On this tour you will have the chance to explore the Cretan genuine culture and customs. We will start by visiting, a not so known, monastery of the region of Mylopotapos.
After 10 min drive we will meet Andreas, a Cretan shepherd. We will discuss about his daily habits and taste his homemade raki with some "meze". Learn the specific procedure of Cretan beekeeping interactively by providing special uniforms and trying honey straight from the honeycomb.
Feel the hospitality of Mr. Andreas, but also his wife Ms. Eleni by having a traditional Cretan homemade lunch in their house. On the way to Apladiana, you will pass through orange trees, so you can cut an orange with your bare hands and enjoy its freshness!
Walk through Apladiana, where our guide will explain all the small details about Cretan weddings. It is an original experience for a life time!
The day begins in the region of Rethymno; after 1 hour of driving from the centre, we will visit a historically important Cretan monastery. In a lush landscape, full of beautiful flowers, trees and aromatic herbs, the Vosakos monastery lies before our eyes, stone-built and magnificent. The one and only nun left in the monastery, will be waiting inside to welcome us with her kind smile and a delicious loukoumi treat. We can stay for some time to enjoy its traditional architecture and the calm atmosphere; in the meantime, we will learn all about its tumultuous history.
At the entrance, three huge trees create an impressive door that welcomes us to their land. Mr Andreas, the shepherd, is there to "kalosorisei" us (kalosorisma = greeting) and show us what a day in his life is like. Learn about his routine, daily habits, milk production process and caring for the goats while you try some typical Cretan appetizers such as cheese, olives and a glass of raki. But the best part is here to come; be prepared to watch a herd of 100 goats flow freely out of their stockyard and dash towards the high hills. This powerful moment is guaranteed to stay in your memory forever.
Next up and depending on the period, we will either visit a different spectacular landscape where all the flowers bloom and burst their refreshing aromas, or stay on spot; but, what we will witness is the important part. There, Ms Eleni, a traditional Cretan woman and wife of the shepherd, Mr Andreas, will demonstrate to us her mastery on beekeeping, passing from generation to generation. We will wear bee-keeping uniforms, while Mrs Eleni shows us the honey extraction procedure with her bare hands! As she has been mastering this art for years, her bees are like her children; she is so close with them, that there is no need for a uniform. In this very informative -and delicious- stop of our tour, we will learn everything about the production of real thyme honey.
An integral part of the Cretan tradition is the warm hospitality of the locals. After having shared their daily habits and their mastery secrets, Mr. Andreas and Mrs. Eleni open their house to us. Situated high up in the mountain, with beautiful and calming views of the village, this house is buried between flowers, trees and herb bushes. While we enter, their aromas will certainly captivate our senses. As we have a seat, Mr Andreas opens a bottle of wine and offers us a glass, while Mrs Eleni finishes up the lunch she has prepared especially for us. Enjoy the taste of local organic products and finish the meal with a delicious dessert, such as sweet cheese pies (pitakia) with honey on top. Enjoy!
After lunch, we will be guided to the centre of the village Apladiana, one of the most ancient and traditional villages, which still adheres to all the Cretan customs. On our way, we will cross a field full of orange trees; let's stop and enjoy the overwhelmingly sweet and fresh smell. Depending on the period, out guide will cut a few oranges with his bare hands and offer them to us. This experience of the taste and the smell accompanied by the image of the beautiful and tall orange trees, creates an unforgettable memory. Once we arrive at the village's square, we will finish the tour by discussing some of the Cretan customs, such as where and how the famous Cretan weddings take place in the traditional villages of Crete.
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