Description
Walks and hikes in Crete - Walking and hiking specialists on the island of Crete, Greece
Description

Crete


Small map of Crete

 

Crete is the largest island of Greece and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean. A mountainous island, it lies south of the Aegean Sea, a link between Europe, Africa and Asia. This geographical position, being at the junction of major civilizations and cultural currents, influenced its history throughout the past 5000 years

Crete has an elongated shape, 260 km long from east to west and between 15 and 60 km wide. The coastline is over 1000 km long and consists of both sandy beaches and rocky shores. The high mountains are a characteristic of the Cretan landscape. They form three mountain complexes, each with its own ‘personality’. Between the ranges lie semi-mountainous zones which cover the greater part of the island. There are also a few low lying plains as well as a number of high plateaux.

The climate is temperate Mediterranean. Winter is mild, with snow on the mountains and a good deal of rain in the plains  but still a good deal of sunshine. The combination of rain and relative warmth make it one of the greenest places in the Mediterranean basin, especially in spring. The summers are hot and dry, particularly on the shores of the Libyan Sea (South coast of Crete).  Being a mountainous island the weather changes can be sudden and it is often windy (anything from a light breeze to gale winds).
Crete has about 600.000 inhabitants, of which over a third live in the towns of Heraklion, Chania and Rethymnon. The rest of the island is sparsely populated, with large tracts of mountainous areas frequented only by shepherds.
The geographical diversity and wild beauty of Crete, the friendliness of its inhabitants as well as the climate are gradually  making it into a choice destination for walking and hiking. The whole island is crisscrossed by trails, most of them now disused since roads have been built or used only by shepherds. It is possible to walk all day without meeting a soul and still reach a village where you can eat and sleep in relative comfort before setting off for another day in nature. The truly dedicated hikers can go to areas that are completely wild and never visited by anyone but the occasional shepherd or hunter.


Crete and the White Mountains seen from the bay of Souda in early spring

 

We specialize in walks and activities in West Crete although we can arrange excursions to the more famous attractions in the centre of Crete, such as Knossos and other Minoan archaeological sites or the Archaeological museum of Heraklion as part of our tours.
The area we have chosen to run our activities is centred around the White Mountains. By far the most interesting mountain range of Crete, it has about 30 peaks rising over 2000m and is cut by around 50 gorges, the most famous of which is the gorge of Samaria. The area to the South of the White Mountains plunges steeply into the Libyan sea and is the most spectacular (and least developed) coastal area of Crete. To the North of the White Mountains lie the fertile plains of Apokorona, the olive and orange groves of Kydonias and Kissamos and the wild, arid peninsulas of Rodopou and Gramvoussa
All in all this region offers an exceptionally rich variety of landscapes, for its comparatively small size.

You can view our extensive landscapes photo gallery to get a better idea.

For more information on Crete and West Crete we suggest that you follow the link to West-Crete.com