Guided Hiking Crete
Guided / Trekking / Multi Day / Crete /
  • Activity level Easy/Moderate
  • Group size 4 - 16 participants
  • Duration 15 days
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The ideal way to explore the largest and most mountainous of the Greek islands, 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, is this two week trip on the island of Crete; the island of contrasts!!!

This 15-day trip is actually a combination of our southwest coast trip (Unforgettable Crete) and central Crete trip (Highest Summit).

Explore the southwest coast of Crete, with its spectacular White Mountains, the Europe's largest gorge - the Samaria gorge and coastal trails that lead us to charming fishing villages and quite beaches, accessible only by boat.

Continue to discover the central region of the island, from Knossos Palace, ancient Eleftherna to the caves of Zeus birthplace, to Lassithi plateau and into the solitary wilderness of Crete's highest mountain, Mt. Psiloritis.

You'll trek from the acropolis of ancient Eleftherna to the pottery village of Margarites and continue to ascent Crete's highest summit (2456m) for spectacular views to Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, the surrounding islands and all the mountain ranges of Crete.

Enjoy a relaxing and refreshing day in the azure blue waters of Elounda and Mirabello gulf, before "pay homage" to Zeus birthplace in Lassithi plateau and continue to climb Mt. Karfi (1140m) accompanied by a pair of eagles.

Returning back to Heraklion you may visit the world-renowned Knossos, the magnificent archaeological area holding remains of a Minoan city that thrived 3500 years ago and the famous palace of the legendary King Minos.


DAY 1: Arrive in Chania

Arrive in Chania. Transfer to the hotel in city center. In the evening we will have a brief presentation of the whole trip and will continue with a dinner at a traditional tavern. Welcome to the gastronomic reality of the authentic Cretan cuisine!

Overnight in Chania

DAY 2: Walk through Agia Irini gorge

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the entrance of Agia Irini gorge, for your first hike. Ag.Irini gorge leads to the village of Sougia and provides a nice and 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.

Driving: 50klm. / 1 hour
Hiking: 12 klm. / 4 hours
Overnight in Sougia

DAY 3: Walk to the ancient town of Lissos

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 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 you will have much to admire by making a small loop around the city. Refresh yourselves in the cove and return to Sougia.

Hiking: 7 klm. / 3 hours
Overnight in Sougia

DAY 4: Ascend Mt. Gigilos at 2080m.

Leave your luggage at the hotel’s lobby to be transferred by boat to Ag. Roumeli village; which is located at the foot of Samaria gorge. Either by bus or by using a taxi you will reach the entrance of Samaria gorge at Omalos plateau, from where you will climb up mountain Gigilos. This is where the wild goats of Crete (Kri-kri) live as well as some of the rarest and highly threatened with extinction wild birds of Europe, such as the griffon vulture and the lammergeier (Gypaetus barbatus). Towards the peak there are some points that you may 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.

Driving: 38 klm. (50 minutes)
Walking: 10 klm. – 6 hours
Overnight in Omalos

DAY 5: Walk through Samaria gorge

A short minibus drive takes us to Xiloscalo, the entrance of Samaria gorge, which is the largest gorge in Europe and one of the most beautiful that nature can provide. We walk on a good path in shady pine forest and beside a melodic stream. At the exit of the gorge we reach the small village of Agia Roumeli, where we can relax and enjoy a swim.

Driving: 4 klm. – 5 minutes
Walking: 16 klm. – 6 hours
Overnight in Agia Roumeli

DAY 6: Walk the coastal path to the village of Loutro

Leave your luggage at hotel’s lobby to be transferred by boat to Loutro. A beautiful sea walk (coastal path) close the Mediterranean Sea. Today’s walk alternates 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 needed-refreshing break at "Marmara" beach, you arrive at the small port of Loutro with its magnificent village decorated with the blue and white houses.

Walking: 14.5 klm. – 6 hours
Overnight in Loutro

DAY 7: Walk to the village of Anopolis

Ascend the ancient path until Anopolis village, a historic area from where the revolution against the Turks began in 1866. Here we see "authentic" Cretans with their traditional costumes that “take us back in time, to other centuries”. From Agia Ekaterini’s church, just over 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 back.

For the strong hikers, we propose to continue and cross Aradena’s gorge that ends at “Marmara” beach and return to Loutro by following the E4 path.  This big loop may give an unforgettable picture that alternates between mountain trail, spectacular gorge and coastal path.


Walking: 8 klm. – 4 hours (To Anopolis and back)
                          17 klm. – 7 hours walk (whole loop)
Overnight in Loutro

DAY 8: Walk the coastal path to Chora Sfakion

Today a 2 hours hike by following the coastal path that crosses "Sweet water beach" (there are many fresh water springs, coming out of the pebble beach) will take us to Chora Sfakion. From there we will drive to Idi mountain range and the village of Axos.

Walking: 7 klm. – 2.30 hours
Driving: 110 klm. – 2 hours
Overnight in Axos

DAY 9: The ancient city and the pottery village

Starting from the ancient city of Eleftherna, built between 970 – 820 B.C. you will have many things to admire such as the Byzantine tower at city’s entrance, the Roman reservoirs and the Hellenistic bridge. Continuing through the beautiful countryside you end up at the pottery village of Margarites where you will have the chance to visit the ceramic workshops and be introduced to the traditional art of pottery.

Driving: 57klm. / 1.15 hour
Walking: 7 klm. / 3 hours
Overnight in Axos

DAY 10: Ascend Mt. Psiloritis, the highest peak of Crete

Starting early in the morning, you will drive at the foot of the highest mountain of Crete. Following a well maintained rocky path, you will reach the very top (2456m) in approximately 3-31/2 hours. From the highest summit you can enjoy a panoramic view, at both Kritiko Pelagos (Aegean Sea) to the north and Liviko Pelagos (Mediterranean Sea) to the south, all the islands that surround Crete and of course all the mountain ranges of the island. We descend by the same path.

Driving: 38klm. / 1 hour
Walking: 6klm. / 6 hours
Overnight in Axos

DAY 11: Drive to Elounda and visit Spinalonga island

Today you will drive to the coastal village of Elounda located in Mirabello gulf on the east side of the island. From Elounda you can embark the boat to visit the historic island of Spinalonga that was originally a Fortress built by the Venetians to protect the bay of Mirabelo. In the early 1900’s, became a Leper colony and remained so until the 1950’s. 

Driving: 110klm. / 2 hours
Overnight in Elounda

DAY 12: Hike Aforesmenos Cape

Starting from Mirabello’s rough countryside you will hike around “Aforesmenos” cape to Plaka village. Walking on dirt roads and coastal paths will pass from an abandoned lighthouse and crystal clear beaches to end up at Plaka village. Passing from Agios Ioannis chapel you will admire the spectacular view to the bay of Elounda and the island of Spinalonga.

Driving: 16klm. / 30 minutes
Walking: 11klm. / 5 hours
Overnight in Elounda

DAY 13: The secret Minoan settlement

In the morning you will drive to Lassithi plateau and the village of Tzermiado, the starting point of today’s hike. You will pass through the small and beautiful “Nissimos” valley to reach the sacred summit of Karfi, which offers a Minoan settlement and panoramic - breathtaking view to the north coast, and the mountains of Selena and Dikti. From the summit you will descend back to Tzermiado from a different path by following an old rocky-build mule path – Kalterimi.   At Lassithi plateau, you will have the chance to experience a small journey through mythology by visiting Zeus birthplace - the cave of Dicteon Andro.

Driving: 115klm. / 2.20 hours
Walking: 3.5klm. / 3 hours
Overnight in Elounda

DAY 14: Visit Knossos & Archaeological museum

Today we drive back to Heraklion, and will visit Knossos, to enjoy the magnificent archaeological area holding remains of a Minoan city that thrived 3500 years ago and the famous palace dated 170-1450 B.C., excavated by Sir Arthur Evans at the beginning of this century.

In the afternoon we are free to explore the city of Heraklion or to continue our culture excursion by visiting the very interesting archaeological museum, with exhibits from the Minoan period. 

Driving: 70klm. / 1 hour
Overnight in Heraklion

DAY 15: Departure

This is the end of our trip. You will have free time in Heraklion before we transfer you to Heraklion airport at a convenient time.

End of Services


  • All accommodation with breakfast (14 nights in double rooms)
  • Services of the tour leader - guide
  • Group transfers from Chania Airport on arrival
  • All land transfers as described in the itinerary
  • Group transfer to Heraklion airport for departure
  • Entrance fees in places of interest that are mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers
  • Third party insurance
  • VA Tax

Not Included

  • Transport to and from Crete
  • All meals (lunches & dinners)
  • Licensed guide for archaeological sites for the cultural visits
  • Overnight stay tax
  • Entrance fees in Museums, and other sites of interest (i.e. monasteries, caves, etc) that are not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses and drinks
  • Everything not clearly listed above


Everyone participating in any of Cretan Adventures events/activities is covered by third party insurance through Ethniki Asfalistiki.

Participants need to be covered by their own personal insurance (Health/accident insurance) for the chosen activities.

If clients wish to be covered for personal insurance (Health/accident insurance) by A.I.G Europe Limited s/he must notify in paper the above to Cretan Adventures and pay the additional cost.

Cretan Adventures is not responsible for any accidents or mishaps directly or indirectly related to the tour.


You travel either by taxi or by our own rented air-conditioned mini-bus, which leaves you to walk and continues, with your baggage, to the next place where you will stay for the night.


Hotels in the main cities, local inns and village pensions throughout the trip (all with private facilities). The trip prices are based on double occupancy.


Every morning we have breakfast in the hotels and a nutritious dinner at local taverns with dishes of personal choice or traditional Greek and Cretan cuisine. (Vegetarians are welcomed on the trips)

Activity Level

The hikes offer a moderate trek with a maximum of 7 hours walk on rocky footpaths. Sometimes we cross-streams in the gorges and on the coast, we walk on sand and shingles for short distances.


  • Daypack ( approx.25-35lt. )
  • Trekking shoes
  • Mountain clothing (waterproof wind jacket, polar fleece sweater etc.)
  • Walking sticks
  • Water bottle
  • Hat
  • Sun cream
  • Sun glasses
  • Swimming suit
  • Casual clothing

Note on Itineraries

Please bear in mind that the itinerary can be altered for numerous reasons beyond our control (e.g. harsh weather, trail conditions) to ensure the safety and the well-being of the group. The final hiking selection is left up to Cretan Adventures.