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Review Highlights
Private day tour Crete with transfer to Chania.

We enjoyed our day with Lena and driver Niko. We booked the Spinalonga Tour unfortunately the... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Maximize the quality of your time in Crete!

We enjoyed two of their private tours. We only had a brief time in Crete and wanted to experience... read more

Reviewed May 4, 2018
Greenville, South Carolina
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Reviewed May 23, 2015

How many ways can you prepare Greek Coffee? Are dark olives and green olives different varieties? Why is the sea called Aegean?
You will find out these and 100's more amazing facts if you hire Secrets of Crete. There is no better way to learn about a place than spending time with a local guide and the level of knowledge, excitement and care we've experienced with Joseph has made our trip to Crete truly unforgettable. Joseph's company will completely customize your experience: whether your interest is sites, local flare, shopping, ruins - he will customized a trip perfect for you. Here is a quick recap of how we chose to use our time, to give you some ideas:
We got picked up form the hotel (on time) and drove out to our first destination: a village where we saw 26 churches, visited tombs, saw the secret passage (won't tell you where, so I don't spoil the surprise) and had traditional Greek coffee and aperitif.
We then visited a winery that would rival the best in Napa with some incredibly warm and informative proprietors. We then had lunch at a truly authentic spot where lovely Chrisanthe cooked us a private lunch from scratch. The trip concluded with a visit to an olive oil maker who gave us a private lecture on how olive oil gets made, complete with a tasting. Our last stop was Knossos.
Throughout the trip, Joseph was a great companion - we really had a blast. Spending the day with him was a hi-lite of our trip.

Date of experience: May 2015
1  Thank Soubriquet2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2015

We had absolutely unique day with Joseph Batis. He modified the tour to fit our interests perfectly - showing the true Crete in all its glory (several villages off the beaten path, an archeological site, meeting and chatting up with local people), we learned the Cretan lunching traditions in a small, fantastic tavern (food was exceptional), tasted wine from local grape varieties. I think the village priest that Joseph introduced us to will stay with me for the rest of my life. That was very special - he unlocked the church for us, specially. On the top of that he gave so many great tips. Joseph’s love and passion for Crete is admirable, he made us feel to come back and explore more (we were for only couple of days and were lucky weather-wise). Not to mention that Joseph is exceptionally intelligent, well-travelled and fluent, if not mistaken, in about five languages, native level. We were truly impressed!

Date of experience: April 2015
1  Thank Zoi B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2014

My husband and I had the good fortune to have spent the day with Joseph Batis, who has tours exploring some of the lesser known parts of Crete, Greece. In our correspondence with him prior to the day we had available, he customized the itinerary to fit our specific requests. He is fluent in several languages and has a comfortable car. Since among our interests were the culinary history of Crete as well as the Jewish History of Crete, he was creative in showing us both. He took us to a little village where there was a "restaurant" (actually, a few tables on a stunning patio overlooking a valley) where a luncheon was prepared for us. The cook there had recently cooked with Yotam Ottolenghi who was traveling in Crete exploring the local cuisine. You can contact Joseph through his website: http://www.secretsofcrete.com/ He accepts payment via PayPal which made the whole experience easy to manage.

Date of experience: October 2014
1  Thank BehaviorQueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2014

We were so fortunate to find Joseph and Secrets of Crete for a full day tour during our visit in October 2014. We took Joseph's advice that Central Crete would be the best destination for us, as we were staying in the town of Sissi. He picked us up at our hotel promptly at 9AM, and drove us high up into the mountains above Heraklion. He is a very good driver and the car was quite comfortable for 3 people; 4 would have been ok too. We started our day in the lovely village of Agios Tomas, where we spent time with local people (over Greek coffee and sweets) and visited churches and chapels used today and several that were quite ancient. We also saw some very ancient tombs hewn out of the rock, very interesting if a bit spooky. From St. Tomas we went to Epanosifi Monastery where we were fortunate to find one of the senior monks looking for some company, and he shared some raki (and a blessing) with us. Afterwards we had an amazing, liesurely meal at "Yard of Chrysanthi" in the village of Katalagari - see my separate review (rustic but five stars!). Sadly, our planned wine tasting didn't happen as the vineyard's owner decided not to open that day -- but heck we enjoyed plenty of local wines on our own during our 8 day visit. We finished the day in the town of Archanes, charming, modern and very liveable. We were delivered back to our hotel in Sissi at rougly 6PM. All in all, we enjoyed the day tremendously and saw areas of Crete that we would never have ventured to without a guide. The day we spent with Joseph is a great memory for us.

Joseph is a pleasure to spend time with. He is educated, knowledgeable, extremely well-traveled, articulate in at least 5 languages, personable and also has a lovely sense of humor. Most importantly he has an honest love of Crete that comes through his tours. There is no selling or commercialism involved, which is a refreshing change from some tours we have taken in the past with other guides. We look forward to seeing Joseph again in future travels, and we give our highest recommendation to his services if you would like your holiday in Crete to include a very special day exploring some "Secrets".

I will come back to this posting and add some photos as soon as I am able to download them from my far-too-complicated camera.

Date of experience: September 2014
2  Thank CMWNJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2014

Joseph showed us Crete in a way the large tours could not have. Great lunch also! I highly recommend this private tour company.

Date of experience: September 2014
1  Thank Carol C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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