Although he began his adult life as a law student at Athens University, Konstantinos' abiding passion has always been travel. He spent his free time visiting neighbouring Mediterranean countries and went on to use his newly acquired knowledge to accompany groups of travelers as a tour-leader. After graduating from law school he decided to turn his hobby into a profession, attending the four-semester Higher Education Institute of Professional Tour Guides in Greece. See part of his activity here.
His love of early and more recent Mediterranean culture led him to further History and Archaeology studies, while as a professional licensed guide-lecturer working for prominent study-tour operators based in the UK and Germany he had the opportunity to explore all the Greek islands and Greek mainland, to visit and explore the major and countless minor excavations around the country, as well as visit and guide interested groups to museums in Greece and neighbouring countries.
A passionate traveler, he has an extensive knowledge of the Mediterranean Sea and its lands, and has traveled widely throughout Europe. He deeply appreciates the fact that by understanding other cultures you can acquire a better knowledge and understanding of your own heritage, since establishing connections and correlations helps you realize that peoples around the world share similar values and hopes.
Konstantinos today offers his services as a freelance lecturer-guide for interested visitors to Crete, the Greek mainland, and islands. The cost for the guests of the house "Oikos 1900" is really friendly!
He is not just another expert on Cycladic, Minoan, Mycenaean, Classical, Roman and Byzantine culture; through his guiding you have an opportunity to understand the extent to which your own culture shares aspects of the common legacy that is the rich past of Greece.
So, give yourself the opportunity to enjoy a visit to Knossos –a locus that has been inhabited without interruption for 10,000 years. Or the Herakleion Museum. Or find out what a labyrinth is, as well as why Crete can claim to be the cradle of European-Western civilisation.
Not far away from another Minoan palace, Phaistos, you can visit the excavation of Gortys, to see the legendary plane tree (platanus orientalis var. Cretica), the place where Zeus brought Europa, who he abducted from the Phoenician coast. Gortys became one of the powerful city-states of Crete during the Classical age. Here you can see inscribed on stone plaques the oldest written laws on European soil, one of the first attempts of a people who were citizens (rather than subjects) to organize civic life. In later times it became the capital of the Roman province of Crete, and was where St. Paul founded one of the first Christian communities on European soil.
Konstantinos Skalidis, the owner of "oikos1900", is a highly experienced certified tourist guide. Accordingly, he is happy to offer his guests a variety of guided day-excursions to choose from. Walking through the Cretan landscape, hiking through spectacular gorges, ascending mountain summits with breathtaking views, visiting fascinating archaeological sites, museums and historical monasteries has been his profession for over 30 years. As guests at "oikos1900" you can enjoy and gain from his experience at very competitive prices. All you need to do is rent a car (usually our guests rent a 9-seater), choose the excursion you want to go on, and let Konstantinos do the rest. Enjoy your days!
Samaria- The gorge
The hike through the Samaria Gorge is a "must" for many of our guests. It can either be done as a one-day excursion by catching the afternoon boat and returning to "oikos1900" for dinner, or as a two-day excursion, including an overnight stay at Ag. Roumeli, at the exit of the gorge, and walking the next day to Ag. Pavlos beach with its evocative church that has faced the waves since the 11th century, then on to Dialiskari-Marmara beach, and finally Loutro, one of the prettiest fishing villages of Crete, from where we take the boat to Chora Sfakion. Alternatively, we can catch the boat to Chora Sfakion from Ag. Roumeli early in the morning. We drive just 28 km to Vrisses village, where we leave our vehicle. We continue by local KTEL bus to Omalos –via Chania– to the entrance of the gorge. For the return, we take the boat to Chora Sfakion, where the Bus waits for us and will offer us a spectacular ride to Vrisses, where we left the car.
(Gonia – Vrisses = 28km, 30 min.)
The Minoan Civilisation - the first high culture on european soil
A guided visit to the excavation of the Minoan palace at Knossos and the spectacular Arch. Museum of Heraklion is the best way to learn about the highly developed society that existed on Crete 3 to 4000 years earlier. You will be impressed!
(Gonia – Herakleion = 90 km, 1h + 10 min.)
Aradaina – Loutro
We drive to Chora Sfakion, where we park our vehicle. The KTEL bus will take us to the abandoned village of Aradaina, from where we take the steep path down into the gorge. After approx. 3 hours we exit the gorge at Dialiskari-Marmara beach, to enjoy a swim, lunch and wine. Everybody has had such a dream! Another 40 minutes walk and we arrive at Loutro, a picturesque fishing village on the rugged southern coast of Crete. From here we take the boat to Chora Sfakion, where we left our car.
(Gonia – Chora Sfakion = 64 km, 1 h 30 min.)
Arkadi – Eleftherna
Arkadi monastery, a monument of great significance during the struggle for liberation from the Ottoman Empire, is also a beautiful renaissance style complex of buildings located in a breathtaking landscape. Not far away is Eleftherna, the fascinating excavation of an ancient town. We see the impressive cisterns for the water supply, dating from the 7th or 6th century BCE, the remains of the fortification, and the finds from the excavations in the new Museum, telling us stories about the everyday life of the inhabitants and the importance of this city-state in ancient times.
(Gonia – Arkadi – Eleftherna = 40 km.)
Hike to the summit of Mt Ida – Psiloritis - 2456 m
This is the most challenging one day excursion, but rewarding and exhilarating! The view is superb, enabling you to survey Crete through the eyes of Zeus!
(Gonia – Livadia shelter = 60 km, 6-7 hours ascent - return.)
Ancient Aptera and Chania
The excavated ancient town on top of the hill overlooking Souda Bay, the largest natural harbor in the eastern Mediterranean, offers a unique view of the surrounding area and the various fortifications the people have built through the ages. We can then take an afternoon stroll through the streets of the old town of Chania and enjoy dinner in the romantic old port.
(Gonia – Aptera – Chania = 64 km, 1 hour.)
The minoan cemetery near the village "Armeni" and Rethymno
We start our day visiting the extensive Minoan cemetery near the village of Armenoi. It is a cemetery dating from the 14th to the 12th century BCE. We then drive to Rethymno, to stroll through the streets of the old town, talk about the buildings and sites that mark the history of the place, visit the archaeological collection in the church of St Francis (Ag. Frangiskos), and walk around the Forteza fortress.
(Gonia – Armenoi =10 km, Armenoi – Rethymno = 10 km.)
Hike to the summit of Mt Youchtas, then to the oldest wine-press in the world, and a stroll through the historical center of Heraklion
Thousands of years ago the Cretans, when looking at Mt Youchtas, discerned in its contours the countenance of Zeus facing the sky. Today a Christian chapel stands next to the site of the Minoan mountain-top sanctuary on its summit. The view is stunning. We hike to the summit of Youchtas, stop to enjoy the view for a while, and learn about the importance of sanctuaries such as this one. We visit the small archaeological site and excavations at Vathypetro, where we see the oldest preserved wine-press. We then drive to Heraklion to stroll around the city center and talk about the town’s older monuments and former glory in Renaissance times, and visit the Museum of Christian Art.
(Gonia – Archanes = 100 km, 1 h 30 min.)
The Imbros gorge
Short and easy to walk, particularly enchanting for its natural beauty, Imbros is accessible throughout the year. At Fragokastello, where the gorge emerges on the southern coast of Crete, the beach is idyllic! We return through the villages of Epano and Kato Rodakino, where Korakou beach can tempt us for a swim, then Sellia and Roustika, to round off a marvelous, picturesque route.
(Gonia – Imbros = 52 km, 1h 15 min. Return route through “Sellia” = 48 km, 1 h 50 min.)
Akrotiri – the monastery peninsula
Akrotiri is the peninsula where Chania-airport is located. It was once a place of retreat, and there are still a couple of old monasteries there, as well as the ruins of abandoned monasteries. We visit the Tsangarolo and Gouverneto monasteries, still occupied and fully functioning. We then walk to the “cave with the bear” and the evocative “Katholiko” in an impressive gorge. As far as swimming is concerned, the famous Stavros beach is nearby.
(Gonia – Gouverneto – Stavros = 75 km, 1 h 30 min.)
Polyrhenia - Falasarna
This trip gives you the opportunity to walk through the ancient settlement of Polyrhenia, where you can marvel at the spectacle of this location and touch the ruins of times past. Nearby Falasarna is well known, boasting a famous beach that offers breathtaking sunset views in the evening, as it looks due west. It was once a harbor-town, where St. Paul stopped on his travels according to the New Testament. Today the remains of the port are situated 9 meters above sea level – the west side of Crete has risen that much in the past 2000 years!
(Gonia - Polyrhenia - Falasarna = 124 km, 2 h.)