Archaeology in Crete

 Ancient tombstones known as Khachkars, Crete, AV311

Saga Hosted Hotels


Evidence of Crete’s powerful Minoan civilisation is scattered across the island, from vast palaces to ancient burial tombs. This special interest holiday will help you to uncover the history of the island, your expert host leading you around some of Europe’s most fascinating archaeological sites. We’ll tour the Palaces of Knossos, Phaistos and Malia; examine Bronze Age artefacts in local museums; and walk the cobbled streets of Minoan towns. We’ll take a boat over to the Venetian fort-island of Spinalonga and admire folk art in picturesque Kritsa. There’ll be time to explore traditional villages, too, and enjoy delicious Cretan lunches in harbourside taverns.

Six included excursions
- Malia, Kritsa and Lato (full day) 
- Heraklion (full day) 
- Gournia and Spinalonga (full day) 
- Armeni and Rethymno town (full day) 
- Phaistos and Gortyn (full day) 
- Lasithi Plateau (3/4 day)

Modelled on a traditional Cretan village, this friendly hotel is perfect for an island break. Just a stone’s throw from the Aegean, stay in white-washed buildings surrounded by flower-filled gardens, where rooms are traditionally furnished with balconies or terraces (some with sea views and private pools if you upgrade). Giant palms overlooking two inviting outdoor pools, while inside – you can relax in the spa and sauna. Enjoy delicious evening meals in the buffet restaurant with plenty of local cuisine on offer – while other options are available for lunch in the beach bar. It’s also a great spot for some drinks, too. Order an evening cocktail and enjoy the sound of waves.

Included with every Hosted Holiday

  • Dedicated welcoming host
  • Resort airport transfers
  • Travel insurance and meals


Saga host

Expert host

Six included excursions

All inclusive Prestige: All breakfasts, lunches and dinners

Free bar open up to 13 hours a day; international branded spirits and liqueurs, cocktails, wines and a range of coffees

International flights. Prices are based on return flights with easyJet or British Airways from London Heathrow or Gatwick. Supplements may apply from other airports

Return transfers direct to your hotel

Minimum 20kg checked luggage, per person


  • 7 nights

  • Hersonissos, Crete, Greece

  • London Gatwick Airport

  • All Inclusive

From £1,795 per person

Including optional travel insurance or a price reduction if not required

 Ancient tombstones known as Khachkars, Crete, AV311
Picturesque ruins of the ancient Minoan Palace of Phaistos, Greece. AV311

Holiday details

Food and drink

Meals are served buffet-style in the main restaurant, with an enriched choice of salads, Greek and international specialities.


Evening entertainment (seasonal) • Pool table • Table tennis • Tennis • Water sports available at nearby beach 


Rooms are tastefully decorated with a balcony or terrace with views towards the sea or gardens. 


  • Restaurant
  • Lobby Bar
  • Beach Bar
  • Two outdoor swimming pools
  • Heated indoor pool
  • Mini market
  • Wellness Centre (fees may apply)
  • Spacious gardens 

Holiday location

Hersonissos Maris Hotel map

Local Area

A 10-minute walk will bring you into Hersonissos. It’s a lively town, with plenty in the way of cafes, bars and restaurants in the centre and along the waterfront. There’s a small beach right in front of the hotel, but you’ll find a handful of others in the resort if you fancy a change of scenery. Day trip options include the Isle of Spinalongaand the more traditional villages in the hills behind Hersonissos. Island capital Heraklion is lovely, too, with a vibrant old town, colourful markets and a pleasant harbour with ancient fortifications.

Included excursions

Malia, Kritsa and Lato


We begin a full day of exploration in Malia, where we’ll tour the ruins of a Minoan Palace (the third largest in Crete). First built around 1900 BC, it was destroyed around 1650 BC, before being immediately rebuilt on the ruins of the original palace. Then, we’ll head into the mountains to picturesque Kritsa village, one of the island’s most important centres for Cretan folk art and weaving. Nearby is the ancient church of Panagia Kera, which houses some 14th and 15th-century frescoes. Our day ends in Lato, where we’ll explore the ruins of an ancient hilltop city said to be one of the most powerful in Crete. Excavations have uncovered shops, houses, a sanctuary, a temple and a theatre – it’s a wonderful snapshot of life in ancient Greece.



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