Coastal paths & mountain plains
The Lefka Ori (White Mountains) of Crete are the main feature of this programme. The paths down the numerous gorges between high peaks link up with the trails along this magnificent part of the coastline.
This programme follows some of the most attractive parts of the E4 European Hiking Trail along the south-west coast of Crete, providing the best variety of views, scenery and experiences possible from one day to the next.
Accommodation: 8 nights (N1-N8) (double/twin room on a BB basis)
Meals: breakfast (D2-D9), lunch (D2-D8) and dinner (D2-D8)
Gorge/national park entrance fees, daily luggage transfers
Air transport to/from Crete
Breakfast on D1, lunch and dinner on D1 and D9
Drinks, personal expenses (museum fees etc)
Extra transfers (other than the ones mentioned below)
Arrival – Chania
Welcome to Crete!
Private transfer from Chania airport to your hotel.
This day is spent in the coastal town of Chania.
Depending on the time of your arrival, free time to explore the old part of Chania.
Evening meal and overnight in Chania.
Transfer time: 20mins
Chania – Paleochora
Our morning walk through the old town of Chania takes us round the old harbour, the market (Agora) and various quiet neighbourhoods with Venetian and Turkish architecture. After lunch, we head south to the small coastal town of Paleochora, on the deep blue Libyan Sea.
Evening meal and overnight in Paleochora.
Transfer time: 1hr 20´
Paleochora – Lissos – Sougia
Our first hike of the week! All along the way this coastal walk offers magnificent views of the high White Mountains, down to the clear blue sea. On a clearly-marked path, we follow the coastline and pass the temple of Asklipios in ancient Lissos before arriving at the small village of Sougia for a well-deserved swim!
From here, transfer to Omalos mountain plain, evening meal and overnight in Omalos.
Transfer time: 1hr – Hiking time (approx.): 5hrs 30´ (15km) – Elevation difference (m): 0-270-20-150-0
Voidodema – Omalos
A day in the mountains! Today’s hike includes a forgotten stone-built path (“Voidodema“) with ancient cypress trees and panoramic views. This path used to be the only connection between the mountain villages before roads were built.
After about 5 hours of hiking, we arrive at the plain of Omalos and visit a local herb farm where we find out about the herbs that flourish in the area. We can taste and even pick them in the farm grounds!
Evening meal and overnight in Omalos.
Transfer time: 15mins/30mins – Hiking time (approx.): 5hrs (7km) – Elevation difference (m): 800-650-900
Samaria Gorge – Agia Roumeli
Samaria is just one of the many gorges on Crete, but it is definitely the best-known. This natural treasure lies in the heart of the Samaria National Park (also a UNESCO World Heritage Site) which is home to numerous endemic species of plants and animals. Its breathtaking scale and impressive topography attract visitors from all over the world and the magnificent scenery will not leave the hiker untouched.
We start our hike from Omalos in the cool, early morning air and after an approx. 6-7 hr hike, we reach the small, coastal village of Agia Roumeli (no road access), where we are rewarded with a refreshing swim!
Evening meal and overnight in Agia Roumeli.
Transfer time: 15mins – Hiking time (approx.): 6hrs (13+3km) – Elevation difference (m): 1250-0
Agia Roumeli – Anopolis
We follow the coastal path towards Agios Pavlos beach with the little Byzantine chapel on the shore. Our path then takes us gradually upwards through a thick pine forest, up the old cobbled path to Selouda “balcony” from where we are treated to stunning views along the coastline and out to sea.
Finally, the mountain plain and village of Anopolis come into sight. This is where we have our evening meal and spend the night.
Transfer time: 15mins – Hiking time (approx.): 5hrs 30´ (10km) – Elevation difference (m): 0-110-700
Aradena Gorge – Loutro
This lesser-known but equally impressive gorge starts in the little village of Aradena a short drive from Anopolis. The dramatic landscape and rough outlines guarantee a stunning experience. The gorge ends at the turquoise waters of Marmara marble beach. Here there is time for a swim before the last part of our hike along the coast to the tiny village of Loutro. (Optional taxi-boat transfer available for the section Marmara to Loutro, extra cost).
Evening meal and overnight in Loutro.
Note: a less demanding route is followed depending on the level of the group
Transfer time: 15mins – Hiking time (approx.): 5hrs+1hr 30´ (5,5+3km) – Elevation difference (m): 580-0-70-0
Loutro – Glyka Nera – Chora Sfakion – Chania
The last hike of this tour takes us from Loutro to the beach of Glyka Nera (Sweet Water) along a well-marked, coastal path above the endless shades of blue in the sea below. The fresh water springs, both on the beach and in the sea, keep the water significantly cooler than usual even during the summer months. The path then follows the side of the cliff and ends just above the village of Chora Sfakion (Sfakia). From here, transfer by public bus to Chania.
Evening meal and last overnight in Chania.
Note: for more time to relax, today’s hike can be replaced by a taxi-boat transfer from Loutro to Sfakia (extra cost)
Transfer time: 15mins+1hr 30’ – Hiking time (approx.): 3hrs (4,5km) – Elevation difference (m): 0-150-0
Chania – Departure
The last morning is spent in Chania, with free time in the town depending on your departure time.
The tour leader’s duties end after breakfast.
Private transfer to the airport and departure.