Includes: Pick-up service at or near your hotel, professional guide, transferExcluded: Entrance to Gortys 6.00€, Matala 3.00€Tour Highlights: Scenic drive, Swimming, Messara plain.
Duration - Directions: 7 hours approximately - 150 km, south Crete
One of the oldest monasteries in Crete.This time we set out for the south of Crete. We will have our first stop at the Monastery of Paliani, a monastery dedicated to Virgin Mary, which is run and inhabited by nuns. It is considered to be one of the oldest and most beautiful monasteries on Crete, having the myrtle tree as its trademark.
We will see a lot of votive offerings on its branches, as the everlasting tree is widely thought to be miraculous. We can even take leaves from its boughs, since they are said to be blessed and bring luck to the worshippers.
Our next stop is the ancient city of Gortys. Gortys is one of the most significant ancient cities of Crete, with a very rich history. It is also one of the largest archaeological sites of Greece.
In Gortys you will be fascinated by:
· St. Titus’ Church,
· the Chamber of the Law Code,
· the Odeon
· and of course the natural beauty and the serenity of the landscape. The square with the everlasting gnarled olive trees and the evergreen plane tree, under the shade of which Zeus and Europe had their wedding ceremony.
Leaving the majestic site of Gortys and moving on further south, we end up at the Panagia Kaliviani Monastery. An old icon depicting the Annunciation gave its name to the monastery.Inside the new Church of Virgin Mary we can still see the miraculous icon of the Annunciation of Holy Mother. After a short journey through traditional villages, such as Mires and Timbaki, we reach the famous beach of Matala. Here we have the opportunity to enjoy the dew of the crystal waters, the warmth of the sun and our lunch in one of the many small taverns by the sea, while later, as modern hippies, we can explore the prehistoric caves that are carved on the steep rocks of the area.