Duration: 8 hours
Pick up points : Hotels, Resorts, Crete Airports and Ports.
What you will see on this full day tour.
Since 1900, continuous archaeological excavations from the Italian Archaeological School, have brought to light the magnificent Minoan palace of Phaistos with its great royal courts, the great staircases, the theatre, the storerooms and the famous disk of Faistos.
The first palace was built at 2.000 B.C. This palace was destroyed at 1.700 B.C. by an earthquake. It was built again, more luxurious and magnificent and it was destroyed again, probably by another earthquake, at 1.400 B.C.
The location of the palace was carefully chosen, so as not only to absolutely control the valley of Messara, but to also offer a panoramic view of the surrounding area with the scattered villages, just like today, at the foot of the mountains Psiloritis and Asterousia.
The palace dominated and controlled the Messara valley and it was the centre of the city. It was the administrational and economical centre of the area. Goods not only for consumption but mainly for trade were kept in its huge storerooms.
The palace was surrounded by luxurious mansions and crowded urban communities. Along with the surrounding settlements covered an area of 18.000 sq. meters. A paved road leads to the ruins of the Royal Minoan villa of Agia Triada, 3 km west of Phaistos.
Gortys is located at the Messara Valley, near the village of Agioi Deka, on the 46th km of the main road from Iraklion to Tibaki that traverses the island from north to the south.
Gortys is crossed by the river Litheos, today called Mitropolianos that dominates the valley of Messara.
One of the oldest and most important monuments of Christianity in Crete is the Basilica of Agios Titos, which was the seat of the first bishops of the Cretan Church.
In the centre of Gortys was the temple of Pythios Apollo, the most important pre-christianic temple of the city, built on the ruins of a Minoan settlement. The most important monuments of the ancient Gortys are the ruins of the acropolis and the odeum. The odeum of the ancient city was the place where parts of the great Law Code of Gortys was discovered. The Gortys Law was inscribed on stones. Four series of inscribed stones are preserved today, which constitute relics of great importance for the study of the epigraphy and Law of the time. The inscription is in a Dorian dialect and it was written at the end of the 6th century B.C.
Matala was the ancient port of Phaistos and Gortys and a former fishing community, which has developed into a modern holiday center. It is located 4 km southwest of the village of Pitsidia and 75 km from Heraklion. It is built on the coastline of the Messara bay inside a small and picturesque inlet. The turquoise blue sea, and the red disk of the sun which sets in the evening horizon create a hue of colours that evoke novel emotions.
The magnificent inlet of Matala features one of the best beaches in Crete. The artificial caves, carved into the north face of the coast, have been probably used as prehistoric dwellings and places of worship, while during the 1st-2nd century were used as tombs. These caves, in combination with the sandy beach, form a semicircle on both sides of which jut up towering rocks; they act as a magnet for many people.
During the 60s the caves were hosting a hippie commune. Today, the tomb-caves of Matala are protected by the Archaeological Service.
The Koule fortress on the Kastri hill is an attraction that should not be missed by the visitor. There is also a hewn-in-the-rock church dedicated to the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary. It is more like a catacomb and was used by the early-Christians during the years of persecutions.
South of Matala there is a huge rock formation known as the rock of Theosyni that offers a panoramic view of the Messara Bay. The rock raises from the sea while at sea level it caves in deep to form a natural marine cave, named Kouroupi. This cave provides shelter to wild pigeons and to the Mediterranean seal.
The beauty of the coast continues south of Kouroupi, where following a path along the rock, you reach the enchanting red sand beach, a place for those who are young and daring. The spectacular red sand beach is known as Ammoudia. This location is ideal for camping.
Vehicle, fuels, tolls (wherever exist), parking fee,
English-speaking driver, English or French-speaking guide, insurance covery of the passengers up to ?500,000 in total, VAT and all taxes.
*Entrance fees in archaeological and historical sites, hotel accommodation wherever needed, beverages and meals.
Palace of Phaistos – per Adult 4 euro
Palace of Phaistos – per Child (under 17 with passport) Free
Gortys- per Adult 4 euro
Gortys-per Child (under 17 with passport) Free
Sundays or Holidays: * Supplement per vehicle 140 euro
* Charge for driver and tour guide based on labor legislation in Greece.
* NOTE: !!! Our Guides are LICENSED and Members of the Union official Guides in Crete.
** NOTE: !!! Our Drivers are Professionals and English speaking.
Please note that not allowed Taxi drivers, Minivan drivers and Bus drivers to do the job of the tour guides, this is prohibited by Greek law.
The tour guide profession is protected by the Greek legislation
Our Company from its establishment until now, works only with official, professional, licensed tour guides.
Please note that in case you may wish to book a private tour through our website, in no way means that you are obliged to follow the exact route of showing the proposed tour.
You have the ability to change the order of the sites, to remove or add attractions, provided it does not exceed the time duration and distances that you have already booked.
We are flexible to any changes that you may wish during your private tour, our aim is your complete satisfaction.
Our drivers and our licensed tour guides are at your disposal in order to provide you with the best service.
If you are interested in booking this Private Tour please fill in these details that follow and you will be informed of the pricing details.