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Winter in Greece: The Magical Island of Crete

Program No. 22935RJ
From its arid east to the lush forests of the west, Crete beckons to be explored. Experience this ancient island like a local during the quieter winter months when the climate is mild.
9 days
Rating (4.86)
Activity Level
Starts at
Flights start at

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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
Jan 30 - Feb 7, 2023
Starting at
Feb 13 - Feb 21, 2023
Starting at
Mar 13 - Mar 21, 2023
Starting at
Oct 30 - Nov 7, 2023
Starting at
Nov 6 - Nov 14, 2023
Starting at
DATES & starting prices
Jan 30 - Feb 7, 2023
Starting at
Feb 13 - Feb 21, 2023
Starting at
Mar 13 - Mar 21, 2023
Starting at
Oct 30 - Nov 7, 2023
Starting at
Nov 6 - Nov 14, 2023
Starting at

At a Glance

The largest of the Greek islands, Crete has served as a melting pot of cultures since ancient times. Discover the best of this Aegean isle during the quieter winter months when the crowds have dissipated and the weather is mild. As you explore coastal villages and ancient sites, unravel the history of the Minoans, Romans, Ottomans and others who have left their mark on Cretan culture. Meet local families, sample local delicacies and even try your hand at creating Cretan cuisine during a hands-on cooking class.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two miles a day over hilly and uneven terrain. Steep stairs without railings at historic sites, standing up to four hours a day with breaks.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Delve into ancient history during field trips and lecture to learn about Minoan Civilization.
  • Experience a traditional visit at the home of a local family in a village and enjoy authentic local raki, followed by lunch at a picturesque Eco-Lodge and a performance by a local musician playing the Cretan Lyra.
  • Marvel at the ruins of Knossos, considered by experts to be Europe’s oldest city.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Ancient Greece: Art, Architecture, and History
by Marina Belozerskaya, Kenneth Lapatin
This lively illustrated guide covers the architecture, painting and sculpture of Ancient Greece from the third millennium to the end of the Hellenistic period. With 282 color and 28 black-and-white illustrations.
The Search for Ancient Greece
by Roland Etienne, Francoise Etienne
Lavishly illustrated, this pocket encyclopedia covers the archaeology and meaning of ancient Greece -- quite an accomplishment for such a slim book.
The King Must Die
by Mary Renault
The first in Mary Renault's trilogy of well-researched page-turners features the tale of Theseus, slayer of the Minotaur and the king of Athens. Known for her exhaustive research, Renault is an acknowledged master of historical fiction.
Ill Met by Moonlight
by W. Stanley Moss
Moss tells the better-than-fiction story of the audacious World War II kidnapping of the German commander of occupied Crete with Patrick Leigh Fermor and fellow S.O.E. officers. Dirk Bogarde played PLF in the Powell movie.
by Barry Unsworth
A travel memoir from the Booker prize-winning novelist, richly detailed and steeped in the millennia-old traditions, myths, literature and history of the island.
Kidnap in Crete, The True Story of the Abduction of a Nazi General
by Rick Stroud
In this new chronicle of the kidnapping of a German general on Nazi-occupied Crete by travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor's small SOE unit, Stroud fills in the narrative with meticulous research, situating the legendary tale in its historical context.
The Cretan Runner, His Story of the German Occupation
by George Psychoundakis, Patrick Leigh Fermor (Translator)
In this exceptional memoir, Psychoundakis recounts his role in the Cretan Resistance as a "runner," delivering messages and goods while dodging Nazi storm troopers. His good-humored narrative even crosses paths with (his eventual translator) Patrick Leigh Fermor.
The Colossus of Maroussi
by Henry Miller
Miller captures the spirit and warmth of the resilient Greek people in this inspired tale of a wartime journey from Athens to Crete, Corfu and Delphi with his friend Lawrence Durrell.
DK Eyewitness Top Ten Crete
by Eyewitness Guides
A compact, illustrated guide in the popular series, featuring favorite attractions in Crete.
The Complete World of Greek Mythology
by Richard Buxton
With hundreds of color illustrations, site plans, genealogies and maps, this handsome, encyclopedic reference illuminates the world of the Greek gods.
Aegean Art and Architecture
by Donald Preziosi, Louise Hitchcock
An illustrated survey of Minoan and Mycenaean art from the Neolithic to the extraordinary Bronze Age palaces of Knossos, Gournia and Phaistos. Great for any archaeology-minded traveler.
The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece
by Robert Morkot
This pictorial survey of Greek antiquity, recording its culture and expansion, features dozens of full-color maps.
Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea, Why the Greeks Matter
by Thomas Cahill
Cahill brings to life ancient Greek society and civilization through the lives and words of politicians, playwrights, a poet, a philosopher and an artist in this eloquent and absorbing tribute.
The Greeks, An Illustrated History
by Diane Harris Cline
This accessible photographic history of ancient Greece pays special attention to Greek innovations: great literature and architecture, war tactics, democracy, the Olympics, Socrates and much more. Cline laces the gripping story of the Greek empire with archaeological discoveries.
The Golden Step, A Walk through the Heart of Crete
by Christopher Somerville
Sommerville's account of a heroic 300-mile, mountainous trek west across Crete from Heraklion to the Monastery of the Golden Step.
The High Mountains of Crete
by Loraine Wilson
This new edition of Cicerone’s full-color guide to the White Mountains includes new routes, photographs and information on the Gorge of Samaria National Park and the Psiloritis and Lassithi ranges. Written by a longtime guide to the White Mountains.
Across Crete, From Khania to Herakleion
by Johan De Bakker
This collection explores the history of Crete through the writings of various travelers from around the world. The first of three illustrated books that tour the island, east to west.
Greece, A Traveler's Literary Companion
by Artemis Leontis (Editor)
In this terrific anthology, 24 modern Greek writers offer a flavor of their nation, its culture and people, beautiful landscapes and rich history.
Abducting a General, The Kreipe Operation and SOE in Crete
by Patrick Leigh Fermor
In another riveting episode from the life of Patrick Leigh Fermor, the eminent travel writer recounts his time as an operative during WWII and as the leader of 11 guerrilla fighters in Crete who famously kidnapped German general Heinrich Kreipe.
Knossos & the Prophets of Modernism
by Cathy Gere
In this marvelous, scholarly study of the myth and meaning on Minoan Crete, Gere illuminates both the original excavations of Sir Arthur Evans at Knossos and how this ancient civilization captured the Western imagination as an idealized society.
Crete Adventure Map
by National Geographic Society
A detailed, double-sided map at a 1:150,000, printed on handy tear- and water-resistant paper.

Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.