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The Minoan Islands: Crete and Santorini - 6 Day Extension

Join us for a six-day extension of your Ancient Greece tour by exploring the palaces and towns of the Minoan Civilization on the islands of Crete and Santorini. Dating from circa 3500 - 1100 BC the Bronze Age Minoan civilization prospered on Crete and surrounding Cyclades islands, experiencing their apex in trade along the Mediterranean shores, and inland as far as Anatolia around 2000 BC.



Dr Micki Pistorius’ journalist career commenced in printed and television media. She obtained a DPhil Psychology, profiled hardened criminals, and authored several books on the subject. She completed BA Hons in Biblical Archaeology and has affinity for the Bronze Age. She trailed Odysseus from Mycenae on mainland Greece to Troy in Turkey, followed the footsteps of Alexander the Great to Taxila in Pakistan, and traced her Tancred crusader ancestral lineage to Hauteville in France. She lives and writes on a tropical island.

Register your details to hold your place on this exclusive tour. To secure your place a deposit payment of US$500 per person is required within 48 hours of completing the form. Payment details are noted at the end of the form.

Travel with peace of mind, knowing that your payments are 100% financially protected in case any of our suppliers becomes insolvent, in which case you would receive a full refund..

29 August - 03 September Crete & Santorini

Clients will have a private transfer to Venizelos airport with air conditioned bus.
DAY 1: Tuesday 29 August
Crete – Knossos
Those joining us on the extended Minoan island tour will leave the Athens hotel early morning for the airport and we fly to Crete in the morning.

Arrangements will be made with our hotel in Athens to leave extra luggage there, since domestic flights have limited luggage allowances.

On arrival at the capital Heraklion, we check into the hotel, and we take a bus to Knossos, palace of the Minoan civilization – home of the mythical King Minos and the Minotaur which was slayed by Theseus. The Palace of Knossos was a multi-storey structural labyrinth, which differed from other contemporary palaces in that it had no defensive walls. Since there are no kitchens, it is believed the palace was a shrine or a ceremonial palace, rather than inhabited on a full time basis. Sir Arthur Evans the excavator, named the Megaron or Throne Room, King and Queen’s chambers, Grand Staircase, Pillar Halls, Lustral Baths, Hall of the Double Axes and the central court. We will see the famous Knossos frescoes depicting life at the palace.

We return to the capital Heraklion.
Meals: B
Overnight in Crete: Heraklion
DAY 2 Wednesday 30 August
Crete- Phaistos
We leave the hotel after breakfast to visit Phaistos. The historian Diodorus Siculus indicates that Phaistos, together with Knossos and Kydonia, are the three towns that were founded by King Minos on Crete. Phaistos was inhabited from about 4000 BC. A palace, dating from the Middle Bronze Age, was destroyed by an earthquake during the Late Bronze Age. Knossos along with other Minoan sites was destroyed at that time. The palace was rebuilt toward the end of the Late Bronze Age.

The first palace was built about 2000 BC. This section is on a lower level than the west courtyard and has a nice facade with a plastic outer shape, a cobbled courtyard, and a tower ledge with a ramp, which leads up to a higher level. The old palace was destroyed three times in period of about three centuries. After the first and second disaster, reconstruction and repairs were made, so there are three different construction phases. Around 1400 BC, the invading Achaeans destroyed Phaistos, as well as Knossos. The palace appears to have been unused thereafter, as evidence of the Mycenaean era have not been found.

We return to Heraklion, where you have the afternoon free at leisure.
Meals: B
Overnight in Crete: Heraklion
DAY 3 Thursday 31 August
Crete – Santorini
We check out after breakfast and take a ferry boat (2 hours) to the island of Santorini (ancient Thera). Enjoy the hospitality of Poseidon on the Mediterranean Sea. We check into the hotel. You are free to roam and explore in the afternoon and night at your leisure.
Meals: B
Overnight in Santorini: Fira
DAY 4 Friday 1 September
We leave the hotel after breakfast and we visit the archaeological site of Akrotiri – Akrotiri was a Minoan site enveloped in ash when the volcano erupted in the 17th century BC destroying the Minoan civilization. Akrotiri is a city preserved where one gets a unique glimpse in the every-day life of its Bronze Age inhabitants. Fresco’s, pots, beds, tables, ovens and toys tell the story of an almost fantastical civilization – whom some believe may have been Atlantean – that existed on this magical island.

We return to Fira, the capital of Santorini. Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure taking in the sights of the island, spend the day at the beach, visit the thermal spa or take a bus to Oia and watch the spectacular sunset.
Meals: B
Overnight in Santorini: Fira
DAY 5 Saturday 2 September
Santorini – Athens
Enjoy your last morning in Santorini. We meet at a predestined time at the hotel, take the bus down to the port and take a speedboat back to Piraeus / Athens. We check into the hotel.
Enjoy your last evening in Athens.
Meals: B
Overnight in Athens
DAY 6 Sunday 3 September
Transfer to airport at appropriate time for your flight home or to your onward destination.
Photos © Andrew Collins


Price per person based on double occupancy: $2695
Please note prices are based on a single person sharing a room with another tour guest
Single occupancy supplement: $645
Please note prices are based on a single person sharing a room with another tour guest * Travel with peace of mind, knowing that your payments are 100% financially protected in case any of our suppliers becomes insolvent, in which case you would receive a full refund.


A deposit of $500 per person is required to secure immediate booking. The remainder of
the payment will be required ten weeks before the start date of the tour.

Any problems or queries contact  us here


1. Cancellations must be received in writing and will be processed according to the date the written notice is received. Although a verbal cancellation is appreciated, it will not be accepted as final notice. Departure is defined as the date of the first flight from travellers country, or the trip departure date as indicated on our Trip Schedule, whichever comes first. 1. Money will be refunded minus the following cancellation fees/penalties per person (unless different for a particular trip, then the special cancellation schedule of that trip will apply):
- From time of booking up to 90 days prior to departure $500.00 per person
- 89-60 days prior to departure $750.00 per person
- 59-31 days prior to departure 75% of total land cost
- 30-0 days prior to departure No refund

2. Aside from the above penalties, any additional penalties on airline tickets imposed by the airlines- in cases of cancellation or date changes after issuance of tickets - will be totally charged to the traveler. In addition, any costs involved in obtaining visas will also be collected from the traveler and cannot be reimbursed by Ancient Origins or its suppliers.

3. Hotel rooms booked on our tours are run of The House (ROH), any special rooms with views or upper floors will entail a supplement that clients will be responsible to cover.


  • Departure transfers from Athens with private air-conditioned bus
  • Flight tickets economy class Athens to Heraklion Crete with domestic airline – 23kg checked in bag & 8kg handbag
  • Flight tickets economy class Santorini to Athens with domestic airline – 23kg checked in bag & 8kg handbag
  • Ferry tickets economy class Heraklion to Santorini on speedboat
  • Travel assistant during all departures
  • Private English-speaking local guide during the tour in Knossos, the tour in Festos & the Acrotiri of Santorini
  • Accommodation in Heraklion 29-31/8 Olive Green 4*
  • Accommodation in Santorini 31/8-2/9 RK Beach 4*
  • Accommodation in Athens 2-3/9 Astor 4*
  • Daily breakfast at the hotel
  • Entrance fees to following sites (Knossos Palace, Festos Palace, Acrotiri of Santorini prehistoric town)


  • Visa fee
  • Drinks during meals
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Tips
  • Bottled water
  • Personal items


RK Beach Hotel
Olive Green
Astor Hotel