Knossos & Lasithi
Explore with a guided group, the monastery of Kera Kardiotissa and the Dictaean Cave followed by a visit to Psychro village to meet a potter in action. Enjoy the panoramic views from Seli Ambelou Lasithi Plateau and complete your tour to the Minoan Palace of Knossos where civilization history began 4000 years ago.
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.
- Casual dress and shoes.
- Appropriate dress when entering churches and monasteries.
- A light is necessary as Lasithi is always cool.