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

Easy tour in the South of Crete

In the gorge of Samaria

This programme is designed with flexibility in mind to appeal to both inexperienced and experienced hikers. Many of the walks can be taken in part (or not at all) depending on your condition on the day.
On the South coast, if you do not feel like walking, you have the option of using one of the regular boats deserving the villages to reach your destination.
On many days you will just need to carry a day pack.

Day 1: Laki - Omalos (4 hours) We go by road from Chania to Laki. From there a pleasant walk takes us on the historic trail leading to the plateau of Omalos. Nowadays, this trail is hardly ever used as there is a good road leading to Omalos.

Day 2: Omalos - Gingilos - Omalos (5 hours) Gingilos, the impressive mountain that rises vertically above the Samaria gorge is actually quite easy to climb. The view from its summit (2080 m) is one of the best mountain views in Crete. You can see the Libyan sea (to the South) and the Aegean sea (to the North) from the same spot. Those not up to walking to the summit can stop at the spring of Lino Seli or at the saddle below the summit. This mountain can only be climbed when the weather is stable. As an alternative we can walk to the mountain refuge of Kallergi which offers a stunning bird’s eye view of the Samaria gorge.

Day 3: Omalos - Agia Roumeli (5 hours) A walk in Crete has to include the gorge of Samaria! Although the walk is long (16 km) and we descend 1250m, the path is well maintained, making the hike fairly easy. To avoid the crowds, we will be leaving around midday and arrive by the sea in the early evening. This lets us have the place almost to ourselves.

Day 4: Agia Roumeli rest day:  Most guidebooks describe Agia Roumeli as a dreadful place, full of tourists who have just “done” the Samaria gorge and are waiting for the next boat out. If you stay away from the mainstream it is actually a very quiet place, with beautiful sea and deserted beaches. It’s just our luck that almost nobody has realized this YET ! This day will allow you to have a rest by the sea. For those who must walk, we can visit one or more of the three Venetian castles high above the village or make an incursion into the wild, unknown Eligas gorge which runs parallel to the East of the Samaria gorge.

Day 5: Agia Roumeli - Finix (5 hours) We follow the coast eastwards past the chapel of Agios Pavlos (Saint Paul is said to have landed here on his journey to Greece) then through a pine forest. The path, high above the coast then offers little shade for the next 2 hours but there is an opportunity to swim at the small beach of Marmara. From there another hour walk brings us to the tiny secluded beach of Finix, just a short walk from the village of Loutro. You may take a boat to Loutro as an alternative to walking. (recommended in high summer because of the heat and lack of shade)

Day 6: Aradena gorge Retracing our steps to Marmara beach we will walk up the gorge of Aradena (3 hours) to the abandoned village of the same name. After a tour of the village we walk to Anopolis (40 min.) on a surfaced road then down the old path back to Finix (1 hour). Those who do not want to walk on the day can enjoy the sea at Finix or Marmara or visit the ruins (Venetian castle and tower, Roman houses) on the peninsula between Finix and Loutro.

The beach of Agios Pavlos near Agia Roumeli

Day 7: Finix - Loutro - Sweet water beach - Hora Sfakion (2 hours) Past the village of Loutro, we walk along or above the coast to the spectacular Sweet water beach (drinking water comes out if you dig a hole on the beach) to the village of Hora Sfakion. Little shade but plenty of sea! You may take a boat as an alternative to this walk. From there we return by road to Hania.