Leave the well-trodden path of island behind and discover a more rugged slice of Crete. Come along to the rustic and truly rural Crete!
Heading towards fertile Messaras Valley, we will take a small country road to reach a village of Agios Thomas. With its 38 churches - some of them carved in rocks, legend of Persephone, Indian prince Ioasaph and the Roman tombs, Agios Thomas nowadays is secluded, untamed and rustic yet utterly fascinating place - one of the best kept 'secrets of Crete' that we love to share.
We continue through the winding country roads to the Monastery of St. George Apanosifis or Epanosifis - one of the biggest in Crete yet rarely reached by visitors. As the Cretan life revolves pretty much around food and drinks which are truly excellent here, tasting some of the local wine varieties is a 'must' and even more so - in a renowned family-owned winery in the heart of Crete's picturesque wine-making region. We continue with a lunch in a family-owned tavern in a small Cretan village - a hidden gem off-the-beaten path and one of our best food finds in this region.
Whilst the claim of Crete to be the birthplace of Zeus has been widely accepted, the myth that the god also died and was buried in the island is unique to Crete. According to the legend, the shape of Mount Yuchtas when viewed from the west, reveals the profile of a bearded head reclining as in sleep or in death and represent the face of Zeus; right here, according to the myth, in the mountain lies his tomb. Following his death, God Zeus, legend states, was reborn annually in a springtime. We will go right to the top of the mountain and have unparalleled view of the North coast of Crete.
If time allows, we will have a glimpse in a traditional village life of Archanes - to walk its narrow pathways where a life takes place hidden from the public eye; village's main square, where the Cretans gather around the glass of raki (local spirit) and play with their komboloi, are the social centres of the island; the traditional cafeneios are ideal to learn the secrets of making the traditional Greek coffee (ingredients, tools) and recharge with a cup of strong, well-brewed Greek coffee.
Note: this is a private tour and can be modified according to your interests and preferences
“Wonderful tour of the Villages of Crete, Greece by Joseph Batis”Joseph Batis truly showed us the secrets of Crete, Greece. We went to villages and were a part of the daily life of Crete, visited small museums with vibrant histories, had an unexpected surprise stop where we attended a greek celebration on holy spirit day..
You WILL learn secrets of Crete! How many ways can you prepare Greek Coffee? Are dark olives and green olives different varieties? Why is the sea called Aegean? You will find out these and 100's more amazing facts if you hire Secrets of Crete...
יוסי מסיורים בכרתים ויוון, הוא מדריך.... מקצוען, בעל יידע נרחב איש לבבי וסימפטי, טיילנו בשנה שעברה... היה פשוט מדהים כיף... כיף... כיף... ממליץ בחום למי שמגיע לכרתים ויוון להשתמש בשרותיו המעולים. תודה יוסי על הסיורים ,האוכל, הטברנות, היה תענוג גדול ! ! ! מאתנו: אורי אילש, אלי גנט, יגאל גרינשטיין, נטלי גרינשטיין, אור גרינשטיין
“Fantastic and memorable day with Joseph”Joseph is a pleasure to spend time with. He is educated, knowledgeable, extremely well-traveled, articulate in at least 5 languages, personable and also has a lovely sense of humor. Most importantly he has an honest love of Crete that comes through his tours.
"Secrets of Crete" provides a fascinating Private Tour My husband and I had the good fortune to have spent the day with Joseph Batis, who has tours exploring some of the lesser known parts of Crete, Greece. In our correspondence with him prior to the day we had available, he customized the itinerary to fit our specific requests.
"Great way to discover Crete off the beaten track" Joseph from Secrets of Crete organised a brilliant tour in the mountains of central Crete today, going off the beaten track to very atmospheric small roads and old villages where we saw no other tourists, only locals.