Mountain walking holiday at Asteroussia Mountain in Crete with Markos and cooking courses with Georg
After arriving at Heraklion airport, you will be met by your driver and English speaking Cretan host George
If you’re arriving in the morning you’ll head somewhere for lunch before being driven to the Thalori Resort via transfer
For guests arriving after lunch, George will meet you at the airport and offer you a coffee, snack and water for the 70 minute transfer to the Thalori Traditional Resort
Check into your house, relax and explore your surroundings before joining the welcome dinner made up of a variety of local Cretan vegetarian / vegan Mediterranean foods - your first taster of the flavors of Create.
The day starts at 6.00 AM for the first touch of Asteroussia mountains and do a climbing at Kophinas mountain top to join the sun rising. Back to the resort at 8.00 AM. 8.30 - 9.00 Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before heading out to explore the south-central part of the island with your host George.
Today you’ll visit Gortys, the ruined capital city of the Roman province which included the island of Crete
You’ll see the impressive amphitheatre and the Basilica of St Titus before driving west to the archaeological site of Phaestos - the second most significant site of the Minoan civilization
Phaestos is an ancient palace and you’ll also see the site of the ancient city is was located in offering a detailed insight into ancient life
Stop off in the fishing village of Kokkinos Pyrgos for lunch and enjoy local specialities and freshly caught seafood for the Pesco vegetarian or variety of local vegan foods and salads. After lunch you’ll head back to the Thalori complex. Our first cooking class and dinner is Local meats and Casseroles.
"Agiofarago" means "Gorge of Saints". The gorge used to be the shelter of the monks of the near-by Monasteries. Hike through gorge of Agiofarago and join the crystal clear waters of Mediterranean Sea in the unique beach of Agiofarago.
Breakfast 8.30 - 9.00 AM. The day walk will take from 9.00 AM to 4 PM By car, a drive with the 4X4 jeep Land Rover Defender to the beginning of the gorge. We will walk through the gorge that leads to one of the most beautiful and quiet beaches of Crete at Libyan sea (Liviko Pelagos). There we have the chance to see the cave - house of a monk, a local hero during the revolution of 1866 before emerging at the crystal clear waters of Mediterranean Sea in the unique beach of Agiofarago. Picnic lunch on the beach and back to Thalori. Dinner at complexes restaurant with variety of local Cretan traditional Mediterranean foods and salads.
Starting from Thalori after breakfast at 9, 30 AM by car, does a down hill drive with the 4X4 jeep Land Rover Defender to the village of Agios Ioannis. The trip begins by leaving the resort by car to the village, until Ai Yiannis (duration: 30 minutes). Then a tour to the Monastery follows and after we get in to the boat which is parked at the beach of "Elygia". We continue with a tour of 45 minutes by boat to the abbey of "Koudoumas" with a stop at the beach of Saint Antonios for swimming and a light picnic meal that we kept with us from the hostel. The return will be done by boat until "Elygia" and from there back to the hostel by car. Return at 4 PM.
Our second cooking class and dinner is Stuffed Vegetables, Vine Leaves and Olive Oils.
We start the day after breakfast at 9.30 AM the via ferratas / Eligias gorge walk and ending the gorge we come to the small port of Elygia where we board on the small boat and do the boat ride. Break at a beautiful unspoiled small private bay / beach for an hour being just your self, the sea and lord. An hour later Markos will pick you up to take you back to the beach and drive you back to the resort. Dinner at the resort with local specialties.
After breakfast, today’s excursion takes you to Knossos, an ancient palace and must-see archaeological site of Crete
After visiting the 3500 year old site of Knossos, you’ll head to Heraklion and take a walk through the city taking a gastronomic tour of all the best local food places and vendors
You’ll visit the best pastry shop in the city and sample file pastries in syrups, with cheeses before heading to a coffee shop and tasting coffee roasted the traditional way in hot sand
Next you’ll explore the central market and stop for an ouzo with meze at one of the traditional mezedopolion (restaurants)
You’ll also have the opportunity to see the cathedral of Saint Minas, the Morozini fountain, Venetian church turned art gallery before heading towards the seaside
A light lunch will be served accompanied by chilled white wine before ending your gastronomic walking tour to taste the famous loukoumades Cretan style doughnuts sprinkled with honey and sesame
After the walking tour, you’ll head back to the Thalori resort to relax before a farewell dinner over wine and raki.
After a leisurely breakfast guests are asked to check-out of their rooms and be ready to be taken back to the airport taking home with them an insight into Cretan life, new friendships and unique culinary and cultural memories that will stay with them long after the holiday is over.
The accommodation is set in the village of Kapetaniana, in the Heraklion region of the island of Crete
Kapetaniana is a small village perched some 800m above sea level, with magnificent views of the Libyan Sea
You’ll stay in the Thalori Resort which is made up of a cluster of 14 traditional houses and boasts a central restaurant, kitchen and recreational area
Each house has been built with an emphasis on traditional, locally sourced resources
Local rocks and stones make up the walls of the properties, local marble and wood for the interior and traditional fireplaces and embroidered carpets make for a warm and welcoming stay
All houses are equipped with central heating, fireplace, fully equipped kitchen, mini stereo system, Satellite TV with 20” LCD screen, Chess table, board games, orthopaedic mattresses, and complimentary bathroom products
Houses vary in size and accommodate from 1-5 people
There are 4 double bedroom houses, 5 triple room houses, 1 four bedroom property and 4 five bedroom houses
Bathrooms are shared within each house
If you are travelling solo, stay in a double room house for sole occupancy for a small supplement or you may be able to share a house with other guests but this is subject to availability (to check availability please contact us
Houses are allocated according to availability, where possible your group will be offered their own house
The thick stone wall and central heating make the houses a comfortable temperature year round
There is a swimming pool with beautiful views over the area at the accommodation
The restaurant is built in a similar style to the houses and set over two floors
There is also a professional kitchen and separate meeting room with terrace within the restaurant building
Your cookery lessons will take place either in the complex’s kitchen, side meeting room with terrace, or in the restaurant itself
The imposing windows of the restaurant offer panoramic views to the Libyan Sea
Accommodation is included for 6 nights / 7 days
All prices listed are in US$. If you are paying in a different currency, your price is locked in with US$. but the price in your currency will depend on the exchange rate at the time your deposit is charged, then again when your balance is due. If you would like to lock in a price with a currency other than US$, you can do so by paying the full amount at the time of your reservation.
30% of the total is due at time of booking to secure your spaces. The balance is due 60 days before your tour begins.
If you booked more than six months in advance. your deposit is refundable within 50 days of the time you place your reservation.
If at the time of cancellation, it is more than 180 days in advance of the vacation, and also more than 50 days after you made your deposit, your deposit is non-refundable, but we will be happy to apply 100% of it toward any of our other vacations anytime within the next 12 months.
If at the time of cancellation, it is between 180 and 90 days in advance of the vacation, your deposit is non-refundable, but we will be happy to apply 40% of it toward any of our other vacations anytime within the next 12 months.
Once the Full Balance is paid (60 days or less before the start date):
If at the time of cancellation, it is between 60 and 14 days in advance of the vacation, your deposit is non-refundable, but we will be happy to apply 40% of it toward any of our other vacations anytime within the next 12 months.
If at the time of cancellation, it is between 14 and 0 days in advance of the vacation, your deposit is non-refundable, and we unfortunately cannot apply any portion to future vacations.
These cancellation terms reflect times that we must pay out expenses for your trip on your behalf. At times that we no longer offer refunds, we have already paid out the associated costs, and refunds are not available to us. Because of this, we are unable to bend these terms.
Accepted [ayment methods
Bank wire, Credit card
We accept Amex, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa
Alumni discount is available. Please contact us.
Ggratuites / tips
In Crete, tipping drivers, guides, etc. is customary but not mandatory. Our guides, host, driver, etc. all happily accept tips, but they are never expected. We have seen guests leave huge tips for our staff, and we have seen guests leave no tip at all. Either way, both of those guests are equally appreciated.
Mr George Portokalakis