Have a great taste of real mainland Crete, its traditions, culture, tastes and scenery. Enjoy a stunning drive and meet original people working and producing as their grandfathers
We will start our excursion by paying a visit to Maria’s traditional Wood Oven Bakery. There we can have a nice breakfast and taste all the delicious products she bakes. And yes… some raki is always in order.
Secondly, we will visit Axos village where a resident, Mr. George, makes spectacular huge wooden sculptures by using departed tree pieces from all over the island. It is remarkable that one will be able to see here a three-meter sculpture of Hercules killing Nemea. The artist is inspired by the history and the traditions of our island. After all, art was always very significant to Cretan history.
Our next stop will be an antiquated monastery, St. George of Discouri so as to embrace our religious customs. It is considered one of the oldest monasteries of Crete. The abbey of Dioscouri reminds us a small fortress as it was built at the last period of the Venetian domination; at that time an invasion of the Turkish army was likely to happen and the Venetians were building fortresses all around the island. At the monastery besides the central temple and the eminent picture of St. Georgios, the chambers of nuns and the marvelously decorated guest house, the visitors could also visit the museum of the abbey and admire the heirlooms.
As we continue our trip we will stop in a Cheese Workshop at Livadia, where we are going to taste some of the most famous Cretan cheese such as Gruyere, Feta and Mizithra. As an important source of proteins of high biological quality, cheese plays a central role in the Cretan diet. The Cretan diet is an impressively balanced diet of natural products that offer exactly what the human needs to remain healthy. Recent scientific studies associate dairy products with the prevention and treatment of breast and prostate cancer!
Our next stop is a real highlight! We will hike near to the top of Psiloritis, the highest mountain of Crete, which is also of great historically importance. The mountain chain of Idi, also known as Psiloritis, unveils all the beauty of Crete under its snow-capped peaks. The White Mountains in the West, Mount Dikti in the East, the plain of Messara, the Asteroussia mountains and the Libyan Sea in the South, Heraklion and Rethymno in the North.
In the Doric atmosphere of this rugged land, proud, dashing and strong men are bred to farm for a living and search for the real meaning of life in the simplicity and wisdom of nature – more specifically to “Mitato” where we will meet a Shepard in his house. We will enjoy fresh local lamb, charcoaled in the oldest traditional way “ofto”. A unique experience to remember!
Last but not least, our guests will have the chance to have a coffee at “forgotten” small village.
Here we can enjoy a nice and tasty breakfast. Of course, some raki is always called for too!
Our next stop includes a visit to Axos village where we will meet Mr. George, a sculptor who's inspiration comes from the tradition and history of Crete as can be seen in his 3 meter Hercules sculpture!
Weaving is one of Greece's oldest art forms and remains the same as when the Minoans practiced it! We will visit our favorite, friendly granny who will show us how it's done from scratch. Of course, we can't do this on an empty stomach so she will be waiting for us with some traditional kalitsounia (cheese pies) and some more raki!
St. George of Discouri is one of the island's oldest monasteries and resembles a mini fortress since it was constructed during the last Venetian rule.
Finally, the highlight of our trip: Psiloritis, the highest mountain of the island! We will visit our host's "home" near the top and enjoy a feast of antikristo (charcoaled lamb). After our meal, we will visit a small, forgotten village for a nice Greek coffee!
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Great day, local authentic people, perhaps the treats could have been bit more generous, thanks for a nice day though
Well priced, nice guide and overall a good day out in mainland. Seen some interesting staff and met few of authentic locals :-) , nice spot the bakery and the treats lovely, thanks , would recommend it
Pantelis was great, the ride started 10 minutes late but not big deal. Crete is such a fascinating place after all , much more than sea and sand...highly recommended specially for groups