Crete for Wine Lovers

5 Nights

From €{{parseInt(minimumpriceforpackage)}} .{{decimalpart(minimumpriceforpackage)}} Person


Let us take you through Crete's scenic landscape and culture, to taste the indigenous and international grape varieties as they are expressed on Cretan terroir, meet passionate winemakers and learn about the uprising of viniculture and vinification on the island, that is a real paradise for the food and wine enthusiasts




Day 1

Morning arrival in Chania airport and transfer to your luxury boutique hotel in the old town. In the early afternoon, you will meet your guide for a private walking tour around the old town and the Venetian port. Our walk will allow you to visit the most important sites, such as the Venetian fortifications, the Arsenals, the Food Market, the Etz Hayyim Synagogue, and the Turkish quarters behind the inner harbor. The tour will also bring out plenty of hidden spots off the beaten track, which reflect the mix of influences that has given Chania its very unique atmosphere. A walk through time, the tour promises to help you gain an understanding of how the city's multilayered history has unfolded and get a sense of its present lively atmosphere. Our walk will end at a special local wine restaurant, for our first wine tasting and a welcome dinner with local specialties.

Day 2

The day explores the scenic countryside around Chania, with visits and tastings at three local wineries. We will first drive towards Akrotiri peninsula and visit the monastery of Agia Triada Tzagarolon. Built in the 17th century, this is one of the most impressive monasteries of Crete, set on a wonderfully overgrown landscape of olive groves, vineyards and cypress trees and with a remarkable history and huge tradition on wine making that the monks follow with dedication. We will visit the monastery's cellars and taste their great organic olive oil and wines including the local Romeiko and the international Trebianno. We will then head to the west to navigate the Kissamos region and visit the Karavitakis Winery, a true family-run estate.
Karavitakis family has been cultivating grapes and olive trees for ever, this was and still is the main family's occupation. In this area the Romeiko grape variety existed as monoculture, producing a high volume oxidized reddish wine. In 1985 a disease of vineyards destroyed all the grape properties in the area. After that, almost every vineyard owner planted olive trees as a safer choice for the future. Karavitakis family remained loyal to its heritage and replanted the vineyards. Today's estate owner, who studied in Italy, has reorganized the family's vineyards, planted new varieties too in their 30000 square meters of private owned vineyards and has built a new winery, incorporating new technology. Their wine portfolio consists of white wines made from Soultanine, Malagouzia, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc and red wines from the varieties Cabernet, Syrah, Merlot, Grenage Rouge, Kotsifali, Sangiovese, Refosco, Nebbiolo and Tempranillo. The estate constantly experiments on an effort to take the most out of each variety with all its typical characteristics but also with a twist that reveals the winery's distinctiveness, which is achieved because the vineyards location is pretty unique and combines medium altitude with sea proximity. After our tour around the winery, a discussion with our charming hosts and the tasting of their awarded wines accompanied with local delicacies, we will head to our next visit for the day.
Driving through colourful orange groves and picturesque little villages, we will reach Manousakis Winery, set on the foothills of the White Mountains The winery & vineyards is the realization of a lifelong dream of the owner, Ted Manousakis. Ted was born and raised in this small village and he immigrated to the US in the 50ies, when the country was in poor shape. He became quite a successful businessman, but he always longed for his homeland. In 1993, he founded the winery and as he could only spend a limited amount of time in Crete, he hired an international team of consultants to support him. The bold decision was taken to plant only Rhone varietals Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache Rouge and Roussanne. The first vintages were all sold to the US, where Ted had connections with the wine trade. Only in 2003 were the first wines released within Greece, where they received cult status in no time. His daughter Alexandra left her marketing career in New York and moved to her father's home village in Crete in order to concentrate on the family wine business. Alexandra shares all the enthusiasm of her father and brings along the energy and life of an abundance of fresh ideas.. The new, state of the art winery has recently been completed, under her supervision. Escorted by the estate's top expert, you will be guided around the grounds and then have a tasting of all their wines. A private dinner in premises will follow, with Cretan specialties, specially paired with the Nostos premium wines.

Day 3

We will depart Chania today heading to the east. We will reach the vine-growing region of Archanes in the south of Heraklion to visit the Boutari Winery in Skalani, surrounded by 7 hectares of vineyards. The new winery in Crete was completed in 2004 and is one of the best-equipped, state of the art wineries in Europe. The company was a pioneer in setting the foundations for the promotion of Cretan wine worldwide, by enhancing the potential of local varieties and making Cretan vineyards known to the broader public, through major distinctions. Here too, the main focus here is to explore the further potentials of Cretan varieties as well as the capacity of foreign varieties to adapt to the Greek climate and eventually to be blended with native ones. After a guiding around the production area and the cellars, you will continue with our creative and fun hands-on cooking class. You will prepare a number of traditional dishes under the directions of a local lady cook and will discover the secrets of the traditional Cretan diet and its healthy guidelines. The experience will culminate at the table, where you will taste the estate's wines and enjoy the lunch you prepared. In the afternoon we will drive to the Minoan settlement of Vathypetro in the foothills of the Youchtas mountain, one of history's first wineries, where we will see wine-pressing equipment dated from 1550 B.C. Our day will end with a visit to Knossos, one of the major must-see archaeological sites in Greece, presenting visitors with a rare glimpse into Minoan civilization. The first settlement in dates back to 7000 B.C, whereas the beautiful Minoan Palace, with certain parts very well preserved and restored) was built in 1900 B.C. Accompanied by a first class guide who will offer in-depth personal attention, you will walk around the ruins and excavations of the vast ancient palace, and learn about the Greek mythological tales that are linked to it. After exploring the labyrinth of corridors and rooms on the Knossos tour, we will arrive in Heraklion town to check in at our luxury hotel in the center. Dinner free.

Day 4

After breakfast, we will stroll around Heraklion's historic center and visit the recently renovated Archaeological Museum. The most magnificent collection of Minoan art and culture in the world is housed in this museum, that is one of the most visited ones Greece, with an exhibition of artifacts, covering a period of 5.000 years. Leaving the city we will drive through Peza, one of the biggest wine regions in Crete and visit the Paterianakis Winery. A 3rd generation family company, the first one who introduced the organic grape cultivation on the island and one of the few wineries in Greece with a vertical organization of its production process. They cultivate six unique indigenous and five first class international varieties using the latest organic techniques, producing wines with a natural yet strong personality, that highlights the organic characteristics derived from the vineyard and the local climate conditions. Our last visit for the day will be at the Lyrarakis winery. Lyrarakis family first got involved in viticulture and wine making back in 1966 and today the winery is in the hands of the second generation. The company is considered a pioneer and the multiple international awards and distinctions, in addition to the continuously increasing export activity justify the recognition gained by Lyrarakis Winery worldwide. The winery is located at Alagni, by the most mountainous village of the appellation area of Peza. The family vineyard comprises of 14 hectares of gravel soil on limestone and is situated on an average altitude of 550 meters. The founding of the company was accompanied by planting some of the best local wine varieties; the white Vilana, and the reds Kotsifali and Mandilaria. Since the late eighties special attention is paid to rare Cretan varieties. In particular the white varieties Dafni and Plyto that have been saved from extinction constitute a source of pride for the visionary vine-grower Manolis Lyrarakis. Vilana, White Muscat and Sauvignon Blanc complement the range of white varieties. The local red varieties, the local Kotsifali, Mandilari, and Black Muscat are complemented by the foreign varieties Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The family and technical team puts a lot of effort into experimenting with smaller batches of other native varieties, in the hope to be able to offer new exciting wines soon. We will enjoy a premium experience, tasting the most exquisite Lyrarakis wines in their atmospheric wine cellar, try the rarest wine varieties and the best older vintages, accompanied by a premium selection of Cretan cheese and meat delicacies. We will taste their reserve wine directly from the oak barrel and explore the Cretan wealth of aromas and flavors in the most delightful way. Late afternoon return at the hotel. Tonight we will enjoy a farewell gourmet dinner by a charming restaurant that offers traditional Cretan recipes with a creative and modern twist.

Day 5

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Heraklion airport or port for your departure.

The Perfect Greek Vacation

Me and my Girlfriend took a trip to Greece with Antelope Travel and it was nothing short of perfect. Their driver and staff were super helpful, polite, and warm. We gave them a few ideas and they turned it into an amazing itinerary that was both packed with fun things to do and good recommendations and flexibility to allow us to discover our destinations in Greece to the fullest. We highly recommend their services and we will be going back to them for our next Greece vacation!

Written September 14, 2023

Trip of a Lifetime

Anthony worked very closely with us to design a custom tour that was best suited to our particular needs and wants for our trip. His knowledge and expertise helped steer us to the best sites and experiences which was invaluable to exceeding our highest expectations. The selection of first class hotels, the pick up arrangements which were performed like clockwork, the knowledgeble and courteous guides all contributed to our total enjoyment.
Further we were kept informed by the guides of any advance arrangements all during the trip which as a retired business executive who values good communication greatly added to our pleasure and relaxation.
With respect to hotels, which were all great, the hotel in Santorini high up on the hillside with spectacular views of the harbor and sites was so breathtaking we were all blown away by it's unique character and beauty.
We would heartily recommend Antelope Travel, and in particular Anthony Alagiah, especially for their travels to Greece and also Turkey. It was a trip of a lifetime.

Written July 2, 2023


Call Us