Orange left arrow graphic.Orange right arrow graphic.

Wildflowers, Wine and History in Crete

Diary icon.
Dates
13 Apr
19 Apr
2025

Visiting Crete is a sensory adventure filled with the scents of rosemary, thyme, sage, lavender, and chamomile. An island brimming with beautiful flowers and stunning landscapes, there are around 2,000 species of plants, of which about 10% are endemic to Crete. The peak explosion of wildflowers occurs from March to May, when wild orchids and tulips are joined by chamomile, poppies, anemones, iris, field gladiolus, and much more, in bloom.

Crete’s natural beauty is equalled only by the richness of its history. The island is the birthplace of the f irst advanced society on European soil, the Minoans, who ruled some 4,000 years ago. At the crossroads of three continents, Crete has been occupied by consecutive invaders. Evidence of this long history can be seen in Chania, where mighty fortresses preside over labyrinthine lanes and beautifully restored Renaissance mansions rub rafters with mosques and Turkish bathhouses. In Crete, ‘locavore’ is not a trend but a way of life. Rural tavernas often produce their own meat, cheese, olive oil, raki and wine, and catch their own seafood.

Price (sharing a room)
Sharing icon.
0
per person
Price (room to yourself)
Single icon.
0
per person
Reference:
GRE0425-1
At a glance
What you need to know
Type of tour
Cultural
Profession
Botanical History
Nights icon.
Nights
6
Map pin icon.
Countries
1
Tour grade
Gentle
Availability icon.
Remaining places
0
Diary icon.
Dates and places

Itinerary at a glance

1
Chania
Sunday
,
13
April
Arrive and transfer to Porto Veneziano Hotel. Hear a brief background on the tour in the evening before a welcome dinner at the hotel.
2
Chania
Monday
,
14
April
Explore Chania's old town on a walking tour. In the afternoon, drive out to the foothills of the White Mountains and visit the Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete. Learn about the food and wine of Crete with a cooking demonstration, followed by dinner at the park's restaurant.
3
Chania
Tuesday
,
15
April
Drive to Heraklion and visit the world renowned Bronze Age Palace of Knossos, accompanied by a specialist guide. After lunch visit the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, which includes important finds from the island such as the Phaistos Disc and Minoan frescoes. Enjoy lunch at a local taverna before returning to Chania
4
Chania
Wednesday
,
16
April
Take part in a tour led by a specialist guide, tracing Operation Mercury (the German Invasion of Crete) and learn about the Australian, New Zealand, British and German soldiers at the Battle of Crete. Visit a winery for a light lunch with tastings of Cretan wine.
5
Chania
Thursday
,
17
April
Drive up to the Omalos Plateau in the White Mountains, known for its is abundant flora, including asphodels and native tulips, wild oregano and thyme. In spring the Omalos plateau bursts into life with thousands of flowers. Lunch is in traditional mountain taverna with Cretan mountain tea.
6
Chania
Friday
,
18
April
Full day at leisure or two optional excursions. Am: Travel along the coast to the archaeological site at Aptera, above Souda Bay. Visit impressive Roman cisterns, ruins of Roman bath houses, a newly excavated theatre and the monastery of Agios Ioannis Theologos. Pm: Visit the recently completed archaeological museum near the outskirts of Chania. Stroll back along the seafront.
7
Chania
Saturday
,
19
April
Depart hotel after breakfast.
Map pin icon.
Tour map

Plot your journey

Explore Crete’s rich botany, its ancient and modern history, its beautiful landscapes and delicious food and wine, and learn how all of these intertwine.

Tour highlights icon.
What to expect

Tour highlights

Tulipa doerfleri (endemic wild tulips). Photo credit A. Inman
Crete

Crete has around 2,000 species of plants (10% are endemic). The peak explosion of wildflowers occurs from March to May - wild orchids, tulips, iris, poppies, chamomile, field gladiolus and much more.

Enjoy the home grown food in the restaurant at the Botanical Park of Crete
Location two

Drive out to the foothills of the White Mountains and visit the Botanical Park of Crete, which spreads over 20 hectares. Its microclimate allows a wide range of plants and wildlife to thrive.

Locavore
Crete

In Crete, ‘locavore’ is not a trend but a way of life. Rural tavernas often produce their own meat, cheese, olive oil, raki and wine, and catch their own seafood, as well as growing produce.

The Palace of Knossos
Crete

Crete’s natural beauty is equalled only by the richness of its history. The island is the birthplace of the first advanced society on European soil, the Minoans, who ruled some 4,000 years ago.

Gallery icon.
Beautiful landscapes

Tour gallery

No items found.
No items found.
No items found.
Tour grade one icon.Tour grade two icon.Tour grade three icon.Tour grade four icon.Tour grade five icon.
Tour grade icon.
Tour exertion grading

Is this tour right for me?

Moderate
Level 3

Some walking between destinations, more time spent standing, and increased travel distances. Requires a reasonable level of fitness.

User icon.
Your expert companions

Tour leaders

No items found.
No items found.
Accommodation

Hotels

We like charm, comfort, convenience in location, and of course, excellence in service.

Chania

Porto Veneziano

Alert bell icon.
Not quite ready to book?

Ask us anything

If you have some questions about this particular tour, you can contact the Jon Baines Tours team by phone or email.

Contact button orange.
020 7223 9485
Email newsletter

Stay in touch