"Explore ancient paths through incredible landscapes with ravines, natural springs, gorges, canyons, unique flora & fauna to the stunning Libyan sea beaches..."
During our West Crete walking holiday you’ll experience incredible landscapes, beaches, culture and delicate ecosystems, mainly plants, birds and butterflies. Together with our expert naturalist, you will explore the beautiful Cretan coast & mountains, three spectacular gorges, picturesque remote villages and incredible beaches.
The prefecture of Chania is the greenest part of the island as the range of the White Mountains ensures the highest rainfall in Crete. You’ll stay at the picturesque old town of Chania and then continue to the coastal villages of Palaiochora and Loutro, at the Sfakia region where you’ll enjoy incredible views to the Libyan sea. All walks end at Crete’s spectacular beaches.
By joining our West Crete walking holiday, you’ll get introduced by a local to a side of Crete that few people know about.
Here is an example of what you will experience during our West Crete walking holiday:
As you stroll through narrow lanes and hidden back streets you’ll discover the neighbourhoods where once Christians, Muslims and Jews used to coexist, secret gardens, ancient ruins, parts of the Byzantine wall, the Venetian fortifications and buildings and Ottoman mosques and dwellings… myths and legends about invasions, occupations, resistances and independence will come alive and fascinate you. Supper at one of our favourite local taverns.
These 2 gorges constitute the perfect setting for our naturalist guide to introduce you to the unique biodiversity and flora of Crete. Our circular walk will end at Karanou village where you’ll enjoy a drink at the local “kafenio” with panoramic views to the surrounding mountains covered with olive groves. Time for lunch and a swim at the nearest beach!
Walking distance: 7km, 2.2 hours. Actual walking time: 3-4 hours. The path is considered easy.
Our hike starts from the oldest monastery in Crete, Gouverneto, built in 1537 and situated on a rocky site near the entrance of the gorge Avlaki. Its architecture is unique as it resembles a fortress with four towers with bastions to protect its corners. It is believed it was founded by the hermit monks of the seaside Katholiko Monastery (whose ruins we’ll visit shortly) on top of a pre-existing ancient temple so as to protect themselves from pirate raids.
We’ll descend towards the sea and Avlaki gorge by following the stone paved path. On the way you will meet Arkoudospilio Cave, the ruined monastery Katholiko and the cavernous church of St. John, where the hermit lived. Our hike will end at the beautiful bay and beach of Stavros where you can enjoy a lovely swim and lunch.
Walking distance: 9km, 3 hours. Actual walking time: 4-5 hours with stops for observations and rest. The path is considered easy.
In the gorge you will find around 450 unique plant species, protected under international law, in order to safeguard this delicate ecosystem. You’ll walk past huge pine and cypress trees and you may meet its famous inhabitant, the endemic wild goat of Crete or “Kri-kri”. The walk through the Samaria Gorge takes 5-8 hours depending on your pace and it is totally worth it! Six hours is the normal time including stops to rest and appreciate the natural landscape and wildlife.
We’ll end the day with a swim at the deep blue waters of Ag. Roumeli and then we’ll take the boat to Palaiochora where we’ll spend the night. Walking distance: 16km, 5 hours. Actual walking time: 6-8 hours with stops for observations and rest. The path is considered moderate.
Walking distance: 10 km, 3.1 hours. Actual walking time: 4-5 hours with stops for observations and rest. The path is considered easy to moderate.
Walking distance: Option for 9km or 16km, 3-5 hours. Actual walking time: 4-6 hours with stops to swim, visit Lissos and rest. The path is considered moderate.
Walking distance: 13km, 4.5 hours. Actual walking time: 6-8 hours. The path is considered moderate.
Walking distance: 11km, 5 hours. Actual walking time: 7-8 hours. The path is considered moderate.
Imbros gorge became a refuge for Christians during the Turkish occupation and a base for revolutionaries. For Australians, New Zealanders and some British, walking through the gorge of Imbros is almost a pilgrimage. Many Allied troops walked through the gorge in May 1941 in order to escape the island to Egypt. We’ll end the day with a swim and a beautiful meal by the sea.
Walking distance: 8km, 2.5 hours. Actual walking time: 4-5 hours with stops for observations and rest. The path is considered easy.
“The guides, Annie and Melita, were fantastic and showed me a part of Greece I never would have seen. I especially loved how they took care of ordering our food and introduced to us to the Cretan delicacies. Meeting new, like-minded people is always a highlight of a group tour. Wonderful holiday in all ways. A great value. Thanks!”
Dina & Ralph, USA
“Thanks to beautiful Crete, dazzling blue and white, splashing of vibrant flora. But always a generous people, even in the face of tourist rudeness. We are so blessed by Loutro and its people! And without you – your creative problem solving, your commitment to choosing special activities, your willingness to spend all your time with us, your positive attitude and energy, our experience would have been so different. Many efharistos!”
Ward and Gale, USA
“Thank you for my introduction to Greece! It has been an incredible trip. I loved the hikes, swims, food and most of all your leadership for all we experienced. All the best.”