Self-Guided Hiking West Crete
Self Guided / Trekking / Multi Day / Crete /
  • Activity level Easy/Moderate
  • Group size 2 - 8 participants
  • Duration 8 days
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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.

Our 8-day 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 quite beaches, accessible only by boat.

Starting from Chania with its picturesque Venetian port you will depart for the village of Agia Irini to hike through its quite gorge before emerging at the crystal-clear waters of Mediterranean Sea. Follow ancient paths to reach the second Roman city in Crete, visiting the temple of God Asklipios and exploring the ruins from Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine period.

Ascending well-maintained trails, you will reach the summit of Mountain Gingilos (2080m), for stunning views to Omalos plateau, the White Mountains and the Samaria gorge - Europe’s largest gorge that offers one of the most rewarding walks through a spectacular botanic garden, the home of the wild goats (Kri-kri) and griffon vultures.

Our superb coastal walk passes by the picturesque St Paul’s chapel and the azure blue waters of Marmara beach to end up at the white-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". 


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

For the last day, there are two optional ways to reach the village of Hora Sfakion, from where you will be transferred to Chania or Chania airport. Either 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), or a 15 minutes boat-ride from Loutro to Sfakia.

Walking: 7 klm. – 2.30 hours
Driving: 72 klm. – 1.20 hours
End of Services


  • All accommodation with breakfast
  • Group transfers from Chania Airport, from Chania to Agia Irini, from Sougia to Omalos and from Sfakia to Chania airport
  • Baggage transfers
  • English hiking description
  • Maps and information
  • VA Tax

Not Included

  • Transport to and from Crete
  • All meals (lunches & dinners)
  • Entrance fees in Agia Irini gorge & Samaria National park
  • 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.

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 or at a nearby coffee place.

Activity Level

The hikes offer a moderate trek with a maximum of 6 hours walk on rocky footpaths. Sometimes you cross-streams in the gorges and on the coast, you walk on sand and shingles for short distances. Participants should be in good physical condition with a little of experience.


  • 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:

  • Price changes from high and low season:

Low Season: May, June, October. Price per Person: €795

High Season: July, August, September. Price per Person: €820

  • 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.