The tour explores Messara plain in the south. Driving through beautiful scenery, we will visit Gortys, one of the most extensive archaeological sites in Greece, with an unbroken history of 6,000 years,, with just some parts open to the public : the church of St Titus, the Odeon and the famous Plane Tree. We then will continue for Phaestos, an important centre of Minoan civilization, and the most wealthy and powerful ancient city in southern Crete. It was inhabited from the Neolithic period through the foundation and development of the Minoan palaces in the 15th century B.C. We will visit the palace with its superb architectural composition and construction, considered to be the finest and most typical of all Minoan palaces. Time permitting we can also visit the Cretan Ethnology Museum in Vori, before ending at the coastal Matala, known for its wonderful sandy beach and the caves carved into the rocks. You can enjoy a swim and lunch before the return journey back to Rethymnon.