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Duration
8 days
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 7 nights in small inns and pensions
Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts

Price

$1360USD

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Overview

Trip Code: CMC

Trip highlights


  • Experiencing the breathtaking coastal scenery of the south west coast of Crete
  • Walking the Samaria gorge and ascending Mt Gingilos
  • History, culture, incredible landscapes and wildlife
  • Wandering through the narrow streets of historic Chania

Crete, the largest and most mountainous of the Greek islands, is the cradle of Europe's earliest civilization and the land where ancient myth and modern reality blend seamlessly against a backdrop of outstanding natural beauty. This eight day walking trip explores the southwest coast of Crete, with its spectacular White Mountains, the deep gorges and coastal trails that lead us to charming fishing villages and quiet beaches, accessible only by boat. Packed with highlights including an ascent of Mount Gingilos (2080m), scenic walks through numerous gorges including the longest in Europe, the Samaria Gorge, and sightings of the wild goats (Kri-kri) and griffon vultures on the Omalos plateau, the trip will appeal to lovers of coastal landscapes, history and traditional Greek culture. Whilst the focus is on walking, there is ample time to swim at unspoilt beaches, explore coastal villages and soak up the hospitality during stays at a selection of handpicked hotels.

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

Arrive in Chania. An arrival transfer can be arranged from Chania airport to the first hotel (included). The historic old town, once occupied by the Venetians and the Turks, is set on and around the hill of Kasteli overlooking the sea. Throughout the walled town there are numerous vestiges of past civilizations including many Byzantine churches. Elaborately decorated Venetian manors co-exist with Turkish styled houses in the narrow lanes. Make sure you allow time to soak up the atmosphere around the charming Venetian harbour or the traditional market. Overnight Chania.

Meals:  Nil

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the entrance of Agia Irini gorge, for your first hike. Agia Irini gorge trail follows a quiet path next to a stream, surrounded by pine and chestnut trees. Follow the trail towards Sougia, a beautiful little village on the southern coast of Crete where you will have the opportunity to enjoy a swim in the crystal-clear waters of Mediterranean Sea. Spend the next 2 nights in Sougia.

Meals:  B

A cultural day walk through the beautiful gorge of Selinou, thick with brilliant pink oleanders and carob trees, to the ancient city of Lissos. Lissos was an important centre of hydrotherapy in ancient times and flourished in the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine era. Here you will visit a well-preserved temple with mosaic floor dedicated to the God of medicine Asklipios and explore this interesting city. After a dip in the cove return to Sougia.

Meals:  B

Leave your luggage this morning at the hotel’s lobby to be transferred by boat to Agia Roumeli village, at the foot of Samaria gorge. Either by bus or taxi you will reach the entrance of Samaria gorge at Omalos plateau, from where you will climb up Mt Gigilos (2080m). This is where the wild goats of Crete (Kri-kri) live as well as some of the most rare and almost extinct wild birds of Europe, such as the griffon vulture and the lammergeier (Gypaetus barbatus). Towards the peak there are some points where you may need to use your hands to climb (easy scramble, nothing technical). The summit provides spectacular views in all directions. You descend by the same route and spend the night at a family owned hotel in Omalos plateau. Note: your luggage will be transferred directly to Agia Roumeli today, not to Omalos, so you will need to pack an overnight bag for this night. There is the option to have your main luggage transferred to Omalos on request - supplement applies.

Meals:  B

A short drive from the hotel will take you to Xiloscalo at the entrance of Samaria gorge. Samaria is the longest gorge in Europe and one of the most beautiful. You walk on a good path through a shady pine forest and beside a flowing stream. You reach the small village of Agia Roumeli where you can relax and enjoy a swim. Overnight Agia Roumeli.

Meals:  B

Leave your luggage in your hotel's lobby to be transferred by boat to Loutro. Today's walk leads you along a beautiful sea walk (coastal path) on the Mediterranean Sea, alternating on sand and shingles next to the sea and about 50m above the sea level in pine forest and bushy areas. On the way to Loutro you pass the picturesque St Paul's chapel, which was built on the sand next to the sea. After a refreshing break at "Marmara" beach, you arrive at the small port of Loutro with its magnificent village decorated with blue and white houses. Stay the next 2 nights in Loutro.

Meals:  B

Ascend an ancient path until you reach Anopolis village, a historic area from where the revolution against the Turks began in 1866. Here you can see "authentic" Cretans with their traditional costumes. From Agia Ekaterini’s church, just outside Anopolis, you have the chance to enjoy the wonderful view to the Libyan Sea and the south coast of Crete. Visit Anopoli’s square, relax at the coffee shop with the locals and return the same way to Loutro. For strong hikers we recommend you continue and cross Arathena’s gorge that ends at Marmara beach and return to Loutro by following the E4 path. This big loop offers unforgettable scenery alternating between mountain trail, spectacular gorge and coastal path. Standard route 4hrs, extended route 6hrs. Overnight Loutro.

Meals:  B

For the last day there are two ways to reach the village of Hora Sfakion, from where you return to Chania. Either a 2 hour hike along the coastal path that crosses Sweet Water beach (there are many fresh water springs, coming out of the pebble beach), or a 15 minute boat ride from Loutro to Sfakia. If you choose to hike to Hora Sfakion, you will need to start early in order collect your luggage from the boat at Hora Sfakion. Transfer to Chania airport where the trip concludes (approx. 1.5hrs driving time).

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts - breakfasts are usually continental inclusive of breads, tea, coffee & juices
  • 7 nights in small inns and pensions on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Local assistance where required
  • Information pack including maps, road book and route notes
  • Transfers on day 1 Chania airport to Chania town & day 8 Sfakia to Chania airport (1 transfer per party)
  • Transfer from Chania to Agia Irini, from Sougia to Omalos
  • Luggage transfer except on day 4 at Omalos
  • Local taxes - VAT and overnight stay tax

  • Travel to and from Chania and airport transfers except arriving / departing on day 1 / day 8
  • Drinks and all meals except breakfast
  • Entrance fees including at Samaria National Park and Agia Irini Gorge (allow EUR10 for Gorge and NP entrance) - subject to change without notice.
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tour guide – this is a self guided walking trip
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Optional luggage transfer at Omalos on day 4 - supplement applies

Grading

moderate  

MODERATE - GRADE 3 The walking is graded moderate with 2 to 6 hours walking each day over hilly to steep terrain. There are numerous ups and downs in any hike in Crete and your preparation should include climbing and descending steps. A reasonable level of fitness is required. As with all of our trips it is important that you are well prepared. We suggest that you undertake regular exercise – swimming, cycling, stair walking and jogging, two to three times a week for three months prior to your departure.


Departure dates

Daily from 1 May to 24 Oct

Notes

H
High Season
DN1
Entrance fees in Samaria National Park and Agia Irini Gorge not included - allow EUR8. High season is from 1 Jul to 30 Sep and a supplement applies.
NB:
This trip is not suitable for solo travellers. Please contact our team for alternate tour suggestions.
Note:
This trip is also offered as guided on set departures - see 'Crete: Mountains and Coast Guided Walk'.

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$1360USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Luggage transfer day 4 to Omalos - per transferUSD$90
  • Single Supplement low seasonUSD$190
  • Single Supplement - High SeasonUSD$210
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

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With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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