Up to 4 stops
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Day Trip From Heraklion to The Ancient Gortys Capital, Phaestos Palace & Matala Village

Spend a full day exploring the best of Matala Village and Phaestos Palace

From€320For (1-4 Persons)

This ride has been booked
106 times this week

This ride has been booked
106 times this week

About the ride

Visit the capital of the old Roman province of Crete and Cyrenaica, ancient Gortys, where the longest continuous legal text of Europe was found. See the ruins of the Doric, Roman and Byzantine times, including the amphitheater and the St. Titus Basilica. After your visit, head to the table mountain in the midst of Messara's second largest Minoan palace, Phaestos. Admire the panoramic view of the Ida Mountains and the Asteroussia mountains up to the Lassithi massif.

During the lunchtime, you will have the opportunity to swim in the crystal clear waters of the Libyan Sea in the former fishing village of Matala.  Have lunch and take a walk to the world famous caves in the rocks of the cliff.

 

Your first stop - ancient Gortys, one of the most powerful cities of Crete during the antiquity and capital of the island during Roman and Proto-byzantine periods.

The significance of the great ancient city of Gortyn is recognized and recorded in its rich mythological and religious traditions. It is also associated with the major figures of Christianity - the Apostles Paul, Titus, and the Holy Ten Martyrs. 

After Gortys, you will reach the archaeological site of Phaistos. Phaistos was the second largest Minoan city with Palace houses and cemeteries. Here, the famous disk of Phaistos was discovered, a ceramic object onto which 241 symbols were inscribed on both sides in a spiral shape. Archaeologists are yet unable to decipher this inscription. However, it has been the subject of various archaeological discussions.

After 4 km ride, you will reach the ruins of the Royal Villa, the Small Minoan Palace at Agia Triada. The site is named after the village of Agia Triada, located next to it and was inhabited until 1897 when the Turks destroyed it. The Minoan name of the site is unknown. At the site, you will see the Minoan town, the palace and the tombs, excavated by Halbherr with L. Banti in 1902 and onwards. La Rosa resumed the excavation after 1976. 

Our route continues to the famous coastal village of Matala and its amazing beaches with the characteristic rock-cut caves. The caves were pre-historic houses but also continued to be used until the 70’s when many hippies from Europe and the world, lived there.


Enjoy your travel to a maximum

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Private

You will be picked up by a personal driver at a convenient place and time

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Comfortable

Enjoy your trip in a nice air-conditioned vehicle with Wi-Fi

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Customizable

Pick the stops and the time you spend on each one

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Efficient

Spend less time finding locations and waiting, and more time enjoying your travel

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Professional

We hand-pick the best, friendliest and most knowledgeable drivers in the city

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Reliable

Our customers rate us excellent on Tripadvisor and other platforms

Travelers' reviews

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This is more representative of a Minoan site than Knossos since it has not suffered Evans' attention. The views of the Messara valley are simply wonderful. The site retains much of the early Minoan palace, which is still being excavated, and so much can be discerned. A must-see site.

Barbara

Included in the price

  • Hotel pickup and dropoff
  • Well-maintained car with an English-speaking driver
  • Free wifi onboard
  • Fuel and tolls
  • All taxes, fees and handling charges
  • Water and snacks

Not included

  • Entrance fees for all attractions
  • Official tour guide (you can include one after the booking)
  • Lunch, other beverages and meals
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Your entrance tickets for Phaistos Palace and Ag Triada

Frequently asked questions
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What happens after I book?

Once you complete your booking you will receive a confirmation email. Feel free to reach out to our customer service team at hello@welcomepickups.com for any specific questions regarding your booking.

 

What is the cancellation policy?

100% cancellation penalty applies when service is cancelled 24 hours or less prior to service delivery date or in case of no-show.

 

Useful tips
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Comfortable Clothes & Shoes

We recommend that you wear comfortable clothing and good walking shoes since certain areas contain many steps and may have uneven or rocky ground. Don't forget your swimsuit, towel and sunscreens.

 

 

Summer Essentials

In the summer months, the sun is especially strong (even on cloudy days) so we recommend that you wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen to protect yourself. Also, be sure to drink enough water throughout the day to stay hydrated.

 

Photography

Photography is permitted in most historical sites unless otherwise mentioned.

 

Local Currency

We recommend you always keep local currency on you (euro) as many local merchants do not accept cards as payment.

 

Accessibility & Special Needs

Should anyone in your group have special needs or have advanced accessibility requirements, please specify upon booking and we will make sure to accommodate your needs and customize your tour accordingly.

 

Admission Fees

Full €6 per person, Reduced: €3 per person  

Valid for: Gortys

Free admmision days:

  • 6 March (in memory of Melina Mercouri)
  • 18 April (International Monuments Day)
  • 18 May (International Museums Day)
  • The last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days)
  • 28 October
  • Every first Sunday from November 1st to March 31st

 

Reduced admission:

  • Greek citizens and citizens of other Member - States of the European Union who are over 65 years old, upon presentation of their ID card or passport for verification of their age and country of origin   
  • Students of University - Higher Education Institutes, Technological Educational Institutes or equivalent Schools of countries from outside the European Union, upon presentation of their student ID cards

 

Admission Fee for Agia Triada 

Full €4 per person, Reduced: €4 per person  

 

 

Terms of service
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  • Please note that the Welcome Drivers are not licensed to be your official tour guide at the local attractions and therefore will not accompany you into the sites. You may, however, hire a professional tour guide at an extra cost.
  • Your Welcome Driver will provide you with their local knowledge and personal recommendations between stops. Since your safety is Welcome’s top priority, please refrain from distracting the driver during demanding driving conditions.
  • Your Welcome Driver will drop you off and pick you up as close as possible to your stop whilst always respecting local traffic laws.

Book this ride

8 hours

Total price

1 to 4 people costs €320

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Book this ride€320For (1-4 Persons)