Crete: Mountains and Coast Guided Walk

Crete: Mountains and Coast Guided Walk

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8 Days From

$1707

$1653

Crete: Mountains and Coast Guided Walk

8 Days Starting and ending in Chania

Visiting: Greece

Tour operator:

UTracks

Tour code:

CMG

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

6 - 11

Physical rating:

moderate

From: $1707 $1653 Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$54

NB: Prices correct on 24-Jun-2024 but subject to change.

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

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 guided 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

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

Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1 : Arrive In The Venetian Styled City Of Chania

Arrive in Chania. A group arrival transfer can be arranged from Chania airport to the first hotel or you can make your own way to the joining hotel. 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 coexist 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. In the evening you will meet your guide and group for a briefing, before dinner at a traditional tavern for your first taste of Cretan cuisine. Overnight Chania.

Day 2 : Walk Through The Agia Irini Gorge To The Seaside Village Of Sougia (4Hrs)

After breakfast, you will be transferred (50km, approx 1hr) 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.
Distance 12km, altitude difference: 580m

Day 3 : Through The Gorge Of Selinou To The Ancient City Of Lissos (3Hrs)

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 center of hydrotherapy in ancient years, which 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.
Distance 7km, altitude difference: 100m

Day 4 : Ascend Mt Gigilos, Overnight Omalos Plateau (6Hrs)

Leave your luggage at the hotel’s lobby to be transferred by boat to Agia Roumeli village, at the foot of Samaria gorge. A transfer by mini-bus brings us to the entrance of Samaria gorge (at approx 1250m) 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 you spend the night at a family owned hotel in Omalos plateau.
Note: your luggage will be transferred directly to Agia Roumeli, not to Omalos, so you will need to pack an overnight bag for this night.
Distance 10km, altitude difference: 850m

Day 5 : Walk Samaria Gorge, The Longest Gorge In Europe To Agia Roumeli (6Hrs)

A short drive by mini-bus from the hotel will take us 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 for overnight accommodation, where you can relax and enjoy a swim.
Walk: 17km/10.5mi

Day 6 : Coastal Walk To The Blue And White Village Of Loutro (5 1/2 Hrs)

Leave your luggage in your hotel's lobby to be transferred by boat to Loutro. Today's walk leads us 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. Spend the next 2 nights in Loutro.
Distance 14.5km, altitude difference: 150m

Day 7 : Walk To The Village Of Anopolis And Cross Arathena's Gorge, Return To Loutro (7Hrs)

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. Overnight Loutro.
Distance 16km, altitude difference: 650m

Day 8 : Walk To Hora Sfakion And Return To Chania (2Hrs), Trip Concludes

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. The trip ends at Chania where you can take a walk through Chania’s market. If we choose to hike to Hora Sfakion, we need amn early start in order to collect the luggage from the boat at Hora Sfakion.
Distance 6.5km, altitude difference: 150m
Group return transfer (70km/approx 1.5hrs) to Chania airport where the trip concludes.

What's Included

  • Accommodation
    7 nights in small inns and pensions

  • 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. Single rooms available on request - supplement applies

  • 7 dinners at local taverns

  • Scheduled group transfer to/from airport on day 1 and day 8

  • Transfer from Chania to Agia Irini and from Sougia to Omalos

  • Luggage Transfer, 1 piece maximum 20kg, supplement applies for excess

  • Entrance fees in Samaria National Park and Agia Irini Gorge

  • English speaking walking guide

  • Local taxes - VAT and the overnight stay tax

  • Travel to and from Chania and airport transfers except arriving/departing on day 1/day 8

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What's Not Included

  • Travel to and from Chania and airport transfers except arriving / departing on day 1 / day 8

  • Lunches and drinks

  • Travel insurance - mandatory

Accommodation

7 nights in small inns and pensions
During the trip you will be accommodated in hotels in the main towns and local inns and village pensions during the rest of the trip (all with private facilities).

Grading

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.

What You Carry

As the walks are fully supported you only need to carry a daypack with your daily requirements including wet weather gear, water bottle, lunch supplies, mobile phone and sun protection etc.

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Saturday - Saturday

Sep 28, 2024 - Oct 05, 2024
$1707 $1653

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$54

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    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of utracks charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 69 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 35 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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