June 4 - 11, 2023
June 18 - 25, 2023
Juneteenth trip - likely to sell out
July 2 - 9, 2023
July 4th trip - likely to sell out
July 16 - 23, 2023
Aug 6 - 13, 2023
sept 3 - 10, 2023
Labor Day Trip - likely to sell out
sept 24 - Oct 1, 2023
8 days/7 nights
from $3,599 USD
Payment can be broken down into a $500 deposit + 3 additional installments.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Our small group trip to Crete caters to travelers in their 20s and 30s looking for delicious Greek cuisine, ancient Bronze Age history, and secluded beaches along the Mediterranean.
Fly on down to Greece’s largest island for a week of in-depth exploration as you crisscross a region unlike anything else Europe has to offer. From oasis of blue-green beauty set between looming mountains to cliffside grottos used to shelter locals for 1000s of years, Crete’s home to a rare fusion of natural, cultural, and historical diversity. Mix in locally grown wine, an ancient artisan village, a generous portion of savory goodness, and a few secret beach cocktails, and you’ve found the Cretan recipe for happiness.
This is a special place to visit, an island of hidden treasure waiting to be explored by those looking to dig deeper into a unique way of life.
For the love of
BOAT DAY BBQ
7 nights in Crete
All accommodations in a shared room with one other person
7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
Boat day and BBQ in Gulf of Mirabello
Olive oil farm experience
Guided visit of Knossos Palace
Pottery demonstration and workshop
Visit to Lake Kournas
Visit of Agia Sophia Cave and Chrysoskalitisa Monastery
Local cooking class of Cretan specialties
Traditional dance lesson
*All activities are weather dependent; in the unlikely event that we are unable to run an activity, we will have a suitable alternative in place.
Flights to and from Crete
Mandatory trip insurance
Meals not mentioned (budget around $300)
Private rooms available for additional costs
DAY BY DAY
Itinerary is indicative for 2023 and is subject to change*
Day 1 - Agios Nikolaos
After touching down on Greece’s largest island, head to your hotel in the sun-kissed seaside town of Agios Nikolaos. Fringed by arid mountains, this colorful eastern Crete capital is home to plenty of mythical tales (we’re not far from Zeus’s hometown, after all); if you get in early, head out and start diving into tales of a legendary past.
In the evening, we’ll all meet up in the hotel lobby and venture out for drinks and our first taste of this Mediterranean beauty. Get to know your new friends, grab a glass of wine, and enjoy traditional Cretan delights.
Day 2 - Agios Nikolaos
Have breakfast with friends at the hotel before we head out to the sea for a day of dazzling Mediterranean fun. So, grab your shades and sunscreen; we’ve got a boat to catch.
By mid-morning, we’ll be cruising north from the docks at Agios Nikolaos along the hilly coastline. You’ll get up close and personal with the sunken city of Olous, which archaeologists believe was submerged way back in the second century when an earthquake struck the region. Eventually, we’ll wind up on the shores of Spinalonga Island, where we’ll explore ancient ruins and fortresses that have withstood the test of time.
We’ll cruise back through the bay for a barbeque in paradise before diving into the oh-so-blue waters off Kolokytha Beach. After a day at sea, hit the town with friends for a night of excitement.
Day 3 - Agios Nikolaos
Wake up and grab a light breakfast at the hotel; we’ve got quite the dining experience ahead. Today’s theme? All about Cretan culinary delights.
We’ll be heading out before noon to the rolling hills of a nearby olive oil farm for a truly local experience. Kick things off by touring the facilities as you learn the ins and outs of time-honored techniques before we settle down for some tasty treats. As this is one all-encompassing experience, we’ll be sampling more than just olive oil (think cheeses, honey, and a few secret specialties). Before we leave, you’ll step into the kitchen to learn how to cook like a Cretan yourself.
The evening is free; grab drinks and a bite with friends and see where the night takes you.
Day 4 - Agios N., Rethymno
We’re checking out of Agios Nikolaos today, so pack up and get ready for a different slice of Crete.
After a bite, we’ll be making the short ride over to Knossos Palace, one of this continent’s most spectacular archaeological sites. These crumbling stone structures are Crete’s oldest Bronze Age ruins and actually originated thousands of years earlier, way back in the Neolithic period (that’s around 7,000 BC!).
We’ll grab lunch together in the lovely little village of Margarites, the pottery capital of Crete. After learning about the local art, you’ll have the chance to give it a go yourself. In the evening, we’ll wind our way to the colorful oceanfront beauty of Rethymno, where we’ll unwind over a group dinner.
Day 5 - Rethymno
Enjoy a morning of leisure and then we’re off once more, this time towards Crete’s largest freshwater lake.
We’ll wind up on the golden shores of Lake Kournas around noon for an afternoon of swimming, kayaking, and relaxing on one of the island’s greenest lagoons. So kick back on a sunbed, grab a tropical cocktail, and soak up the good life.
After a day to perfect those Mediterranean tans, we’ll make our way to Chania for one final seaside setup. The evening is free to explore the 14th century Venetian harbor with new friends.
Day 6 - Chania
Cave to coast
Fill up at the hotel; you’ll need that energy today as we trek through southwestern Crete.
We’ll get going early and make our first stop around mid-morning high among the dark green rocky mountains that pepper this coastline. We’ll say hello to the massive cliffside chambers of the Agia Sofia Cave and walk among soaring stalagmites and stalactites. From there, we’ll wind our way to the nearby Chrysoskalitisa Monastery, one of the most famous on the whole island. This rocky 17th-century Eastern Orthodox beauty hangs out high above the sea.
By lunchtime, you’ll be lounging along one of the island’s most spectacular sandy stretches as you discover the special secret that has made this particular corner of coast so famous.
Day 7 - Chania
Don’t sweat it if you miss breakfast; you should have no trouble hitting your daily calorie count today.
We’re heading back in the kitchen to chow down on some Cretan specialties, from tomato-topped dakos to cheese-infused kalitsounia, drizzled in honey. But, perhaps the real star of the show is the mouthwatering tsigariasto—tender goat simmered in olive oil and wine sauce that will have you saying, “screw it, I’m moving to Crete” after the first bite.
In the evening, we’ll get together one last time to learn a traditional Cretan dance before we sit down for a delicious, music-filled farewell dinner.
Day 8 - Chania
ciao for now
Find your friends and grab one final bite at the hotel before you hit that old dusty trail. The history, culture, and food of Greece are always waiting, so come back when you can.
If you’ve got some more time to spare, well, this magical country has plenty more in store for you. So keep on cruisin’ through Crete or go island hopping and check out some more magical Mediterranean beauty.
I knew that no matter what door you knock on in a Cretan village, it will be opened for you. A meal will be served in your honor, and you will sleep between the best sheets in the house. In Crete, the stranger is still the unknown god. Before him, all doors and all hearts are opened.
- Nikos Kazantzakis
Just for fun
Crete’s caves are home to more than a few legends. Zeus, arguably the most famous God in Greek mythology, calls one of them his birthplace.
We’re not exaggerating about the history. Civilization on Crete goes back to the 7,000s BC!
Crete is home to the Olive tree of Vouves. At more than 2,000 years of age, it’s one of the world’s oldest.
Summers in Crete are hot, dry, and sunny, so pack accordingly.
American citizens do not need a visa to visit Crete.
Ensure your passport is valid for 6 months after your return date.
We offer a first run experience discount of $300 on our inaugural trip.
All activities are weather dependent; in the unlikely event that we are unable to run an activity, we will have a suitable alternative in place.
Of more than 200 inhabited Greek islands, Crete is the largest. However, it’s not the size that makes this fascinating place important; it’s the history. Many archaeologists and historians consider this mountainous stretch of land the birthplace of modern Europe. While settlement date to the 7th millennium BC, stone tools that have been found on the island, are believed to be 130,000 years old—meaning early hominids most likely existed here at some point.
GOOD TO KNOW
Greek is the national language; however, those on the island speak with a very specific dialect known as Cretan Greek.
All of Greece uses the euro for currency.
Tipping is not mandatory nor expected from locals; for tourists 10% is appreciated at restaurants.
Fly into Heraklion Airport (HER)
You'll need to be in Agios Nikolaos by 2pm on Day 1. From Heraklion Airport to Agios Nikalaos takes about 50 minutes by taxi.
Fly out of Chania (CHQ)
We recommend flying out of Chania or extending your trip and enjoying a few more days in Italy.
Want to check out flights for your trip?
Feel free to also set up flight alerts to Greece so you can grab the best deal!
*FTLO is not responsible for any fees or costs related to flights. We strongly suggest that all travelers wait until they receive the official FTLO Greenlight Email to book flights. This will be sent 3-4 months prior to the start date of your trip.