Crete and Rhodes are two of the most popular Greek Islands, ideal practically all year round due to their warm weather, a direct result of their southern location. They are also two of the largest and most culturally and historically interesting islands of Greece.
Rhodes & Crete Sample Itinerary
Day 1 | Arrival to Crete
Arrival to Crete (Heraklion), either by ferry from Athens or with a direct flight from most European capitals. Heraklion is the capital of Crete, the largest island of Greece that has 4 major historic towns (Chania, Rethimnon, Heraklion and St. Nickolas), all with a distinctive architecture, style and ambiemce and a population of more than 700.000. The Island of Crete offers the most remarkable combination of historical heritage, cultural interest and absolutely amazing sandy beaches. Cretans say that the most beautiful parts of their island is “where the sun rises and where the sun sets”, i.e.: the east and the west parts of Chania and St. Nicholas respectively. With a base in the central area of Heraklion you can visit easily all areas.
Day 2 | Crete – Chania and Rethymnon
After breakfast start your excursion to the west of Crete with first stop at Rethymnon with the picturesque Venezian harbor and the many beaches. Continue to Chania, for many the most beautiful city of Crete, the old town with the port has not changed over the centuries and maintains the venezian architecture. Chania is considered the gourmet capital of Crete and a visit to the municipal market, a magnificent structure from 1913 is a good place to sample the Cretan goods the local way, ask for a taste and then buy!.
Day 3 | Crete – East Crete – Siteia and Toplou Monastery
Today you get the chance to reach the easternmost part of Europe, at the very end of Eastern Crete. Your drive will take you past the many resort areas of north Crete and through a windy country road to the easy going city of Siteia, a world apart from the noisy and active cities of the west part of the island. Famous for the “rakadika”, serving their own refined “Cretan raki” with a variety of “meze” the Greek version of tapas it is a good stop for a swim and some lunch. Further east lies the monastery of Toplou, a fortified 15th century monastery overlooking the rocky and barren edge of East Crete and the easternmost edge of Europe. In the afternoon a good option is St Nickolas town, a picturesque and romantic harbor town with lots of options for dinners and drinks.
Day 4 | Crete – Exploring Heraklion and central Crete – Rhodes flight – Rhodes town Hotel
Enjoy your breakfast and relax by a wonderful, sandy beach or continue exploring. We recommend a visit to the Minoan Palace of Knossos, a must for all visitors of Crete, and the newly renovated Heraklion Archaeological Museum.
Your direct flight from Crete to Rhodes is late in the afternoon allowing you to take advantage of your last day in Crete. Your flight of 45 minutes will take you to Rhodes. Take a taxi or your rented car to your Rhodes town hotel and the evening is at your disposal to enjoy the impeccable Rhodes weather… sunny and mild from March to November! In the evening, try going for dinner in a fish tavern with some of the best sea food and oysters in Greece.
Day 5 | Rhodes Sightseeing
Breakfast in your hotel and a day ahead for the one of the most important sights not only in Greece but the whole Mediaterranean: the Medieval City of Rhodes. The largest and best preserved old town of it’s kind, the medieval town of Rhodes will enchant you. You can see the Palace of the Grand Magister and the History of the knights. Make sure to wander and find the best places for lunch and shopping and even have a Turkish bath in the famous Hammam of the old town. Rhodes town has the unique advantage of a huge sandy beach front, all the best to take advantage at all times of the day.
Day 6 | Rhodes exploring & Sightseeing of the south
Today you can take a tour to the south and visit the Acropolis of Lindos for a majestic view to the Aegean and into the glorious past of the prehistoric and classical ages of Greece. The Acropolis of Lindos is estimated to be older than the Acropolis in Athens, even bearing remains of prehistoric temples. Remember to wear some good shoes for walking, you may also hire a donkey to take you uphill if you like.
In the afternoon, you can go to Pefki Beach for a relaxing day under the sun and lunch, or, if you want to see more, try going even more to the south, toward Prassonisi for a natural wonder : a long slim line of land connecting the mainland of Rhodes with an isle call “Prassonissi”(the green island). The sea will be favorable to you either way: one side of the sandy beach is always windy and the other is always calm.
The evening is at your disposal to enjoy your co-traveler’s company and have a romantic dinner.
Day 7 | Rhodes – Boat Tour or Symi excursion
After your breakfast you may join a glass bottom cruise around the south part of the island which is a lot of fun and offers a panoramic side view of Rhodes. There are also boat tours to Symi, the little sister island of Rhodes. Symi is rich and charming, it is an off-the-beaten-track destination and produces the famous Symi Shrimps: some of the most delightful things you’ll ever place in your mouth!
If you like exploring the landscapes on foot, Rhodes is famous for the hill of Tsampika, a 1 or 2 hours hiking route toward the monastery of “Panagia Tsampika”. From there, take a glimpse to the beach just below the mountain and then head downhill for a refreshing and relaxing day by the crystal clear sandy waters of Tsampika beach.
Day 8 | Departure from Rhodes
Enjoy your morning at Rhodes and departure with ferry or airplane to Athens or your next destination. Rhodes airport has regular connections with most European cities in the summer.
Map of Crete & Rhodes – Locations of the Itinerary: