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 in the southwest; and trips to Santorini and to closer islands such as Spinalonga, a former leper colony off Ayios Nikolaos.

Crete Travel. The Crete Travel Web site is an excellent source for tour information, with insights into many of the island's more worthwhile sights and tours including hiking excursions and visits to out-of-the-way monasteries.

A tour of Knossos and the Archaeological Museum in Heraklion costs about €40; a tour of Phaistos and Gortyna plus a swim at Matala costs about €20; a trip to the Samaria Gorge costs about €25. Kallipoleos 11, Heraklion, Crete, 71306. 2810/1021–3445; 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 western Crete and makes transportation and accommodation arrangements for individual trekkers as well. 2nd Pass. Akrotiriou St., Chania, Crete, 73142. 28210/50939; www.alpine.gr.

Greek Mountaining Club of Chania. 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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