Join this 8-hour guided excursion through the Cretan mountains and discover the wonders of the Minoan Route. Stop at historic sites including an ancient Roman aqueduct and the Diction Cave, the mythological birthplace of Zeus. Enjoy a traditional breakfast with 'raki' in the village of Kastamonitsa, and a Cretan-style lunch at a local tavern in Lassithi.
Your day-long safari adventure begins at 8:30am with a pickup from your Heraklion hotel. Join the small group in the Land Rover and make your way along the coastline to the spectacular Cretan mountains. Visit the Aposelemis Basin Reservoir and an ancient Roman aqueduct. Continue to the village of Kastamonitsa, nestled in the foothills of the Afendi mountains, where you can sample olive oil and a local spirit called "raki", a fragrant, grape-based pomace brandy.
Following the Minoan path, the tour leads you through mountain passes where you can marvel at the scenery and wildlife as your guide explains the local history and mythology. High up in the mountains the tour stops at a shepherd's mitato, where you can feed the animals while observing the traditional cheese-making process.
Your next stop is a birds-eye view of the plateau of Lassithi and the north coast, which provides a spectacular photo opportunity. Continue on toward the Diction Cave (there is a a 4€ entry charge), the mythological birthplace of Zeus. There are many steps leading up to the cave, so walking shoes are recommended. There is a place to wait for those who are not inclined or able to participate in this activity. By now you will have built up an appetite, so head to a local tavern for lunch and choose from traditional local starters and main courses (vegetarian options available), accompanied by a glass or two of wine. After lunch, visit the Lassinthos Eco Park where you can observe the local way of life and traditional handicrafts.
Your next stop is Lassithi Plateau, where time has virtually stood still and the local people are mainly farmers. Stop to snap some photos at the scenic village of Seli before heading to the village of Krassi, famous for its natural spring water source and 2,000-year-old plane tree. Cap the day off with a meandering driver along mountain roads back to your hotel, where the tour ends.