Minoan Crete and Santorini

Islands of Myth and Legend

Trip Scholar: Professor John Bennet

Director, British School at Athens
Sidney Sussex College, 1976

9 day tour
Price from £2,895

9-17 September 2022

Island of myth and legend, Crete can claim to be home to the oldest civilization in Europe, the Minoans. Discover the superb Minoan, Mycenean, Doric and Roman remains of Crete and nearby Santorini in the company of Professor John Bennet, Director of the British School at Athens, and unravel the clues left behind to learn how this ingenious Bronze Age civilization was so ahead of its time.

Tour highlights

  • Discover the Minoan palace cities of Phaestos, Malia and Knossos, adorned with staggering frescoes and home to the ancient scripts Linear A and Linear B
  • Visit the evocative remains of Ancient Aptera, once a powerful city-state, reduced to ruins by an earthquake
  • Enjoy charming Chania, with its beautiful Venetian mansions and lighthouse, and Heraklion, with its medieval city centre
  • Take a catamaran to Santorini to see the recently excavated site of Akrotiri, buried by volcanic ash with remarkably well-preserved remains

Itinerary at a glance

Day 1:    Meet the group at Chania airport   | Transfer to Chania for overnight
Day 2:    Visit ancient city of Aptera and archaeological museum of Chania | Afternoon at leisure | Overnight Chania
Day 3:    Visit Phaestos and Minoan Palace at Agia Triada | Afternoon at Gortis | Transfer to Heraklion for overnight
Day 4:    Morning visit to Knossos | Afternoon visit to Heraklion Archaological Museum | Overnight Heraklion
Day 5:    Catamaran to Santorini | Visit Akrotiri and Museum of Prehistoric Thira | Return to Heralkion for overnight
Day 6:    Visit Historical Museum of Crete | Continue to Mount Ida and site of Tilisos and Sklavokambos. Overnight Heraklion
Day 7:    Travel to Malia to visit Maila Minoan Palace | Excursion to Dikteon Cave | Transfer to Elounda for free time and overnight
Day 8:    Morning excursion to Gournia  | Optional visit to Spinalonga Island this afternoon | Overnight Elounda
Day 9:    Tour ends after breakfast | Transfer to Heralkion Airport 

Dates and Prices
Prices are in UK£, per person, based on double occupancy

9-17 September 2022
Room TypePriceSingle SupplementOptional Flight from LondonAvailability
Standard Twin/Double£2,895£375£250-280 return approxAvailable

Twin or double bedroom with a private bathroom in 4-5 star hotels, breakfast and lunch daily, 5 dinners,  all excursions with local guides including entrance fees, transfers and expert leader.

International flights, breakfast or lunch on Day 1, dinner on 3 evenings,  meals after breakfast on the day the tour ends, travel insurance, drinks, tips to drivers & local guides, items of a personal nature.

Optional flights
Temple World can arrange flights from London to coordinate with this tour. We recommend flying with BA from Heathrow to Chania at 11:45, arriving 17:50. There are avariety of flights from Heraklion to Heathrow but we recommend the 16:45 arriving 19:00. The ticket cost starts from £250 per person including taxes, return.  Other airline rates and indirect departures from regional airports may be available. We will arrange a group transfer to and from the airport to coincide with the flight/departure time to the British Airways flights shown. Private transfers to meet any flight are possible at a small supplement.

Booking your own travel
Clients wishing to use airmiles to buy or upgrade flights are advised to book their own flights.  The start point of the tour is Chania, and the end point of the tour is Elounda, to which the nearest airport is Heraklion.

*Very important! Those who plan to book their own flights should not make any binding or non-refundable arrangements until their place has been confirmed in writing on the tour and Temple World has confirmed that it is a guaranteed departure



NHS Fit For Travel advises travellers to Albania are usually recommended to immunise against: Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Rabies and Tick-Borne Encephalitis (TBE). Yellow Fever Certificate is required if entering from an area with risk of yellow fever transmission. Please seek professional medical advice at least 8 week before departure. NHS Fit For Travel Website


Entry Regulations

British citizens can enter and remain in Albania for a maximum of 90 days in every 6-month period without a visa.  Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 3 months from the date of entry into Albania.

Fitness Guideline

We have graded the fitness level required for participation in this tour as Moderate. There is quite a lot of walking in the tour, on uneven paths such as archaeological sites or in conditions which might be an uneven and rough.  There may not be anywhere to rest or sit down regularly.  Not suitable for those who require walking aids. There are strenuous walks and sightseeing might be ‘on the go’ for several hours at a time, without breaks to sit down and rest.  It is important that everyone is able to keep up with the group.  Tour participants over 80 will be asked to provide a letter of fitness from their GP. Please contact us for a full fitness briefing.

Trip Scholar
Professor John Bennet, Professor of Aegean Archaeology, currently seconded to British School at Athens (Director)
John Bennet  read Classics at Cambridge, where he also completed his PhD on the administrative organization of Late Minoan II–IIIB Crete based on archaeological and textual (Linear B) evidence and held a Junior Research Fellowship.  From 1986 to 1998 he taught in the Department of Classics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison before taking up the Sinclair & Rachel Hood Lecturership in Aegean Prehistory at Oxford.  In 2004 he was appointed to his current chair at the University of Sheffield, where he also directs the Sheffield Centre for Aegean Archaeology.  Since 1 October 2015, John has been based in Greece as Director of the British School at Athens.

His research focuses on the archaeology of complex societies (particularly the Minoan and Mycenaean cultures of the Bronze Age Aegean), the archaeology and history of Crete, early writing and administrative systems (especially Linear B), and on the Venetian and Ottoman periods in Greece.

He has published on Late Bronze Age Crete and mainland Greece, on Linear B, and on historical Greece, often explicitly integrating material and textual evidence, and has carried out fieldwork in Crete (Knossos; Phaistos region; Hania region), mainland Greece (Pylos region) and the islands (Keos; Kythera).  His guide to all things Minoan  A Short History of The Minoans (I.B. Tauris Short Histories), has just been re-printed in February 2022.


Lectures during our tours
All our tours are accompanied by an academic ‘trip scholar’ as well as local guides. The local guide or guides provide the day-to-day guiding on our tours, whilst the trip lecturer will give regular lectures on his/her specialist subject throughout to provide an academic overview. Lectures/talks usually last 30-40 minutes including questions and answers (if applicable). These are generally held in the evenings before dinner and attendance is optional. We don’t usually specify before travel which days the lectures will be given (for operational reasons) but guests can expect them roughly every other day as a minimum, with some lecturers giving some kind of talk or presentation more frequently.

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The trip scholar was brilliant. His preparation and lectures were top-notch, and his creativity—for example, teaching us how to make squeezes, i.e. damp paper impressions of carved inscriptions—was impressive. Pierre & Susan

Congenial Companions

Our small group tours are exclusively available to alumni of Oxford and Cambridge universities and their friends and family, making for a wonderful atmosphere amongst like-minded individuals.

Expert Lecturer

All our small group alumni tours are accompanied by a university lecturer as well as local guides, with illuminating lectures given throughout the tour to enrich understanding of the destination.

To reserve a place on one of our small group alumni tours, contact us for availability then send us a signed booking form and deposit.

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