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Crete: Land of Heroes

Tours | May 2023

Rick Stroud, author of Kidnap in Crete, his tale of the wartime kidnap of General Kreipe, writes, ‘Crete is a wonderful destination – a land of heroes, mountain ranges and fertile plains where sheep graze among olive trees and the air is filled with the scent of thyme. Nearly 2,000 years ago the island was home to the Minoans, whose legendary king, Minos, built the palace at Knossos. Fought over and occupied throughout its history, Crete has a rich architectural and artistic heritage. The Cretans are patriots who will die fighting for their island and were last called on to do so in the Second World War.’

Members of the Kreipe abduction team (from l. to r.): Georgios Tyrakis, Moss, Leigh Fermor, Emmanouil Paterakis, and Antonios Papaleonidas. The two British officers are in German uniform.

For the first three nights, we will be staying at the Palazzo Duca and Ionas Boutique hotels in lovely Chania, Crete’s historic former capital which is steeped in Minoan, Venetian, Ottoman and Greek history. Then we move to the Lato Boutique hotel in Heraklion.

Superb guide: Rick Stroud

There are eight twin/double rooms and six singles.

Thursday 11th May – Arrive at Chania

Flights to be confirmed. Welcome drink and talk by Rick Stroud before dinner.

Friday 12th May – Maleme airfield

First, a visit to Maleme airfield where German parachutists landed in history’s first airborne attack, in May 1941, as part of the Battle of Crete; then on to Gonia Monastery. Lunch and time to explore Chania.

Saturday 13th May – Souda Bay and Aptera

Visit the Souda Bay War Cemetery and the grave of John Pendlebury, who organised the Cretan resistance before the war. Lunch followed by guided tour of the archaeological site of Aptera.

Sunday 14th May – Rethymnon

A chance to relax and explore Rethymnon en route to Heraklion before coming together for lunch. In the afternoon, we’ll visit the meticulously restored Sultan Bin Ibrahim Mosque.

Monday 15th May – Knossos and Cretan wine country

An early start to visit the 4,000-year-old Minoan palace of Knossos followed by a relaxing lunch in Elia and Diosmos’s Olive Mint restaurant at Skalani. After lunch we will have a gentle afternoon in Archanes for a tasting of the impressive Cretan wines.

Tuesday 16th May – Heraklion

Visit to the incredible treasure troves of the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, including the famed bull-leaping fresco, the recently discovered signet ‘ring of Minos’. We’ll see the amazing Venetian city walls including the Chania Gate.

Wednesday, 17th May – Lunch at Elounda We’ll drive down to Elounda to lunch in this picturesque fishing village on the lovely

Mirabello Bay. In the afternoon, a boat trip and walk around Spinalonga island, the setting of Victoria Hislop’s The Island.

Thursday 18th May – Depart for home

Flights to be confirmed.

HOW TO BOOK: Call 01225 427311 Price per person: £2,250 which includes all meals, wine with meals, transport and entrances. You need to book and pay for your own flights. Single supplement: £200. A non-refundable deposit of £750 will be required, with the full balance due on 1st February 2023. Please email Katherine at reservations@theoldie.co.uk

Spinalonga, island of lepers

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