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West Crete Hiking

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From£478
Price
From£478
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Homepage > Greece > West Crete Hiking
  • Duration: 7 Nights
  • Difficulty: Level 2-3
  • Tour Type: Self Guided
  • Availability: Daily from 1st April to 25th October
  • Location: Paleochora
Tour Details

Hooked on Walking holidays offers wonderful walking holidays in Greece. This particular hiking vacation which we have named Walking in West Crete is available as a 7-night self-guided walking tour. Hiking in Crete is not to be missed, as you will experience endless views over the deep blue Libyan sea whilst walking along Europe’s most impressive coast. West Crete remains a wild place, with 2000m high mountains falling steeply into the Libyan sea. Deep blue water and clear blue skies, and lots of opportunities to swim on deserted beaches.

Via the imposing Irini Gorge, full of flowering oleander bushes, you make your way up to the scenic plateau of Omalos where you stay overnight. Early in the morning, before the big groups arrive, you walk down the world-famous Samaria Gorge to the coast. Then you head further east along the coast to the most romantic village on Crete, the idyllic Loutro, accessible only by boat. Greek ‘mezes’ await you on one of the seaside terraces. During the last walk of the trip, you explore the impressive Aradhena Gorge, a challenging walk and one you’ll never forget.

Starting Location

Paleochora

Price Includes

  • 7 nights bed and breakfast
  • Hotels, inns and pensions
  • Information Pack
  • Ferry ticket Paleochora-Elafonissi if ferry is operational.
  • Luggage transfers
  • Transfers days 2,4,5

Price Excludes

  • Transport before and after tour
  • Single Rooms
  • Flights
  • Public Transport
  • Airport Transfers
  • Travel Insurance
  • Entrance to National Parks (allow around 7€ for Samaria and Irini Gorges)
  • City Taxes
Trip Info

Walking Characteristics

The walks are mostly unsurfaced tracks; footpaths and mountain trails.

Some coastal sections are along the cliffs. If you are afraid of heights or suffer from acrophobia this may be challenging.

Please Note

Some of the National Parks do not open until late April. The time varies year to year depending on winter rainfall.

Accommodation: subject to change

Crete accommodation is limited on parts of this walking tour. The accommodations we have chosen are optimum choices having in mind the atmosphere, comfort and hospitality. All rooms have private facilities and almost always a balcony or terrace.

  • Hotel Aris offers clean rooms with balcony or terrace and is near the sea. The friendly owner Aris guarantees a pleasant stay.
  • The small seaside resort Sougia is at the end of the Irini gorge. There is a huge beach and you will experience a laid-back atmosphere. The apartments & studio’s of hotel Syia are located 200m from the seaside and offer a comfortable stay. Because of very limited availability in the village you may be allocated at a similar accommodation.
  • On the Omalos plain you overnight in the hotel Neos Omalos at 1100m. Even in summer it is not hot at this spot. Rooms are basic, but comfortable.
  • Agia Roumeli is the small village at the end of the famous Samaria gorge. No organized trips through the gorge include an overnight in Agia Roumeli, so it is nice and quiet at night. The Pachnes Pension is new and pleasantly furbished. It is 200m from the beach and the port of Agia Roumeli.
  • Loutro: car free and splendid views on the scenic bay. You stay in a pension with tavern in well-maintained rooms overlooking the deep blue sea, the white-washed houses and the mountains.

 

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Walking that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.

Itinerary

Day 1Arrival in Paleochora

Arrival in Paleochora, by taxi (may be arranged in advance) or by public transport from Chania or Heraklion Airport. From Chania it takes about 1.5 hours by taxi, from Heraklion the taxi ride is about 3.5 hours. Depending on your flight schedule, you’ll have time for a first stroll through the pleasant seaside town of Paleochora, whose population of 1800 makes it one of the largest villages on the south-west coast. There is a Venetian fortress and several sandy and rocky beaches.

Day 2Walk down Anidri Gorge (only May-September). 6.4 miles 10.5km up/down 75/450m a coastal walk from Elafonissos to Paleochora 6.3 miles 10km up/down 200m

After breakfast, you have a transfer to the village of Azogires. From this wonderful town, you start your walk along the trail called the 99 Monks trail. Passing Olive groves and varied scenery you reach the village of Anidri with its Byzantine church. Here you follow the small gorge to the coast and back to Paleochora.

If travelling between June and September, you can enjoy a ferry trip from Paleochora to the enchanting Elafonissi Lagoon (only available on Monday-Saturday). From there, you walk back towards Paleochora along the coast passing beautiful, remote sandy beaches. The walk ends at Kryos Beach, where a taxi will pick you up for the transfer back to your hotel. If there is no ferry, you will be transferred to Azogirai and walk down the coast and back to your accommodation.

Day 3Coastal walk: from Paleochora to Sougia 9.3 miles 15km 375m up/down.

Today’s walk starts in Paleochora. You follow a dirt track into an undisturbed natural wilderness, then continue along a stunning coastal path (E4) overlooking the sea. You will pass ancient Lissos, an important harbour for the Dorian city of Elyros, which boasted a population of 30.000 at it peak. In ancient times, people came to Lissos to be cured by the local waters. You can enjoy a picnic lunch on this historic spot and swim in the curative waters before heading further east to Sougia, by way of a beautiful narrow gorge.

Day 4Mountain walk: from Sougia to Omalos plateau 7.5-13 miles, 12-21km max up/down 1200/100

Today you traverse two impressive gorges, from sea level up to 1000m! You walk through the impressive Irini Gorge along a well-made path. The ascent is demanding but not too steep. Leaving the Irini Gorge behind, you walk into the steeper Figou Gorge. From a certain height onwards, you will enjoy stunning views. The walk ends at a chapel, ‘Agios Theodoros’, where the hotel’s minibus will pick you up. The hotel is on the Omalos plain surrounded by the spectacular summits of the White Mountains.

Day 5Walking the Samaria Gorge 10.1 miles, 16.3km up/down 50/1200m

Today you walk through Europe’s longest and most famous gorge: the Samaria Gorge. This Crete gorge walk is one not to be missed! You can either start very early or rather late, avoiding the crowds of people who walk the gorge as a day trip. During quieter hours, you’ll enjoy the true beauty of this spectacular gorge. You spend the night in the seaside village of Agia Roumeli, at the end of the gorge, which leaves you as much time as you need for the walk. There will still be plenty of time for a relaxing swim in the crystal clear Lybian sea before you set off for dinner at one of the local taverns in Agia Roumeli.

NOTE: Samaria gorge is normally open 1st May – End October but can be closed due to extreme weather. If the gorge is closed you get transferred to Sougia and the ferry to Agia Roumeli where you can do a 6.3 miles 10km walk.

Day 6 Coastal walk: from Agia Roumeli to Loutro 9.2 miles 14.7km up/down 275m

Today a splendid coastal walk with lots of variety. First, you walk along the beach to the Byzantine church of Agios Pavlos. Then you walk at a higher elevation through a fir forest. From the forest, you continue on to the beach at “Marmara” where you see great views to massive mountains on your left and the sea to your right. There’s a tavern on the small beach at Marmara, and you may want to enjoy a swim here as well! From Marmara, you’ll need another hour along the coast to reach the car-free village of Loutro.

Day 7Roundwalk from Loutro  5.3-10 miles 8.7-15.7km up/down 460-840m

Today you take a steep zig-zag path up to the village of Anopolis. From here you walk further on to ancient Aradhena, situated at the edge of the impressive Aradhena Gorge. A spectacular path takes you down into the Aradhena Gorge all the way to the coast. The last part of today’s walk follows a path along the coast back to Loutro. It is possible to do a shorter route of 4 hrs today, via the tiny village of Livaniana, then descend via the Aradhena Gorge to the sea.

Day 8Departure

Today you travel back to Chora Sfakion by ferry in the morning and, from there, by public transport or pre-booked transfer to Chania or Heraklion Airport. Departure from one of the most beautiful areas of Crete.

Map

How to get there

By plane to Chania Airport to Vamos Paleochora is possible by public bus with a stopover at Chania bus station. Latest bus at 4 pm. Duration of the trip is 1.5 hours.

On departure, you need to make sure your flights are in the late afternoon as you have first a 20-minute ferry crossing and then a 2-hour bus ride. Or book extra nights.

Private transfers can be booked.

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