MAY 26 - JUNE 2, 2024
Memorial Day Trip - likely to sell out
JUNE 2 - 9, 2024
JUNE 9 - 16, 2024
JUNE 30 - JULY 7, 2024
July 4th trip - likely to sell out
July 14 - 21, 2024
July 21 - 28, 2024
Aug 4 - 11, 2024
sept 1 - 8, 2024
Labor Day Trip - likely to sell out
Sept 15 - 22, 2024
OCT 6 - Oct 13, 2024
8 days/7 nights
starting at $3,899 USD
Payment can be broken down into a $500 deposit + 3 additional installments.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Listen up travel fam, for anyone wanting a summer trip with incredible food, traditional culture, beautiful beaches, and exciting nightlife, Crete should be at the top of your list. From an oasis of blue-green beauty set between looming mountains, to cliffside grottos used to shelter locals for centuries, Crete is home to a rare fusion of natural, cultural, and historical diversity.
Mix in locally produced wine, an ancient artisan village, a generous portion of savory goodness, and a few secret beach cocktails, and you’ll soon figure out why Crete is considered THE up and coming spot in the Mediterranean. So the time to go is now!
In a nutshell, 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.
For the love of
BOAT DAY BBQ
All accommodations in a shared room with one other person with the option to upgrade to a private room (limited availability)
7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
Full day private boat cruise
Traditional Cretan pottery visit
Trek to the historic Agia Sophia Cave
Visit to an ancient, Cretan monastery
Afternoon at the pink sands of one of the world’s most beautiful beaches
Traditional Cretan farm experience
Guided visit of Knossos Palace, the largest Bronze Age archeological site on Crete
Cretan cooking class of island specialties and local cheese on the farm
Food walking and market tour in Chania with a local chef
Traditional, guided dance lesson with local dress
Trip leader throughout 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.
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 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 Cretan food - said to be the best in Greece! Get to know your travelmates over local wine and fresh local recipes.
Day 2 - Agios Nikolaos
Have breakfast with friends at the hotel and then 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 by an earthquake. Eventually, we’ll wind up on the rocky shores of an Island, where we’ll explore ancient ruins 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 your new friends.
Day 3 - Agios N., Rethymno
Grab a light breakfast before we head out to explore an epic past and one delicious present.
We’ll get things rolling in the hills of a nearby olive oil farm, where you’ll tour the facilities, learn the ins and outs of time-honored techniques, and settle down for some farm fresh eats (think cheeses, honey, and a few secret specialties). As this is one all-encompassing experience, you’ll even step into the kitchen to learn how to cook like a Cretan yourself.
After dining locally, we’ll make the short ride over to Knossos Palace to check out the crumbling stone structures of Crete’s oldest Bronze Age ruins (they originated around 7,000 BC!). That evening, keep rolling on west to Rethymno, where we’ll get together for a delicious group dinner.
Day 4 - Rethymno
Today, we’re cruising over to the magical little town of Margarites to mix in some art with our Cretan adventure.
This colorful stone village just so happens to be the pottery capital of the island, so it’s only fitting that we’ll learn about ceramics, from the local raw materials to the finished product from some talented locals. After a brief intro, it’s time to get your hands dirty and get potting with the best of them.
We’ll grab a delicious local lunch nearby, and then in the evening, wind our way back to Rethmyno, where you can head out for dinner and drinks with friends.
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, 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 of lakeside lounging 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
Fuel up on Greek coffee and a delicious breakfast before heading out to explore Southwestern Crete!
We’ll get things started lounging along one of the island’s most spectacular sandy stretches as you discover the one special secret that has made this particular corner of coast so famous. And then, after some seaside chillin’, we’ll head up toward the rocky mountains that pepper this region, where you’ll say hello to the massive cliffside chambers of the Agia Sofia Cave and walk among enormous stalagmites and stalactites.
From there, we’ll wind our way to one of the most famous monasteries on the whole island. This rocky 17th-century Eastern Orthodox beauty hangs high above the coast overlooking the Libyan Sea. After a day of exploring, head back to town; the night is yours.
Day 7 - Chania
Get ready to eat your way through Chania as we explore one delectably fresh farmer's market.
In the morning, we'll meet up with our expert local guide, who will take us on our tour of the town to learn all about the region's local produce. After savoring the goods, we'll make our way downtown to continue through the shops and cafes of Chania's colorful streets. And then, in the afternoon, it's time for a drink or two; you've earned it. Aperol spritz, anyone?
We'll all get together one last time that night to learn a traditional Cretan dance before we sit down for a delicious, music-filled farewell dinner.
Day 8 - Chania
Find your friends and grab one final bite at the hotel before you you head back to reality. 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.
While we can’t guarantee private rooms, you should book your trip earlier if you prefer one, as they usually fill up.
Summers in Crete are hot, dry, and sunny, so pack accordingly.
Ensure your passport is valid for 6 months after your return date.
On European trips, we stay as close to historic city centers as possible. This means your accommodations will often be on the small side, quirky, and unique (we love this!).
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.
More information regarding visa requirements and Covid restrictions can be found here.
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)
We recommend buying a roundtrip flight to Athens and then booking a a separate regional flight to Crete if you want to save money. 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 Greece. If you've booked a roundtrip flight from Athens make sure you have enough connection time to make your transfer.
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.
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