HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS WALKING HOLIDAY IN WEST CRETE
Explore ancient paths that lead through incredible landscapes with ravines, natural springs, gorges, canyons, forests, unique flora & fauna to the stunning Libyan sea beaches and the southernmost area in Europe…
Tour Duration: 7 or 10 days
Group Size: Small groups
Season: May – October
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
7-day Price Per Person: 864 Euro (check our offers)
10-day Price Per Person: 1,224 Euro (check our offers)
During our walking holiday in West Crete you’ll experience incredible landscapes, beaches, culture and delicate ecosystems, mainly plants, birds and butterflies. Together with our expert naturalist, you will explore the beautiful Cretan coast & mountains, three spectacular gorges, picturesque remote villages and incredible beaches.
The prefecture of Chania is the greenest part of the island as the range of the White Mountains ensures the highest rainfall in Crete. You’ll stay at the picturesque old town of Chania and then continue to the coastal villages of Palaiochora and Loutro, at the Sfakia region where you’ll enjoy incredible views to the Libyan sea. All walks end at Crete’s spectacular beaches.
By joining our walking holiday in West Crete, Greece, you’ll get introduced by a local to a side of Crete that few people know about.
10-DAY WALKING HOLIDAY in west crete ITINERARY
There are many options for short and long walks walks and the length of our walk will be determined by the wishes of the group. Expect to see many wild flowers in spring, many migratory & resident birds (such as white-tailed eagle) and enjoy excellent views to the Aegean Sea.
Walking distance: 10km, 3 hours. Actual walking time: 5-6 hours. The path is considered easy.
At the northwestern tip of Crete, there’s a wild, almost inhospitable peninsula, ending in one of the most exotic beaches. We’ll drive up to a point and then walk for 40 minutes. The steep and rocky slopes of the mountain Geroskinos end up in a golden white sand beach and then into a huge round rock which traps the sea water forming a large lagoon, where the water has a depth of just a few centimeters.
On the right-hand side of the bay the water deepens enough so that you can enjoy swimming surrounded by the exotic islets of sand. The scenery is completed with the two isolated islets of Imeri and wild Gramvousa. We’ll walk to the Venetian castle built on top of Imeri which was the starting point for excursions of Cretans rebels against the Turks.
Gramvousa and Balos are biotopes, areas of oustanding natural beauty, part of the European NATURA 2000 programme. Whether you’re seeking to reproduce your own version of the iconic image above or simply wish to dip your toes in the pristine waters of Balos, it promises to be a breathtaking experience.
Walking distance: 6km, 2 hours. Actual walking time: 3-4 hours with stops for observations and rest. The path is considered easy.
The famous gorge of Samaria, the 2nd longest in Europe, is situated in the National park of Samaria, at the White Mountains. We’ll start the hike from the village of Omalos, from an altitude of 1230m and hike 16km down to the Libyan sea shore and the picturesque village of Agia Roumeli.
In the gorge you will find around 450 unique plant species, protected under international law, in order to safeguard this delicate ecosystem. You’ll walk past huge pine and cypress trees and you may meet its famous inhabitant, the endemic wild goat of Crete or “Kri-kri”. The walk through the Samaria Gorge takes 4-8 hours depending on your pace and it is totally worth it! Six hours is the normal time including stops to rest and appreciate the natural landscape and wildlife.
We’ll end the day with a swim and then we’ll take the boat to Palaiochora where we’ll spend the night.
Walking distance: 16km, 5 hours. Actual walking time: 6-8 hours with stops for observations and rest. The path is considered easy to moderate.
Walking distance: 10 km, 3.1 hours. Actual walking time: 4-5 hours with stops for observations and rest. The path is considered easy.
Walking distance: Option for 9km or 16km, 3-5 hours. Actual walking time: 4-6 hours with stops to swim, visit Lissos and rest. The path is considered easy.
From Agia Roumeli starts the easy and incredibly beautiful coastal walk which is part of the European E4 hiking trail that leads to Loutro and Chora Sfakion. You’ll enjoy a relaxed walk towards Agios Pavlos beach where you’ll swim, snorkel and enjoy the turquoise colours, vastness and remoteness of the south beaches of Crete. We’ll continue towards Marmara beach where we’ll stop for lunch. We’ll eventually end our walk at the picturesque port of Loutro where we’ll spend the night.
Walking distance: 13km, 4 hours. Actual walking time: 5-6 hours. The path is considered easy.
Today we’ll ascend the ancient path to the historical Anopolis village, the centre of revolutionary activities against the Venetians and the Turks. Traces of the ancient city are still visible. Time to have lunch and a break and experience the authentic village culture of Crete. From Anopolis we will walk to the abandoned Aradhena village before descending through the Aradhena gorge back to Marmara beach. Several pairs of griffon vultures nest in the cliffs of the gorge and we look forward to spot them for you. After a swim in the crystal waters of Marmara beach we’ll return to Loutro.
Walking distance: 11km, 5 hours. Actual walking time: 7-8 hours. The path is considered moderate.
We’ll start from the picturesque village of Imbros built at an altitude of 780m which is inhabited mainly from spring till autumn as in the winter it is covered with snow. The gorge will fascinate you with its fig trees, almond tress and cypresses and its wild flowers. It is an easy downhill 8km walk till you reach the village of Komitades.
Imbros gorge became a refuge for Christians during the Turkish occupation and a base for revolutionaries. For Australians, New Zealanders and some British, walking through the gorge of Imbros is almost a pilgrimage. Many Allied troops walked through the gorge in May 1941 in order to escape the island to Egypt. We’ll end the day with a swim and a beautiful meal by the sea.
Walking distance: 8km, 2.5 hours. Actual walking time: 4-5 hours with stops for observations and rest. The path is considered easy.
The above itinerary can be combined with our walking holiday in Santorini!
The walks during our walking holiday in West Crete, Greece are graded as easy to moderate. We will walk mainly on paths of moderate gradient with ascents of up to 500m in a day. We will walk up to 5-6 hours including stops to rest and for lunch.
Flexible itineraries are available based on the needs of our guests. We can organise a more challenging or a more relaxed-pace itinerary offering you more time to relax and enjoy the sea and sun of the Libyan sea.
Solo travellers are welcome. It’s always more fun to walk with a group of like-minded travellers.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
We organise our walking holidays in West Crete, Greece all year round apart from July and August when it can be quite warm. Spring and autumn are the best times of year for walking. In spring nature is at its most abundant. The island is covered with a blanket of wild flowers. During the walks you can also discover rare orchids. The colorful butterflies are a feast for the eyes; you smell herbs like thyme, oregano and sage. In the summer, it is a little drier but in autumn the first rains bring a new shower of flowers and amazing autumn colors.
We have reserved for you lovely authentic family-run guesthouses. The owners are very hospitable and helpful and are known to provide the most delicious breakfasts.
The combination of natural beauty, culture but also the hospitality of her residents will make this walking holiday in West Crete, Greece, unforgettable for you.