discover & work in
Enjoy legend and nature, myth and beauty on your 10-day Greece Workation Package in Crete. You can be as adventurous, historical, or beach-focused as you’d like as you find the balance between work and life when visiting ancient palaces, Venetian ports, and quiet villages on Greece’s largest island.
This is a sample itinerary to inspire a personalized trip designed with your travel specialist
Evocative, colorful, and rolling with history, Chania exemplifies Crete’s beauty and timelessness. Townhouses line the atmospheric harbor rising above boutique hotels and cafes, restaurants put tables along the cobblestone streets, and the lighthouse towers above the cobalt water looking out to the sea.
Your Workation representative will meet you at the airport and take your pre-verified accommodation in Chania to find the amenities you need to enjoy a work-life balance during your Greece Workation package. You can quickly lose yourself among the maze-like streets and enjoy the atmosphere of the Old Harbor with architecture dating back to the 16th century.
When walking through the Old Harbor, you can sit on a bench and enjoy the serene sound of water tapping against the walkway. Close your eyes. What did the harbor sound like centuries ago?
For a great introduction to Crete and the local flavors, you can try a bougatsa, a traditional pastry made with phyllo and stuffed with various fillings like cheese.
Your first full day on Crete and in Chania can take you around the Old Venetian architecture that transforms the edge of the water into a cosmopolitan panorama lined with cobblestone streets and layers of history combining antiquity with Venetian, Ottoman to contemporary Greek, while also revealing traces of Minoan life among the nearby archeological excavations.
Explore town with a guide for more information and insight into local life so you can enjoy a more immersive experience. Climb to the top of Firka Fortress, which was built to defend the harbor. From the top, you can enjoy a more encompassing view while waiting for sunset to turn the sky and water shades of orange.
Sit and enjoy your first sunset over the harbor. Turn off your phone. Don’t turn your phone back on until the sun has completely set.
While visiting the fortress, you can also see the Maritime Museum of Crete, which explains how and why Crete joined Greece.
The Samaria Gorge is one of the most popular hiking destinations on the island and a full day to explore the trails can take you winding between the White Mountains and finding endless terraces, wildlife, and villages, as well as a coastal town perfect for a refreshing swim.
You can follow the trails with a guide or by foot and enjoy the smell of pine and hot rocks as you walk between the meandering waters listening to the active birds rustle the trees. Follow hairpin turns, witness the steep walls ascend more than 1,000 feet tall, witness signs of ibex or Bonelli eagle before reaching Agia Roumeli, the small town overlooking the Libyan Sea facing the northern coast of Africa.
When you reach Agia Roumeli, visit the eastern beach, witness the strange rock formations, and watch for dolphins leaping out of the sea. Focus on the smells, the textures of the rocks, and sounds. How does it affect your experience?
You can hike to Agia Roumeli and return by ferry for a more well-rounded experience.
Today is your first opportunity to work while in Greece. Put in place specific rituals or tasks that create a habit to help you ease into work and disconnect at the end of the day. Putting in the process as soon as you are able makes the system non-negotiable for better output during work hours for a work-life balance more in tune with what you want.
At the end of the workday, you can travel into the White Mountains, which gets its name from the snowcaps in winter and the bleach-white limestone in summer. Your guide will take you to the farmers around the region to meet with locals and learn about the production of Cretan cheese, as well as ingredient staples of the island famous around Greece. You can smell the mountain herbs, taste the aged personality of the cheese, and sip traditional raki as you make dishes like kaltsounia cheese pies or mountain bulbs.
During the cooking class, pay attention to all your senses. What do you see, hear, taste, feel, and smell? Which sense feels the most powerful?
Raki is traditionally served with small plates like olives, so make sure you have food handy whenever you take a drink.
You will have another chance to implement your ritual to start and end your workday before setting out to explore more of Chania and greater Crete. By putting a system in place that works for you, you can support your own work habit anywhere in the world.
After work, you can visit a nearby olive farm to learn about the prehistoric traditions Cretans have used to make olive oil. A major part of the Mediterranean diet and the food cooked on Crete in particular you can learn how locals harvest the olives, as well as the way they once pitted, pressed, and transitioned the olives into oil. The trees can be nearly 2000 years old and the oil you sample may have notes of freshly cut grass with a hint of spice and a smooth texture.
Close your eyes when you taste the different oils and actively look for familiar tastes, smells, and textures. Take notes and pay attention to which you prefer.
If you have time, visit Vouves to meet the oldest olive tree in Greece, and possibly the world.
The day is for your focus at work, giving you plenty of time and opportunity to implement your ritual, complete your projects, and meet your Workation representative before traveling to Heraklion, the capital of Crete. Get comfortable in your new accommodation that has been pre-screened for necessary amenities to ensure your successful Greece Workation.
With time get acquainted with Heraklion, you can walk through Old Town where stone streets create elaborate lanes along the shopping district. You can feel like you have entered a maze of alleyways in the pedestrian-only marketplace lined with vendors, hidden patriots, and restaurants filling the air with the smell of roasting meats and garlic. Jewelry, linens, ceramics, and more decorate tables and sporadic window displays drawing the attention of locals and visitors with elaborate flair.
Pay attention to the smells, sounds, and feeling of the air. How is it different than Athens? How is it different from home? Find five details that feel specific to Crete.
More than just trinkets and souvenirs, you can also find vendors selling local products like fruits, cheeses, and kinds of honey made and sold only on Crete.
After work, you can meet a guide and visit the incredible ruins of the Palace of Knossos. The Minoan site represents one of the best-preserved archeological excavations from the age and features elements of the magnificent palace once home to the mythical minotaur.
A palace existed on the site since at least 2,000 BCE and you can view the colorful pillars and elaborate frescoes showcasing the unique culture of the civilization and time period. You may not find a minotaur but you can find an exceptional fresco depicting the bull-leaping ceremony and remains of the Grand Stairway.
Listen to the story of the minotaur while at Knossos. How does it sound while standing on the supposed site of the labyrinth?
Most of the frescoes at Knossos are replicas but the official ancient artwork is on display in the Heraklion Archeological Museum.
Celebrate the week’s end with a wine tour that focuses on the flavors, smells, and textures of indigenous grapes. Grapes that have been grown and used for wine around Greece have a history over 4,000 years old and can include varietals like Kotsifali and Assyrtiko. With wine and food such popular attractions on Crete, local winemakers are protecting their heritage by focusing on the remarkable personalities of the local grapes. When you start tasting, you may find wine using Dafni grapes, which nearly went extinct. The rare and antique grapes create flavors of bay leaf, rosemary, and lemon verbena for unforgettable notes that add to the acidity and citrus-fruit flavors.
During the winetasting, take notes of the characteristics you like most. Think about what they have in common. Is there a wine or a number of wines that overlap with these characteristics?
A wine can complement a dish. Many wineries specialize in other ingredients in addition to wine allowing you to pair wine with cheeses, honey, or olives.
With another full day to experience the greater island of Crete, you can spend time enjoying the beaches during the season or set off on an exploration of the coastline on horseback. For a great introduction to local life, take a tour of the traditional and authentic villages that remain on the island.
Spili is a great place to spend time amongst the outdoor cafes and wandering cobblestone streets. A monastery shines a yellowish-gold against the dried landscape at the foot of Voriza Mountain. In Sissi, you can enjoy the idyllic atmosphere revolving around the natural port. Fishing remains the prominent industry with men and women pulling their catch in the early morning and cleaning the fish in time for dinner. The town feels like the expected essence of Mediterranean life.
Sit in a cafe in Spili and enjoy the view, the atmosphere, the architecture. It’s Saturday. Focus on being present by enjoying the smells and sounds around you.
If you have the desire, you can spend time on a local boat and help the fishers haul back their catch for the day.
If you have more time in the morning before your flight, you can enjoy walking around Heraklion’s marketplace to find the right souvenir or visit Koules Fortress for the view over the water and along the city’s coastline. Your Workation representative will meet you at your accommodation and guide you to the airport. You can extend your Workation package in Greece or by visiting countries like Italy and Greece.
Pay attention to your breathing and the sensations each breath provides. How does it feel in your body? Practice this for five rounds.
If you have the chance, don’t miss the Natural History Museum of Crete, where modern perspective shapes the perception of the island’s ancient history.
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