Visiting the island of Crete for the Conference, does also pose a great opportunity to explore the surrounding area. The conference is located a short distance from many local attractions.
Within a short bus or taxi drive, you will find the city of Chania, its old tоwn is known as one of the most beautiful cities of Crete. With is Venеtian fortress Саstelli at its cеnter аnd the оld Vеnetian buildings arοund thе port with а lighthоuse welcοming thе ships.
Vеnetian buildings arοund thе harbour
For groups of two or less people it is often more cost effective to take an organised group trip to the Samaria Gorge. An example of non-organised Samaria trip is: taxi between Chania to start of walk is approximatley 40Euros, plus entrance (5Euros), then take a boat from Agia Roumeli – Sougia (13Euros). Finally taxi back to Chania.
Hotel Organised Tour:
The gorge of Samaria is the biggest, most imposing and beautiful gorge in Greece and 2nd in Europe, and that is why it is internationally renowned and mostly visited, since more than 300.000 people cross it each year. It has a wonderful landscape with rare geo-morphological formations. It is a unique biotope with particular richness in fauna and flora. It has a rich mythology as well, that goes back to prehistoric years and a tumultuous history during the difficult years of Crete.
Samaria Gorge was proclaimed National Park of the White Mountains of Crete in 1962 when a couple of local families were still living in the village of Samaria, in the middle of the gorge and who were mainly busy with cattle-breeding and woodcutting. The surface covered at the time was 48.500 sqm., whereas the expansion of the Park today at 250.000 sqm. includes a remarkable part of the White Mountains.
The main fauna species is the world-famous Cretan Chamois (wild goat – CAPRA AEGAGRUS CRETICA), an extremely beautiful and dashing animal that has been preserved, is now living freely in the gorge of Samaria and in the three gorges parallel to it. There are a total of 450 species of Cretan flora in the gorge, of which 70 are endemic, i.e. they grow in the gorge only. Among the well-known flora species, you find the perennial gigantic cypresses once used in shipbuilding and in the construction of the pillars of the Palace of Knossos by the Minoan Civilization.
Entrance fee: 5Euros/person
Boat fee: 18Euros/person
The tour can be booked on arrival at the main reception of the Minoan Hotel.
Balos & Gramvoussa
Departing from the port of Kissamos and while sailing, you will admire a huge cave that is believed to have been the ancient shipyard of “Tarsanas”. At the end of the Gulf you will notice an impressive geological phenomenon where, as a result of the passage of time, the western part of the island is rising, while the eastern part is sinking. This phenomenon was mainly created by catastrophic earthquakes that took place in 66 BC and 365 BC. According to scientific estimates, this geographical phenomenon still continues today, but at a much slower rate.
After approximately 1 hour, the boat arrives at the port of Gramvousa. The island’s eminent castle was built by the Venetians in 1579 at the highest point of the island, on top of a steep rock at a height of 137m. It is surrounded by a wall of 272m. It has a rough triangular shape and each side is 1km in length. Gramvousa castle played an important role in the history of the region. The panoramic view, its majesty and the legend of the pirate’s hidden treasure, will tempt you to visit it. The walk takes approximately 20 minutes.
TIP!! You should first visit the Castle in Gramvousa and then swim in the cool water…!
Following the 2 hour visit to Gramvousa, the boat will depart for the lagoon of Balos, a journey of approximately 15 minutes. As there is no harbour at the lagoon, the boat will either drop anchor in the cove of Gramvousa (Tigani), about 200m from the beach, at a depth of approximately 4m, where disembarkation will take place from large boats, or approach the beach where disembarkation can take place directly onto the beach. Your stay at the lagoon, where you can enjoy a fantastic swim, will last for about three hours.
Please note that Boat Ticket & Municipality Fee are not included and are paid on the spot in cash
Food & Refreshments are Provided inside the vessel’s restaurants is not included
Please note that Rubbish disposal apart from the designated areas is strictly prohibited
8th Best Beach in Europe (Trip-Advisor)
Walk in the Romantic Lagoon of Balos
Swim in the Refreshing Cool Waters of Balos & Gramvousa Beach (2 Swim Stops!)
Explore the Pirate Castle of Gramvousa
> Pre-Recorded Instructions on board
> Air-Conditioned Luxury Bus
> Full Liability InsuranceI remain always at your disposal,
Boat & municipality fee: 22Euros/person