Walking holiday in West Crete

Walking holiday in West Crete

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…

KEY INFORMATION

Tour Duration: 7 days
Group Size: Small groups
Season: March – November
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Low season Per Person Price: 7-day package: 842 Euro (check our offers)
High season Per Person Price: 7-day package: 926 Euro (check our offers)

PICTURE THIS!

During this 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 visit the beautiful Cretan coast & mountains as well as two spectacular gorges, incredible beaches & the most remote island of Europe, Gavdos.

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 have 2 bases, one at the picturesque old town of Chania and one at Ag. Roumeli village that offers 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.

7-DAY WALKING HOLIDAY in west crete ITINERARY

Day 1: Welcome & walk around Chania
Meeting at Chania. Transfer to your accommodation at the historical part of town. We’ll walk around the Old Town to explore the traditional architecture, lively market, monuments and the picturesque Venetian harbour with its distinctive lighthouse. Opportunity to swim at one of the nearby beaches. Supper at one of our favourite local taverns.

Day 2: Explore the wild and remote Rodopos peninsula
Today we’ll explore the remote Rodopos peninsula, a place of wild beauty. The barren, rocky Peninsula with the exception of a few small villages at its base, such as Afrata, Astratigos, Aspra Nera and Ravdoucha with stone-built houses, traditional ‘kafeneia’ where elderly Cretans with the traditional black headband gather, the rest is uninhabited. A paved road goes as far as Afrata village where we’ll start our walk towards the cave of Ellinospilos and the ruins of Diktynna Sanctuary, dedicated to the daughter of Zeus. The myth tells that in order to escape from King Minos she jumped into the sea and fishermen picked her up in their nets. The people of Crete called her Diktynna (which means “net”) and used to walk barefoot to the sanctuary with their offerings.

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 time: 3 hours hours. Actual walking: 5-6 hours.

Day 3: Walk through the imposing Imbros Gorge

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 before returning to Chania.

Walking distance: 8 km, 2.5 hours. Actual walking time: 4-5 hours with stops for observations and rest. The path is considered easy.

Day 4: Walk the Samaria national park, exceptionally rich in plant & animal life

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 will spend the night at Ag. Roumeli.

Walking distance: 16 km, 5 hours. Actual walking time: 6-8 hours with stops for observations and rest. The path is considered easy to medium.

Day 5: Coastal walk along the incredible shores of the Libyan Sea

Relaxed walk for 1 or 2 hours from Agia Roumeli towards Agios Pavlos beach following a beautiful coastal path. Swim, snorkel and enjoy the, turquoise colours, vastness and remoteness of the south beaches of Crete.

Day 6 & 7: Excursion to the southernmost place in Europe, Gavdos island!

We’ll take the morning ferry from Agia Roumeli to Gavdos. The 40 inhabitants of the island live isolated mainly due to the weather. During Byzantine times its population reached 8,000 but during the Venetians the island was abandoned as pirates used it as a refuge. We’ll walk and explore its unique nature, its relaxed sandy beaches, sand dunes with cedar trees, pine trees and shrubs, steep rocks along the coastline… and laid back way of life of the islanders. We’ll spend the night and late in the afternoon on day 7 we’ll be back at our accommodation at Ag. Roumeli.

Return to Chania town on Day 8, in the morning.

The above itinerary can be combined with our walking holiday in Santorini!

The walks during our weekly 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 2 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.

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