This holiday is a chance to experience various aspects of traditional Cretan life and to gain insights into a culture that has survived for thousands of years: a life that is rooted in the soil, in the family and under the sun. Crete has also experienced harsh climates, not least centuries of Venetian and Ottoman occupations, which have left their mark on some of its buildings for example, but have never extinguished habits of generations. The abiding principle of hospitality to the guest endures, and a warm welcome is assured to all visitors.
The following are included:
- Visit to a modern olive oil making centre in order to observe the process of olive oil making: the main produce from the Cretan earth for many thousands of years.
- Visit to Kissamos Archaeological Museum to see artifacts of Cretan life from Neolithic to Roman times. (eg: clay libation cups used to sacrifice wine to the gods, circa 1200 BC or the Roman mosaic floor of a grand villa, 200AD)
- Tour of a modern wine factory and wine-tasting of more than 25 different local wines and drinks. The wine-tasting comes with a beautiful sea view, all free.
- Visit to the Botanical Park of Chania and see plants, herbs & trees many of which are endemic to Crete. The herb garden in particular is rich in aromatic plants, which have long been in use in Cretan cooking, medicine, creams etc.
- Conversational Greek tips to learning some basic phrases in daily use; understanding their alphabet. Watch that smile as you say ‘Kali Mera or Efharisto’ in Greek. Of course, nearly everybody speaks English here if languages are not your thing.
- Cooking a Cretan meal in the kitchen of the top quality restaurant of the area “Maracaibo” under the supervision of the chef, Evangelia. She uses lots of fresh produce and sweet smelling herbs and the taverna enjoys a 9 out of 10 ranking on Tripadvisor.
- A performance of Western Cretan dances given by a local traditional dancing group with an invitation to join in at the end! (Numbers allowing)
- A boat trip to the island of Imeri Gramvousa where we will visit the ruins of the medieval Venetian castle and then on to the famous Balos Lagoon, where the colour of the sea and sand will take your breath away.
- Walking by the sea and inland, visiting little known ancient sites and Byzantine cave churches, through olive groves and along old country roads.
- Painting and sketching : a chance to try something new and enjoy sketching
- Lots of free time also to enjoy swimming in the blue waters of the Mediterranean, go shopping in Chania or just soak up the tranquility of the area, as you choose.