If you are a fan of Byzantine culture and frescoes, you are going to love our Byzantine Crete tour as it offers all options. Crete’s numerous old Byzantine churches and sites are the perfect place for groups that oriented in studying and admiring the Byzantine culture.
Duration: 7 days
Prices: from 265.00 p.p.
Byzantine Crete description
Day 1 Arrival in Heraklion . Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 2 East Crete: Short stop at the Monastery of Aghios Georgios in Selinari, (traveling east Of Heraklion between Sissi and Aghios Nikolaos), Visit the Monastery of Panagia Kera in Kritsa, famous for its impressing frescoes, as well as the village Kritsa. Kritsa is a place to be visited by those who are interested in Byzantine Art, in old customs and traditions and also popular craft, mainly weaving. Return to Hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 3 Excursion to : Moni Vrondisiou. At the entrance of this fortified monastery, there is a marble fountain of the 15th century which is the most artistic in the Cretan country side. The monastery is very old with interesting byzantine frescoes and Icons of the Cretan School of Damaskinos (16th century). The next stop will be the archeological site of Gortys where stands the church of Saint Titos (built in the 16th century). After we will take a visit to the Monastery of Kaliviani, which also a girls’ school were clients will have the opportunity to see their shop with reproductions of beautiful Cretan craft. Return over Spili, a gorgeous mountain village with cobbled streets, rustic houses and plane trees. Its centrepiece is a unique Venetian fountain which spurts water from 19 lion heads. Overnight in region of Rethymnon.
Day 4 First stop will be at the Monastery of Gonia (24 klm from Chania) in Kolymbari, overlooking the coast and the golf of Chania. This monastery was founded in 1618 and was one of the most richest in Crete. It possesses a rich treasury and an important collection of post-Byzantine icons of Cretan art (17th century) and particularly the icons painted by Paleokapas. Then we will be visiting the town of Chania the old and the new town. The old town founded in the Venetian walls is a remarkable sample of the Venetian town. The new town is outside the walls considered one of the nicest in Crete. The last stop will be in Aghia Triada (17klm from Chania) which was build in the seventeenth century (1612) by two Venetian monks, and Monastery of Gouvernetou, which was built in the 16th century (1537) and on the outside it looks like a Venetian fortress because of the high, thick walls and towers around the monastery that were built to defend it against attackers. On the square behind the walls is a beautiful little monastery-church (first half 17th century) which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, two churches (one of which is dedicated to the founder of the Agios Ioannis monastery, St. John the Hermit, and one dedicated to the martyrs of Agii Deka. Return to Hotel in Rethymno for dinner and overnight.
Day 5 FIrst stop will be the village of Chromonastiri where visitors can see two very important Byzantine churches; this of Panagia Kera with frescoes of 11th and 14th century and this of Agios Eytihios with frescoes of 11th century which is regarded as the oldest in Crete. Excursion continues to the Monastery of Preveli surrounded by rocky mountains. This was built in the 17th century and its Museum contains manuscripts, valuable vessels special icons etc. The monks living in the monastery paint and participants will be able to see their work. Next stop will be the monastery of Arkadi was built in the 16th century by a byzantine emperor and suffered too many restructions during the Cretan revolutions. Return to Rethymno – a small and old town. It flourised during the Venetian occupation when literature and arts were particulary developed. As it stands today it is one of the most picturesque Greek towns with remnants from both Venetian and Turkish periods. Narrow streets, old Venetian houses, fountains and gardens full of flowers give the town a characteristic local colour not be found anywhere in Crete and Greece. Overnight in region of Rethymnon.
Day 6 Today our Byzantine tour will continue to Knossos – the former palace of the King Minos. Afterwards visit of the archeological Museum of Heraklion with a visit to Agia Aikaterini. Agia Aikaterini was the first University after the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
Day 7 Departure and transfer to the airport or port.