Visit Kera Kardiotissa
On the road to Lasithi Plateau
Descent into the Dictaean Cave
Meet a potter in action
Discover the ancient Palace of Knossos
The excursion begins with collecting the group of all explorers from their pick up points in the morning. The bus tour will then be heading towards to Kera Kardiotissa Monastery.
Kera Kardiotissa Monastery, is an Orthodox nunnery dedicated to Virgin Mary, situated near the village of Kera at an altitude of 650m. It is famous for the icon of Mary believed to be miraculous. It is surrounded by fortified walls and the church features murals dating back to 14th - 15th century.
The exploration continues with the bus heading to the Village of Psychro, where walking will be required to reach the Diktaean Cave. This part of the trip is completed by a visit to a ceramic workshop.
The Diktaean Cave is just above the village of Psychro at 1025 meters altitude. According to Greek mythology, it is believed to be the place where Zeus, the father of Greek gods, was kept and fed from Amalthia, a goat, in secret to be protected from his father. The cave for centuries was considered a sacred place of cult worship, where offerings were made and few were allowed to enter. The most impressive sight is the lake at the lowest point, surrounded by massive stalactites and stalagmites.
In the village of Psychro, a local potter is showing all steps of his ceramic art, still alive through centuries at his ceramic workshop. This is a great chance for the brave ones to give it a try.
The trip continues with the group heading to Lassithi plateau through the villages, followed by a stop at Seli Ambelou for a lunch break.
Driving around the Lassithi Plateau that lies in an area of 130 km², we are going to reach Seli Ambelou at the northern entrance of the plateau. The place is overlooking a panoramic view of the plateau. In the 1950s and 1960s the plateau was one of Europe's first wind farms. There were about 16 thousand windmills pumping the groundwater, which the inhabitants used to feed their crops.
The excursion will then move forward to its historical part, heading to Heraklion for a guided tour in Knossos Palace.
Knossos palace is the capital of Minoan civilization, just 5km away on the south of Heraklion town. It is the largest of the preserved Minoan palatial centers on the island. Walk through it with your guide and find out how people lived 4.000 years ago, people that are believed to be the first Europeans, lived as an organized community in Crete and the center of their civilization the Palace itself. The Throne Room, the frescoes, the Minoan Columns, the water management will stimulate your imagination on how the organized community of the Minoans was living on the island back then.
Get the chance to taste the real village life and culture of the island, enjoy the views on the mountains and learn about Greek religion combined with mythology in Kera and Diktean Cave, not to mention meet tradition combined with history in Psychro / Lasithi and Knossos, all in one day trip.
|08:30||-||09:50||Bus trip to Kera Kardiotissa Monastery|
|09:50||-||10:40||Arrival at Kera Kardiotissa guided tour in the Monastery|
|10:40||-||11:00||Bus drive to Dictaean Cave|
|11:00||-||12:30||Arrival at Psychro and walk to the Dictaean Cave|
|12:30||-||13:15||Visit at the pottery in the village of Psychro|
|13:15||-||13:40||Drive around Lassithi plateau|
|13:40||-||14:40||Arrival at Seli Ambelou for lunch|
|14:40||-||15:45||Bus trip to Knossos|
|15:45||-||17:20||Arrival at Knossos and guided tour in the palace|
|17:20||-||18:30||Return bus trip to resorts|
** Itinerary is subject to minor alterations depending on traffic, weather conditions or any other unpredictable circumstance.
- Light jacket as Lassithi Plateau is always cooler
- Hat or parasole for Knossos
- Sun protection lotion
- Sport shoes for the Diktean Cave
- In Psychro village you can purchase food and drink
- In Seli Ambelou we will have lunch break
- In Knossos there is a Kiosk from where you can purchase food and drink
- No facilities are available on board of the bus
- Facilities are available in Kera Monastery
- Facilities are available in Seli Ampelou
- Facilities are available at the entrance of Knossos Palace