Hiking in Crete

Self-Guided Walking Holiday

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).

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.

Departures

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

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.

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.

Suggested equipment to bring

  • 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

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What's included on your walking holiday ?

  • 7 nights accommodation on B&B
  • 6 dinners
  • Airport transfers - Chania (Heraklion with supplement)
  • All local transfers as per itinerary
  • Luggage transfers
  • Entrance fees Samaria Gorge & Ag. Irini Gorge
  • Hike route details & map book
  • Emergency contact number
  • FREE travel app with all your documents, maps, weather & much more

Itinerary

Arrival at Chania Airport (CHQ) or Heraklion (HER) and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day and evening is at leisure. Overnight stay in Chania.

After breakfast transfer by bus to the centre 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

  • Meals: Breakfast.

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Flexible Tailor-Made Holidays

  • We believe passionately that no two holidays should be the same.
  • With our flexible tailor-made holiday options you can travel at your own pace.
  • Rediscover a city, a resort or an island in a weekend or longer.
  • Take a small group tour or embark upon a more adventurous trip.

Travel Knowledge

  • We have all travelled extensively and will be happy to share our experiences.
  • Personally-chosen hotels, riads, guest houses & apartments in places we know and love.
  • Individual sightseeing recommendations and route planning.
  • Add excursions, activities and food & wine experiences (one of our passions).

Trusted Service

  • ATOL cover for flight inclusive holidays.
  • One of us at Rediscover the World is very likely to have visited the hotels and travelled along the routes on your itinerary.
  • Dynamic, comprehensive travel app with all your documents, maps and much more.
  • Full financial protection for your holiday (TTA).