General info - offthepathtours

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Information about destination and tours
All tours and activities take place on the island of Crete, Greece.* The island, one of the largest in the Mediterranean basin, is known for its dramatic landscapes and rich cultural history, including one of the first Bronze Age civilizations in Europe, the Minoan culture. Crete, favored for its strategic location in the Eastern Mediterranean, was conquered by several major powers since antiquity. The island flourished during the Hellenistic and Roman period, became part of the Byzantine Empire, and witnessed the influence of Venetian and Ottoman culture during the last 600 years.   

Our goal in Off The Path Tours, LLC is to let you discover and explore the rich cultural and physical landscapes of Crete, away from the crowded tourist resorts of the island. We offer small guided tours (maximum of 10 travelers) and give you the opportunity to explore the Cretan culture by visiting relatively unknown archaeological sites, Byzantine and Venetian monasteries, and small traditional villages. Additionally, we encourage you to experience aspects of the daily Cretan life through interactive events with locals.

*If you are interested in travelling elsewhere in Greece, we can also work with you to plan this as one of our add on options. We have experience in customizing itineraries to include Athens, Santorini and other islands, and are willing to work on other destinations as well!

Tour cost
The tour costs include:
Two professional guides (archaeologist, art historian) who also serve as the tour leaders/ organizers
Hotel accommodations selected by the tour guides (including breakfast)
Entry fees to archaeological sites, historical monuments, and museums
Special events such as cooking classes, cheese, and wine tasting
Ground transportation by minibus during the tour (including pick up and drop off at the Irakleio airport on Crete)
Select meals (2 lunches and 4 dinners included)

The tour does not include:
Roundtrip airfare to Crete (HER), Greece
Fees for passports & visas
Travel insurance
Telephone calls, individual purchases
Meals (except for meals noted above)

Travelling, accommodation & transportation on Crete
You will travel on the island of Crete as part of 8-10 travelers group accompanied by two tour guides. We will explore the island in two spacious minivans. Visiting most archaeological sites and other places of cultural significance on the island require walking and some light hiking. We recommend you bring sport shoes or light hiking shoes. Be aware that most hikes and visits to archaeological sites and monuments require walking over rocky and sometimes steep terrain. Also, we advise you to always carry a hat with you as well as sunscreen with at least SPF 30 since summer temperatures on Crete can sometimes exceed 90˚F.
Euro is the currency used in Greece and on the island of Crete. Bring what is necessary for your daily expenses in Greece and try to avoid carrying substantial amounts of cash with you. Exchange money into Euros at your local bank before you travel to Greece. Bring one or two credit cards for personal purchases or if you need to visit an ATM and inform your bank about your planned traveling to Greece. Some banks will block you from withdrawing money in a foreign country in fear that your ATM card and financial information has been stolen.
Accommodations vary from location to location, including overnight stay at small boutique hotels, Cretan traditional homes, and renovated Venetian estates. Most hotels offer single rooms and double rooms for couples with queen bed or two single beds. The rooms are modern with bathrooms including shower or bathtub, LCD television and the majority of them offer wireless internet. If you would like to stay at a hotel of your choice you may do so by making your own arrangements. We reserve the right to change accommodations, ways of transportation or alter our itinerary if deemed necessary.

Travel/Safety advice
Please inform us about your travel arrangements as soon as you have booked your flight to Greece/Crete. We will pick you up from the airport at Herakleion (HER) at the day of your arrival. Alternatively, we can pick you up from the harbor at Herakleio in case you decide to travel to Crete by ferry. Many travelers add an extra week or two before or after a tour to Crete/Greece. We are more than happy to assist you if you wish to stay longer on the island of Crete or have the desire to visit other Greek islands or travel on the Greek mainland.  
Please, let us know if there are any medical conditions that we should be aware of that might affect your participation in one of our trips. Ask your physician for advice before committing to one of our tours. Bring copies of your prescriptions and the names of the drugs you are using in case you need to visit a pharmacy or a doctor/ hospital in Greece.

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