Arkadi Monastery and Rethymno City


starting from


price for 1-3 pax


For history and culture lovers that want to immerse themselves in Crete’s intriguing past and charming architecture.


Crete: Arkadi Monastery and Rethymno City Full Day Trip

Our trip will start in the city of Heraklion, where we will pick you up from your hotel room to begin our excursion. The journey from Heraklion to our first stop will follow the coastal road, passing by some of the most popular beach towns and villages, and will take approximately 1 and a half hours. 

After passing by the village of Sfakaki, we turn south towards the historic monastery of Arkadi, one of the most well-known places on Crete island and a UNESCO European Freedom Monument. In addition to its imposing architecture, the monastery is a symbol of Cretan resistance for its role during the Greek War of Independence. You will have the chance to tour the grounds and learn more about the history of the area and the monastery. There is also a museum with interesting relics and exhibits from the post-Byzantine era, as well as a gift shop. 

Leaving behind us the Monastery of Arkadi, we head towards the ancient city of Eleftherna. The area was inhabited since the Prehistoric times and peaked during the Greek and Roman period until Byzantine times. It was later destroyed by the Arabs and abandoned. The first excavations took place only recently, in 1985, with minor research carried out in 1929 by the British Archaeological School. The cemetery and burial sites that have been discovered are the most significant findings. They offer a clearer picture of the burial customs of that time, some of which had until then only been described by Homer in the Iliad. Here you will have time to tour the archaeological site, museum, and surrounding area.

Next, the picturesque village of Margarites (meaning  daisy) awaits. The village is renowned for its traditional pottery craftsmanship, charming narrow streets, and historical significance, which you will be able to explore and of course, shop! 

After exploring the village, we plan to make a delightful stop at one of the finest distilleries in the area to savor the authentic taste of tsikoudia.

Continuing our trip, we head toward the Old Town of Rethymno. This is undoubtedly one of the spots you have to discover on your own. The third-largest city in Crete, Rethymno, is home to important landmarks and monuments such as the Venetian Fountain Rimondi, the Mosque Kara Musa Pasha, and the Neratze Mosque. Here you can explore the elegant architecture and narrow alleyways that combine Venetian and Ottoman influences and stop for coffee or lunch by the waterfront before continuing with your shopping. 

Having experienced a full day of history, culture, and sights, we will head back to Heraklion. 

Arkadi Monastery - Tours in Crete Island - Family Tours Crete - Private Transfer Tours

1. Arkadi Monastery

A Cretan landmark and the site of the heroic Cretan Revolt of 1866. Beautiful to explore and photograph.

Tours in Crete Island - Family Tours Crete - Private Transfer Tours

2. Eleftherna

A place of immense archaeological importance that is worth exploring with a licensed guide.

Crete Island Margarites Village

3. Margarites

One of the most important centers for ceramic art on the island.

Tsikoudia - Traditional Cretan Drink

4. Tsikoudia Tasting

Every visitor should try tsikoudia not only for its strong and unique flavor but also for the cultural Cretan experience it represents.

Tours in Crete Island - Family Tours Crete - Private Transfer Tours

5. Rethymno Old Town

Cobbled streets, vibrant shops, historic architecture and and culinary delights.

Arkadi Monastery - Tours in Crete Island - Family Tours Crete - Private Transfer Tours

6. Return to Heraklion

The tour ends in Heraklion unless otherwise agreed.

Trip Details

About the tour

Pick your group

Prices for this group, vary by group size. 

  • 1-3 people per group – 500€
  • 4-7 people per group – 600€
  • 8-15 people per group – 750€

If you have a larger group or require a custom service, please contact us and we will be happy to arrange something for you. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! The food spots we will visit during the tour are able to accommodate different dietary restrictions. Please inform us in advance, so we can ensure suitable options. 

No, our tour packages are transparent, and all costs and fees are clearly outlined. There are no hidden costs. The price you see includes all specified activities and any other mentioned inclusions.

Yes! We can accommodate specific preferences and tailor the itinerary to better suit your interests. 

Know Before You Go

  • Greeks dress modestly when visiting religious sites. Avoid beachwear or revealing clothing in such places. 
  • If the itinerary includes a church or monastery visit, it is recommended guests bring a long scarf or shawl to cover the shoulders, arms and below the knees. Men should also have their arms covered and avoid shorts. 
  • Comfortable shoes are advisable, especially if you plan on exploring historical sites with uneven terrain.
  • While casual wear is accepted in many places, dressing slightly more formally in the evenings is appreciated in some restaurants and venues.
  • The official currency is the Euro (€). Ensure you have some cash on hand for small purchases, as not all places may accept credit cards. A mix of smaller bills is also a practical approach. 
  • ATMs are widely available in urban areas, but it’s advisable to inform your bank about your travel dates to avoid any issues with card usage.
  • Currency exchange services are available at airports, banks, and currency exchange offices, offering competitive rates.
  • In some places, we might stop by local vendors and small shops. Having small cash with you is recommended for such places.
  • Many tourist sites and accommodations have made efforts to be accessible, but it’s advisable to check in advance and communicate any specific needs.
  • Please inform us of any special needs in advance to ensure a smoother experience.
  • Pack comfortable clothing suitable for the weather during your visit, including swimwear for beach destinations.
  • If you take medication, don’t forget to bring that with you on your day pack or bag. 
  • Sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses are essential, especially during the hot summer months.
  • Consider bringing a portable charger for Full Day Tours, to ensure enough battery for your electronics (camera, phone). 
  • We also suggest bringing a reusable water bottle to minimize plastic waste during the tour, aligning with our responsible tourism values.
  • The basic Greek greetings are: “Kalimera” (Good morning), “Kalispera” (Good evening), “Efharisto” (Thank you).
  • English is widely understood, but learning a few phrases in Greek can enhance your experience and interaction with locals.
  • Greek cuisine includes staples like olives, feta cheese, moussaka, and souvlaki. Don’t miss trying local specialties.
  • The Greek diet is also well suited to vegan, and vegetarian diets, especially if you are visiting during the Easter period (Lent). 
  • For travelers with gluten-free or celiac dietary requirements, it’s worth noting that while accommodating these needs can be more challenging in some parts of Greece, busy touristy areas often have a growing awareness and offer a more accessible range of options to cater to these specific dietary preferences.”
  • In restaurants, it’s common to linger over meals. Don’t rush; enjoy the leisurely pace of dining.
  • Greeks tend to order and eat “from the middle”, which is similar to tapas style. The food is placed in the middle, including salads, appetizers, and mains and everyone helps themselves to everything. 
  • Tipping is customary, and rounding up the bill is a common practice.
  • Tap water is generally safe to drink, with the exception of most islands.
  • Bottled water is best to avoid any sensitive stomach issues, and is very affordable to purchase. 
  • In certain crowded tourist areas, pickpocketing is a potential threat. This is especially the case for the area around Syntagma Square in Athens.
  • At We Know Transfers we support and promote environmentally sustainable pratices and responsible tourism guidelines. We are also Climate Neutral Certified. 
  • As a tour company that relies on cars and busses, we are actively moving away from petrol and diesel vehicles to more electric and hybrid vehicles.

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