Tour Options

Most travel agents can arrange for personal guides.

Bus Tours

Resort hotels and large agents organize guided tours in air-conditioned buses to the main Minoan sites; excursions to spectacular beaches such as Vai in the northeast and Elafonisi and Balos in the west; and trips to Santorini and to closer islands such as Spinalonga, a former leper colony off Ayios Nikolaos.

Crete Travel. Crete Travel is an excellent source for tour information, with insights into many of the island's attractions and tours, including hiking expeditions, gastronomic excursions, wine tastings, and visits to out-of-the-way monasteries, as well as the more obvious sights. Tailor-made itineraries are a specialty; if you ever wanted to make cheese in a shepherd's hut up a mountain or dreamed of skippering your own yacht, this is the place to come. Kallipoleos 11, Heraklion, Crete, 71306. 28102/13445; www.cretetravel.com.

Hiking Tours

Crete is excellent hiking terrain, and many trails crisscross the mountains and gorges, especially in the southwest. The Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO or EOT) is a source of information.

Alpine Travel. This outfitter offers one-day, one-week, and two-week hiking tours throughout Crete and other islands, and arranges transportation and accommodations for individual trekkers as well. Sea kayaking and family activity holidays are also available. Chania, Crete. 28210/50939; www.alpine.gr.

Greek Mountaineering Club of Hania. This association operates overnight refuges in the White Mountains and on Mt. Ida and operates expeditions into the mountains of western Crete and other wilderness regions. Tzanakaki 90, Chania, Crete, 73134. 28210/44647; www.eoshanion.gr.

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