ABOUT THE TOURS

Our tours are immersive cultural and culinary travel experiences.  Transformative in nature and aimed at promoting connection with oneself, others and the world.

Designed to provide an escape from the everyday noise. The experience will allow you to leave behind your regular routine so you can get a proper chance to reset, recharge and reconnect. By travelling with likeminded people in natural surrounds, you can get inspired and focus on the things that you truly want. You will leave with the energy and vision to go back and do what you love, whatever that may be.

Naturally, you will want to explore Crete as a visitor, not as a tourist. You will be willing to become intertwined with the locals and immerse yourself in the experiences. You will understand that our small group travel tours are different.

The tours are based on small group numbers of up to 7 people, to create a more personalised experience. We really want the opportunity to get to know you and for you to get to know us and others. We are not bound by rigid time schedules so we’re never in a rush; its about slow travel.  You will have the opportunity to form friendships, to share memories, laughter, conversation and experiences. Our tours are holistic in nature. They are designed to inspire and to rejuvenate but they are mainly based around food, travel, culture and connection.

On our tours, you will meet friendly open minded people. One of the best parts of our tours is the diversity of people who come together over a love of travel, food, and slow living. Whatever type of traveler you are, you’ll be sure to connect with new people. You will have the flexibility and freedom of independent travel without the risks, as you travel in the safety of the group.

We provide you with the opportunity to make this tour, your tour. Whatever your motivation is in joining us, whether it’s purely because you want to get away in the comfort of a group environment or you are seeking to have a transformative journey, you will have the time and the tools to have the experience that you want; that you dream of.

We hope that you are as excited as we are at the prospect of joining one of our tours. This is your opportunity to do something special for you.  You’ll be so glad you chose The Hellenic Odyssey to share your next adventure with and we can’t wait to welcome you!

THE TOUR: Local, Authentic and Inspiring

Where are the tours held? 

Let us introduce you to the largest of the Greek islands. Crete! Experience the culture and culinary delights of the region, including a day trip to the neighbouring town of Rethymno.

The region of Chania is renowned for its philotimo, produce, varying landscapes and historic harbour side. You will get see the main sights of Chania and explore the history of the town. Sample the produce at the local market and agora. Venture out to Ano Vouves to see the oldest olive tree and then continue onto the Kolymvari region to visit an Olive oil refinery.

Chania offers a variety of natural surroundings, from spending the day at the stunning Balos beach in the Kissamos region, to the beauty of the countryside village of Theriso for lovely walks, goat spotting and great tavernas. The city of Rethymno which is only an hour’s drive out is also very charming and picturesque.

What are the tours about? 

Our small group travel tours are about creating a more personalised tour experience for you. You are a unique kind of traveller who is seeking something more. You will experience the tour as if you are travelling among friends. The experiences have a  ‘live like a local’ feel; it is what the locals do, where and how they eat, how they socialise and how they live. 

Our concept is based on showcasing Chania through a cultural and culinary lens. We want to preserve the art of traditional cooking and uphold cultural values. The focus is on a slower paced mode of travel in order to nurture relationships and to really engage in the activities. The aim is for you to revel in nature’s scenery and to take time to enjoy and be present in all that we see and do. You will venture off the beaten track and embrace all things local.

As the Greek food and travel experts, we have conducted a vast amount of research and personally participated in the activities that we have included in this tour, to ensure they align with The Hellenic Odyssey’s values. You will get to have the ‘best of the best’ experiences and those that bring the most joy. We’ve kept travel time to a minimum and organised it in a way to provide the greatest insights into Chania, its people, the culture and the food without compromising on the experience of slow mindful travel.

Who are our tours designed for?

Our travelers are like-minded and are taking part for the same reasons. They are seeking to relax, unwind, enjoy local experiences and connect with new people.

We find that travelers are connected by their attitudes and shared interests. For us, what determines the success of our tours, is bringing together a group of people who love to travel, eat, connect and have fun.

We stay at centrally located 4 star properties which offer a warm and inviting ambience. The hotels are situated very close to 1866 Square, the main bus stop and Chania Market. They are a short walk from the Old Town, the Venetian Harbour and the main attractions making them an ideal base to explore from. We stay here for the entire time, so you unpack less and see more.

Throughout the tour you will meet cooks, pastry chefs, producers and wine experts who are passionate about their work and eager to share their stories. We visit carefully selected coffee shops, bakeries, wineries, and traditional restaurants. Extensive planning has gone into sourcing the best culinary experiences to ensure all dining is local, authentic and delicious. Together, with our cooking class host, we will prepare delicious dishes using ingredients collected from the garden and straight to the plate.

Each day is planned in order to provide some structure but also to give you the ability to completely surrender. There will be free time during the tour so you can explore Chania independently and enjoy experiences that are aligned with your interests. If we do see something unexpectedly exciting, we may stop to explore it, as it is these impromptu stops that are sometimes the most memorable. We don’t want you to miss out on a rare opportunity to capture something truly special. We can also tailor our stops to suit the group and spend longer at places that we are enjoying.

We will seek authentic and unique experiences by trying to ‘live like the locals’. The aim is to have a journey of authentic experiences and genuine connections, but you will still explore all the major tourist attractions. After all they are popular for good reason.

We expose you to the culture, values and traditions of the Cretans and you will discover for yourself what ‘philotimo’ truly means. We will learn how to cook authentic dishes and how to dance Cretan. You will discover how travelling at a slower pace allows you to observe more and gain a greater appreciation for things that often go unnoticed.

The unique opportunities that we will explore will leave you with fond and lasting memories. The Cretans are so proud to show off their food and culture and this will give you an insight into how they choose to live. You will also treasure the relationships that you form during your travels and meet a variety of people who will make this experience truly unique.

ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES

We can tailor your holiday in Crete to suit your needs and make suggestions for additional day trips or excursions that you can add on at the start or the end of your tour.

Depending on your interests, we can consult with you to create a unique experience. Some ideas for you to consider are listed here based on location.

Chania region:

  • Botanical Park in Fournes
  • Countryside towns of Omalos, Milia or Sfakia
  • Cretan Brewery
  • Elafonissi & Kedrodasos beach
  • Gouverneto Monastery
  • Imbros Gorge
  • Limnoupolis Water Park in Varipetro
  • Milia mountain retreat ( 4 day stay, Discover Cretan Gastronomy)
  • Personalised classes including: Cooking workshops, Greek pie workshop, cheese making workshop, bee garden visit and olive oil soap workshop
  • Beekeeper honey experience

Rethymno region:

  • Agreco Farm experience: Farmer for a day
  • Argiroupoli village
  • Eleftherna & Arkadi Monastery
  • Green tours – Eco tourism experiences
  • Lake Kournas
  • Preveli beach
  • Shepherd’s Shelter experience: Shepherd for a day
  • Vamos Village

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

There is a lot to think about when you are choosing to join a group travel tour. To begin with, you might consider if it is the right option for you. This will of course depend on the type of holiday experience you are seeking. We have put together a list of frequently asked questions but please feel free to contact us with any additional queries.

What style of travel tour is this?

We believe in a very relaxed type of atmosphere where everyone can enjoy their experience equally. Although our days are planned, there is always time to be spontaneous and flexible. We want you to feel welcome, to have fun and immerse yourself in the experiences we have arranged for you.

What will I gain from this experience?

You will learn about locally sourced seasonal food which is packed full of flavour. Wholesome food that will give you energy and have you feeling nourished. You will learn a new way of being, one that teaches you how to live and travel in a more natural, simplistic and slower paced mode. We hope that once you return home you will feel rejuvenated, energised and uplifted.

How much free time will I get on my tour?

We have allowed sufficient free time within the tour but this doesn’t mean that you have to utilise it if you don’t want to. If you are more of an active and social type of traveler, there will always be something to do. Alternatively, you can totally relax, swim at the beach or have an afternoon siesta. You have the choice of joining the group for dinner or having a quiet night in. Whatever you choose, we are always available to help.

Are there additional activities on offer?

We do offer additional activities if you would like to get more out of your tour. The activities incur an additional cost and are payable during the tour. If there are any additional activities you may want to do that aren’t on our list, please let us know and we will do our best to ensure you get the chance to tick it off your bucket-list.

Do I need travel insurance?

We strongly advise that you take out travel insurance before final payment has been made. We cannot advise you which policy suits your needs but it should cover a minimum of: Emergency travel arrangements and accommodation expenses, cancellations, overseas medical and hospital expenses, personal accidents, personal baggage and public liability and any other cover that is specific to your needs.

What is not included in the tour price?

Flights, travel insurance, meals not stated in the itinerary, tips, entrance fees not stated in the itinerary, optional excursions and any other goods or services not stated in the itinerary.

Do you cater for dietary requirements?

We can cater for special dietary requirements. Please inform us of your dietary requirements 2 weeks in advance. If you think your requirement is especially unique and requires extra care please contact us 1 month in advance.

Are there additional tour dates available?

Please contact us direct to enquire about specific dates that suit, as we may be able to accommodate this for you.