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Contrasts of Crete Walking

8 days
from
$2,749 NZD
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Walking & Trekking
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
W07GI
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays
Activity:
Self-Guided Walking

This self-guided walking holiday explores the most remote south-west corner of Crete. there are often no roads within miles and most of the local commuting is done by boat! You'll follow ancient paths and shepherd trails through gorges and along stoney coastal paths that meander above hidden coves, along virgin beaches and across pebbly promontories, often within metres of the appetisingly clear waters of the Mediterranean.

Starting in Chania, the most charming city of Crete we head towards the White Mountains (Lefka Ori) which take their name from the shining bleached limestone in summer. Explore the lush Samaria and Agia Irini gorges blanketed with colourful Cretan rock lettuce and Aubretia. Follow the southern coastline from Sougia to Ancient Lissos, known for its famous Temple of Asklepios (Aesculapium), where people came from all over Crete to be cured by the local waters. The temple was destroyed in a great earthquake, but its mosaic floor depicting animals and geometrical patterns is preserved. Continue along the coast to Loutro, passing the chapel of St Pavlos, said to mark the place where St Paul landed on Crete. There are plenty of swimming opportunities along the way and your final walk takes you to Freshwater Beach before returning to Chania.

You'll be treated to historical sites, fabulous swimming spots and a spectacular variety of birds. The White Mountains have golden eagles and lammergeyers and at lower altitudes you will find bee-eaters, hoopoes, blue rock thrush and golden oreols.

Key information

  • 7 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of HHH and 3-star hotels
  • All breakfasts
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Walking transfers on days 2, 3 and 7
  • Countries visited: Greece

What's included

  • 7 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of HHH and 3-star hotels
  • All breakfasts
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Walking transfers on days 2, 3 and 7

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Any Solo traveller supplements (where only one person is travelling on a departure date)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
0800 643 997
Call for private group trips:
0800 643 997
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

6

Days of Walking & Trekking
Terrain:

Although the paths are quite well-kept the terrain often tends to be very stony and rocky, particularly during the gorge-walking. You will mostly be walking on footpaths, mountain trails and on some tarmac roads and be prepared for few steeper passages.

Day by day breakdown
Day 27.0km/4.5miles
Day 34.0km/2.5miles
Day 410.0km/6.5miles
Day 513.5km/8.5miles
Day 65.0km/3.0miles
Day 77.0km/4.5miles

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Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

Itinerary

Chania
to
Chania
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Chania

    Arrive in the charming city of Chania. Its perfect setting with the White Mountains as a background, lively harbour, historical remains and busy market make it the ideal starting point. You'll be met in the afternoon by our local representative for your briefing.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 2

    Chania to Agia Irini and Sougia Bay

    Today starts with a transfer to the White Mountains. The walk takes you through the narrow gorge of Agia Irini where areas of humidity and shade sustain a variety of plants, and gigantic plane trees grace a large clearing half way up. Ending at Agia Irini village a short transfer takes you to Sougia bay on the Lybian coast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Sougia Bay to Ancient Lissos

    From Sougia walk along a path towards the ancient city of Lissos waterfront, the walk follows a beautiful small canyon with narrow yet high walls, after which the Temple of Asclepius appears in front of you. You walk amongst the scattered ruins of the ancient city discovering tombs, the Roman theatre and the church of Saint Kirikos. Return to Sougia the same way and time permitting relax at the beach before taking a boat transfer to the fishing village of Agia Roumeli where you spend the next two nights.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Samaria Gorge

    Walk from Agia Roumeli up part of the Samaria gorge, Europe's longest gorge. Watch out for lammergeyers as you go over trickling streams and through forests of scented pines tp the 'Iron Gates' the narrowest point of the gorge where the rocks on either side are 600m high. Head back down the gorge to return to Agia Roumeli.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Agia Roumeli to Loutro

    Enjoy a wonderful coastal walk today to the picturesque 13th century chapel of St Pavlos,where the apostle supposedly first arrived in Crete, stop for a swim before heading on to Marmara where you can enjoy lunch in a taverna and stop for another swim, continue on along the coastal path to Loutro or take a water taxi from Marmara (payable locally).

    A shorter walking option is also available.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Optional walk to Aradena

    Spend the day relaxing in Loutro or take a leisurely hike via Foinikas to Marmara beach to the entrance of Aradena gorge. Return the same way or take a water taxi back to Loutro (payable locally).

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Loutro to Hora Sfakion (Chania)

    Follow the coastal path to Freshwater beach, so-called because of the fresh spring water that bubbles just under the surface. Enjoy a swim and a picnic before continuing on to Hora Sfakion where a transfer takes you back to Chania for your last night.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Leave Chania

    The tour ends after breakfast in Chania.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Vaccinations

Greece

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

Simple buffet style Greek breakfast consists of bread/toast, butter, jam, fresh juice, milk, local yoghurt, eggs and honey, and coffee/tea. For lunch we recommend taking a picnic on most days although there may be options on some days to eat at a taverna.   For dinner, in each place you stay there will be a range of different local tavernas and restaurants to choose from where you can sample some typical Greek meze dishes, olives, fresh fish, vegetables and much more.

Call for general departures:
0800 643 997
Call for private group trips:
0800 643 997
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Contrasts of Crete Walking

pool
pool

The hotels you'll be staying in are small, family-run properties some of which are close to the sea shore.

Call for general departures:
0800 643 997
Call for private group trips:
0800 643 997
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Call for general departures:
0800 643 997
Call for private group trips:
0800 643 997
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices