After pickup from your Crete hotel (select hotels only), travel west along Crete’s northern coast by air-conditioned coach.
Absorb the sea views on route, and then turn southward, heading into the foothills of the White Mountains. Pass through sleepy villages and after a breakfast stop (own expense) at the hamlet of Elos, continue to the Chrissoskalitissa Monastery.
Perched above the west coast, the name of this medieval rocktop retreat means ‘golden step,’ reflecting a legend that one of its steps is made from gold, but only visible to devout Christians.
Try and identify the ‘golden step’, and then visit the atmospheric building (own expense), admiring the spectacular sea-and-countryside views from its elevated location.
Next, drive to nearby Elafonisi Bay, home to the tiny protected nature reserve that is Elafonisi Island, whose name translates as ‘Deer Island.’ Hop out, and wade across the knee-high lagoon to the island's stunning, pink-hued sands.
Then, enjoy ample time to relax in the paradise-like setting. Laze on the sands, explore the island’s footpaths, or swim and snorkel in the crystal-clear seas — it’s your choice.
When it’s time, reconvene with your guide and return to the original starting point, where your trip ends.