Crete From Coast To Coast

Crete From Coast To Coast

Greece » Self-guided (independent) hiking tours

  • Traditional villages and secluded beaches
  • Seaside town only accessible by boat or by foot
  • Explore the deep gorges of the south coast
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

From 495 €

Duration (days): 8

Difficulty grade:  

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Discover “unspoiled Crete” while following walking paths through wild flowers, lush valleys and gorgeous gorges. Get to know the locals, drink wine with them, and taste the famous Cretan food in local taverns.
This tour will take you from the fertile green agricultural area of Apokoronas via the White Mountains to the astonishing south coast with its famous gorges. You start in Vamos, a traditional village east of Chania. Meet the locals of this village in the “kafeneion” and drink a “raki” with them. Stay in a beautiful old restored house and enjoy views on the White Mountains whilst having breakfast. Explore the White Mountains and walk at an altitude of 1.300m gazing at the white peaks surrounding you. On the southcoast you walk through two beautiful gorges: the Sfakia Gorge and the Aradhena Gorge.

Day 1. Arrival in Vamos, Crete
Arrival in Vamos per taxi (can be arranged in advance) or by public transport from Chania or Heraklion Airport. Afternoon stroll through the picturesque village of Vamos. There are several possibilities depending on your arrival time, all described in the great booklet „Discover Vamos… on foot‟.
Day 2. Countryside walk: Georgioupolis to Vamos
A pleasant walk through the agricultural landscapes of Apokoronas. You will walk along several villages to the seaside town of Georgioupolis. Good views, a monastery, scattered churches and the oldest olive press of Western Crete will please you during this first walking day of the tour. (12 km, 100m climb, 325m descent; 4hrs walking time)
Day 3. Roundwalk from Nippos and travel to Askifou
You make a round walk from the village of Nippos, embedded in the lush green area of Apokoronas. Cypresses & olive groves cover this hilly area. On the background the Lefka Ori, covered with snow in winter and spring, assure that you like walking in a painting. After the walk you will travel comfortably per taxi to your next accommodation on the Askifou plain in the Lefka Ori (White Mountains). (14 km, 400m climb, 400m descent; 4hrs hiking time)
Day 4. Lefka Ori Mountain Walk
Today a challenging walk in the mountains is programmed. You will walk upto 1300m at gaze at 2000m peaks, covered with snow in spring. There are no villages in this area; you may bump into a shepherd with his goats or sheep. You can imagine that this area, the center of Sfakia, was very suitable to hide oneself when needed. The way back down to Askifou is via a beautiful old path through dense forest. Now and then you have great views to the Askifou plain. (16 km, 700m climb, 700m descent; 6hrs walking time)
Day 5. Walking the Sfakia Gorge
You start your walk to the coast from the village Imbros. Most hikers walk down the famous Imbros gorge, but you walk through the far less known gorge of Sfakia. Here you will just be on your own, together with mother nature. Just sit for your picknick, listening to the silence and feel the immense forces that created this landscape. At the end of the day you have time for a relaxing swim at the beach of Chora Sfakion. (16 km, 400m climb, 1.200m descent; 5,30hrs hiking time)
Day 6. Hiking from Chora Sfakion to Loutro
From Chora Sfakion you climb via the Ilinga gorge to the authentic village of Anopolis. Here you meet locals in the “kafeneion” (local coffee-shop) and you may try one of those excellent “Sfakiana pitta” yourself: a sort of pancake with cream cheese and honey. This will give you energy for the remainder of the walk. You descend via a scenic route to the village of Loutro, hidden in a tiny, perfectly round, bay. Loutro is only accessible per ferry and there are no cars! Throughout the walk you have splendid views on the sea and Loutro. You spend the last 2 nights of this tour in Loutro. (16 km, 675m climb, 675m descent; 6hrs walking time)
Day 7. Roundwalk from Loutro
Via a steep zig-zag path you climb up to the village Anopolis. From here you climb further to Ancient Aradhena, located on the edge of the impressive Aradhena Gorge. A spectacular path takes you down into the Aradhena gorge which you follow until you reach the coast. The last part of todays walk you follow a path along the coast back to Loutro. It is possible to make a shorter walk of 4 hrs. today via Livaniana (a tiny village) and then descend via the Aradhena Gorge to the sea. It may be necessary, depending on your departure flight tomorrow, to travel today back to Chora Sfakion per ferry and on to Chania or to Heraklion. (15,5 km, 840m climb, 840m descent; 7hrs hiking time)
Day. 8 Departure
Today you travel back per ferry in the morning to Chora Sfakion and from there by public transport or prebooked transfer to Chania or Heraklion Airport.

Accommodation and luggage transportation:
Days 1 & 2: Vamos; Days 3 & 4: Askifou; Day 5: Chora Skafion; Day 6 & 7: Loutro; Breakfast is included everywhere. In Vamos you stay in restored traditional village houses. On the Askifou plain you stay in a comfortable, traditionally designed hotel with swimming pool, agro-tourism activities and superb views. On the south coast you stay in an authentic studio overlooking the mountains and the sea and in Loutro in a pension right on the seashore where the emerald blue waters of the Lybian Sea invite you for a swim. All necessary luggage transfers are included as per program.
During this trip the luggage transfer from Chora Sfakion to Loutro is done per ferry and the hoteliers take care of luggage transportation to and from the ferries. This is quite common in this part of Crete and completely safe. Please have in mind that luggage is not always handled gently, so pack accordingly.

Price: 495 Euros/person

Single room supplement: 150 Euro
(solo travellers - 720 Euros)

The price includes: 7 nights accommodation on B&B basis (2 in Vamos, 2 in Askifou, 1 in Chora Sfakion and 2 in Loutro; All luggage transfers; Transfers on day 1 (bus stop Vrysses-Vamos), 2, 3 and 5; 24-hour telephone assistance; Detailed road book and maps in English; Booklet „Discover Vamos… on foot‟ (one per booking);

The price does not include: Flights, public transportation and ferry tickets; Airport arrival and airport departure transfers; Travel insurance; Admissions and entrance fees of any kind; Tips and gratuities; Personal expenses such as meals, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers etc.; Any items that have not been specifically mentioned in the program;

Tips: The tour can start on any day of the week during the best travel period April-October. The best time to travel to the Greek islands is between April and June and September to the beginning of November. In the summer months it gets very hot. Active travellers should either go in the spring time (when nature is at its best) or after summer (when sea water is still warm). The trip is suitable for anyone in a good physical shape. The walks are mostly unsurfaced tracks; footpaths, mountain trails and some tarmac roads. Best arrival/departure airports: Heraklion or Chania (Chania is closer). Best arrival/departure ports: Heraklion or Chania (Chania is closer).
From Chania Airport to Vamos it is possible to travel by public bus, but the connection is not good. You are advised to take (or pre-book) a taxi from the airport to Vamos (distance is appr. 30km).
From the bus station in Heraklion city (6km from the airport, accessible by bus or taxi) there are direct buses to Chania (duration: 2 hrs). The bus also stops in the village Vrysses, near Vamos, and a taxi transfer from Vrysses to Vamos is included in this package.
You may travel via Athens Airport and take the night ferry from Piraeus to Chania, leaving daily around 9 pm and arriving in Chania at 6 am the next morning. There are cabins with comfortable berths on board and all cabins are en-suite.
From the last overnight location, Loutro, you travel per ferry to Chora Sfakion (20 min) and continue by public bus to Chania or Heraklion. In case your flight departs in the morning you have to either book an extra night in Chania or Heraklion or book a private taxi transfer from Chora Sfakion to the airport as to be on time. You can also take the daily overnight ferry from Chania back to Piraeus.