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Ancient Kroustas Forest & Cretan Sheperd's Hut with Lunch

Product ID: 107617
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Journey into the heart of Crete for an unforgettable taste of country life that has barely changed for centuries. Driving through the hills past dreamy olive groves and ancient ruins, be taken to secret places that only locals know about.
About this activity
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Duration: 7 hours
Starting time 9:45 AM
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Experience

Highlights
  • Linger over a special Cretan lunch, cooked on an open fire amid the unspoiled nature of the Greek countryside
  • Discover the peaceful life of a traditional Cretan shepherd and explore his comfortable 'metoxi' (shepherd’s hut)
  • Revel in some of the most stunning scenery on the island, including a special spot that has the best views across the beautiful Bay of Mirabello
  • Find out how to make Cretan raki (a distant cousin of absinthe) and have a taste
Full description
Are you ready for your adventure into the picturesque countryside of ancient Crete? Your day will begin with a drive through the traditional village of Kritsa, where you will stop for a coffee at a 'kafeneio' (local café). This will be your first and only stop in ‘civilization’ as you know it. The tour from here on out will lead you into the mountains and ancient forest of Kroustas, away from the hustle and bustle of the resort towns on the coast. Kroustas is a rare forest that has been consistently colonized and utilized by humans for the last 4,000 years. Ancient stone constructions from the time of the Minoans are still visible today. Nowadays, the landscape has acquired a special protection status.

Discover hidden churches and ancient water irrigation channels as you drive, stopping to admire the stunning vistas. The views from the fortezza, an old Minoan watchpoint, are particularly picturesque. More natural beauty can be found amid the vineyards, fields of olive trees, colorful beehives and, of course, the impressive pine and oak trees of the forest. Here, you will do some foraging for local herbs to take home to make a fresh cup of herb tea. An unmarked road will truly allow you to escape from the rest of the world as you make your way along it to meet your host for lunch. The local shepherd will greet you in his unique 'metoxi' (a typical Greek shepherd’s hut only found in remote areas of the country). The shepherd contends with the elements every day and has no access to electricity or modern comforts, so for a couple of hours at least, you will experience a wonderfully simple way of life that no longer exists in modern cities.

All this fresh air, silence and the smell of pine trees is enough to give anyone an appetite, so you will have a special and unique treat planned for you. Your host will cook a delicious and entirely organic Cretan lunch for you over an open fire. And of course, no lunch finishes in Crete without raki, so you will discover firsthand the secrets of how to make it and, most importantly, drink it. After a memorable day exploring the wilds of ancient Greece, it will be time to take you back on the road towards civilization. 
Includes
  • Local English-speaking guide
  • Round trip transportation from the meeting point (private vehicle)
  • 1 coffee, 1 iced tea, organic lunch (meat and vegetarian option), 1 glass of wine and shots of raki (a local spirit)
What’s Not Included
  • Additional food and drinks
  • Souvenirs or personal shopping
  • Tips/ gratuities for your guide and driver

Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

Starting cities are the following: Plaka, Elounda, and Agios Nikolaos in Crete. You may join the tour from any one of these meeting points; check the following pick-up times for each city: In Plaka: 09:45 at the Agia Marina Church, next to the Blue Palace Hotel. In Elounda: 09:55 at the square and roundabout at the church side. In Agios Nikolaos: 10:15 at the bridge in front of the tourist information office.

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Important information
Know before you go
• This is a child-friendly tour. Children under the age of 6 are permitted to join this tour
• Please wear comfortable shoes for walking
• Bring a hat and sunscreen during the summer months
• Small group of a maximum of 6 persons

From US$ 192.66 per person