WWII – The Battle of Crete Combo Tour
Discover the greatness of Cretan history and learn about one of the most critical battles in WWII…
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Leisurely
Group Size Small Group
- Visit the Maleme airfield from above and Tavronitis historical bridge
- Discover the battle of Galatas
- War monuments around the area of the battle
- Explore the WWII exhibitions in small museums and secret shelters
- Visit the German and Allies war cemeteries
- Analytic details about the historical battle of Crete
- Explore the “White Mountains Trail”
- Heraklion & Rethimnon regions
On May 20th 1941, world’s history changed forever. The battle of Crete, or “operation Mercury” was one of the most important war theatres of WWII. On July 1941, two months after the fall of Crete, General Kurt Student, the German Airborne leader, was called to Adolf Hitler’s base at Wolfschanze. Student with some senior paratroop officers who had survived the Crete battle, he was awarded the Knight’s Cross. The Fuhrer congratulated the Airborne warriors for the victory. This was quite encouraging for the experienced general. Already his Airborne Corps was nearly back up to strength. He had ambitious plans for further operations In the Mediterranean against Cyprus, Egypt, and Malta. But after lunch, over coffee, Hitler shattered his hopes.
Turning to Student, the Fuhrer said quietly: “Of course, General you know that after Crete we shall never do another Airborne operation. The parachute arm is one that relies entirely on surprise. That surprise factor has now exhausted itself…the day of the Paratroops is over”.
The general historical facts of the battle of Crete are known. Together we will discover the original details and the unknown stories behind the scenes. You will have the chance to tour around the places where heroism and hope was a life goal for the Cretan partisans and the Greek , British, Australian and New Zeeland troops. The battle of Crete changed the world in many different ways. Join us and explore the legendary and glorious WWII history of Crete.
- Accommodation for 7 nights in luxurious hotels
- 7 Full breakfasts
- Airport transfers and all transfers as per the itinerary by luxury Vehicles and English speaking chauffeur
- 1 keepsake itinerary with maps and ample information about visited locations
- English speaking, local guide
- All entrance fees
- All taxes, fees and handling charges
- Meals and Drinks not Specified
- Personal Expenses such as Telephone, Minibar, etc
- Tips and Gratuities (Guides, Restaurants, etc)
- Travel Insurance (Strongly recommended)
- Cancellation Insurance
Welcome to the island of Crete! Our friendly driver will pick you up from the airport and drop you off at your nice and elegant hotel in Chania. Relax, settle in and take some rest from your long journey. There are plenty of things to discover the next days, so get ready.
Get in touch with the Greek - Cretan culture and history
Our first day we will tour around Chania. The signs of the battle are still remain, as you will see, many buildings are still ruins because of the German Luftwaffe attack those days. We will start from the beginning of the WWII and how the war affected East-South Europe, Greece and Crete. We will analyze the operation “Marita”, the glorious Greek-Italian war of 1940 and under what circumstances the operation “Mercury” began.
Discover the most important war theatre of the battle
After your breakfast you will have the chance to see the key-location of the battle of Crete. A few kilometers from your hotel is Maleme, Tavronitis and Galatas. On 20th and 21st of May 1941 the Nazis bombed hardly specific locations of Chania. One of them, and the most important, was the airfield of Maleme. You will discover the most important war theatre of the battle.
Explore more locations and see how the allies lost the battle
Today we will explore the other side of Chania. Another German target of the first days. We will explore more key-locations in Chania and learn everything about facts and the secrets of the battle. We will also explain what happened to the other two regions of Crete, Rethimno and Heraklion during the battle days.
- Reservations must be made 24 hours before the tour. A cancellation must be done 5 days before the tour. In case of later cancellations, no refund will be made from the company.
- If a tour is cancelled due to few participants or bad weather conditions, the company will refund 100% of made payments.
The beginning of the end – The White Mountains Trail
The end of the battle is close and general Fryberg order all his troops to withdraw. He has an escape plan. That was a life bet for Fryberg and Wevel, to save the allies during the retreat. The Cretan partisans helped and leaded the allied troops through the mountains to the South harbors, where the warships were waiting for them. The narrow mountain paths was extremely dangerous and unknown but not for the locals. Today we will discover the area where the allies escaped.
The German – Italian occupation in Crete
The battle of Crete never ended. Cretan partisans, British commandos and soldiers who survived and escaped to the mountains are still fighting the Nazis. Many secret operations and sabotage made the Germans always to worry for their lives. After many brave actions against the Germans in Crete, no German or Italian officer around Europe felt safe again. We will explore many areas in Crete where important operations took place.
The first days of the German occupation, terrible things happened in Crete. The Nazis took a hard and painful revenge from the locals. Cretans paid a huge price for their resistance during the battle with a lot of blood and sacrifices. Some of the first mass executions of innocent people happened at the villages of Alikianos, Kontomari, Kandanos and many other villages around Crete. The Germans hit hard and quickly. Too many men, women and children died in organized mass executions by Nazi bullets. We will drive around the monuments, dedicated to those heroes who gave their lives to protect their homeland and families, for Freedom, Peace and Democracy. We will analyze the life in Crete during the German occupation and in the evening we will enjoy our farewell dinner.
Time to say goodbye
Our trip is nearly ended! We will meet at your hotel for the last farewell and our driver will drop you off at the airport. It was a week full of history, memories and cultural heritage. We are sure that we will see you again in one of our common interest travels.
We keep our group sizes low so you have the freedom to move around and get involved with your surroundings, as well as more personal attention from our local guides. This intimate size ensures that your group will not crowd your experience. You can expect up to 30 travelers on a trip but the average is 10-15. Check individual trip pages for maximum group sizes.
It’s extremely difficult if not impossible to join a tour after it has begun. It is possible to leave a tour early however you will be responsible for your own arrangements from the moment you decide to leave the tour. You would also be responsible for all costs associated with joining a tour late or leaving one early. If you feel this may be necessary please consult a Fabulous Crete Specialist before you book your adventure.
Mercedes Benz & Volkswagen 9 seats buses
For privacy reasons we cannot provide you with advance details on your traveling companions. However, our tours appeal to a wide range of travellers, most of whom share an adventurous spirit and a desire to experience these destinations at a grass-roots level. Our tours are conducted in English and so they attract many travellers from North America, UK, Australia and Europe
The availability listed on our website is updated every minute however on some tours we must confirm arrangements with our people on the ground, a process which usually takes no more than 24 hours. When you book online you will receive a follow-up email confirming your arrangements or a timeframe for when they will be confirmed.
The security that comes from knowing your trip is locked-in is a feeling that can’t be topped. We like that feeling – so much, so that we figured everyone should have it.
Every departure is guaranteed to run. Yup, all of them. Once you’ve booked and paid, that’s it, you’re going. Guaranteed. Your trip won’t be cancelled by us for any reason (beyond harsh weather or safety issues). Promise.
All documentation is sent electronically by email. Shortly after we receive your payment we will send you your initial documents. Final documentation will be sent by email no later than two days prior to the departure.
Yes, all of our Tour Managers and Tour Drivers speak English, some speak additional languages as well, but your tour will be conducted in English
You will automatically receive an e-voucher to your email address. Please print your voucher/ticket or keep a picture to your mobile phone which contains your unique reference number. Please remember to bring this with you on the day. You will not be allowed entrance to an attraction without a valid ticket.
If there is any problem with your booking or payment details, we will contact you on the telephone number or email address stated in your booking. Sometimes tours may not operate due to insufficient numbers, and we may need to contact you to advise you of any such changes.
All entrance fees and costs are included in the tour price except unspecified fees.
If you book more than 2 tours with us, then please contact our friendly staff who will be happy to assist you with your inquiry and see what we can arrange for you at firstname.lastname@example.org
You could lose your seat to a walk-up passenger. We encourage you to arrive at the pickup point a minimum of 15 minutes before departure. Once on the tour, your guide or driver will give you a time that the coach will depart each location. You must be at the coach at least five minutes before this time. If you are late and miss the time given, the coach will depart without you in order to not keep the other passengers waiting. If you are in any doubt about a departure time whilst on your tour, you must ask the guide or driver.
5 days before the tour starts –> 50% refund, no refunds after that
35% Deposit on booking time and final payment 7 days before the tour date.