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From Chania: Ancient Lissos & Paleochora with Hike & Meals

Product ID: 72707
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Tap into your inner Indiana Jones as you explore a Cretan village, trek a gorge, wander through an ancient city, drink ‘healing water,’ swim in a turquoise sea, and try and try your hand at preparing local dishes! It’ll be an adventure of a lifetime.
About this activity
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Duration 11.5 hours
Starting time 8:30 AM
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  • Join for the ultimate adventure on the south coast of Crete, where you’ll explore an off-the-beaten-path coastal village
  • Set out on a 90-minute hike through a gorge that offers surreal views, some peace and serenity
  • Discover the mystic wonders of an unknown ancient city with “healing” waters
  • Embark on a fishing boat to a stunning secluded beach and swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea
  • Try your hand at cooking lessons and learn more about local Cretan dishes
Full description
Get out of town and work your way down the road less traveled to the southern coast of Crete. You’ll meet your tour guide in Chania, and your tour will begin with a two-hour, local bus ride that will take you to a seaside village unknown to mass tourism. Upon reaching this small, sleepy village by the sea, start your adventure off by fueling up on a light, organic breakfast made with local products. 

After the olives, rusks, and cheese have quickly been devoured, head off to the ancient city of Lissos. Walk in the shade of old pine trees on an easy trail before slowly trekking up a hill that will offer breathtaking views of the gorge beneath you, and the turquoise sea in the distance. When the trees disappear and a barren plateau appears, the rocks will meet the blue sea, and you see the ruins of the ancient Asclepieion. This healing temple was dedicated to the god Asclepius, and was built in the 3rd century B.C.E. Your guide will also point out the herbs and flora that are used in the Cretan diet. 

While this walk is fairly easy and follows a trail, please note that it will take approximately 90 minutes with stops, with elevations of 250 meters up, and almost 400 meters down. Lissos was known as a powerful trading and fishing hub from the 4th century B.C.E. up until the 7th to 9th century C.E., until it was abandoned after it was destroyed in a powerful earthquake. During the Hellenistic Times and until the 5th century C.E., it was a makeshift temple for the goddess Diktinna, whose actual temple has not been discovered yet as the site hasn’t been totally excavated. 

You’ll have an hour to walk among the ruins and drink from the spring that gushes ‘healing water’ at the foundations of the Asclepieion. This is the very reason why Lissos was famous in the ancient world, and why it attracted hundreds of people every year. From here, spend about half an hour making your way to a sandy beach with fine pebbles. You spend two hours diving into the blue waters, or relaxing under the sun enjoying some fresh fruit. 

From the small, pebbled beach, embark on a fishing boat to continue your exploration of the south coast. Next stop will be a remote, but quaint village where you have the opportunity to participate in making a local traditional sweet, which pairs well with a glass of raki after a hearty meal!  In the evening, before you depart for Chania, you’ll be able to spend an hour exploring the coastal town of Paleochora. You can take a walk around the promenade or along the smaller, quieter streets — either way, this tiny town has a cosmopolitan flair that you don’t want to miss out on! 
  • Local English-speaking guide
  • Bus fares
  • Breakfast (local dish with rusks, olives, tomatoes, and cheese)
  • Seasonal fruit
  • A meal (starter and main course)
  • Local sweets
  • Raki (a local spirit)
What’s Not Included
  • Additional food and drinks
  • Souvenirs, personal items
  • Tips/gratuities for your guide

Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

Central bus station of Chania, KTEL Chanion – Rethymnou, Kydonias & Partheniou Kelaidi GR-73100, Chania, Crete. Your tour guide will be holding an Urban Adventures sign and will be waiting at the ticket desk.

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Important information
Know before you go
• Please wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a hat, sunscreen, and a bottle of water. If it’s warm, bring your swimsuit!
• Travelers under 14 years of age are not permitted on this tour.
• On your tour you will be placed in a small group of a maximum of 12 people.
• The operator can accommodate dietary restrictions upon request.

From US$ 176.36 per person

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Urban Adventures

Product ID: 72707