All tours on this holiday have now departed. Future departure dates will be confirmed in due course.
The atmospheric and historic Venetian harbour of Rethymnon
Comfortable, friendly, and well positioned hotel
Warm Mediterranean climate – being so far south, the weather in Crete remains pleasantly warm right through to November
Cuisine – so much fresh produce is grown in Crete which ensures the very best tastes can be found in the local tavernas
Wonderful scenery - mountains, seascapes and hilltops dotted with tiny villages
When it comes to describing the island of Crete, we think, ‘Crete has it all’, sums it up very nicely!
The largest of the Greek islands, Crete is well-known for its long history that dates back to at least 3000 BC, with interesting sites that lay testament to this. But it is also an island known for its impressive scenery; mountains that rise to over 8000 feet, a long wiggling scenic coastline and a fertile picturesque interior dotted with tiny villages and ancient churches. And Crete is equally renowned for its wonderfully warm hospitality that radiates from just about everyone you encounter here, as well as its authenticity and its long traditions that continue today, hardly touched by the hands of time.
In this strange year we find ourselves, we have found an opportunity to come together with one of the longstanding hotels we work with in Crete, the 3-star Ideon Hotel, ideally located on the edge of the historic streets of Rethymnon, to offer a simple 7-day stay put package where you are free to do as little or as much as you wish.
Rethymnon, which is rightly described as one of the most beautiful towns on the island, reflects a more recent period of the islands history, when the Venetians and later the Ottomans occupied Crete leaving behind this fantastic town filled with wonderfully atmospheric narrow streets lined with captivating architecture that offer a mix of quaint tavernas, cafes and enticing small shops. Alongside the town a long sandy beach is found and easily walkable from the hotel, with a lovely promenade where you can enjoy evening strolls and watch the sun go down.
The friendly Ideon Hotel, whom we have worked with since 2009, offers a perfect position for exploring Rethymnon easily on foot. The lobby bar, which offers comfortable outdoor and indoor seating, is a great meeting point any time of day or evening and the hotel pool is a relaxing place to while away a few hours with a good book. Enticing tavernas are located within a stone’s throw of the hotel.
Your days are free to either explore independently or you can join one of the reasonably priced local tours, which our representative in Crete, Jane Freeman, can arrange for you. If you haven’t discovered this wonderful island yet, this is a great opportunity to get a taste of what this special place offers, and if you have been lucky enough to visit Crete before, we are sure, like us, you would be glad to return!
Day 1: Fly from London Gatwick to Chania.
On arrival, transfer by coach to Rethymnon (approx. 1 hour) and check-in at the Ideon Hotel, Rethymnon. After you have had time to relax, our representative will be glad to give you a short orientation walk of Rethymnon if you wish. Evening at leisure or the opportunity to join our representative for dinner at a local taverna (at your own cost).
Days 2 – 7 These days are free for you to spend as you wish, whether it’s exploring the island on local excursions (these are optional extras to add to your tour, payable locally), enjoying Rethymnon or relaxing at the hotel. The range of tours available throughout the week include:
Chania. Chania, like Rethymnon, is recognised as a ‘Venetian’ harbour town, incredibly picturesque, with a long sweeping harbour front, a maze of exceptionally historic backstreets, a wonderful market selling all sorts of local produce, plenty of waterside tavernas and cafes, all of which make it easy to while away a day here.
Into the Villages. Get off the beaten track and experience ‘the real Crete’. An opportunity to visit some of the picturesque inland villages found dotted throughout the interior of the island and understand how life continues here very much as it has for centuries. Lunch in a local village taverna will be included on this tour. This tour is something we offer ourselves so it will be subject to minimum numbers.
Knossos. The most famous of the four Minoan Palaces found on Crete, Knossos dates to around 2000 BC and is the capital of Minoan Crete and the centre of Europe’s first civilisation. The intricate, multi-storeyed layout of the palace has led to its connection with numerous myths and legends, including that of Theseus, the Minotaur, and the labyrinth. Knossos was controversially excavated in the early 20th century by the English archaeologist Arthur Evans.
South coast half day tour. An opportunity to enjoy a picturesque tour to the south coast resort of Plakias. We drive through two small gorges, stopping in the village of Mirthios with wonderful views of the bay below for a coffee break before continuing to Plakias where you will have free time to swim, wander or enjoy lunch by the sea. This tour is also something we offer ourselves so it will be subject to minimum numbers.
Day 8: Transfer by coach or minibus to Chania Airport for your return flight to London Gatwick.
NB: Tours will be organised by your Representative/tour manager according to availability and demand. Some tours will be subject to minimum numbers. A full list of tours will be provided on arrival.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 25 passengers.
Ideon Hotel, Rethymnon
The Ideon Hotel is a three-star hotel extremely well located close by to Rethymnon's fantastic Venetian harbour and just a 1 minute walk from the atmospheric back streets and narrow alleyways that characterise this fantastic old town and where you will find an excellent choice of tavernas, cafes and interesting small shops.
The hotel offers comfortable air-conditioned rooms with private balcony, bath/shower, TV and telephone. The hotel facilities include a swimming pool, street cafe that overlooks the sea, lounge bar and restaurant.
Ideon Hotel Website
OUR VIEW ON THE HOTEL
We chose this hotel first and foremost because of its excellent location, which is just a stone's throw from both the Venetian harbour and the atmospheric old town's historic backstreets, which makes dining out in the evening and exploring in your leisure time a very easy option. Equally importantly, we felt the hotel also offered comfortable and friendly three-star accommodation.
This fantastic town has a colourful and historical past that is evident in the legacy of marvellous old buildings that line its narrow, pedestrianised streets. Perfect for strolling, sights here include the imposing battlements of the 16th century Venetian fortress, a picturesque harbour with a 13th century lighthouse and a delightful 'old town' full of cafes, tavernas and small shops selling local crafts, souvenirs and food. Easily accessed on foot from your hotel, the quaintness of this atmospheric old town will be sure to entice you again and again during your stay.