Private Tour to South Crete: Ancient Gortyn, Monasteries and Matala Beach

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From $720.30

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Price varies by group size

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Pricing Info: Per Person


Departs: Heraklion, Heraklion

Ticket Type: Mobile or paper ticket accepted

Free cancellation

Up to 24 hours in advance.

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An exciting journey from the North to the South!

The route passes through the entire island capturing part of the Psiloritis massif. From the foot of the mountains stretches the delightful beauty of Messara valley, which has been the island's breadbasket for centuries.

During the ride you will hear the information about the history of the island and the sights that you will visit. Then, you can enjoy a walk in the preserved part of the ancient Roman capital of Crete Gortis, which is considered to be one of the most important archaeological sights in Greece. Then you have the unique opportunity to visit 2 of the most ancient Orthodox monasteries on the island: Panagia Paliani and Kalyviani.

Finishing the trip, you will have time to swim in the crystal clear waters of Matala beach and dine in one of the traditional taverns located along the coast.

For pick-up from different location than listed, please, contact us.

What's Included

Coffee and tasting of Greek snacks from the traditional bakery

Information about the route and sights during the bus ride

Pick-up from your hotel/port

Transfer with air-conditioned bus


What's Not Included

Entrance fees to museums/sights, other individual expenses.

Entrance to Gortina: Adult 6€ / person, Child (up to 18 years - free of charge)

Provided free time to have a lunch/drink/coffee on your own.

Traveler Information

  • INFANT: Age: 0 - 3
  • ADULT: Age: 4 - 70

Additional Info

  • Please, provide details of your pick-up location when you book. For the pick-up from different regions of the island, please, contact us.
  • Service animals allowed
  • Suitable for all physical fitness levels
  • Infants and small children can ride in a pram or stroller
  • Public transportation options are available nearby
  • Specialized infant seats are available

Cancellation Policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure time.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Experience may be cancelled due to Insufficient travelers
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

What To Expect

After pick-up from your hotel in Heraklion region, the first stop on your way will be the visit of the preserved part of the ancient Roman capital of Crete - Gortis. During the Minoan civilization, it was the richest and fastest growing city of Greece and is also famous for being the place where, in the 5th century BC. and, for the first time, a code of laws regulating life and relations between citizens was created and carved on a stone.

60 minutes • Admission Ticket Not Included

Moni Palianis
According to some evidence, Paliani, is the most ancient monastery of Crete. The Monastery of Paliani, is visited by people from all around the world to see the holy Myrtle tree that flourishes there many centuries. It is advocated that in its branches is hidden the icon of the Mother of God that can be seen only by those who have fate and believe in His divine power.

45 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Monastery Panagia Kaliviani
The ancient monastery of Kalyviani is dated back to 14th century and was demolished by the Turks with the monks being tortured because of their strong belief in God. One of the monks that suffered was St. Haralambos and his relics are saved in the monastery. Despite all the disaster that Turks brought, near the monastery was found the icon of Evangelism of the Mother of God, bringing many people to pray in this holy place.

45 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

Matala Beach
The port of Matala is situated in Mesaras Bay. This place is famous for its caves that are built in the rocks and resemble small residences that were used by the ancients back in time. In the 1960-1970s Matala started to be a very popular destination where Hippies used to meet altogether and spend their time dancing and singing. Matala has beautiful beach with turquoise water, and you can enjoy swimming there.

2 hours • Admission Ticket Free

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