TOURS : BATTLE OF CRETE

Wherever your heart lies, we work alongside you to enhance your passions and create immersive and authentic experiences worldwide.

Join the Cretan Federation of Australia and New Zealand for a Pilgrimage to Greece, in Athens and on Crete to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Crete and the Australian involvement in 1941. This moving journey that will take place in May 2021, will take you where soldiers from Australia, New Zealand Britain and Greece fought alongside Cretan civilians to push back German invaders during the Battle for Crete in May of 1941. You will participate in official ceremonies honouring those who fought in the Battle, whilst tracing the history of this significant event during WWII. Join us on this touching journey as we analyse the Battle by visiting its key sites, whilst at the same time, reliving the heroism and the hopes of the Cretan partisans who fought alongside our own Australian and New Zealand troops.

BATTLE OF CRETE – 80th ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIVE JOURNEY 

 
Day 1 – ARRIVE IN ATHENS
Transfer to your hotel in the city centre.
 
Day 2 – (B)
Drive through the modern city of Athens.
Syntagma Square ~ Academy ~ University ~ National Library ~ Iliou Melathron (former home of archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann) ~ Panathenaic Stadium ~ Greek Houses of Parliament ~ Tomb of the Unknown Soldier ~ Changing of the Guard.
Acropolis ~ Propylaea ~ basin of Attica ~ Parthenon ~ New Acropolis Museum.
 
Day 3 – ATHENS > CHANIA  (B)
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Chania, Crete.
Possibility of an evening meeting with local Battle of Crete representatives (to be confirmed)
 
Day 4 – BATTLE OF CRETE TOUR PART I (B)
Maleme Airport Hill 107 ~ Tavronitis Bridge ~ German Cemetery ~ Platanias Museum
Experience Crete from a different perspective with our in-depth Battle of Crete expert. Explore Chania and Kisamos areas and their relevance to the history of WW2 in Crete.
Souda Commonwealth War Cemetery ~ German War Cemetery ~ Bridge in the Tavronitis and Maleme.
Battle of Crete Commemorative experience*
 
Day 5 – BATTLE OF CRETE TOUR PART II (B)
NATO Souda Bay Allied War Cemetery ~ British Alliance Cemetery ~ Venizelos Tombs
The Souda Bay Allied War Cemetery is a military cemetery administered by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission at Souda Bay, with burials from both World Wars.
Naval Base of Souda Bay ~ Old artillery barracks of 5th Infantry Division ~ Tombs of Eleftherios Venizelos ~ Tomb of Sophoklis Venizelos at Akrotiri. At this site, the Greek flag was raised in defiance of the Turks and the Great Powers, with the peninsula acting as the headquarters of the Cretan Revolution.
Battle of Crete Commemorative experience*
 
Day 6 – CHANIA WALKING TOUR : The history of Chania City through the centuries to today (B)
Walk the beautiful town of Chania, second largest city of the island, where the Cretan partisans would socialize with the Australian and NZ troops, and where so much of the history of the Battle still exists.
The Old Town is situated next to the Old Harbour. It used to be surrounded by the old Venetian fortifications that started to be built in 1538; parts of it surviving to this day.
Battle of Crete Commemorative experience*
 
Day 7 – CHANIA > RETHYMNON (B)
Transfer to Rethymnon. Day at leisure to explore the city of Rethymnon.
 
Day 8 – RETHYMNON > HERAKLION (B)
Visit Knossos, the capital of King Minos and the center of the magnificent Minoan civilization. The palace at Knossos is famous throughout the world through the myths of Europa ~ the Minotaur ~ the Labyrinth ~ Theseus ~ Daedalus ~ Icarus.
Historical Museum of Crete : The Museum preserves and showcases the cultural heritage of Crete from early Byzantine times to the modern era.
Battle of Crete Commemorative experience*
 
Day 9 – The history of the Cretan Resistance in the 18th century’ & Rethymnon Old Town (B/D)
Arkadi Monastery has been significant to Cretan history. The Monastery’s battles against the island’s conquerors is inspirational. The monks participated in the 1821 Revolt and during the Holocaust of November 8th 1866, the monks managed to protect the local community.
Old Town of Rethymnon was built during the Minoan civilization and was prominent enough to mint its own coins and maintain urban growth. Today’s old town (Παλαια Πολι) is almost entirely built by the Republic of Venice. It is one of the best-preserved old towns in Crete.
Battle of Crete Commemorative experience*
Farewell dinner at a traditional Cretan restaurant this evening
 
Day 10 – DEPARTURE (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Chania airport for your departure flight back to Athens.
 
COST PER PERSON
3 STAR – $5779 (Twin Share)
4 STAR – $6275 (Twin Share)
 
INCLUSIONS & GENERAL NOTES
 · International return airfare from Australia to Athens (MEL, SYD, BNE)
· Greek domestic flights Athens – Chania – Athens
· 2 nights hotel in Athens including breakfast daily
· 4 nights hotel in Chania including breakfast daily
· 3 nights hotel in Rethymnon including breakfast daily
· All tours & transfers as specified in the itinerary
· Entrance fees to all sites and museums as mentioned in the itinerary
· WWII Battle of Crete in-depth touring with private bus, professional English & Greek speaking bilingual guide with detailed knowledge of the Battle of Crete
· Traditional Farewell Dinner
· Tour will take place in May 2021 – precise dates to be advised based upon word from officials in Crete to ensure we partake in Battle of Crete official ceremonies and events.
· Pricing is correct at the time of printing (26th June 2020) and may change depending upon the rate of exchange, or depending upon price increases by the Greek government which may affect the overall cost. Touchdown Tours will inform you of any such increases with as much prior notice as possible.
· *Battle of Crete Commemorative experiences will take place at various times during the tour, and the details will be confirmed closer to departure. They may not always take place on the days specified, and may take place in between touring, as they will be dependent on guidance by local authorities.

Wherever your heart lies, we work alongside you to enhance your passions and create immersive and authentic experiences worldwide.

BATTLE OF CRETE

Join the Cretan Federation of Australia and New Zealand for a Pilgrimage to Greece, in Athens and on Crete to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Crete and the Australian involvement in 1941. This moving journey that will take place in May 2021, will take you where soldiers from Australia, New Zealand Britain and Greece fought alongside Cretan civilians to push back German invaders during the Battle for Crete in May of 1941. You will participate in official ceremonies honouring those who fought in the Battle, whilst tracing the history of this significant event during WWII. Join us on this touching journey as we analyse the Battle by visiting its key sites, whilst at the same time, reliving the heroism and the hopes of the Cretan partisans who fought alongside our own Australian and New Zealand troops.

Read More

BATTLE OF CRETE – 80th ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIVE JOURNEY 

 
Day 1 – ARRIVE IN ATHENS
Transfer to your hotel in the city centre.
 
Day 2 – (B)
Drive through the modern city of Athens.
Syntagma Square ~ Academy ~ University ~ National Library ~ Iliou Melathron (former home of archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann) ~ Panathenaic Stadium ~ Greek Houses of Parliament ~ Tomb of the Unknown Soldier ~ Changing of the Guard.
Acropolis ~ Propylaea ~ basin of Attica ~ Parthenon ~ New Acropolis Museum.
 
Day 3 – ATHENS > CHANIA  (B)
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Chania, Crete.
Possibility of an evening meeting with local Battle of Crete representatives (to be confirmed)
 
Day 4 – BATTLE OF CRETE TOUR PART I (B)
Maleme Airport Hill 107 ~ Tavronitis Bridge ~ German Cemetery ~ Platanias Museum
Experience Crete from a different perspective with our in-depth Battle of Crete expert. Explore Chania and Kisamos areas and their relevance to the history of WW2 in Crete.
Souda Commonwealth War Cemetery ~ German War Cemetery ~ Bridge in the Tavronitis and Maleme.
Battle of Crete Commemorative experience*
 
Day 5 – BATTLE OF CRETE TOUR PART II (B)
NATO Souda Bay Allied War Cemetery ~ British Alliance Cemetery ~ Venizelos Tombs
The Souda Bay Allied War Cemetery is a military cemetery administered by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission at Souda Bay, with burials from both World Wars.
Naval Base of Souda Bay ~ Old artillery barracks of 5th Infantry Division ~ Tombs of Eleftherios Venizelos ~ Tomb of Sophoklis Venizelos at Akrotiri. At this site, the Greek flag was raised in defiance of the Turks and the Great Powers, with the peninsula acting as the headquarters of the Cretan Revolution.
Battle of Crete Commemorative experience*
 
Day 6 – CHANIA WALKING TOUR : The history of Chania City through the centuries to today (B)
Walk the beautiful town of Chania, second largest city of the island, where the Cretan partisans would socialize with the Australian and NZ troops, and where so much of the history of the Battle still exists.
The Old Town is situated next to the Old Harbour. It used to be surrounded by the old Venetian fortifications that started to be built in 1538; parts of it surviving to this day.
Battle of Crete Commemorative experience*
 
Day 7 – CHANIA > RETHYMNON (B)
Transfer to Rethymnon. Day at leisure to explore the city of Rethymnon.
 
Day 8 – RETHYMNON > HERAKLION (B)
Visit Knossos, the capital of King Minos and the center of the magnificent Minoan civilization. The palace at Knossos is famous throughout the world through the myths of Europa ~ the Minotaur ~ the Labyrinth ~ Theseus ~ Daedalus ~ Icarus.
Historical Museum of Crete : The Museum preserves and showcases the cultural heritage of Crete from early Byzantine times to the modern era.
Battle of Crete Commemorative experience*
 
Day 9 – The history of the Cretan Resistance in the 18th century’ & Rethymnon Old Town (B/D)
Arkadi Monastery has been significant to Cretan history. The Monastery’s battles against the island’s conquerors is inspirational. The monks participated in the 1821 Revolt and during the Holocaust of November 8th 1866, the monks managed to protect the local community.
Old Town of Rethymnon was built during the Minoan civilization and was prominent enough to mint its own coins and maintain urban growth. Today’s old town (Παλαια Πολι) is almost entirely built by the Republic of Venice. It is one of the best-preserved old towns in Crete.
Battle of Crete Commemorative experience*
Farewell dinner at a traditional Cretan restaurant this evening
 
Day 10 – DEPARTURE (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Chania airport for your departure flight back to Athens.
 
COST PER PERSON
3 STAR – $5779 (Twin Share)
4 STAR – $6275 (Twin Share)
 
INCLUSIONS & GENERAL NOTES
 · International return airfare from Australia to Athens (MEL, SYD, BNE)
· Greek domestic flights Athens – Chania – Athens
· 2 nights hotel in Athens including breakfast daily
· 4 nights hotel in Chania including breakfast daily
· 3 nights hotel in Rethymnon including breakfast daily
· All tours & transfers as specified in the itinerary
· Entrance fees to all sites and museums as mentioned in the itinerary
· WWII Battle of Crete in-depth touring with private bus, professional English & Greek speaking bilingual guide with detailed knowledge of the Battle of Crete
· Traditional Farewell Dinner
· Tour will take place in May 2021 – precise dates to be advised based upon word from officials in Crete to ensure we partake in Battle of Crete official ceremonies and events.
· Pricing is correct at the time of printing (26th June 2020) and may change depending upon the rate of exchange, or depending upon price increases by the Greek government which may affect the overall cost. Touchdown Tours will inform you of any such increases with as much prior notice as possible.
· *Battle of Crete Commemorative experiences will take place at various times during the tour, and the details will be confirmed closer to departure. They may not always take place on the days specified, and may take place in between touring, as they will be dependent on guidance by local authorities.
 
 
 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WILL WE BE ATTENDING OFFICIAL COMMEMORATIVE CEREMONIES?

Yes, the tour includes several official commemorative ceremonies in accordance with local authorities and commemorative events that will be taking place at the time.

WHAT COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS WILL BE IN PLACE ON THIS TOUR?

COVID-19 is a moving landscape, and Touchdown Tours is working closely with our Australian and Greek colleagues to ensure paramount protection based on government regulations at all times. This includes (but is not limited to) using covid-safe hotels, and having 2 seats per person on coaches. As the regulations change, so will our measures.

CAN I VISIT MY RELATIVE’S GRAVE AT ONE OF THE CEMETERIES?

Provided we know their name, we may be able to help you locate their tomb number and we will do our very best to ensure your visit to honour their memory is included.

WHAT HAPPENS IF WE CANNOT TRAVEL DUE TO LATER-IMPOSED TRAVEL BANS?

Please see our Terms & Conditions for full details, including Force Majeure clause.

DO I NEED A VISA TO ENTER GREECE?

No, Australian passport holders do not require a visa to enter Greece. However, new entry regulations do require every traveller to complete an online Passenger Locator Form 24 hours prior to arrival. Touchdown Tours will keep you informed of any new developments to this requirement.

WILL WE BE TAKING IN OTHER SITES OF INTEREST DURING THIS TOUR?

Crete is one of Greece’s most loved islands by locals and tourists alike. It has so much ancient history that we have decided to include this within our tour. There will also be some down time for you to explore the towns and villages on your own, or enjoy the island’s pristine beaches while you are there.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF WE CAN'T TRAVEL DUE TO COVID-19?

MORE TOURS

SUBSCRIBE TO UPDATES


Subscribe to our Newsletter for the latest travel specials and tour updates.