Hiking in Crete

Self-Guided Walking Holiday

About Hiking in Crete

Summary

Explore the natural beauty of Crete at your own pace; one week's self guided hiking tour of the island's best locations.

START / FINISH - Heraklion (or Chania)

Activity code: CR-TR01

Difficulty: Easy - Moderate. [Participants should be in good physical condition with a bit of hiking experience.]

Duration: 8 Days

Crete’s rugged scenery is ideal for a walking holiday - gorges and mountains dominate the landscape. Crete offers an inexhaustible source of vivid impressions - tall mountains, plains with wild vegetation, small traditional villages and an incredible array of ancient palaces, particularly from the Minoan Civilisation (Knossos, Festos, Malia, Zakros).

Why Book with us?

This walking holiday is available as an individual reservation only. The itinerary includes sightseeing opportunities in Chania and Heraklion together with hiking in the White Mountains, the Samaria Gorge and many off the beaten track locations.

We include most meals, opportunities for sightseeing, accommodation and transport with a fully detailed timetable, maps and route planner.

Accommodation: The hotels and guest houses in this itinerary are generally small, independent or family-run, properties which add significantly to your travel experience on this fascinating island. We select accommodation which has been personally inspected and experienced by our team - all hotels and guesthouses are comfortable and fully equipped with heating, en-suite bathroom/shower, air-conditioning, telephone, and television.

Departures:

  • For private bookings from 2 to 12 persons, any date upon request between April 1st and October 31st.

What's included in this Greece Hiking Holiday:

  • 7 nights hotel accommodation with breakfast
    • Hotels in the cities, village pensions throughout the trip (all with private facilities).
  • 7 dinners in local taverns
  • Transfer from and to the airport
  • All local transfers as per itinerary
  • Luggage transfers
  • Entrance fees in the National Park (Samaria gorge) and Agia Irini gorge
  • Journey map book
  • Emergency contact number

Extra Information:

  • Insurance: Participants should be covered by their own personal travel-health insurance and prior to the trip. The personal insurance must at least cover medical expenses as well as air rescue and the cost of repatriation.
  • Participants under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Rediscover Greece Bonus

Ask about our fabulous bonus offers when you book a hiking package with us:

  • Special add-on stays in a rural villa or a beach resort.

Contact us now to book this walking holiday for any date.

We look forward to being of service.

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Welcome to Crete - Heraklion (or Chania)

    Arrival at Heraklion airport (HER) or Chania (CHQ) and transfer to your hotel. After checking in you will have you first taste of Cretan cuisine at a local traditional restaurant. Overnight stay in Heraklion / Chania.

    • Meals: Dinner.

  • Day 2: Chania - Paleochora

    After breakfast transfer by bus to the City of Chania, a beautiful old Venetian walled town on West Crete, and lunch in the old harbour. Later in the afternoon a bus will bring you to Paleochora on the south-west coast of Crete. Your hotel is close to a sandy beach, and there is plenty of time for your first swim in the Libyan Sea. Overnight Stay in Paleochora.

    • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner.

  • Day 3: Paleochora - Sougia

    After breakfast you leave Paleochora to walk along the coast to Sougia following the European long distance path E4. The path ascends and descends until you reach the archeological site of Lissos. You can take some time here to admire and study the remains of this important city which was abandoned after its destruction by a powerful earthquake. Continuing on the E4 along the coast for about one hour, you'll reach the village of Sougia spending the rest of your day by the sea. Overnight stay in Sougia.

    • Walking time: 5-6 hours.
    • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner.

  • Day 4: Sougia - Agia Irini - Omalos

    You leave Sougia and the sea and walk up through the Agia Irini Gorge along a well-made path. The scenery is beautiful and quite different from that of previous days. At the top of the gorge you can stop for lunch, and afterwards take the mini-bus to Omalos, in the White Mountains. Overnight stay in Omalos.

    • Walking time: 4 hours, + 700 meters.
    • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner.

  • Day 5: Samaria Gorge

    Today you will discover one of the most famous sites of Crete and one of the most famous gorges of the world, the Samaria Gorge. Your hike begins at Xyloskalo, which is the entrance of the gorge at an altitude of 1200 m [3937 ft]. The first part of the walk is the steepest, but the trail is well maintained and after an hour you will reach the bottom of the gorge. Following the river-bed, you will cross the gorge after a 6 hours walk and arrive at the village of Agia Roumeli by the sea. There is plenty of time for swimming or resting on the beach. Later in the afternoon you will take the ferry to Loutro where you will spend the night. Overnight stay in Loutros.

    • Walking time: 5-6 hours, - 1000 meters.
    • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner.

  • Day 6: Loutro [circular hike]

    Your route today both begins and ends at Loutro. At first, you walk through old terraced fields to the hamlet of Livaniana at about 320 meters above sea-level; the view is fantastic. Then you begin the descent into the Aradena Gorge, and after reaching the bottom you will follow the dry river-bed to the sea. You can stop for lunch at Marmara beach and you can afford to spend more time there, because afterwards it is only an hour walk to Loutro. Overnight stay in Loutros.

    • Walking time: 3,5 hours, +/- 300 metres
    • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner.

  • Day 7: Loutro - Sfakia

    Today you take the coastal path that climbs above Loutro to Sfakia and don't worry because it is actually not as steep as it looks. You can stop at the Sweet Water beach to swim and then walk to Sfakia, an old village against the backdrop of the tall peaks of the White Mountains. From there, a bus will bring you to Heraklion (or Chania). Overnight stay in Heraklion (or Chania).

    • Walking time: 3 hours.
    • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner.

  • Day 8: Departure

    After breakfast we transfer you to the airport (Chania or Heraklion) for your return flight.

    • Meals: Breakfast.

  • Suggested equipment for your walking holiday

    • Trekking boots/shoes
    • Daypack
    • Walking poles
    • Waterproof wind jacket / warm clothing
    • Casual clothing / comfortable clothing
    • Hat
    • Swimsuit / Towel
    • Water bottle
    • Sun screen & Sun glasses
    • Insect repellent
    • Hygienic wipes/gel
    • Camera

Reviews

"The whole thing was great. More or less as we expected based on our past experience with you. Also, George from Alpine Travel was most professional and totally organised."

J Veilands, October 2016

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