Hiking in the White Mountains of Crete (Self-Guided)

Hiking in the White Mountains of Crete (Self-Guided)

Hiking in the white mountains of Crete is one of the most popular hikes in Greece.

May - July & September - October
8 days
Hiking in the White Mountains of Crete (Self-Guided)
Price from €915


This self-guided hike begins in Chania, one of the most charming cities in Crete. From there, you will head towards the White Mountains (Lefka Ori), which take their name from the shining bleached limestone cliffs and the rich snow cover during the winter.

Over the course of a week, you will hike on a network of ancient paths and shepherd trails, following the stunning southern coastline, climbing to imposing summits, and entering into the depths of some of the most beautiful gorges on the island, including the legendary Gorge of Samaria.

On a hot summer day, heading downhill towards the entrance of a Cretan gorge is the ideal hike. You will hike under shade, protected from the summer sun, and look forward to a refreshing swim at the end as a reward.

Day 1
Arrival in Chania
Day 2
From Chania to Agia Irini Gorge and Omalos plateau
Day 3
Climb to the summit of Mt. Gigilos
Day 4
Samaria Gorge Crossing
Day 5
Agia Roumeli to Marmara and Loutro
Day 6
Free day Loutro or optional walk to Marmara & Aradena
Day 7
Loutro to Sfakia and return to Chania
Day 8
Departure day (B)

Activities / Schedule

Arrival in Chania

We love Chania and we believe you will too. Its perfect setting with the White Mountains as a background, lively harbour, historical remains, busy market, and nearby beaches make it the ideal spot. In the afternoon our local representative will meet at your hotel and give you a briefing on the hikes accompanied by a booklet and maps.

Overnight in Chania.

From Chania to Agia Irini Gorge and Omalos plateau

Wake up and get ready to enter the White Mountains through the narrow gorge of Agia Irini. Areas of humidity and shade sustain a variety of plants, and gigantic ancient plane trees grace a large clearing halfway up. Our hike ends at Agia Irini village and from there we will be transferred to Omalos plateau. In the heart of Omalos, at an altitude of more than 1000m, enjoy the evening breeze listening to the jingling of the occasional goat’s bell.

Hiking distance: 7km / Hiking Duration: 3h 30min, Elevation Gain : +900m

Driving distance: Chania to Entrance of the gorge 70km, 1h 30min

Overnight in Omalos.

Climb to the summit of Mt. Gigilos

Take a deep breath of the mountain fresh air and gear up for today’s high ascent. Today you will climb Mt. Gingilos the legendary peak overlooking Samaria with its 2080m high summit. Its north face, a near vertical slope of solid rock will try to scare us, but we will trick it by following the path round the back in order to reach the summit with only a little scrambling. Lammergeiers, the biggest birds in Europe, from Samaria gorge, glide past this cliff top so often at midday on their foraging trips it is well worth keeping an eye out for them.

Hiking distance: 9km / Hiking Duration: 6 Hours, Elevation Gain : +900m

Overnight in Omalos.

Samaria Gorge Crossing

“Kalimera!” How about a dip in the clear turquoise waters of the South coast?

Yes! But first we have to trek through Samaria, Europe's longest gorge which lead us to our goal over trickling streams, through forests of scented pines and the "Iron Gates", the narrowest point where the rocks on either side are 600m high. After a 16km descent we’ll reach the welcoming resort of Agia Roumeli, in which we will stay for the night.

Hiking distance: 16km / Hiking Duration: 6h 30min, Elevation Loss: -1000m.

Overnight in Agia Roumeli

Agia Roumeli to Marmara and Loutro

A wonderful coastal walk. We make an early start in the cool of the morning, walking on sand and shingle next to the sea to the picturesque chapel of St. Pavlos (Paul), said to mark the place where Saint Paul landed on Crete. Next to the chapel is a freshwater spring coming out of the pebble beach. We make a short stop for swimming. Our next stop is Marmara beach where we can refresh ourselves with another swim and superb lunch on the taverna overlooking the azure sea. From here we hike to Loutro or a water taxi will transfer you to Loutro settlement (taxi cost not included).

Hiking distance:11 km / Hiking Duration:  4,5hours, Elevation Gain : +400m

Overnight in Loutro.

Free day Loutro or optional walk to Marmara & Aradena

Spend a day in the tiny fishing village of Loutro which is only accessible from the sea or hiking trails. You can either spend a leisure day or hike via Foinikas to Marmara beach where the entrance of Aradena gorge is. The hike each way is about 2 hours so you can either go and return hiking or arrange for water taxi to bring you back to Loutro.

Hiking distance to Marmara beach :4,8 km / Hiking Duration:  2,5hours per way

Aradena gorge Hiking distance : 6 km per way / Hiking Duration : 3 hours per way

Overnight in Loutro.

Loutro to Sfakia and return to Chania.

We follow the coastal path to Chora Sfakion this morning, stopping for a swim at Glika Nera Beach. This 3-hour stretch has some fine path building on a steep rock face overlooking the deep blue sea. From Chora Sfakion  transfer to Chania city.

Hiking distance: 6.6km / Hiking Duration: 3h30m

Driving distance: Chora Sfakion to Chania 70km, 2 Hours

Overnight in Chania.

Departure day

After having breakfast, we will begin our journey back home.

Important Info

In a glance

euro (€)
UTC+02:00 (EET)


- Wander around the historical city of Chania, one of the longest continuously inhabited city sites in the world

- Walk through Samaria, Europe's longest gorge and Crete's 'must-do' experience

- Climb Mt. Gigilos the legendary peak overlooking Samaria with its 2080m high summit

- Enjoy awe-inspiring views of the dramatic, rocky seascape while breathing in the fresh, salty air of remote and unspoiled beaches


Price per person:

  • 6-8 participants: 915
  • 4-5 participants: 990
  • 2-3 participants: 1295

Single supplement: 175€/PP

General Information

This trip Level is, Moderate to Strenuous. The itinerary includes walking tours in cities and villages, and five days with moderate hikes of 3-7 hours, including one summit hike with elevation gains and losses of up to 1000m.

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

Itinerary changes

We are constantly updating our unique itineraries based on new information and experiences available. The walks, accommodations, and visits listed may be adjusted. The itineraries presented are subject to modification and change by Trekking Hellas Crete. We reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in our judgment, conditions warrant, or if we deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of participants, anything not mentioned in above program.


Please consider taking along the following items on your trip. This is not a fixed list, but more of a guideline, so feel free to add and remove items as you see fit.
Greece has a temperate climate. Base your clothing on the “layering system”, if it is hot you can “peel off” layers quickly, if it is cooler and windy you can quickly “dress up”.


  • Duffel bag or rolling luggage
  • Day pack to carry camera, water bottle and snacks etc.
  • Luggage locks and tags


  • Mid-weight polar fleece sweater
  • Rain jacket and rain pants, or poncho


  • Hiking shorts
  • Casual clothing made of light-weight fabrics
  • T-shirts
  • Long-sleeve shirt
  • Hiking pants, loose and easy to move in
  • Underwear
  • Swimsuit

Clothing Accessories

  • Sun hat or baseball cap


  • Lightweight and supportive hiking boots, broken-in with good ankle support
  • Beach sandals
  • Casual, comfortable shoes for evening


  • Sunscreen and lip protection
  • Sunglasses and retainer strap
  • Beach towel

Optional Accessories

  • Security pouch or money belt
  • Trekking poles or walking staff
  • Camera, memory and batteries
  • Reading and writing materials
  • Watch with alarm or travel alarm
  • Travel pillow
  • Motion sickness remedies
  • Personal first-aid kit
  • Insect repellent (lowrisk)
  • Electrical adapter plug/converter

The lighter you travel, the easier you travel. Use your best judgment and pack as lightly as possible. You will appreciate light luggage towards the end of your trip.


Hiking in the White Mountains of Crete (Self-Guided)

Hiking in the white mountains of Crete is one of the most popular hikes in Greece.

Price from €915



What should I bring with me?

  • What is listed above in Equipment section

What's the meeting point & time?

Meeting Point: Your hotel

Time: TBA

When is the activity available?

The activity is available May, June, July, September and October.

What weather can be expected?

During spring and autumn, there is a possibility of rain, so it is recommended to pack a raincoat or waterproof poncho. In the summer period, temperatures can range between 30 and 40 degrees Celsius during the daytime.

What type of accommodations are used in the itinerary?

3-star hotels with double/twin sharing rooms and private bathrooms are used in the itinerary.

How are meals described if they are included?

If meals are included, they are served family-style. Vegan/vegetarian meals can be provided if needed.

Are there any extra services provided, such as transfers or additional stays?

Transfers from/to airports and ports, as well as additional stay, can be provided upon request.

Is the activity suitable for children/families and/or elders?

The activity is suitable for children above 14 years old.

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