Trekking holidays in Crete. Mountains and Sea

Kre3 Hiking PalaiochoraSougiaOmalosAgia RoumeliChora SfakionChania
8 DAYS
LEVEL 4

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Hiking along the deserted coastline of the Libyan Sea
  • The Samaria Gorge with its steep cliffs
  • Chania, the city with a strong Venetian character
An 8-day hiking trip to SW Crete. Trekking along the SW coast of Crete has become a preferred destination for hikers from all over the world. This is due to the natural beauty of the landscape and its often exotic character, the tight combination of mountain and sea, the maintenance and marking of paths and the existence of the necessary infrastructure. We hike mostly along the Libyan Sea, entering twice to the inland and back to the coast, go through the gorges of Agia Irini, Samaria, Aradena. An early morning departure is highly recommended, especially during warm periods. Many swimming opportunities. Depending on the arrival or departure time, we may visit the city of Chania.

ITINERARY

Day 1: Welcome to Crete

Arrival to Heraklion. Transfer to the hotel in Chania. Short stroll through the historic center with the monumental structure from the Venetian period. 1 night in Chania.

Day 2: Journey in the extreme southwest. Coastal walk through a bizarre landscape

Departure at 07h00. First we drive on the western north coast, passing the old military airport of Maleme. Our route to the south leads through the impressive gorge of Topolia and past the Monastery of Chrysoskalitissa we reach Elafonisos on the southwest coast. Sandy beach with tamarisk, cedar, and juniper trees, turquoise sea, sandbar and islets. At 09h00 starts our coastal hike on this extraordinary landscape. Passing by sandy beaches, cliffs and a St. John’s Chapel, we arrive to the antique port at Krios-beach [3h30', +175m, B-C]. Transfer to Palaeochora, a nice small harbour-town, also called the “Nymph of the Libyan Sea”. Swimming. Overnight.

Day 3: Along the Libyan Sea. Deserted coasts and forgotten sanctuaries

We hike eastwards towards the ruins of ancient Lissos. Near the coast we visit the excavation of Asclepius’ sanctuary. Through a gorge with oleanders, we reach Sougia, situated on a beautiful beach, in the place of ancient Syia. [5h20', + 515m, C]. The village church is built on a palaeochristian mosaic. Overnight.

Day 4: The gorge of Agia Irini and the high-plateau of Omalos

We hike towards the inland. Through the gorge of Agia Irini full of oleanders, sage and trees and then in a barren environment on an old cobbled path we reach the high-plateau of Omalos, at 1050m [5h30', + 1200m, C]. Overnight.

Day 5: Through the gorge of Samaria to the Libyan Sea

From Xyloskalo we get into the beautiful gorge of Samaria, natural reserve and territory of the Cretan Wild Goat, Kri-Kri. We hike towards the sea, to Ag. Roumeli [5h, -1200m, C]. In the afternoon, when the day-trippers are gone, we enjoy the tranquility of a place only accessible by boat. Overnight.

Day 6: A solitary chapel, the beach of Marmara and Loutro

Further to the east, always along the Libyan Sea. We pass by the solitary St. Paul’s church, we hike over a steep cost, where in the cliffs vultures nest and via the beach of Marmara (swimming stop), at the exit of Aradaena gorge, we reach Loutro. [4h45', ±300m, C]. 2 nights.

Day 7: To the mountains and through the gorge of Aradaena to the sea again

We enter the inland, during a circular hike. Via the old donkey path we ascent to Anopolis, at 600m, former center of the harsh area of Sfakia. We walk towards the medieval village of Aradena, at 520m. Through the narrow and shady Aradena gorge, we descend to the beach of Marmara (swimming stop) and eventually we return to Loutro. [6h, ±650 m, C].

Day 8: Goodbye! Last hike

A short costal walk along picturesque bays towards the nudist beach of Glyka Nera (quick swimming stop) and Sfakia [1h30', 205m uphill, A-B]. Transfer to the airport of Heraklion and return home.

HIKING

7 partly challenging hikes
Not intended for professional athletes but for experienced hikers in fairly good shape.
Equipment: Hiking boots and day backpack are necessary, hiking sticks are very useful.
We generally follow E4 European long distance trail.

SERVICES

7 nights in rooms with privet WC and shower in well maintained simple hotels
Transfers as indicated in the program
Luggage transportation from hotel to hotel while hiking between Paleochora and Chora Sfakion (Days 3-8)
Professional greek guide

NOT INCLUDED

Flights to/from Greece
Admissions in excavations and museums

PRICE

From 642 € / person in double room
From 780 € / person in single room
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  • Palaiochora
  • Sougia
  • Omalos
  • Agia Roumeli
  • Chora Sfakion
  • Chania
 
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