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RUN URBAN - SEE THE WORLD

PRIVATE LONG MINOAN LEGENDS TOUR – 24 KM

minoan 24k
A private tour suitable for advanced runners, which unites an ancient palace, a Minoan cemetery and a sacred mountain.
run fun sights

TOUR DETAILS

  • Tour Type

    private tour
  • Tour Distance

    24 km / 14.9 mi
  • Tour Duration

    5h
  • Level of Difficulty

    moderate
  • Tour pace

    individual
  • Tour days

    Sun
  • Start times

    Sun: 7:00 - 9:30 AM
  • Tour Language

    English, Greek (optional)

TOUR DESCRIPTION

Details

Seven kilometers outside the city of Heraklion, in the middle of an amazing landscape that combines perennial pine trees and vineyards, lays the palace of ancient Knossos. Knossos was the very center of Minoan Civilization, the so-called first European civilization, and had been covered by volcanic ash for more than 2000 years. People were able to admire again its marvels only by the beginning of the 20th century when Sir Arthur Evans started excavations in citu – and today, thousands of visitors pay annually a visit to the home place of King Minos.

We will start our run just outside of this surrounded by legends place and we will find our way through the vineyards until the entrance of Knossos’ canyon. Running by the side of river Keratos, we will surpass the byzantine church of Virgin Mary, the famous Venetian aqueduct of Santa Irini that used to collect water for Heraklion and we will find ourselves in an amazing natural park (nominated as a protected Natura 2000 area) that provides shelter for the local wild flora and fauna (totally harmless to people, we assure you!). After these first 9 off road kilometers of moderate difficulty, we enter the village of Archanes. We will make a small (~6km) loop here, running through the Minoan cemetery of Fourni.

Archaeologists made some amazing discoveries ere, and today is an ideal place for many outdoor activities, for cultural events (a small open-air theater is placed here) as well as for relaxing.

At this point, we begin the most difficult part of our run, as we are going to run over the holy mountain of Giouchtas. Seeing this mountain from Heraklion, its shape reminds us of the outline of a human head, which is why it was believed that Zeus, the Father of the Gods, was buried here. Giouchtas is a place of great archaeological and ecological importance, full of ancient ruins and home place for the great cretan vulture – climbing on it will be a bit hard (4 off road kilometers on slippery rocks) but, do believe us, the panoramic view from the church of Jesus Christ at the top of Giouchtas (811 meters altitude) will compensate us for the try.

After that, begins the last (yet still hard…) part of our run. Downhill running on Giouchtas through a narrow trail of intense slope for 3 kilometers can be exhausting – however, the amazing smell of dictamus, thyme, oregano and the other herbs of Cretan nature will take away any negative thinking (“what am I doing here?”, “why did I choose this tour” and other happy thoughts…), and escort us until the village of Archanes, nominated some years ago as one of the most beautiful villages in Europe. Its unique character, its cultural inheritance and its tranquility makes Archanes an ideal epilogue for our run. The flowers, the traditional narrow streets, the figures of the local people staring puzzled at “…these koyzoyloi (“crazy”, “mad”) runners again” that went down from Giouchtas – they will all absorb the tense and fatigue, and let all the breathtaking experience settle down. Yes – it will be a bit hard. Experience and good physical condition are required, as well as a good pair of trail shoes. But we do feel that runners are often seeking for hardship, so we can already imagine you smiling.

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MORE TOUR INFO

  • Pick-up service:
    Pick-up service from your hotel/apartment or another meeting point is possible and will be checked by the tour provider individually.
    If your hotel/apartment should be too far away from the city centre or not close to the tour route, then we will meet you at one of our standard meeting points for this running tour.

    Standard meeting point:
    Dimokratias Avenue, Eleftherias Square. Venizelos Statue
    Google Maps link: Venizelou Statue

    Meeting details:
    The tour provider will get in contact with you to provide you with more detailed information after the tour was booked.
    Please, bring along your mobile phone in case we need to contact each other.

    • Private guide/tour
    • Individual pace
    • Digital photos
    • Pick-up service
    • Water supply
    • Snacks
  • WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT THE WEATHER?
    Crete has a climate of Mediterranean type. That means that it can be really hot through summer, even though winters are mild. This of course can change, depending on the time of the day, the period of the year or the altitude. You will find quite accurate forecasting at the websites mentioned below [https://www.mountain-forecast.com/, www.freemeteo.gr], whereas you can also always ask us for more information.

    WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
    We are quite sure that every runner has a collection of training clothes well suited to his special needs. Whether we speak about shorts, tights, hats, bandanas, base layers or t-shirts, every runner has his own style – remember, as you are on vacations, except of the weather conditions there are no other rules on what you will wear! Of course, when a tour has some special characteristics (ie trail), you will be informed in time.

    WHAT SHOULD I HAVE WITH ME?
    Go Running Tours Crete is not a race, nor a training program. Of course, some specific tours are hard while others are quite easy. As we do private tours the pace of the tour is determined by our guest. Be sure that we will find a tour that suits to your special needs, in order for you to be able to run with us through our beautiful island.

    I WANT TO PARTICIPATE, BUT I DO NOT KNOW IF I CAN?
    Go Running Tours Crete is not a race, nor a training program. Of course some specific tours are hard while others are quite easy. As we do private tours, the pace of the tour is determined by our guest. Be sure that we will find a tour that suits to your special needs, in order for you to be able to run with us through our beautiful island.

    DO YOU HAVE A HOTEL PICK-UP SERVICE?
    Pick-up service from your hotel/apartment or another meeting point is possible and will be checked by the tour provider individually.
    If your hotel/apartment should be too far away from the city centre or not close to the tour route, then we will meet you at our standard meeting point.

    WHAT ABOUT FOOD/WATER/TOILET?
    We will always have water with us. When the duration of a tour makes that necessary, we will bring small snacks. Do have in mind that Crete is a very developed and traveler-friendly place, and so we do not run the risk to find ourselves out of supplies in any occasion.

  • If you need to cancel a booked service, it is mandatory to email Go! Running Tours by respondng on the booking confirmation email or via our contact form: Get in contact with us.

    You are entitled to cancel your booking up to 4 workdays before the booked tour date, free of charge. There will be in this case be a full refund of the tour and service fees.

    If you cancel a booking between 3 and 0 days before the booked tour date, or if you do not attend the tour, there will be no refund.

    If the tour provider is not able to accept the tour, or if the tour provider was not able to carry out the booked tour, Go! Running Tours guarantess a full refund of the tour and service fees.
tip  BOOKING TIP:
BOOK EARLY - GIVE US SOME TIME
We recommend to book your running tour minimum 2-3 days before your preferred tour date. Especially during the different high seasons, when many guests like to join our runs.
That will give the guide/city manager enough time to arrange together with you the last tour details like the meeting point, start time and to organize a personal tour guide for your unique and fun running experience.
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gearwheel BOOKING PROCESS

  • 1. Click on "Book Now"
  • 2. Select date/start time, # of runners
  • 3. Fill in personal data plus additional info

payment PAYMENT

  • 4. Accept T&S and click on "Continue"
  • 5. Forward to secure payment website
  • 6. Pay with your credit card
  • NOTE: Cash payment is not possible!

email CONFIRMATION

  • 7. Check your email inbox for pre-confirmation
  • 8. Tour guides reach out to you within 24h
  • 9. Guides will arrange tour details with you
  • 10. Tour is confirmed and set

guarantee GUARANTEE

  • We guarantee your money until you have done the tour! In case of that the tour can't be arranged or any other not self-inflicted circumstance, we will provide a full refund within 24h.

TOUR GALLERY

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