Crete, Naxos & Santorini Island Hopping Trip
This island fantasy travels to Crete where you can enjoy mouthwatering Cretan cuisine and explore Europe’s oldest civilization at Knossos Palace which flourished here from 2000 to 1500 BC.
Visit the Cyclades largest and greenest island, Naxos, with high mountains, spectacular seascapes, traditional hilltop villages and fertile valleys that supply fresh ingredients for the delicious food and wine.
The volcanic soil on Santorini results in outstanding indigenous grapes for producing its fine wine. This island is also renowned for its dramatic views and stunning sunsets, especially from the village of Oia.
- Private luxury transfers throughout the trip
- 3 Nights in Crete in a 5 star hotel with breakfast
- Pre-booked sea-transfer from Crete to Νaxos
- 2 Nights in Naxos in a 4 star hotel with breakfast
- Pre-booked high-speed ferry from Naxos to Santorini
- 2 Nights in Santorini in a 4 star hotel with breakfast
- 24/7 Concierge service throughout your trip
- UK flights can be arranged at a supplement from a variety of UK airports
- Price per person based on low season departures. Prices may be higher during peak Summer months.
Why Book with Unforgettable Greece
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Crete is the largest of the Greek islands. It would be easy to spend weeks on Crete and never get bored! This enchanting isle offers a little bit of everything, making it an ideal choice for first-time visitors to Greece. There are beautiful beaches for soaking up the sunshine and swimming, soaring mountains, dramatic caves, Minoan ruins, charming villages and so much more. It also offers plenty in the way of amenities, including a wide range of restaurants, shops, accommodation options, and lively nightlife.
Crete truly has something for everyone. In fact, some say it’s more like a small country than a Greek island. There are four bustling cities on its northern coast, great for shopping, dining, exploring museums and galleries, and people watching. At its center is a mix of rugged mountains for hiking and climbing, while the southern coast offers more tranquility, ideal for sunbathing in seclusion. The island not only boasts especially diverse and often stunning terrain, filled with natural beauty and unique treasures, it also has a rich history that ties into the country’s mythology, as the reported birthplace of Zeus, the ruler of all the gods, and the god of the sky. There are historical sites around nearly every corner, and the island is even home to Europe’s oldest city: Knossos.
Experiences in Crete
The Secrets of Cretan Cooking
Delve into the local life starting with a tour of an olive oil factory to learn about the olive oil making process. Journey to an authentic Cretan mountain village where a local shepherd will bring you to meet the herd and learn to milk a goat. Next, go into the kitchen to learn the secrets of Cretan cooking and then eat the lunch you helped to make.
Day Trip to Spinalonga
This jam-packed tour covers many Crete musts. You’ll travel with a local guide to visit historic sites like monasteries, Agios Nikolaus City, Krasi village with the island’s oldest Platanus tree and Spinalonga Island, a mid-16th-century fortress, and from 1903 to 1957, Europe’s last leper colony. See lovely churches in traditional Mochos village, and if there’s still time, walk along beautiful Palm Bay in the fishing village of Sisi.
Tour to Knossos Palace & Wine tasting
This VIP tour will take you back in time with your own private guide. Get skip-the-line access while visiting the world-renowned ancient Palace of Knossos, Crete’s largest Bronze Age archaeological site, and the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, which displays many of the palace’s treasures. Afterward, enjoy wine tasting at an award-winning winery followed by a tour through the streets of Heraklion, sampling traditional local bites.
Heraklion Food Tour
Enjoy a personalized walking tour of Heraklion with a private guide, taking advantage of a local’s insider knowledge. Perhaps delve into its rich history, exploring the Church of St. Mark Lion Square and the Venetian Walls, or check out the food scene, visiting the local food markets. No matter what your desires, sampling the local kerasma, a pastry with cheese or cinnamon, is a must.
The largest of the Cycladic Islands, Naxos is one of the best-kept secrets in Greece, located about halfway between Mykonos and Santorini in the Aegean Sea. While it may be less-visited than its more famous neighboring islands, it offers a wonderfully tranquil experience. Look forward to strolling uncrowded cobblestone streets lined with whitewashed homes, mouthwatering eateries and interesting shops, visiting ancient ruins, swimming in crystal-clear turquoise waters that frame soft white sand beaches and hiking through lush, towering mountains.
Naxos is ideal for those who want to spend lots of time on the beach as it boasts some of the most beautiful stretches of sand in the entire country. Its granite and marble beaches along the south-west coast are whiter and brighter than any other, edged by calm azure waters that are ideal from a refreshing dip. Mountain lovers can take advantage of the island’s mostly mountainous terrain, hiking alongside goats to reach jaw-dropping sea views while only the jingling of the bells around their necks and the songs of the birds can be heard. Join sailing excursions to nearby smaller islands and caves where you can swim through brilliant blue waters with a waterproof flashlight. Explore multiple ancient sites like the Gate of the Apollo Temple that greets visitors as they enter the harbor, the Temple of Demeter and many remnants that date from 3000 to 2000 BC, during the period of the Cycladic Civilization. The island is filled with countless outstanding restaurants – it would take months to sample them all – many dishes feature island specialties like tasty cheeses, locally-grown vegetables, fruits, meats and plenty of fresh seafood. You’ll have to get a taste of the local ouzo, distilled, pure and considered to be some of the best in all of Greece.
Experiences in Naxos
Food & Culture in Apeiranthos
Travel to the crown jewel of Naxos, the mountainous village of Apeiranthos. Experience its timeless beauty by strolling the marble paths lined with stone-built homes and shops backed by soaring mountains. Discover old-fashioned arts a wide range of local products used in eclectic recipes created by skilled local cooks, like rich Roso (pork with garlic), a dish the late world traveler and ‘Parts Unknown’ star Anthony Bourdain once enjoyed here.
Cheese & Wine Tour
Discover some of the best flavors of Naxos starting with a visit to a cheese farm to watch and even participate in the traditional cheese making process. Afterward, you’ll be welcomed by the owner at a picturesque vineyard who will reveal interesting details about the indigenous varieties and winemaking methods, followed by a delicious tasting.
From Farm to Temple Lunch
Enjoy a traditional local Greek meal in the most authentic way possible. You’ll be invited into a local’s home in Kaloxylos to help prepare typical family dishes, becoming part of the community as you experience village traditions. After the meal has been prepared, you’ll be able to sit down and enjoy it, showing off your new cooking skills while chatting about the area and the family’s history.
A breathtaking tour of alluring coves and bays filled with dazzling emerald and turquoise waters, postcard-perfect beaches, swimming and tasty local foods are all on the agenda. The excursion includes snorkeling equipment for those who want to witness the beautiful underwater world, SUP gear for paddling across it, and even a GoPro and Wi-Fi for capturing all the fun to share with friends at home.
Santorini oozes romance, one of the reasons it’s so popular for honeymoons and all sorts of romantic escapes, though it’s on or near the top of just about every travelers’ bucket list. Stepping off the ferry you might think that you’ve stepped into a dream, with the endless whitewashed buildings adorned with blue doors and shutters, creating a breathtaking palette that reflects the sea and the sky, built into rugged cliffs that slope down to the glistening waters below. It’s all about jaw-dropping views, which can be found just about everywhere on this crescent-shaped outcrop.
On the island’s northern tip at Oia, churches, hotels, and homes spill down rock walls, creating one of the planet’s most stunning backdrops, though the scenery at sea level is just as impressive. While Santorini may not have many white sand beaches for lounging on, it does boast some of the most unique stretches on the planet, like Red Beach, where the cliffs with their fiery-red hue are turned into crimson sand at the bottom and framed by dazzling cerulean water. Of course, Santorini is well known for its black sand beaches like Perivolos and Perissa and Perivolos, but it also offers several beaches with white sand as well. Wine enthusiasts can take advantage of fine local wine which is especially high quality due to the land’s volcanic elements. It flows almost as freely as the hot springs near the volcano, with vineyards and wineries dotted across the island, including Boutari Winery, established back in 1879.
Experiences in Santorini
E bike Tours
Explore the hidden island of Thirassia just 1 nautical mile away from Santorini. Get on your electric bike on this fun half-day tour that will bring you to some of the island’s most impressive spots to see the sunset away from the crowds and a spectacular view to Santorini! Let your bike do all the work for you as you discover hidden treasures most tourists don’t get to see, ride alongside the caldera, and enjoy a guided tour on one of the most secluded destinations in Cyclades.
Santorini Wine Tasting
Wine enthusiasts can enjoy the highlights of Santorini as well as the opportunity to sample the island’s fine wine on this small group tour. You’ll get to visit the breathtaking village of Oia, Pyrgos and Megalochori, soak up the views from Prophet Elias Monastery and enjoy a wine tasting featuring local varietals at a picturesque winery that overlooks the dramatic caldera.
Catamaran day cruise
Sailing around Santorini provides a stunning perspective of one of the world’s most unique and beautiful islands. This tour will bring you along its shores a luxury catamaran, with a stop to soak in natural hot springs and a visit both the White and Red beaches for a swim. While you have fun, the crew will prepare a BBQ feast that will be enjoyed with local white wine and cocktails.
Cooking Class & Wine
A favorite among food enthusiasts, enjoy a unique cooking experience in a traditional cave house on Santorini. You’ll be immersed into the local culinary traditions as you learn how to prepare traditional dishes with hands-on-instruction from your guide. Afterwards, enjoy the meal you helped to make paired with wine, Greek coffee and dessert on a beautiful terrace. You’ll even get to take home some recipes.
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