Winemakers of Crete from the regions of Heraklion and Lasithi offered 10 routes of individual trips for lovers of wine and outdoor activities: see their website (Wines of Crete). Trips are designed for the whole day and, of course, involve driving. Walking routes will be also developed. Following these routes, you will discover the magnificent wineries of Crete visiting many of most beautiful places and sights of the island, some of which lie away from mass tourism.
Here a briefly information on the first and tenth routes throughout wineries and with sights on Crete.
Immersion in authentic village life
A scenic countryside route throughout the villages around Mount Juktas and Asterousia.
Leaving the city of Heraklion, head southeast towards the village of Skalani. On the way, you can visit the Palace of Knossos. Do not miss the tour of the palace, where you will get acquainted with the amazing history of the Minoan civilization. On the outskirts of Skalani you will find the impressive Boutari Winery (12 km/20 min from Heraklion).
Driving towards the village of Kounavi, you will be surrounded by vineyards interspersed with parcels of olive trees, which are dominant agricultural crop on the island. This village is home to the Titakis Winery (17 km/25 min from Heraklion).
Trapsano is a village not be missed. The area has a long tradition of pottery that has flourished here since ancient times. Visit several pottery workshops and, of course, the Agelekis Winery (35 km/35 min from Heraklion), where a part of the fermentation process takes place in clay pots!
On the way back to Heraklion, you can visit one of the oldest monasteries on the island, the Agarathos Monastery, as well as, in the village of Myrtia, museum of Nikos Kazandnakis, the world-famous writer.
Secrets of the East
It is really worth spending time to visit the east of Crete. You will feel a change in atmosphere!
Heading from Heraklion to the east of the island, you can stop in the town of Agios Nikolaos to have a cup of coffee at the natural wonder – the deep-water lake Voulismeni and then go along the seashore towards the town of Siteia.
After 15 minutes of driving away from Siteia, you will reach the famous Toplou Monastery and its winery whose history dates back to the 14th century. The monastery houses the Museum of Religion and Folklore – with relics, manuscripts and engravings of great historical significance.
Near the monastery are more than 60 acres of organically cultivated vineyards. Its production is 100,000 bottles of wine pro year!
Continuing west, you can reach the famous beach with palm trees – Vai. This “tropical” place is ideal for relaxing and swimming.
If you are planning to spend a night in the south of the island, then head to Kato Zakros, a small beach in the bay with several taverns and apartments for rent. Here by the sea are the ruins of the last of the found Minoan palaces with about 180 halls.
On the way, look into small Gorge of the Dead, where the ancient Minoans used numerous caves for burials. A sense of mystery and holiness surrounds the whole place.
You can return to the main route after a visit to the southernmost city not only in Greece but in Europe – Ierapetra with an archeological museum and a Venetian fortress of the XIII century.
In this way you will explore the entire southeastern part of the island and its secrets.
The rest of the routes and trip maps can be easily found on the Wines of Crete website www.winesofcrete.gr, but do not drink and drive!
For a rented car to travel around the island of Crete, contact the professionals at website: www.luxtranscrete.com