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Castles and Palaces of The Greek Islands

10 Days / 9 Nights

Rhodes, Heraklion, Naxos

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Embark on an unparalleled quest to discover the most impressive castles and palaces in the Aegean Sea. Start your 10-day trip in Rhodes with a stroll around the UNESCO-listed medieval town of Rhodes, home to the gorgeous Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights. Your next stop is Crete, where you can marvel at the Venetian Fortress in the Old Port of Heraklion, before you take a trip into history with a visit to the Ancient Palace of Knossos, one of the most awe-inspiring archaeological sites in Greece. End your journey in Naxos with a glimpse into a Venetian Castle that never ceased to be inhabited throughout the centuries. One of our team members in Greece will be available to you leading up to and during your trip to answer any questions and arrange local services. You will receive access to your Guest Page, with its information on the best these destinations have to offer, including things to see and do, and other inside tips from restaurant recommendations to tipping advice. Upon arrival, we will provide you with a local SIM card with data that you can use to reach your local JayWay contact throughout your trip. In all of our destinations, we offer a variety of memorable 3-5 star accommodation options, including boutique hotels and charming B&Bs. With our firsthand experience, we can ensure they are all clean, comfortable, and centrally located, with local ambiance.
Route for Rhodes, Heraklion, Naxos tour

3 Nights in Rhodes

3 Nights in Rhodes

4 days in Rhodes
4 days in Rhodes

3 Nights in Rhodes

The island of Rhodes, the largest of the Dodecanese islands and one of the most popular holiday destinations in Greece, is steeped in 3,000 years of history, with a multifaceted character that over the centuries gained the reputation of a place of spiritual calm. Inside the Medieval City of Rhodes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will be transported back to the world of the Knights of the Order of Saint John. Let your imagination run free and the city’s atmosphere guide your steps to encountering an authentic experience inside one of Europe’s oldest medieval towns.

The island of Rhodes, the largest of the Dodecanese islands and one of the most popular holiday destinations in Greece, is steeped in 3,000 years of history, with a multifaceted character that over the centuries gained the reputation of a place of spiritual calm. Inside the Medieval City of Rhodes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will be transported back to the world of the Knights of the Order of Saint John. Let your imagination run free and the city’s atmosphere guide your steps to encountering an authentic experience inside one of Europe’s oldest medieval towns.

Day 1

Day 1 - Arrival in Rhodes

Upon your arrival a driver will be waiting for you at the airport and take you to your accommodations.

Day 2

Day 2 - Your First Full Day in Rhodes

Rhodes Island Full Day Private Tour

The Island of the Knights

Included in your vacation package price.

Today you'll enjoy a fantastic full day tour around the island, driving through the villages, including visits of several historical sites, such as Filerimos Acropolis, the ancient city of Kamiros and Profitis Elias Mountain. During a wine tasting learn all about, traditions, life in the island and details not mentioned in any book.


Activity Level : Moderate
Duration : 8 hours

Day 3

Day 3 - Your Second Full Day in Rhodes

Rhodes Old Town Small Group Walking Tour

Stroll around Rhodes’s medieval capital

Please ask your travel advisor for the cost to add this to your package

The island’s capital, also called Rhodes, is one of the oldest inhabited medieval towns in Europe and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. It is surrounded by 2.5 miles of walls and 11 gates. Upon entering through one of these imposing gates, you will feel like you have stepped back hundreds of years. Many different architectural styles coexist in the city, but many buildings date back to when Rhodes was ruled by the Order of the Knights of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem (1309–1522). Be sure to visit the Palace of the Grand Master, built in the 14th century, and walk down the famous Street of the Knights. You will also find Ottoman architectural gems, built between 1522 and 1911, including the 16th-century hammam and Mustafa Pasha Mosque in Arionos Square. You could explore on your own, or join a small group tour for a guided walk.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 3 hours

Day 4

Day 4 - Traveling to Heraklion by Airplane

From Rhodes to Heraklion the best option will be to take a flight on one of the low cost airlines. On your day of departure, a driver will pick you up at your accommodation and take you to the airport for your flight. Suggested Flight:

Departure:
Arrival:
Please note that the flight included in your package is non-refundable. In case you would prefer more flexibility, we can check the flexible fares for you and let you know about the price difference. In addition, the price of the flights is subject to change until we receive your deposit.

We also offer the following excursions in Rhodes

4x4 Buggy Adventure Self-driving Group Tour
Easy3 hours
Amazing Sunset Hike Profitis Ilias Small Group Tour
Light5 hours
Day Cruise to Symi with a Swimming Stop at St. George Bay Group Tour
Light8 hours 30 minutes
Explore Lindos Small Group Hiking Tour
Light6 hours

3 Nights in Heraklion

3 Nights in Heraklion

4 days in Heraklion
4 days in Heraklion

3 Nights in Heraklion

Visitors to Heraklion, Crete's capital, are greeted by the imposing Venetian Koules Fortress, a reminder of the importance of this historic gateway to the rest of the island. A vibrant university town, Heraklion is home to some of the island's most important landmarks, such as the Knossos Palace, with its striking Bronze Age ruins, complete with colorful, stunning frescoes. Heading to the center, the bustling Old Town has many markets and cafes, along with neoclassical buildings and a 10th century church with impressed stained glass. Heraklion is a great base for exploring the island, but before you hit the road, take the time to stroll along its Venetian harbor, lined with traditional fishing boats and offering spectacular views of the Koules Fortress.

Visitors to Heraklion, Crete's capital, are greeted by the imposing Venetian Koules Fortress, a reminder of the importance of this historic gateway to the rest of the island. A vibrant university town, Heraklion is home to some of the island's most important landmarks, such as the Knossos Palace, with its striking Bronze Age ruins, complete with colorful, stunning frescoes. Heading to the center, the bustling Old Town has many markets and cafes, along with neoclassical buildings and a 10th century church with impressed stained glass. Heraklion is a great base for exploring the island, but before you hit the road, take the time to stroll along its Venetian harbor, lined with traditional fishing boats and offering spectacular views of the Koules Fortress.

Day 4

Day 4 - Arrival in Heraklion

Upon arrival to Heraklion airport, our driver will meet you and drive you to your centrally located accommodation.

Day 5

Day 5 - Your First Full Day in Heraklion

Heraklion Bites and Sights Small Group Tour

Discover Crete's Capital

Included in your vacation package price.

Bypass the concrete and head straight for the heart of Heraklion. Hit the backstreets and hidden pathways, checking out the highlights, sampling local treats, and discovering the forces that combined to make Heraklion the city it is today. This tour will help you get to know the city not just as it is now, but also as it was centuries ago, uncovering remnants of occupations by the Byzantines, Arabs, Venetians, Turks, and, yes, pirates.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 4 hours

Day 6

Day 6 - Your Second Full Day in Heraklion

Knossos Palace, Archaeological Museum and City Food Private Tour

Step Back in Time at Knossos

Please ask your travel advisor for the cost to add this to your package

The Minoan Palace of Knossos, one of Greece's most important and spectacular archaeological sites, is located close to Heraklion. The capital of the Minoan civilization when the Greeks were barely literate, this massive palace and city has been surprisingly well preserved. Knossos lives on in the stories of Daedalus and Icarus, and Theseus and the Minotaur within the Labyrinth. We recommend taking part in a guided tour, but if you're with kids download the site's mobile app, which has a series of audio stories about the place. After visiting Knossos, stop by the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, which contains artifacts excavated from Minoan sites.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 6 hours

Day 7

Day 7 - Traveling to Naxos by Ferry

Today you will be traveling from Heraklion to Naxos by ferry. A driver will meet you at your accommodation in Heraklion and take you to the port. From there you will take a ferry to Naxos. The journey takes around 3 hours and 30 minutes.

We also offer the following excursions in Heraklion

Archaeological Museum and Knossos Palace Private Tour
Light4 hours
Minoan Paths for Wine Enthusiasts Private Tour
Light7-8 hours

3 Nights in Naxos

3 Nights in Naxos

4 days in Naxos
4 days in Naxos

3 Nights in Naxos

The largest island in the Cyclades, Naxos frequently appears lists of the most authentic Greek islands and for good reason, as it is large enough to not rely solely on tourism. Gracefully lying in the heart of the Aegean, this dazzling Greek jewel is an ideal destination for those who wish to indulge in life's simple pleasures, great food, and gorgeous sandy beaches. What visitors love most about Naxos is the genuine rural charm found in the island’s picturesque mountainous villages, which dot the rugged landscape. Naxos has been the source of quality marble for centuries, and its ancient marble quarries, and their products, are some of the island's many highlights. Naxian marble was used to create the extraordinary sculptures that can be admired on the island of Delos and the archaeological site of Delphi. At sunset, enjoy a leisurely walk along the harbor of Chora (Naxos' old town) towards the island's most imposing landmark: the Portara. This massive marble doorway dates back to 530 B.C. and was built to honor the god of light, Apollo, although it was never fully completed. The myths and legends surrounding the island of Naxos are worth the trip alone. After sunset, head to one of the local tavernas found inside the fortified walls of the Venetian castle, the Kastro.

The largest island in the Cyclades, Naxos frequently appears lists of the most authentic Greek islands and for good reason, as it is large enough to not rely solely on tourism. Gracefully lying in the heart of the Aegean, this dazzling Greek jewel is an ideal destination for those who wish to indulge in life's simple pleasures, great food, and gorgeous sandy beaches. What visitors love most about Naxos is the genuine rural charm found in the island’s picturesque mountainous villages, which dot the rugged landscape. Naxos has been the source of quality marble for centuries, and its ancient marble quarries, and their products, are some of the island's many highlights. Naxian marble was used to create the extraordinary sculptures that can be admired on the island of Delos and the archaeological site of Delphi. At sunset, enjoy a leisurely walk along the harbor of Chora (Naxos' old town) towards the island's most imposing landmark: the Portara. This massive marble doorway dates back to 530 B.C. and was built to honor the god of light, Apollo, although it was never fully completed. The myths and legends surrounding the island of Naxos are worth the trip alone. After sunset, head to one of the local tavernas found inside the fortified walls of the Venetian castle, the Kastro.

Day 7

Day 7 - Arrival in Naxos

Upon arriving at the port, you'll be taken to your accommodations in Naxos.

Day 8

Day 8 - Your First Full Day in Naxos

Explore the Maze of Kastro

Suggestion to explore on your own

Above Naxos' Old Town sits the town's citadel, built by a Venetian duke in the 13th century. The fortress' interior, the Kastro, is a peaceful maze of flowery squares linked by narrow alleys featuring monasteries, churches, and noble mansions, some still bearing their coats of arms. Visit these places, and their surrounding shops, cafes, restaurants, galleries, and museums, as you explore the winding alleyways at your own pace.

Day 9

Day 9 - Your Second Full Day in Naxos

Dine Like a God

Suggested activities for an additional cost, depending on your choice

According to Greek mythology, Dionysus, the god of wine, blessed the island of Naxos with fertility. Unique among the dry Cyclades, Naxos produces a rich harvest of cheeses, meats, butter, potatoes, oil, honey, spices, and Kitron, a local spirit made from the citron tree. Cows graze coastal fields, free-roaming goats and sheep gnaw wild oregano and thyme, and roosters and rabbits help themselves to locals’ veggie-heavy compost. It’s easy to find superb traditional dishes in the town of Naxos, but we highly recommend enjoying dinner in the mountain villages, exploring their culture and culinary favorites such as "kokoras me makaronia" (rooster braised in red sauce), "kouneli riganato" (wild rabbit), or goat stew.

Cheese and Wine Trails Private Half-Day Tour

Cheese and Wine Trails Private Half-Day Tour

Suggested activities for an additional cost, depending on your choice

This tour gives you a great opportunity to meet the locals, immerse yourself in authentic Naxian life, make cheese, taste homemade delicacies, go on a vineyard tour, taste delicious local wines, and learn about wine making on this island, devoted to Dionysus, the God of wine! If you're not such a fan of wine, we can adjust the tour for you and include the charming villages of Halki and Apiranthos.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 5 hours 30 minutes

Cheese, Wine and Sightseeing Private Tour

Cheese, Wine and Sightseeing Private Tour

Suggested activities for an additional cost, depending on your choice

This tour is ideal especially for those that wish to make the most out of their stay and see more of the island, as well as getting to know its cuisine and culture. Enjoy the best of both worlds with an in-depth, exclusive and off the beaten path experience. This tour is a great opportunity to meet locals, immerse yourself in authentic Naxian life, make cheese, taste homemade delicacies, go on a vineyard tour, taste delicious local wines, and learn about wine-making on this island devoted to Dionysus, the God of wine! 


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 9 hours

Day 10

Day 10 - Departure Day

Based on your flight schedule we will arrange a driver to pick you up at your hotel and take you to the airport.

We also offer the following excursions in Naxos

All the Marble Private Tour
Moderate8 hours
Catamaran Group Day Cruise
Easy8 hours
Delos and Mykonos Day Trip with Naxos Star Cruise Boat
Easy10 hours
Delos and Mykonos Group Cruise
Light10 hours
What's Included

Here are all the services provided as part of your complete vacation package. See what every JayWay trip includes.
Please let us know if you'd like to upgrade any transfers or add any additional tours or excursions to your itinerary.

Rhodes

3 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Rhodes Airport Transfer
Rhodes Island Full Day Private Tour
Rhodes Airport Transfer
Rhodes - Heraklion Flight (Non-Refundable)

Heraklion

3 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Heraklion Airport Private Transfer
Heraklion Bites and Sights Small Group Tour
Heraklion Port Transfer
Heraklion - Naxos Ferry

Naxos

3 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Naxos Port Transfer
Naxos Airport Transfer
The package excludes:

  • Flights to and from Europe.
  • Tips for Tour Guides, Drivers and Local Reps.
  • Meals (other than breakfast if included in room rate and meals listed as included in food tours and excursions, unless explicitly stated otherwise).
  • Parking fees for your Rental Car (if you are booking one with us) unless otherwise indicated. Some hotels provide free parking facilities.
  • Travel Insurance. See the insurance link on our website
Benefits of Traveling with JayWay

A JayWay vacation is more than the sum of its parts. Our team work tirelessly to ensure your experience is memorable for all the right reasons. Your trip is personalized to maximize your enjoyment. You're taken care of every step of the way.

A Travel Advisor who speaks your language
We will make sure that all your requirements and interests are taken into account in preparing your itinerary.
A totally tailored itinerary for your vacation
Your trip is customized for you by  an experienced trip planner and an expert on the region.
A choice of hand-picked hotels and excursions
We've personally inspected and tested all the hotels and local tour providers we work with to ensure quality.
Detailed pre-trip preparation to make the most of every day
Your Europe-based Tour Manager will be in touch by email and phone a month before you arrive to finalize timings.
On-trip Concierge Service to smooth out any bumps in the road
Your tour manager is at your service throughout your journey. We'll provide a local SIM so you can stay connected.
Personalized Guest Page to make sure you're not missing out
Packed with detailed information and recommendations curated by locals on the best things to do, see and eat.

Glowing Reviews from Our Guests

5 / 5
Average of our Guest's Ratings of vacation packages including these destinations
Review by Aliza, Lindsey, Greg & Brian
Aliza, Lindsey, Greg & Brian
Pennsylvania

Excellent customer service with great suggestions and tour options. Educated and friendly tour guides.

Excellent customer service with great suggestions and tour options. Educated and friendly tour guides.

Year : 2022
Visited : Greece
Itinerary : Chania, Heraklion, Santorini, Naxos, Athens
Rating :
5 / 5
Year : 2022
Visited : Greece
Itinerary : Chania, Heraklion, Santorini, Naxos, Athens
Rating :
5 / 5
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