There’s something about experiencing village life in another country that gives the traveler a feeling of deep authenticity. Get that feeling on this 6-hour guided tour through the best of Crete’s hamlets. Visit the 17th-century monastery of Agia Triada, set among olive groves and vineyards, and learn how olive oil and wine are made there. Then stop and take in views of the Souda Gulf at Koules Fortress before moving on to the unspoiled village of Maheri. And enjoy a hearty lunch at a classic Cretan tavern.
Village life is a fascinating thing. It’s slow. It’s authentic. It’s traditional. And on this 6-hour tour through the countryside of Crete, you can get a deep sense of what the slow life is like on this Greek island. After a hotel pickup in Chania, prepare to get an impressive peek at a way of life many outsiders don’t get the chance to see.
Stop at the Agia Triada monastery, a 17th-century structure that boasts an unusual three domes. The monastery, whose name means Holy Trinity, is a tranquil place to linger for a while. Check out the monastery’s vineyards and olive groves and talk to the wine and olive oil makers about their daily routines.
From there, continue to the province of Apokoronas and stop at Koules Fortress, a site once known as Rocca al Mare. The formidable-looking Venetian fortress occupies a lofty position on a hill with sweeping views of the Souda Gulf. Don’t forget your camera!
After leaving the fortress, stop in Maheri, an untrammeled village of 100 inhabitants. Stroll around the hamlet’s alleyways and try to find the tiny chapel that is carved right into the face of a cliff. Take time to appreciate the loving restoration that has been done to many of the original houses here. Then head a bit inland to visit a ceramics studio and meet a well-known local ceramist.
Next, enjoy a traditional Cretan lunch at a family-run tavern set on a point overlooking a valley and the sea beyond. After lunch, return to Chania, where the tour concludes with drop-off at your hotel.