TRAVEL and DO – Themed tours in GreeceTRAVEL and DO – Themed tours in Greece
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10-Day Private Family Adventure in Crete Greece

  • family-vacation-crete
  • Balos-beach-Crete
  • Elafonissi Crete Greece
  • family-vacation-crete
  • Balos-beach-Crete
  • Elafonissi Crete Greece

Overview

Treasure a private and fully customizable family adventure in Western Crete Greece. All activities on this tour have been thoughtfully chosen to meet the needs of a family traveling.

There will be something for everyone! The kids will love the activities specially designed for them and parents will enjoy carefully crafted cultural and culinary experiences. Depending on the travel season and family’s preference there will be adequate beach time for kids to play and parents to relax and unwind.

Families who have taken this private tour with us say it is nothing like they have ever experienced (hopefully they mean it in a good way).

Would you like to create an unforgettable experience for you and your family? If yes, please read on.


Tour highlights

Remember this is only a sample itinerary, anything you wish for can be added

CULINARY EXPERIENCES

  • – 8 main meals (lunch or supper) in handpicked traditional taverns

  • – an olive oil tour and tasting

  • – a wine-tasting tour

  • – a Minoan cooking workshop

  • – an open food market shopping and home-cooking experience

CONTACT WITH the LAND and NATURE

  • – at least 3 times fun by the sea at Crete’s best beaches

  • – at least 6 scenic tours through the mainland or along the coastline of Crete

  • – a visit to a botanical park

  • – a guided sea kayak tour

  • – a guided paratriking or e-bike tour as per your preference

  • – a guided quad or mountain hiking tour as per your preference

  • – an ancient city sunset hike

  • – a Robinson Crusoe Boat Adventure

HISTORY and CULTURE

  • – a guided visit to an Orthodox monastery

  • – a visit to the archaeological museum

  • – an ancient city visit

  • – a Greek language lesson

  • – a guided pottery workshop

  • – a guided mosaic workshop


Available dates

On request, anytime between May and October, excluding August


Accommodation

You will be staying HALFBOARD in the seafront PORTO VENEZIANO HOTEL in a Superior Suite, with a sea view of the old Venetian port of Chania city.
Breakfast is served from 07:00 to 11:00 and you can have your dinner anytime during the evening restaurant hours (dinner is not in your tour price included).

Lunch a la carte at a different tavern each day is included in your price as part of your overall cultural and culinary experience.
Local or homemade snacks and bottled water will always be provided by us during the day tours/ activities.

Other accommodation options include the MYRION BEACH RESORT & SPA and the MINOA PALACE.

More information about your hosting venue options by inquiry.


Tour information

INCLUDED

  • – 9 nights luxury seafront/sea view accommodation in a suite with beds for 2 adults and 2 kids.

  • – Half Board (e.g. breakfast in the hotel, lunch out). Arrival day includes dinner. Free days, if any in your itinerary, will include breakfast only. Departure day includes breakfast only.

  • – All local private transfers including pickup and drop-off from/to Chania Airport (CHQ)

  • – All itinerary entrance fees and participation costs 

  • – Private, fully customizable itinerary including 2 hikes, 2 cooking classes, and much much more

  • – All standard tips to restaurant waiters, hotel room cleaning ladies, etc

  • – All taxes and handling charges

NOT INCLUDED

  • – International air transfer costs

    – Alcoholic drinks unless mentioned in the itinerary

    – Dinner and lunch include bottled water. Other refreshments come at an extra charge.

    – Travel insurance (mandatory, a copy will be kindly requested before the balance payment)

    – Tour leader gratuities (optional)

ITINERARY

Your itinerary will probably differ from the sample below and be entirely based on your needs and preferences. 

Day 1 – Saturday, April 1st: Adjust to the Mediterranean Climate

  • Airport pick up, snack and refreshments, check-in and settling, time to rest, itinerary briefing, and welcome dinner

Day 2 – April 2nd: Greek Language and Cretan History

Tour pick-up time from hotel: 09:30

  • 1,5h Guided City Tour – A Journey through the Centuries

Discover the hidden treasures of Chania Old Town using the most fun and smart way! Explore the Old Town & the Harbour of Chania city on an electric Trikke vehicle!

  • 2h Visit to the Archaeological Museum

Be prepared to be mesmerized by Europe’s first civilization: Gaze all the ancient artifacts and through them get to know the Minoans and their wonders!

  • Seaside Lunch at a Slow-Food Family-Run Restaurant

  • 1h Greek Language Lesson

Be introduced to the Greek Alphabet, the basics of Greek pronunciation, and a few key phrases. The logical structure of the Greek language and its continuity from the ancient years up till today will be presented in examples. This deeper understanding of the language will hopefully make your trip more enjoyable and help you read the Greek signs with ease or connect with the locals by using a Greek greeting.

Day 3 – April 3rd: Ancient city visit, Paratriking, and Pottery Workshop

Tour pick-up time from hotel: 09:00

  • The day tour today includes a scenic private car drive to some of the greenest and most beautiful areas of Crete (Apokoronas and Georgioupoli areas) with a stop at the ancient city of Aptera (1h) and the picturesque village of Vrysses (15 min). 

  • We will also stop at the Kanakis Olive Mill for a 30-minute olive oil-tasting experience.

  • The day will continue with Paratriking*, an extreme sports activity suitable to all ages, as it is safe and no experience is required. All necessary equipment will be given to the passengers by their pilot/instructor. It is called paratriking because it includes a three-wheel vehicle (trike) with two seats which help the passenger and the pilot be comfortable and enjoy their 10-20 min flight to the fullest. They both wear helmets wired so they can speak to each other at all times if needed! With the powerful engine and the parachute, it only takes 1 minute to get up in the air! You can admire the mountains filled with snow and at the same time, you can feel the sun and the clouds on your skin while watching the sea underneath! Undoubtedly, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

  • Time for lunch

  • We will continue our day with a hands-on Pottery Workshop (1-hour duration for each participant) where kids, and adults alike if they so wish, will be able to learn the history of Cretan ceramic art and play with clay on a pottery wheel until they create a beautiful cup. This cup will need to dry and be baked in the pottery oven. It will be ready after a few days when you will return to the workshop to finish your masterpiece by learning how to paint it! During the time each person will be practicing the art of pottery, the rest of the family will have free time to explore the old port or go shopping around.

*If this sport is too extreme for your liking, we can offer as an alternative a less extreme experience like horseback riding or a bicycle/e-bike tour as per your preference. We need to know that at the time of booking. This change may lead to a whole different schedule for the day.

Day 4 – April 4th: Round Hike in a Botanical Park*

Tour pick-up time from hotel: 10:00

  • Today you will enjoy a walking tour in the flourished and colorful Botanical Park of Crete, only a half-hour drive from Chania on the foothills of the White Mountains with breathtaking views. The entire area was heavily destroyed back in 2004 by a furious fire, leaving behind only ashes and sorrow as the ecological and economic destruction that occurred was unspoken. But the ashes for those with a clear view and love for life can turn into a precious gift back to the environment and the people, so the idea of the botanical gardens was set in action.
    Today, thousands of visitors and locals enjoy the beautiful pathway that amazes not only with the local flora and fauna but also with the tropical plantation, exotic fruits, and aromatic herbs. The 1,5 to 2-hour adjustable path will take you to a small lake that is surrounded by colorful peacocks, turtles, ducks, and geese, and also two small farms with deer, local goats, and donkeys. Although we strongly disagree with wild animals like deer being kept detained, we do offer our clients visits to this park honoring the owners’ huge efforts to build and sustain this park. At the same time, we encourage our clients to write a polite but honest comment about the wild animals in the park’s visitor book, if they agree with our opposing opinion. 

  • After the walk, you will return to the park’s restaurant that will host your lunch over amazing landscape views.

  • The day will continue with a 3h guided quad tour! Put your helmets on and let’s go to explore Crete on 4 wheels! This tour may be substituted by a mountain hiking tour of equal duration.

*If Botanical Parks are not your thing or for any other reason you don’t feel intrigued by this tour, you will be given alternatives for the day like a horseback riding experience or a bicycle tour. This change may lead to a whole different schedule for the day.

Day 5 – April 5th: FREE DAY with options (see add-ons further down)

  • You may keep this day laid-back, rest, assimilate the experiences so far, or go shopping. But if you feel adventurous and the kids want action, check your add-on options or talk to us for further alternatives.

Day 6 – April 6th: Monastery Visit and Kayak Experience* 

Tour pick-up time from hotel: 08:30

  • We will start our day visiting Moni Gonia**, a beautiful and historic monastery that has suffered much from pirates and invaders over the centuries. We will spend a whole hour here to feel the place and learn about the Christian Orthodox Religion and its relation to the country’s modern history.

  • Depending on the winds’ direction we will then head to Rodopou or alternatively to Falassarna, both being wild beauty peninsulas in the Kissamos area that are worth exploring. Kissamos is by far the most interesting area of Crete nature-wise. The millions of tourists visiting each summer the beaches of Kissamos (i.e. Balos, Elafonissi, Palaiochora, and Falassarna) prove this argument beyond any doubt. But Kissamos is not only about the beaches. Informed travelers explore the beautiful inland of Kissamos with all the picturesque villages. Today you will get a first glimpse of this wonderful part of Crete.

We have decided to explore the Rodopou peninsula on kayaks (or via a combination of hiking and kayaking, depending on the direction of the winds) because kayaking gives an unparalleled sense of freedom and fluidity. Whichever the case, you will enjoy a pristine area with hundreds of wild goats, sea birds, and wild flora. We will start kayaking along Rodopou peninsula from Nopigia village and our intended destination will be the seaside fishing village Ravdoucha where we will make a stop for at least 1h.

  • Back to Nopigia and from there to a nearby restaurant that will host us for lunch.

  • The last stop of the day is at the ancient city Roka. We will stroll the modern settlement and then hike up to the rock upon which the ancient city was built. The views over the Roka Gorge are simply breathtaking.

*The Kayak experience may be substituted by a hiking tour in the same area if you so prefer. We need to know about your preference at the time of booking.

**We might need to drop the Monastery visit off and try to reschedule it for another day in case the weather forecast indicates we should be starting the kayak tour early enough to avoid strong winds later in the day.

Day 7 – April 7th: Mosaic Workshop, Minoan Cooking Lesson, and Ancient City Sunset Hike

Tour pick-up time from hotel: 10:00

  • Learn how to make your own mosaic! A unique 3-hour workshop run by our archaeologist, who will give you interesting information about the Greek history of this ancient art and instructions on how to make your own souvenir! Choose an image, cut the stones, and combine shapes and colors to make your very own piece of art to take back home!

  • Then, replicate under the guidance of our archaeologist the way ancient Cretans cooked their meals in clay cookware, in an open fire! Fascinating details about what the Minoans had for lunch according to what archaeologists have discovered and myths confirm. The Minoan dietary habits form the roots of traditional Cretan nutrition and the famous Mediterranean diet that is based on it. Fresh local food ingredients, complementary Minoan drinks, and genuine hospitality make the perfect ancient cooking lesson in the Kissamos area!

  • Having eaten a delicious and nutritious meal you should now be ready to explore Polyrenia, a small village at the foothill of the homonymous ancient city in the Kissamos area. We will first drive uphill to the modern settlement and then further hike up to the Acropolis of the ancient city along the remains of the Roman fortress for breathtaking sunset views. This is an up-and-down total 1,5h easy path but it is fully optional if you don’t feel for it. Even without the hike, the views over the bay of Kissamos are stunning and you will step foot on and learn all about the ancient Telesterion, the very place where the Minoans offered to their gods and made their rituals.  

Day 8 – April 8th: Open Food Market Shopping, Home Cooking, and Pottery painting 

Tour pick-up time from hotel: 09:30

  • At walking distance from your hotel, there is every Saturday a wonderful fresh fruit and vegetable market where all the city meets up and shops to cover their cooking needs of the week. The quality of the products at this market is one of the best in Greece, simply because the Cretan products are favored by the warm and humid climate of the island. We will shop together the ingredients for the vegan recipes we will prepare later on and you will learn shopping secrets that you might have never heard of before. 

  • Then, we will head by car just outside the picturesque Vatolakos village where our host will open her house to us and invite us to her backyard in a lush environment between orange and olive trees, to start preparations for our cooking lesson. Your eyes will “eat” the colors of the foods around you, your hands will feel the texture and your nose will smell the fragrance while you listen to the crisp sound of chopping these fresh ingredients. Finally, the sense of your taste will be used all the time as you will learn to cook without a recipe but by trying and adjusting the taste of the food continuously (no worries, you will also receive the “official” recipes in your inbox later on). After the food is ready, we will settle ourselves around the wooden backyard table and will share lunch the Greek way over traditional Greek music playing in the background. Local bottled wine and homemade local spirits (Raki) will be included. Most probably after dessert, the time will be right for some dancing too…but let’s see… 

  • Remember your pottery masterpieces? They are now baked and ready to be painted! We will head to the pottery workshop to finish what we have started. 

Day 9 – April 9th: Southern Crete Robinson Crusoe Boat Adventure

Tour pick-up time from hotel: 08:00

Be prepared for a wonderful last vacation day that will fill you with diverse landscape pictures of mountains, caves, gorges, beaches, unique rocky formations, as well as picturesque villages and towns, and historic monuments.

  • We will start our full-day tour to Southern Crete early because we have a mountain to cross, thus getting your hotel breakfast in a package. After a 50-minute scenic drive, we will make our first stop under the Cave of Aghia Sophia. Climbing 150+ steps we will reach the 100m wide cave at a 400m altitude and light a candle in the small church while learning all the myths and traditions related to this sacred place.  

  • The next stop after a 35-minute drive through the mountains will be the picturesque and historic village of Kantanos. Here you will enjoy your breakfast topped up with the best baklava and ice cream you have ever tasted. Local refreshments with spring water from the mountains around you as well as a hot tea made with the local mountain herbs will be served on the table.

  • Let’s move on to our next destination: The Princess of the Libyan Sea, the picturesque Paleochora town opposite Africa! Congratulations! You are now in Southern Crete, a land like no other with ancient history and unique life rhythms.

  • Time to board the small private boat that will tour us further west along the coastline to the most pristine beaches of Crete: Kedrodasos and Elafonissi. You will have about 2h to spend on the pink-sanded Elafonissi beach and submerge into the stillness of the landscape. For this day we have prepared for you adequate food for a picnic lunch at the beach. 

  • Back to Paleochora town for free time to stroll around and go souvenir shopping before driving back to Chania. 

Day 10 – April 10th: Departure Day

  • Check out until 11.00. In case of a late flight out we will care for your luggage until airport drop-off so that you can enjoy your last hours in the city carefree.

Add-on tours

The following tours to famous attractions of the island may be added to your itinerary on your free days. Alternatively, you may choose to add overall more days to your vacation to include some of those add-on tours.

Tours 1. and 3. can be combined on the same day 

  • 1. Half-day easy private bicycle tour through historic villages, orchards with a variety of fruit trees, and various landmarks of Western Crete.
    Price: EUR 450

Includes VAT, transfers, bottled water, snacks, and a guide

Difficulty: Easy (downhill most of the time)

Car transfers: Αbout 1 hour

Cycling duration: About 3 hours in total with many stops along the way

Total day tour duration: About 5.5 hours

Tour pick-up time: 09:00

What to bring: Good sports shoes, sunglasses, sun protection cream, light windproof jacket.

A wonderful tour, led by a very knowledgeable guide who has been offering these tours for 15 years. This is as authentic as it can get. You will learn about the Cretan land products, experience parts of the agricultural way of life, understand the connection between agriculture and culture, taste fruits right from the trees, and meet locals. A minibus escorts the group all along the way offering safety and a resting alternative in case you need it. Junior-size bicycles for the kids are available. A highly recommended experience!  

  • 2. The private crossing of Imbros Gorge: Explore pristine nature and learn about the Cretan flora & fauna.
    Price: EUR 500

Includes VAT, transfers, bottled water, snacks, and a mountain guide

Difficulty: Easy

Car transfers: Αbout 2,5 hours

Hiking duration: About 3 hours

Total day tour duration: About 10 hours

Tour pick-up time: 09:00

What to bring: Light trekking or good sports shoes, hat, sunglasses, sun protection cream, light waterproof jacket (there is always a small possibility of rain), swimming suit (optional).

Imbros is the island’s second most famous gorge. It starts from the homonymous village and ends at Komitades, a beautiful small town in Sfakia province. It is a comfortable 8 km (5 miles) hike, and you will approximately need 3 hours to the exit. Its narrowest and most spectacular part is just 1.60m wide.

Your escort will pick you up from your hotel’s lobby around 09:00 in the morning. After approximately an 80-minute drive, we will arrive in the village of Imbros. Then, we will stop for coffee or local snacks (optional) before we start the hike. As soon as you’re ready, you will enter the gorge with your trekking guide, who will inform you about the native plants and give you more information about the area and the island’s flora & fauna. The first 30 minutes of the hike are downhill through a beautiful natural environment. The gorge is becoming narrower as you keep walking. After around 75 minutes, you will be at the thinnest and most imposing spot of it. The walls of the gorge are less than 2 meters apart and 300 meters high above.

Imbros opens onto the sea at Komitades. There you can relax and enjoy a drink at the local coffee shops & tavernas before leaving the village for the capital of Sfakia province, Chora Sfakion. If in April the weather is not warm enough yet in Chora Sfakion for a swim in the turquoise crystal water of the Libyan Sea, you can take a short boat tour instead (not in price included) and marvel at the breathtaking cliff formations of the shoreline. 

Finally, you can taste the local delicacies and have lunch in one of the traditional Cretan restaurants (optional). You will be dropped off at your hotel early evening just before dinner time.

  • 3. Private Sunset Boat Tour to Gramvoussa Island and Balos Natura Lagoon
    Price: EUR 800
    Includes VAT, Fuel, Insurance, Skipper, Snorkelling Equipment, Water, Beverages, Seasonal Fresh Fruits, and Snacks.

Difficulty: Easy

Car transfers: About 1,5 hours

Total duration: About 9 hours

Tour pickup time: 15:00

What to bring: Light trekking or good sports shoes, a swimming suit, hat, sunglasses, sun protection cream, and a light windproof jacket (it gets chilly on the boat).

Balos Lagoon is constantly voted among the 25 best beaches in the world! The departure port is Kasteli in Kissamos and the duration of the boat trip is about 4,5 hours with 2 stops: First, about 1,5h on Balos lagoon to swim, snorkel, or just sunbathe and relax and then about 1,5h on Gramvoussa islet to hike to the fortress (about 45m in total up the hill and down) and enjoy the views. This is a not to be missed once in a lifetime experience.


Price

from EUR 10.995,- per family of 4

HALF BOARD stay in seafront hotels or resorts

Ready to book?

This tour is instantly bookable via a flat EUR 2000,- deposit. 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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