Battle of Crete - The Island of the Brave
Price in euro
From 1 - 6 people 1.550 € pp
When: 15th - 22nd May 2017
Duration: 15th - 22nd May 2017 / 8 days
Meeting Point: Pick up from Kazantzakis International Airport and transfer to Hotel Lato in Heraklion
Dress Code: Casual; comfortable walking shoes; wide-brim hat; back pack; sunblock.
Including: Transportation throughout the tour, entrance fees to all sites mentioned, accomodation in Heraklio, Rethymnon and Chania as outlined, lunches including drinks, 2 dinners, guiding services of a professional qualified guide/lecturer throughout the trip.
Food: Breakfasts, lunches and two dinners.
Walking Difficulty: Fairly Easy walking throughout.
Rest Rooms/ WC: Yes
“They shall not grow old ,as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them”.
Crete was the scene of one of the most decisive battles of WWII.
It was the first and last time that paratroopers were used on such a big scale on the German side during WWII to capture a target. Most of them died during this battle but they succeeded in capturing one of the airfields which finally led to the loss of the island.
In 2017 we celebrate the 76th anniversary of the battle of Crete. It is a great opportunity for you to come and visit all the battlefields where the Greek, British, NZ and Australians fought against the paratroopers. It is a great opportunity because you will also have the chance to participate in the celebrations that will take place for this anniversary.
Details of the celebrations and other events will be published on our web page and our itinerary might change in order to get the best out of all these events/ or in order to accommodate the most important of these events.
Additionally, our itinerary will include places of great historical importance since Crete was the cradle of the first advanced European civilization, the Minoan civilization.
Day 1. May 15, MONDAY
Arrival at Heraklion. Today you arrive independently at the airport of Heraklion coming in on different flights.
In the evening we will all join our welcome dinner at a restaurant in order to meet each other.
Overnight hotel Lato BB
Day 2. May 16, TUESDAY
In the morning we will have an introductory lecture that will give us the background of the battle and the military actions in the area of Heraklion.
We will walk to the Venetian harbor in order to have a general view of the town and of the nearby airfield in order to discuss the fighting in Heraklion. Afterwards we will drive to the area of the airfield and to its defenses.
From there we will drive to Archanes and visit the junction where German General von Kreipe was kidnapped in 1944. We will have lunch in the same area.
After lunch we will visit Knossos, the most important archaeological Minoan site of Crete.
You will have the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight hotel Lato BB
Day 3. May 17, WEDNESDAY
This morning we will cross Crete from the north to the south in order to get to the largest plain of the island, Messara plain. Our first stop will be at Gortys where the town’s law code of the 5th century BC is on display. In the same area we will also visit the second most important Minoan palace of Crete, the palace of Phaistos. We will drive back to the north coast via the valley of Spili.
On our way we will stop for lunch at a local tavern and then we will divert a little in order to visit the monastery of Preveli that sheltered commonwealth soldiers in order to escape to middle-east at the end of the battle.
We will finally reach Rethymno where we will spend the night.
Overnight hotel Idaion BB
Day 4. May 18, THURSDAY
This morning’s lecture will be about the military actions in Rethymno.
We will drive to the hills that overlook the town in order to talk about the battle. After this we will drive to Pigi where the airfield was in order to discuss the details of the fighting
We will visit the Greek Australian monument and then the church of St. George that was involved in the fighting in the area of Pervolia. Our next stop will be at the military museum of Chromonastiri to the south of the town.
Lunch will take place at a local tavern. After lunch we will have a walking tour in the town before returning to our hotel.
Overnight at hotel Idaion BB
Day 5. May 19, FRIDAY
The fighting in the area of Chania will be the topic of this day’s discussion.
We will drive to Chania. Our first stop will be at Souda Bay, at a place that overlooks the harbor and its military installations.
Then we will drive to Akrotiri and to Venizelos tomb and close to where General Freyberg had his HQs.
The place looks down on the town of Chania and gives you a chance to see the area of Galatas and of Maleme airfield.
We will drive to our hotel for our check in. Following this we will have a walking tour in the town of Chania. After lunch we will pay a visit to the Maritime museum.
The rest of the day will be at disposal for any celebrations that might take place in the town.
Overnight hotel Kydon BB
Day 6. May 20, SATURDAY
We will have a discussion about the fighting in the areas of Maleme, Galatas and of prison valley before leaving the hotel.
We will drive along the north coast and to the west of the town in order to visit first the airfield of Maleme, Tavronitis Bridge, RAF monument and hill 107 where the German war cemetery is also located.
Then we will drive to Aya and the prison valley for a close view of the area and the prison itself.
Galatas will be our next stop where we will visit the monument and the little war collection of the village.
We will move east from here towards Pervolia and 42nd Street the last line of defense before the evacuation.
We expect to participate in the ceremonies during the day.
Overnight hotel Kydon BB
Day 7. May 21, SUNDAY
In today’s meeting we will talk about the evacuation of the commonwealth.
Following this we will drive to Sphakia the main evacuation point for the troops that fought in west Crete.
The route takes us up to the mountains and to a number of upland plains and gorges that cut the island in perfect cross sections.
We will enjoy breathtaking views before coming to the south coast of Crete.
We will have a number of stops on our way to discuss things about the battle and to take photos.
We will pay a short visit to Freyberg’s HQs and visit the monument that commemorates the evacuation that took place from the beaches of Sphakia.
After lunch we will cross Crete once more, this time from south to north in order to return back to Chania. Our last stop will be at the war cemetery of Souda in order to pay tribute to the ones that died during the battle and in order to lay as a group a wreath to the memorial of the cemetery.
Tonight we will have our farewell dinner at one of the restaurants of the town.
Overnight hotel Kydon BB
Day 8, May 22, MONDAY
The group members will depart from Chania’s airport for their destinations.
Transfers to the airport will be arranged by us.
The itinerary might change in order to enable the group to participate in the most important of the ceremonies that will take place during that period in a way that will not affect any of the planned visits.
The price of this tour includes transfers to/from airports, transportation by bus, service of a guide/lecturer, accommodation on BB basis, entrance fees to museums and sites, lunches as well as a welcome and a farewell dinner.
- This tour does not include tips to guides and drivers, and miscellaneous personal expenses.
- The tour can be done in other languages upon request, apart from those mentioned.