Rick Stroud, author of Kidnap in Crete, his tale of the wartime kidnap of German General Heinrich Kreipe, writes: ‘Crete is a wonderful destination – a land of heroes, mountain ranges and fertile plains where sheep graze among olive trees, and the air is filled with the scent of thyme. Nearly 4,000 years ago, the island was home to the Minoans, whose legendary king, Minos, has been linked to the palace at Knossos. Fought over and occupied throughout its history, Crete has a rich architectural and artistic heritage. The Cretans are patriots who will die fighting for their island and were last called on to do so in the Second World War. The islanders are passionate in their friendships and feuds, and invariably offer overwhelmingly generous hospitality to visitors.’ Rick will be a wonderful guide to the island, and will take readers to the pivotal sites of the famous kidnap, as well as explaining the earlier disastrous Crete campaign, which the Germans were convinced they had lost on the first day.
We will stay at the exclusive Hotel Veneto in Rethymnon - www.veneto.gr
Thursday 18th October – Arrive at Rethymnon
Depart London Gatwick with EasyJet at 16.40 on EZY 8763; arrive Heraklion at 22.40. Transfer to the old Venetian quarter of Rethymnon to the Hotel Veneto in time for a late dinner at the award-winning Veneto Restaurant.
Friday 19th October – Chania
A late start with a welcome talk by Rick Stroud. A visit to Maleme airfield, where German parachutists landed in one of the first airborne attacks in history, in May 1941, as part of the Battle of Crete, then on to Gonia Monastery. The Germans occupied the monastery, and the monks were imprisoned in Chania after the Germans found guns inside the chapel. Lunch and time to explore Chania, one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in the world. Crete’s historic former capital is steeped in Minoan, Venetian, Ottoman and Greek history.
Saturday 20th October - Rethymnon
A chance to relax and explore Rethymnon’s weekly market, the Old Quarter, and have coffee on the harbourside, before coming together for lunch. In the afternoon a visit to the massive Venetian fortress or the meticulously restored Sultan bin Ibrahim Mosque. Wander where you will, do some shopping, have a swim in the sea from the sandy beach.
Sunday 21st October – Knossos and Cretan Wine Country
An early start to visit the 4,000-year-old Minoan palace of Knossos followed by a relaxing lunch in Elia and Diosmos’s Olive-Mint restaurant at Skalani. After lunch we will have a gentle afternoon in Archanes, a degustation of the impressive Cretan wines and then back to Rethymnon
Monday 22nd October – Heraklion
Visit to the incredible treasure troves of the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, including the famed bull-leaping fresco, the recently discovered signet ‘Ring of Minos’ and much, much more. We won’t miss the amazing Venetian city walls including the Chania Gate or Pili Pantokratora (Gate of the Almighty). As we head back to our hotel, we will pause at the place where SOE Major Patrick Leigh Fermor ambushed German commander General Heinrich Kreipe before removing him to Cairo in 1944.
Tuesday 23rd October – Psykro and Diktean Cave – Lunch at Elounda
High on the fertile Lasithi Plateau, we will visit the sacred ancient Minoan cave of Psykro, then the dramatic Diktean Cave – said to be the birthplace of Zeus. Afterwards we drive down to Elounda to lunch in this picturesque fishing village on the lovely Mirabello Bay. In the afternoon a boat trip and walk around Spinalonga Island, the setting of Victoria Hislop’s book The Island. Before dinner, Constantinos E Mamalakis, curator at the Historical Museum of Crete, will give us an insight into what life was like during the occupation.
Wednesday 24th October – Phaistos and Gortyn
After Knossos, Phaistos is the most important Minoan palatial city. After lunch we head to the ancient Roman capital of Crete, Gortyn, the island’s largest archaeological site, with its 1st-century BC Odeon and 6th-century AD Byzantine Christian church of Agios Titos.
Thursday 25th October – Depart for home
Depart from Heraklion on EasyJet EZY 8762 at 13.55 to London, arriving at Gatwick at 16.00.
Do book with Katherine to guarantee a place on firstname.lastname@example.org. Her number is 01225 427311.
HOW TO BOOK: Call 01225 427311 PRICE PER PERSON: £1,795 for those sharing a double/twin room, including everything apart from flights and drinks before and after lunch and dinner. We need to charge a single supplement of £200. Katherine will require a non-refundable deposit of £750. Final payment will be due by 18th July 2018.
IMPORTANT NOTE RE CURRENCY RATES
Due to the recent collapse of sterling, The Oldie needs to protect itself against further sudden falls, and, hence, reserves the right to change the price of the holiday. The Oldie is happy to maintain the current price until the euro drops below €1 to £1, using FairFX’s currency rates as the arbiter. The current rate is €1.10 for £1.
We will absorb (and you will not be charged for) any increase equivalent to 2% of the price of your travel arrangements, which excludes insurance premiums and any amendment charges. You will be charged for the amount over and above that, i.e. if the exchange rate falls below €0.98 to £1 before August 1st, 2018. However there will be no change after July 9th, 2018.
If this means that you have to pay an increase of more than 10% of the price of your travel arrangements, you will have the option of cancelling and receiving a full refund of all monies paid, except for an admin fee of £100. Should you decide to cancel: 1) you must do so within 14 days from the date on your final invoice of July 1st, 2018 2) We will provide a refund of insurance premiums paid to us if you can show that you are unable to transfer or reuse your policy. Should the price of your holiday go down due to the changes mentioned above, by more than 2% of your holiday cost, i.e. if the euro were to reach €1.10 to £1, then any refund due will be paid to you. However, please note that travel arrangements are not always purchased in local currency and some apparent changes have no impact on the price of your travel due to contractual and other protection.