All tours on this holiday have now departed. Future departure dates will be confirmed in due course.
Stay in the attractive historic Venetian harbour town of Rethymnon
Guided tours to the infamous Minoan Palaces of Knossos and Phaestos
A boat trip to the incredibly scenic island of Santorini including a visit to the Akrotiri excavations
Visit the most beautiful town on Crete, the Venetian harbour town of Chania
Crete is known for its wonderful scenery and its fantastic climate but it is also a fascinating destination for a cultural and historic tour, offering a wealth of sites that reflect its ancient Minoan culture, which dates back some 4,500 years or more!
This ancient history is a prominent focus of our tour but the island has seen numerous invaders in its long history so we will also discover some more recent historic periods, particularly the Byzantine and Venetian eras, which led to two of the islands most beautiful towns, Chania in the west and, our base for the week, Rethymnon, both of which are situated right next to the sea. We also visit the spectacular island of Santorini, where a volcanic eruption in the 16th century BC shaped its fascinating landscape. We have the opportunity to visit the ancient Minoan settlement of Akrotiri during our visit there.
It is possible to extend this tour if you wish - please enquire for a quote.
All forthcoming departure dates and live prices are listed below. Click 'book now' next to your choice of departure date to book your place on the tour.
Day 1: Fly from London Gatwick to Heraklion.
On arrival in Heraklion, transfer by coach to Rethymnon (approx. one hour). Dinner included this evening at the hotel.
Day 2: Guided walk of Rethymnon.
An opportunity to discover the fascinating ‘old town’ with our local guide. Wandering on foot we will explore the atmospheric streets and narrow lanes of this historic town. The afternoon will be free for you to explore this delightful town further at your own leisure.
Day 3: Full day tour to the Minoan cemetery of Armeni and the Palace of Phaestos.
Excavation of the Minoan cemetery of Armeni has uncovered more than 200 graves and a wealth of Minoan artefacts. The vaulted tombs are hewn from rock and the numerous skeletons uncovered have given much information as to the physical appearance and health of the Minoan people. One of the four great palaces of the Minoan ‘Golden Age’ Phaestos, inhabited since around 4000BC, was excavated at the beginning of the century, with reconstruction kept to a minimum; it is a magnificent site with a commanding view of the Messara plain.
Day 4: Full day visit by boat to Santorini.
The spectacular island of Santorini, located 63 nautical miles north of Crete, was formed by one of the largest volcanic eruptions in history, which was also credited with the destruction of the Minoan civilisation on Crete. Santorini is a mass of soaring cliffs, topped with bright white-washed Cycladic houses. Visits here include the excavated settlement of Akrotiri, Thira and Oia. Lunch is included today.
Day 5: Free day – optional tour will be offered
Today you can relax and enjoy the day at leisure or join an optional tour (payable locally and dependent on minimum numbers) that explores the ‘hinterland’ of Rethymnon. Visits will include the pottery village of Margaritas, the monastery of Arkadi and the village of Thronos situated in the beautiful Amari Valley.
Day 6: Full day tour to the Minoan Palace of Knossos and the Archaeological Museum.
Little was known about the ancient Minoan civilisation until 1894 with the discovery, by British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans, of Knossos. Excavations began in 1900AD which revealed the remains of an extensive palace and surrounding town. Dating from 1900BC, the Palace was destroyed by an earthquake in 1700BC, rebuilt and then finally destroyed in 1375BC by fire. Knossos is now the most well-known of the Minoan sites on the island, controversially made famous by the restoration work done by Evans. The exceptional Archaeological Museum at Heraklion houses some of the most famous Minoan finds from Knossos and other sites on Crete.
Day 7: Chania and Souda Bay.
An atmospheric Venetian harbour town, Chania is set against a spectacular backdrop of majestic mountains and aquamarine seas. A turbulent history saw it occupied by the Romans, the Byzantines, the Venetians, the Turks and Egyptians, and this has left behind a rich and captivating architectural heritage. En-route to Chania there will be a brief visit to the Souda Bay Commonwealth War Cemetery where we learn of the tragic events of the 1941 ‘Battle of Crete’.
Day 8: Transfer by coach back to Heraklion airport for your return flight to London Gatwick.
NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 30 passengers.
Bio Suites Hotel, Rethymnon
The four-star Bio Suites Hotel offers a high standard of accommodation an easy short walk from Rethymnon’s old town. Hotel facilities include a bar, restaurant, terrace and swimming pool.
The hotel offers comfortable air-conditioned rooms with kitchenette, balcony, shower, TV, telephone, wi-fi and hairdryer.
Bio Suites Hotel
OUR VIEW ON THE HOTEL
This hotel offers a high standard of comfortable accommodation within a short walk of the pretty backstreets of the vibrant old town.
We thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Jane was a brilliant tour manager, and with Nikos and Gregori they all made a terrific team. The visits were well-paced, and the town of Rethymnon was a good base, and with a wide choice of restaurant options.
Review by Roberts who travelled 02-October-2018
Review by Anonymous who travelled 02-October-2018
This tour was most enjoyable. The visits and city tours were well arranged and led by an excellent local guide who was most informative. Special commendation to Jane, the tour manager, who looked after us all superbly.
Review by Anonymous who travelled 02-October-2018
Tour manager's help was invaluable in sorting prob re sea view room. Appreciated the variety of the tour, the friendliness and professionalism of all concerned and would love to do it all over again!
Review by Stephenson who travelled 26-September-2017
Mix up over sea view room was sorted with great help from tour manager. Much appreciated. Well-planned and well-paced tour. Enjoyed the variety of visits and the friendliness, knowledge and professionalism of all concerned.
Review by Stephenson who travelled 26-September-2017
Our locally based tour manager was stupendously helpful and considerate. Her optional tour took us to a potter who gave demonstrations & explanations of ancient pottery designs, and a tiny Byzantine church whose warden also ran the local restaurant with traditional dishes - herbs courtesy of the mountains around the restaurant. Such a pleasure to meet and support those preserving the old ways of Crete. Our bus driver was also outstanding, both as safe driver and anything else that helped the team of which he was a part. Flexibility to do your own tour round palace sites (we had the book and some prior knowledge) was also appreciated, whilst our guide's tour of Rethymnon, where we had again the benefit of a local guide with her own connections, was an essential. There were 42 on the tour I believe - more than supposed to be.
Review by Beaton who travelled 14-July-2020
Excellent tour. Enjoyed fellow travelers. Superb tour manager--never been w a more reliable, informed, pleasant or sensible manager on any of my many trips. Excellent driver and local guide, as well. Will highly recommend your company to friends and will very likely sign on to another of your tours.
Review by Carroll who travelled 26-September-2017
Excellent local guide. Careful coach driver. Friendly group. Easy to travel solo. Welcoming tour manager. Brilliant choice of hotel, amazing location.
Review by Langley who travelled 26-September-2017
Review by who travelled 26-September-2017
The tour manager Jane. the local guide Gregory and the driver Nikos were all excellent at their jobs.
Review by Bowen who travelled 26-September-2017
An exceptionally well-organised tour. Our tour manager, Jane, anticipated every need and our guide was a fount of interesting information. Crete is a beautiful and friendly island and definitely merits a visit.
Review by Mrs Ann Walker who travelled 02-May-2017
Really helpful tour manger and tour guide
Review by Mr Brian Ford who travelled 02-May-2017
It was great - only one thing was poor, the book list. I would have liked this when I booked, not with the tickets to give time for advance reading. Also, the book that is meant to be available in the UK is out of print.
Review by Mrs Margaret Washington who travelled 02-May-2017
Had a great time. Jane was excellent as was our local guide and driver
Review by Mrs Valerie Parker who travelled 02-May-2017
Review by Mrs Rosemary Bishop who travelled 04-October-2016
Review by who travelled 04-October-2016
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Crete. Jane, our tour guide was well organised, kind and helpful. Ritza, our guide to the archaeological sites was excellent and coach driver Nicos was a really good driver. We found the Bio Suites hotel comfortable and friendly. All in all a great experience. Thank you.
Review by Mr Robert Freeman who travelled 04-October-2016
In your brochure you put that the distance to Santorini is 65 nautical miles so I had not anticipated sitting inside a ferry for over 3 hours each way. I think you should make this clear so people can decide whether it is worth going or not as it was an exceedingly long day. The local guide, Ritsa was excellent as she was a mine of information. The food in the hotel was rather bland and we would have liked to see more typical Cretan food. However the restaurant staff were wonderful.
Review by Mrs Hazel McDiarmid who travelled 04-October-2016
7 am flight from Gatwick was a bit of a killer particularly as we were delayed an hour on board due to a water leak. Taking the boat from Rechthon to Santorini instead of from Heraklion saved 2 hours coach travel on an already long day and was a great saving. The hotel staff were very good and cheerful and the food was excellent. Allowing time in Heraklion to revisit the Knossos museum at one's own speed after lunch is a good idea
Review by Mr John Clarke who travelled 04-October-2016
Excellent overall with outstanding service by Tour Manager and local guide. The only downside for me was the hotel dinner where the buffet failed to provide much in the way of authentic Greek cuisine. There are so many restaurants and tavernas in the old town that, in hindsight, I would have preferred to pay a lower up-front price on a B&B basis.
Review by Mr Trevor Cackett who travelled 04-October-2016
I have written separately about the local guide who to say the least was verbose,otherwise an excellent trip especially the day into the interior visitng villages-that could not have been better.MJCxxx
Review by Mr Michael Childs who travelled 04-October-2016
Tour manager Jane Freeman was very good making sure everyone (couples, singles etc) was included. Local guide Ritsa was very good also, explaining things in an easy to understand manner with humour. A suggestion - It was quite a large group (44) and should perhaps have been split into two groups to make getting to know fellow-travellers easier?; alternatively, lunch stops (or perhaps an evening out) for all at one restaurant could have been arranged, rather than letting people "do their own thing", which did not really encourage group bonding. Not a criticism - just a suggestion.
Review by Mr John Cheong who travelled 04-October-2016
Travel Editions feedback:
Thanks for the suggestion and we have passed it onto Jane in Crete.
Wonderful tour, the tour manager Jane was brilliant as was Ritza our guide and Nicko the driver. We would have no hesitation in recommending Travel Editions. Many thanks.
Review by Mr Peter Bradbury who travelled 04-October-2016
Due to an unexpected health problem we were unable to participate in the excursions. We were very appreciative of the help and support given to us by Jane, the housekeeping/reception staff at the Bio Suites Hotel and we were touched by the concern shown by Nicos, our driver. Thank you also for the prompt reimbursement for the cancelled Santorini Trip. Regarding the concept of the "Minoan Crete and Stunning Santorini" tour we wonder if it was time for it to be re-branded! We know that the Santorini excursion has had to be cancelled on at least occasions, no doubt causing problems for Jane and for Travel Editions. Does the Santorini element attract or discourage prospective clients? Perhaps it could be offered as an optional trip (at extra cost) on the free day. It could be replaced in the itinerary by an excursion to the Eleftherna Museum which we believe is due to open very soon. This would add an extra dimension to the historical aspect of the tour. Do you have any plans to include this museum in any other tours? We hope these comments are useful. Looking forward to travelling with you again. Dave and Linda Cowley.
Review by Mr David Cowley who travelled 03-May-2016
More time needed in Hania. Coffee stop was unnecessary. All the history is interesting, not just the Minoan, so perhaps more weight could be given to it. We were really well looked after and all praise to Jane who was able to take the Dockers' strike in her stride and more than salvage the day.
Review by Miss Katherine Winfrey who travelled 03-May-2016
Tour manger was outstanding coped with difficulties effortlessly, Improvised alternative tours as a result of strike action. Created a sound rapport with all group members and dealt effectively with any problems. Jean Freeman was a credit to your company and the travel and tourism industry.
Review by Mr Peter Mealing who travelled 03-May-2016
Enjoyed myself immensely, but great disappointment when trip to santorini was cancelled due to strike. Hotel food was adequate and the room a little dark.
Review by Mr Terence Oon who travelled 03-May-2016
I was really pleased with my first experience of a holiday with travel editions, especially since I was travelling alone. Jane Freeman was in every way excellent and very skilled in handling a diverse group. She had obviously built up a rapport with the local people and gathered good guides and drivers who worked as a team. I hope to go on another Cretan holiday next year.
Review by Mrs J Heller who travelled 03-May-2016
Review by who travelled 03-May-2016
Very enjoyable tour. Only disappointment was the cancellation of the Santorini trip...but that could not be helped and Jane as tour Manager made great efforts to please us all!
Review by Mr Graham Bowers who travelled 03-May-2016
First rate tour. Choice and mixture of places visited was very good. Jane, our tour manager, was outstanding - and coped well with needing to switch the Santorini visit because of the general strike. Overall an excellent holiday.
Review by Mr Stephen Banyard who travelled 03-May-2016
I would have liked to have had the whisper system used so we could hear the guide when not standing right close to them, especially in towns.
Review by Miss Claire McHardy who travelled 03-May-2016
only glitch was strike so couldn't go to santorini...would like a partial refund for that...we did go somewhere else but ferry trip needs refunding
Review by Ms Traci Stone who travelled 03-May-2016
Once again we thoroughly enjoyed our week. Jane took excellent care of us, Nikos drove us carefully around Crete in his spotless and comfortable coach. Ritza conveyed her historical knowledge to us in great detail. Bio Suites staff were very helpful and kind at all times and the food was great. We had a great time, as usual.
Review by Mr William Goldsmith who travelled 06-October-2015
This tour was back to back with the Eastern Crete tour. Transfer arrangements were simple, going with the coach to the airport then on to Rethymno, which was fine. (1) The Bio Suites hotel was good, with lots of facilities, although the sofas and bed were a bit hard. (2) The choice of UK TV channels is poor - the TV seems to be aimed towards German speakers, with lots of such channels. (3) Paying €1.50 per night for a manual safety box with a key is not very good in 2015. I would expect an electronic room safe for free. (4) Food choices were satisfactory, and replenished frequently. Not as good as the week before however. Desserts a bit disappointing. (5) Drinks with meals were much more expensive than the week before by a couple of Euros. The choice of half bottles of wine was also very restricted (just one red/ white/ rose). (6) There was no additional lock on the inside of the room door to secure the room at night, like a security chain, which I thought was bad. (7) Continuity with Jane, Ritsa and Nikos was very helpful for me for my second week. (8) The sights in the second week were just as interesting. The highlights were the day trip to Santorini and the day trip to Heraklion Museum and Knossos. (9) The guide (Ritsa) and coach arrangements worked very well, with good English and lots of information provided. The coach was never late in the mornings so we always started on time, and almost always got back on time also. Overall, a good tour, educational, interesting, and good value for money.
Review by Dr Kevin Giles who travelled 06-October-2015
We decided not to go on the Santorini trip, but we enjoyed the trip provided on the free day, which we paid extra for.
Review by Mrs K Kolesnic who travelled 06-October-2015
Excellent overall- well planned programme, with each day a good one- v good tour manager and guide- everything organised very efficiently -well chosen, quiet, relaxing hotel with good food- Crete and Santorini are both very impressive- the right time of the year to go- All in all, a near perfect holiday
Review by Mr Anthony Stephens who travelled 06-October-2015
Flight was very early so meant a 2am start and extra cost to get to airport on time Not enough time in Thera and I had extra time in Santorini so maybe balance that better
Review by Miss D Osborne who travelled 06-October-2015
Sight-seeing tours fantastic. Ritsa a wonderful guide. Knowledgeable, interesting, enthusiastic, Utterly charming. Jane, listed as tour manager, was actually doing another (flower) group. But she visited us in the hotel, met us at airport (& vice-versa), was v. pleasant & helpful. A man called Christos came out with us sometimes. His role was never explained. We had trouble understanding him. Because we were small group we were downgraded to a minibus. Understandable but uncomfortable in the back. When with us, Christos contributed v little other than always taking a front seat, thus forcing some paying customers to sit at the back. Hotel was only half-full. Shame therefore that most of us were on 1st floor overlooking road. Noisy at night. Had to sleep with shutters & windows closed. Would have been sensible to tell us how to contact tour manager in case of problems. These comments meant constructively. Really enjoyed hol.
Review by Miss Elizabeth Hussey who travelled 05-May-2015
Nice hotel - pity about the breakfasts which were not up to the standard set by the hotel in Agios Nikolaos last year. But overall an enjoyable holiday.
Review by Mrs Margaret Dixon who travelled 05-May-2015
This was our first time travelling with an organised group and we were very pleased indeed with our experience. It was excellent! The tour manager, Jane, was very good as was our cultural guide, Ritsa, and all the tour activities were well organised and enjoyable. Our hotel was lovely, and very well situated, though we could imagine it might be noisy in high season at it is on a road and near to a seasonal night club, but in early May we had a very pleasant stay. The breakfast was good and the staff helpful. Rethymnon was a great town to be based in. The only negative thing was that, as the group was small we had to use a minibus while the slightly larger plant tour got the coach. This was not really that comfortable especially for those sitting at the back. Jane did get us a slightly larger minibus, and obviously we all took turns, but still it was not ideal since the Cretan roads did not really allow the higher speeds that a minibus could do - the three rides we had on the coach were excellent. However, having a minibus because the group was small was certainly preferable to the tour being cancelled (thank you!) and we would just like to suggest that the driver is asked to drive more slowly as, when you are sitting at the front, you do not necessarily realise that the back is so uncomfortable. Apart from the transport for our group when it was alone, we thought everything about this cultural tour was wonderful- Jane, Ritsa, hotel, activities, food, weather. Brilliant - and we would certainly recommend it to others. A good mix of archaeology, history and sight-seeing brought to us by experts.
Review by Mrs Sheila Hiley who travelled 05-May-2015
A very enjoyable tour I was very happy with everything except the hotel which was a little run down. The towels had holes and the cleaning was a bit hit and miss. Jane was a great tour manager and I would happily do another tour with her.
Review by Mrs Angela Holmes who travelled 07-October-2014
Number of passengers too many at 44, your list does not go that far, which meant took ages to get round places like Heraklion museum which left less time for Knossos with shorter lunchbreak than earlier teabreak and no time for museum shop. Hotel not really 4 star, worst for noise (who normally keeps a fridge in their bedroom? Next room kept noisy vent in bathroom on most of night and constant flushing of loo all night, people with crying babies walked up and down corridor at 4.30 am, people being sick all night, plus rubbish collection twice a week and road cleaning at night) that I had stayed in for 20 years and not impressed with some of chambermaids antics. However they did cook nice fried eggs (not the normal suspect scrambled eggs) and even did breakfast an hour earlier for us when we went to Santorini (other hotels send tourist off with a roll, an apple and a carton of orange juice if you need to leave before breakfast). Jane best tour manager I have travelled with, so patient and understanding and enthusiastic and the administration coped with my questions and ordered me a meal on the plane when I asked, thank you. Plane both ways did best to make up for previous delays. Ritsa knowledgeable guide. Finally, if I had realised the other Cretan holiday the previous week could have been tacked on the beginning I would have done it, perhaps this could have been emphasised more?
Review by Miss Fiona Gowenlock who travelled 07-October-2014
Review by Mrs Helen Power who travelled 07-October-2014
A very interesting and well arranged itinerary. The local guide was excellent and contributed much to the enjoyment of the holiday.
Review by Mrs Priscilla Price who travelled 07-October-2014
Tour was excellent but very hectic and insufficient time to browse on sites and in Museums. Also party too large for single guide even with ear pieces as by the time those at the rear had an opportunity to see an exhibit or a particular point on an archaeological site the guide was describing something further away so it was a case of endless catch up. Also we had two long days in succession - Santorini and Heraklion/Knossos
Review by Mr Christopher Popple who travelled 07-October-2014
We very much enjoyed the tour and intend to visit Crete again - we hope also in the company of Jane (Weaver?) who was an excellent manager - remarkably unflappable, though in truth there was nothing to flap about, so well did the arrangements work.
Review by Mr Michael Walsh who travelled 07-October-2014
Jane our tour manager was excellent - the best we've encountered, very organised and nothing too much trouble,she accomodated everyones individual needs the optional tour she lead was superb, one of the best of the trip. Nicos our driver was very much part of the team, very friendly and helpful The Hotel was great - very spacious rooms with a kitchen - there is a large supermarket - left and left out of the hotel to stock up with treats and an excellent bakery - right and right from the hotel for more treats. The food in the local tavernas is very tasty and well worth the walk into town.
Review by Dr Fiona Williams who travelled 07-October-2014
The return flight with Easyjet ran out of food! Best not to have seats in the middle of the aircraft. Jane, and our driver Nicos, were excellent as always, Ritsa was very good and informative with first-rate knowledge and Phaestos blew me away! The fiasco with the ferry for the trip to Santorina was well managed by Jane and the compensation cheque was much appreciated.
Review by Mr David Cowley who travelled 27-May-2014
A pity about the cancelled Santorini trip. Refund was appreciated. Tour Manager was first class throughout. Perhaps make Santorini an optional extra - it's quite a way there and back by boat?
Review by Mr Roger Shaw who travelled 27-May-2014
Review by Mr John Bowles who travelled 27-May-2014
Pity about Santorini but thanks for prompt refund. Final tickets/information were very late in arriving.
Review by Mrs Lesley Cowling who travelled 27-May-2014
Jane the Courier excellent service as usual. Ritza, History Specialist so knowledgeable and great English. Wonderful Nikos our Driver, so careful and kind. We had a great time - such as we had in May in Crete. Tomorrow we travel with you to Provence. Bonne chance a nous! And - we have booked for April in Crete again... Thank you Travel Editions.
Review by goldsmith who travelled 15-October-2013
Review by Stenson who travelled 15-October-2013
For a flight of over three hours we think it poor that at least a complimentary drink is not offered. With respect to the accommodation we appreciated having a kitchenette, although it was a shame that the balcony received no sun at all and was facing the road. Our tour manager was faultless, very caring of members of the group who were less active. We should also add that our local guide was also excellent, highly knowledgeable providing a good balance of information at the right time and her English was very good. All in all. a good holiday.
Review by Highley who travelled 15-October-2013
Bio Suites Hotel is a bit dated and functional. We have never had a kitchen facility before and perhaps you should advice customer to take some basic items with them to be able to use the facility, such as a tea towel! Tea bags, sugar sachets etc.
Review by Gale who travelled 15-October-2013
It would be hard to find fault with any aspect of this holiday. From travel arrangements and accommodation to the charismatic tour manager and local expert guide, it was perfectly put together and delivered - well done!
Review by Charlton who travelled 08-October-2013
This was the best of holidays. Perfect is the word to describe every aspect of it. The tour guide was informative and clear, with commentaries that left you feeling satisfied not patronised.
Review by Hardie who travelled 08-October-2013
Thoroughly enjoyable holiday with a terrific programme. You are blessed with having such wonderful people as Jayne,Risla and Nicos. The hotel was great and we had such a spacious room in No.104. We would welcome a chance to travel to Turkey with you next year if possible.
Review by Timoney who travelled 08-October-2013
Review by Barlow who travelled 08-October-2013
I was lucky to travel with a friend, but their were several "singles" who didn't always get together for meals out (had to eat alone), or even for breakfast.Couples usually sat at a table for two. It would perhaps be a good idea for the hotel to provide one or two tables for the whole group at least for breakfast. Then it would be easier for those that want to, to get to know each other. After all it was low season and not so many guests at the hotel.
Review by Dodman who travelled 15-October-2013
Flight rating refers to Jet2 from/to Leeds Bradford (not Gatwick). Mixed feelings about the Santorini trip: long travel time, unpleasant for many on the 2-hour outward catamaran journey (sea-sickness), with limited time on the island, even though the archaeological site was fabulous. The tour manager Jane, local guide Ritsa and driver Nikos were all excellent, as were the hotel staff. A lovely holiday.
Review by Ansell who travelled 15-October-2013
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