Kalimera! Crete, Greece’s most southern island is synonymous with turquoise waters, endless deserted beaches, and the amazing warmth and hospitality of its people. Now our Crete Tours offer you unprecedented access to this place of secluded coves, delectable food, and a trove of archeological sites. Our Coastal Walks focus on the gentle trails that meander along the translucent waters of the Libyan Sea. As they say on Crete, “Siga, Siga”—Slowly, Slowly is our mantra. Days are spent savoring a slower pace, hiking when it is not too hot, swimming when it is, and relaxing every evening in seaside villages.
Trip Difficulty: Moderate
Heraklion – Chania – Southwest Coast
10 Days, 4 – 5 1/2 Days of Hiking
Price per person: CAD $3500
Single supplement: CAD $250
Day 1: Arrival Day
A short 15-minute transfer from the International Airport of Iraklio to our hotel overlooking the historic Venetian port. If all guests arrive early, we we will have a guided visit of Knossos and the National Museum of Archaeology, containing some of the best-preserved Minoan artifacts in Greece.
Day 2: Chania
The most exciting part of the trip-the bus journey! A two-hour drive along the coastal road brings us to the former capital of the island, Chania. 2 thousand years of history have left its mark in this jewel in the Mediterranean. A guided visit with our local archeologist will help us understand the strategic importance of the island, its varied architecture and mixture of Muslim and Christian influences.
Day 3: Sougia
Our taxi delivers us to the sleepy hamlet of Sougia, population 45 in the winter. Once a thriving city-state which minted its own coins, Sougia has become a tourist destination for those looking to set the clock back and enjoy what the island was like 100 years ago. Depending on the general mood, a short hike is planned to the Bay of Lissos, hidden behind a ridge and protected from ‘pirates’.
Day 4: Sougi-Agia Tripiti
Depending on the winds, a boat ride is in order to reach our trail head. Our destination is a tiny chapel perched high on the mountain overlooking the Bay of Tripiti. Built on an ancient pagan sun worshiping site, we make our way on this mini-pilgrimage to enjoy lunch under the shade of an ancient Mediterranean pine. Our afternoon is spent slowly walking back to Sougia along the coast.
Day 5: Sougia -Omalos
Heading north, our trail takes us inland on an ancient Roman road leading to the interior of the island. Several kilometres of the road are still in excellent condition, a testament to the engineering prowess of the Romans. Our destination is Omalos, a far cry form the beaches and sun shades of Sougia. Here is farm country and the bikinis are swapped for camouflage and shepherds boots.
Day 6: Omalos-Samaria Gorge
Europe’s longest gorge. Nearly 12 kilometres of walking is required in order to reach the Libyan Sea and our destination, Agi Roumeli, the end of the gorge. Ancient trees stand sentinel above the gorge and our trail snakes it way nearly 600 metres below the top of the cliffs. Passing ancient Samaria, a haven from pirate attacks when villages were pillaged, we descend the flowing waters of the gorge and finally the blue waters of the Mediterranean and the smiling face of Andreas, our host for the evening.
Day 7: Agia Roumeli- Marmara- Loutros
Most of the day will be spent just a few metres above the water line, hiking through sand beaches and under the shade of Mediterranean pines. Lunch and swimming in Marmara, possibly the most charming cove on the south coast. The sheltered cove of Marmara is the perfect place to indulge in a massive Greek salad drenched in fresh olive oil before relaxing in the shade, sleeping off the afternoon heat. Our evening destination is Loutros, a splash of white and blue buildings set against a backdrop of red cliffs.
Day 8: Loutros
Siga, Siga, so today, not much of anything unless you would like to hike the Agia Aredena Gorge, up to the village of Anopolis, the epicentre of Cretan resistance throughout the ages. Each option is equally pleasant!
Day 9: Loutros- Heraklion
Morning ferry to Sfakia, the scene of the Allied retreat after the Battle of Crete in 1941. A 3-hour bus journey over the White Mountains and back to Heraklion.
Day 10: Departure
Trip ends after breakfast
– Airport transfer from Heraklio International Airport
– All accommodation
– Guided visit of Knossos
– All breakfasts
– All lunches except in Chania (restaurants or picnics)
– All dinners
– Certified walking guide throughout the trip
– All local transfers by taxi, boat, bus and ferry
– Luggage transfer throughout the trip
– We will provide water during restaurant lunches and dinners and all hikes