Crete & Santorini - Rise & Fall of Minoan Civilisation23rd Apr 2024
The Minoans are best known for their incredible labyrinthine palaces - the greatest of which, located at Knossos, was supposedly where Theseus slew the Minotaur. Our journey across these two beautiful islands will demonstrate the impressive architectural and artistic skills of this Bronze Age civilisation.
We begin on the stunning island of Santorini, buried suddenly during the cataclysmic eruption of Thera, which signalled the beginning of the end of Minoan civilisation. In Crete, we continue to trace the story of the Minoans, whose writing, organisation and ambition had a profound influence on the development of ancient Greece - and, thus, the western world.
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What to Expect
- Experience the rich history and archaeological sites of Crete and Santorini in the company of our experts
- Explore the city of Akrotiri – the “Pompeii of the Aegean” – and the fascinating frescoes on display in the museum
- Take a boat trip to the island of Spinalonga, a former leper colony, to explore the abandoned buildings
- Visit the Archaeological Museum in Heraklion and view its fascinating collections
- Tick the mighty Palace of Knossos off your bucket list
|Location||Pickup Time||Dropoff Time|
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** Please note that all timings are approximate and subject to change. Final timings and pick-up points will be confirmed with your joining instructions approximately 10 days prior to departure. **
Day by Day Itinerary
We depart from our pick-up points in London and Gatwick and head towards Kent and our first visit, Great Comp Garden – a beautiful seven-acre garden with many beautiful and rare shrubs, perennials and other hardy plants. This Kent garden is a plantsman’s haven. The year starts with Helleborus, followed by magnolias, rhododendrons and azaleas, then the remainder of the year follows with rare and exotic shrubs and perennial plants such as the huge collection of Salvias. There are areas of formal and informal plantings linked with meandering grass paths and ruins homing in on an Italian Garden.
From here we continue to the magnificent Lullingstone Castle. A historic family mansion dating back to the time of Domesday, frequented by Henry VIII and Queen Anne, the manor house and garden are set in the beautiful Darent Valley. The garden was designed by horticulturist Tom Hart Dyke, a modern day plant hunter who follows in the traditions of plant hunters who used to risk their lives and limbs in pursuit of fantastic blooms and plants, during his nine month kidnap at the hands of the Columbian Guerrillas in 2000. On his release he created the World Garden of Plants, which he continues to grow and build each year adding rare and important botanical plants to its collection.
We continue to our hotel, the 4-star George in Rye Hotel, Rye. Dinner will be served in the evening.