Icons and art is a tour designed for groups that want to familiarize themselves with the orthodox element of Crete. This tour combines the most important religious places that have a great significance not only for religion but also for art.
Duration: 8 days
Prices: from 220.00 p.p.
Day 1: Arrival in Heraklion. Meeting-assistance. Transfer to Hotel. Dinner and overnight
Day 2: Knossos-Museum-Agia Aikaterini
Excursion to Knossos – the former palace of the King Minos. Afterwards visit of the archeological Museum of Heraklion with a visit to Agia Aikaterini –Icons. Agia Aikaterini was the first University after the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Also the participants will visit a modern Icon painter (behind the Museum of Heraklion).
Day 3: Kritsa-Kera-Thrapsano
The excursion will start by visiting the beautiful village of Kritsa- which 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. Via Mohos the participants will visit the Monastery of Kera which is situated before the plateau of Lassithi , famous for its impressing frescoes. The next stop will be the village of Thrapsano, famous for pottery making, were they will be shown the whole procedure
Day 4: Vrondisi-Phaestos-Kaliviani
The excursion will start with a visit of the Monastery of Vrondisi, which is between the villages of Zaros and Vorisa, at the south slopes of Ida mountain and at a height of 550m. 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 in the archeological site of Phaestos built on a hill overlooking the valley of Messara. Continuing to the Monastery of Kaliviani, this monastery has 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 5: Arkadi-Rethymno-Preveli
Excursion 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. 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: Chania-Moni Gonias-Aghia Triada/Moni Gouvernetou
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) and Monastery of Gouvernetou.
Day 7: Margarites – Anogia – Fodele
Today we drive towards the northern loaps of the Psiloritis through some beautiful villages. Margarites is a tiny town, known for its fine pottery. It has many small hidden churches and chapels. Anogia, 800 m altitude, a bucolic village perched on the flanks of Mt Psiloritis. This village is well known for its rebellious spirit, its determination to hang on to its undiluted Cretan character, its sheep-rearing moustachioed men and its stirring music. During WW2 Anogia was a centre of resistance to the Germans, who massacred all the men in the village. Fodele lies in a valley full of Orange Plantations.The village is famous for its handcrafts and weaving traditions. Overnight in region Heraklion.
Day 8: Transfer to the airport and departure.