Discover ancient cultures, high mountains and famous gorges

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. Starting from Chania, with its picturesque Venetian port, you’ll depart for the village of Agia Irini and hike through its quiet gorge, before emerging at the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Follow ancient paths to reach Crete’s second Roman city, visit the temple of the god Asklipios and explore the ruins of Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine eras. On well-maintained trails you’ll ascend to the summit of Mountain Gingilos (2080m), for stunning views of Omalos Plateau, the White Mountains and the Samaria Gorge. (This is the largest gorge in Europe, offering a highly rewarding walk through a spectacular botanic garden and home of Crete’s wild goats (Kri-kri) and griffon vultures.) This superb coastal walk passes the picturesque chapel of St Paul and the azure blue waters of Marmara beach, ending at the white- and blue-washed houses of the charming village of Loutro. Relax in Loutro or hike to Anopolis, one of the most "authentic" Cretan villages, cross the Aradena Gorge with its pink oleanders and drink fresh water from the "Sweet water beach". West Crete self-guided is a point-to-point trip with medium difficulty, where you will explore with your own pace the southwest coast of Crete, the spectacular White Mountains, deep gorges and coastal trails taking you to charming fishing villages and quite beaches, accessible only by boat.
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Duration: 8 days / 7 nights Price: from 590 EUR
Holiday type: self-guided / point-to-point Minimum group size: 2 people
Dates: from May to October Arrival: any week day on request
Accommodation: 1 x hotel in Chania, 6 x guesthouses Meal base: breakfast, halfboard on request
Nearest airport: Chania, Heraklion Contact us with your questions or booking requests
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Trip Itineray

Day 1: Arrival on Crete - drive to hotel After arrival at Chania Airport you’ll drive to your hotel in Chania City. You have time to relax or to explore the old “Venetian style” city of Chania with its picturesque harbor. Overnight in Chania Day 2: The Agia Irini Gorge After breakfast, you will be transferred to the entrance of Agia Irini Gorge for your first hike. Ag. Irini Gorge has a nice, quiet path next to a stream, full of pines and chestnut trees.  Sougia is a beautiful 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. Hiking time: 4 h, overnight in Sougia Day 3: The ancient city Lissos Today you’ll take a cultural 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, which flourished in the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine era. Here you’ll visit a well-preserved temple with a mosaic floor dedicated to the god of medicine, Asklipios. Walking around the city will present you with many fascinating sights. Refresh yourselves in the cove and return to Sougia. Hiking time: 3 h, overnight in Sougia Day 4: The mountain Gigilos Leave your luggage at the hotel’s lobby to be transferred by boat to the village of Ag. Roumeli, right at the foot of Samaria gorge. Either by bus or taxi go to the entrance of Samaria Gorge at Omalos plateau, where you’ll climb up Gigilos Mountain. The wild goats of Crete (Kri-kri) live here, as well as some of Europe’s rarest and highly endangered birds, such as the griffon vulture and the bearded vulture. Towards the peak there will be some points that you may have to use your hands to climb for a short easy scramble. The summit provides spectacular views in all directions. Descend by the same route and you’ll spend the night at a family-owned hotel in Omalos plateau. Hiking time: 6 h, overnight in Omalos Day 5: The Samaria Gorge A short drive from the hotel will take you to the entrance of Samaria Gorge. Samaria is the largest gorge in Europe and one of the most beautiful. You’ll walk on a smooth path in shady pine forest, beside a melodic stream. Here where you may spot the wild goats of Crete (Kri-kri). When you reach the small village of Agia Roumeli, you can relax and enjoy a swim. Hiking time: 6 h, overnight in Agia Roumeli Day 6: Coastal walk to Loutro Leave your luggage at the hotel’s lobby to be transferred by boat to Loutro. Today you’ll take a beautiful walk along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It alternates from sand and gravel by the sea to 50m above sea level in a brushy pine forest. On the way to Loutro you’ll pass the picturesque St Paul's Chapel, which was built on the beach by sea. After a refreshing break at "Marmara" Beach, you’ll arrive at the small port of Loutro, a magnificent village decorated with blue and white houses. Hiking time: 6 h, overnight in Loutro Day 7: The Aradena Gorge Ascend the ancient path to the village of Anopolis, a historic area where the revolution against the Turks began in 1866. Here you’ll see "authentic" Cretans with their traditional costumes that will “take you back in time, to other centuries”. From Agia Ekaterini’s Church, you have the chance to enjoy the wonderful view of the Libyan Sea and the south coast of Crete. Visit Anopoli’s square, relax at the coffee shop with the locals and return back the same way. For the strong hikers we propose continuing by crossing Arathena’s Gorge, ending at “Marmara” Beach and then returning to Loutro by following the E4 path. This big loop will give you an unforgettable mixture of mountain trail, spectacular gorge and coastal path. Hiking time: 4 h, overnight in Loutro Day 8: Departure - drive to Chania airport For the last day there are two options to get to the village of Hora Sfakion, (where you’ll return back Chania): either a 2 hour hike along the coastal path which crosses "Sweet water beach" or a 15 minute boat ride from Loutro to Sfakia. The trip ends at Chania, with an enjoyable stroll through Chania’s market. If you choose to hike to Hora Sfakion, leave your luggage with the owners of the hotel, and start the hike early, in order collect your luggage from the boat at Hora Sfakion. Hiking time: 2 h

Your Accommodation:

Services included:

  • 7 overnights in double rooms in hotels and guesthouses with breakfast
  • 3 local transfer
  • baggage transfer
  • 6 or 7  hiking tours of easy to medium difficulty
  • English hiking descriptions, maps and information
  • local representative throughout the trip and in case of emergency
  • local taxes
Not included:
  • additional meals, coffees and drinks
  • airport transfer
  • entrance fees Samaria National Park and Agia Irini Gorge
  • personal expenses
  • everything not listed above
Extras – can be booked separate:
  • single room
  • additional halfboard
  • airport transfer per taxi, minibus or rental car
  • extension week/days
  • rental car
  • extension days or week, we offer accommodation in various areas in Greece, just ask us