Tour overview

Birthplace of Zeus and the cradle of Europe’s earliest civilisation, Crete is justifiably known as the “Great Island”: few places in the world with high mountains so close to the sea are combined with an often perfect climate.

Fabulous beaches and crystal clear seas welcome you to this great island. The mountains, which dominate the view as you approach, consist of dozens of peaks over 2000 metres of altitude and create a stunning scenic backdrop to life on the western side of Crete.

Our trip starts in Chania, probably the most charming city of Crete. From there we head towards White Mountains (Lefka Ori), named after the shining bleached limestone in summer and the rich snow cover in winter. For the next week we hike a network of ancient paths and shepherd trails. We follow the southern coastline, climb to summits, and submerge to the depths of some of the most beautiful gorges of the island, including the most famous one, Samaria. On a hot summer day, heading down to the mouth of a gorge is the ideal hike. We walk shaded from the sun’s ferocity, looking forward to a refreshing swim at the end as a reward.


Tour Summary

Period of operation: May to October

Duration: 8 days/7 nights

Price: 995€ for min 4 participants (for less or more participants please contact us)

Fixed Departure Dates 2019: 25 May – 1 June & 28 September – 5 October

Participation requirements

This trip level is moderate to strenuous.

Tour Details

Tour inclusions
  • All accommodations as listed (or similar) based on double occupancy
  • All transportation during the trip
  • Entrance fees at the Gorges of Agia Irini and Samaria
  • Services of leader/guide throughout the tour
  • A bottle of water per day
  • Ferry ticket Loutro-Sfakia
  • Hotel taxes and service charges
  • Transport and handling of one reasonably sized suitcase and one carry-on per person
  • Included meals: Breakfast, lunches and dinners as indicated in the itinerary, snacks during activities.
Tour exclusions
  • Domestic and/or international air fare
  • Medical expenses, travel or emergency evacuation insurance
  • Gratuities for leader/guide or driver
  • Alcoholic beverages and meals other than outlined in itinerary
  • Transfer to and from the airport/port
  • Other items of a personal nature.


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 to start a magnificent journey.

We meet in the afternoon at your hotel for an introductory talk and our first dinner together in a traditional restaurant. Cretan cuisine plays a starring role and we have spent many hours enjoying countless delicacies, researching this important aspect.
Overnight in Chania, Kriti Hotel (D)

Get ready to enter the White Mountains through the narrow gorge of Agia Irini.

We hike in areas of humidity and shade sustained by a variety of plants, and gigantic ancient plane trees grace a large clearing halfway up. We end up at Agia Irini village. From there we transfer to Omalos plateau. In the heart of Omalos, at an altitude of more than 1000 metres, we enjoy the evening breeze listening to the jingling of the occasional goat’s bell.
Overnight in Omalos, Hotel Neos Omalos (B,L,D)
Hiking distance: 7km / Hiking Duration: 3h 30min
Driving from: Chania to Entrance of the gorge 70km, 1h 30min


Take a deep breath of the mountain fresh air and gear up for today’s high ascent.

We climb Mt. Gingilos the legendary peak overlooking Samaria with its 2080 metres high summit.

Its north face, a near vertical slope of solid rock looks scary, but we follow 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.
Overnight in Omalos, Hotel Neos Omalos  (B,L,D)
Hiking distance: 9km / Hiking Duration: 6 Hours


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

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, with its much appreciated fine pebble beach and sparkling sea, in which we stay for the next two days.
Overnight in Agia Roumeli, Hotel Pachnes (B,L,D)
Hiking distance: 16km / Hiking Duration: 6h 30min

At the location of Agia Roumeli once stood the religious centre of Tarra. A church was built many centuries later named Agia Roumeli and that was the name given the village as well.

The village is the perfect hideaway and the best spot to rest before continuing our trip.

During the Ottoman times a castle was built in a hill overlooking the village and if someone wants a bit of exercise he can do the short walk till there.
Overnight in Agia Roumeli, Hotel Pachnes (B,L,D)
Hiking distance: 4 km / Hiking Duration: 2 hours

If you’ve fallen already in love with the blue waters you may start your day with a morning dip or swim.

Then, it’s time to hike again towards the mountains, with awe-inspiring views on our way, at one of the best preserved coastlines in all Europe. A cozy hostel in Agios Ioannis, a village well hidden in the forest with only 15 inhabitants, has its doors open for us.
In the evening you can participate in an optional short hike to the Papakefala summit to enjoy the tranquil sunset.
Overnight in Agios Ioannis, Hotel Alonia (B,L,D)
Hiking distance:10 km / Hiking Duration: 4h 30min

In the morning wake up to the quietness our mountain hideaway offers and savour a few moments over a steaming cup of coffee as the dew disappears in the morning sun.

From Agios Ioannis we head down to the Aradena gorge where the rocky riverbed is forced into an extremely narrow gap between sheer walls almost all the way down.

This is a superb hike and the sense of achievement at the end is immense.

Passing the beach of Marmara we follow the coastal path which leads to the picturesque harbor of Loutro. A short ferry ride to Sfakia town follows and from there we drive to Chania city where we are going to have our farewell dinner.
Overnight in Chania, Kriti Hotel (B,L,D)
Hiking distance: 12km / Hiking Duration: 5 Hours
Driving from: Chora Sfakion to Chania 70km, 2 Hours

After a mighty Mediterranean breakfast, and a “Greek” coffee, it’s time to say “goodbye”!  (B)


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.

From May to October with the exception of August


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