonga Islet. It was one of the last remaining leper colonies in Europe, with many of the building ruins preserved for you to see today. It’s also the site of a 16th-century Venetian fortress. Hike up to the top of the fortress walls for amazing views of the entire bay! Return to Elounda to explore its picturesque marina, cafes, restaurants, and the beach.
Possible only on day 8. It should be booked as soon as possible to ensure availability.
Time on the bus: 2 hours 10 minutes collectively
Time on the boat: About 1 hour
Total duration, including transfers: 9 hours (about 2 hours on Spinalonga island)
Tour pick-up time: 09:00
Price: EUR 115 per person, including bus and boat transfers and islet entrance fees.


from EUR 3045,- per person

HALF BOARD stay in a shared twin or double room in seafront hotels

Single room supplement: Starting from EUR 540,-

Do you wish to travel on custom dates? Please, feel free to inquire about a private tour.

Ready to book?

Choose your preferred date and BOOK this tour via a refundable deposit payment:

Deposit for the tour “10-Day Culture and Gastronomy in Crete”

500,00  including VAT

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Pick your preferred start date


Available tour dates:

  • May 18-27
  • June 21-30
  • September 16 – October 7

The deposit paid remains refundable (minus 5% refund fees and handling charges) till 60 days after payment or 40 days before the tour’s commencement date, whatever comes first. Balance payment is due 40 days before the tour’s commencement date.

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