EXPLORATION OF SOUTH-WEST CRETE Crystal beaches and wild mountains around South-west Crete

An 8 day trip (7 nights) around the unexplored nature, the pristine beaches and the traditional villages of South Crete. A trip that combines the wild beauties of the prettiest natural park in Crete, the Samaria Natural Park, the secluded beaches, beautiful trails on the White Mountains and gorgeous gorges!

Highlights 

  • Samaria Natural Park, the 2nd bigger gorge of Europe, a UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve
  • Pristine beach along an extended limestone coast
  • Small villages inaccessible by cars
  • High impressive mountains
  • The highest summit of the White Mountains at 2.453 m.
  • Interaction with the locals
  • E4 path for long distances
  • The romantic, picturesque city of Chania
  • The abandoned historical village of Aradena and the impressive homonymous gorge

 

Day-to-Day Programme

This programme is designed for travellers on foot. However it may be easily done by car.

The provided description starts from Heraklion, but what we actually suggest is arriving at the airport/port of Chania instead of Heraklion. 

 

Day 1 - Welcome to Crete

Arrival at Heraklion airport. Taxi to the hotel, in the center of Heraklion.

Later, meeting with our representative at the lobby of your hotel and discussion on your program. Delivery of documents of your trip (a detailed booklet with day by day information, the best road and hiking maps).

Distance from the Heraklion airport to the city centre: 4 km
Accommodation: 3* City hotel at Heraklion
Included in the day: Taxi transfer, welcome meeting and trip-documents delivery, accommodation 

 

Day 2 - Going to Chania

Bus to the charming city of Chania. Final destination: SFAKIA, a fishing village of the southern part of Chania. 

After your breakfast, you go on foot to the bus station (10-15 min walk). You take the bus and after 3.30 hours you arrive at the historic and charming town of Chania. You can stay a few hours here to walk to the Venetian harbor and the narrow streets full of shops, cafes, and taverns and then walk to the station to catch the bus to Chora Sfakion.

(Current bus schedules will be announced and provided to you)

Traveling time: Heraklion–Chania: 3h30  + 1h00 Chania – Chora Sfakion
Accomodation2* hotel in Chora Sfakion
Included in the day: Accommodation, breakfast
Extra cost to be paid on the spot: Around 15 €/person for the bus ticket from Heraklion to Chania and 8,30 € from Heraklion to Chora Sfakion.

 

Day 3Boat trip | Agia Roumeli and Samaria Gorge

You can take the boat in the morning to go to themost impressive forge of the White Mountains range, the magestic gorge of Samaria, the so called "Faraggas" ("the Great Gorge") among the locals. You can buy your tour tickets from the exit and start walking backwards, up to the point that you wish. You should be back to the beach by 17h00 when you'll take again the boat to return to Chora Sfakion.

Traveling time: 1 hour to go to Agia Roumeli by boat + 1 hour to return 
Walking time: 1 to 4 hours
Accommodation: At the same hotel in Chora Sfakion
Included in the day: Accommodation, breakfast
Extra cost to be paid on the spot: (12.5 €/person for the boat ticket to go to Agia Roumeli + 12.5 € to return, + 5 € for the entry ticket to Samaria Gorge)

 

Day 4Hike to the Imbros Gorge

First thing, breakfast. Then you take the public bus or a taxi to get to the entrance of Imbros Gorge (10-15 km far from Sfakia).

3 -hour walk through the gorge, which is a very characteristic geological phenomenon for the formation of Crete. At the exit, you'll meet our collaborator who will drive you back to Chora Sfakion.

Travel time: Around 30 min (the taxi transfer)
Walking time: 3 hours
Accommodation: At the same hotel in Chora Sfakion
Included in the day: Accommodation, breakfast, transfer by taxi from the exit of the Imbros Gorge to Chora Sfakion.
Extra cost to pay on the spot: 3 € per person for the entry ticket to the Imbros Gorge + bus ticket from Chora Sfakion to Imbros which costs about 5 €/person.

 

Day 5 - Relaxing day by the sea

After breakfast it's time to relax and enjoy the beautiful beach near your hotel. Possibility to walk to the beginning of the E4 trail and go to the impressive beach of Glyka Nera.

Walking time:
- From Sfakia at the beginning of the path: 30 min walk on the asphalt. Another suggestion is to take a taxi (it costs about 10 euros per person to be paid on the spot)
- To go to Glyka Nera beach: 1h30 to go + 1h30 to return (possibility to avoid walking back the same path and take a taxi-boat instead. Count around 15 euros/person if you join another group).
Accommodation: At the same hotel in Chora Sfakion
Included in the day: Accommodation, breakfast

 

Day 6 - Aradena Gorge and the beautiful Marmara Beach

Breakfast first. Then our local driver transfers you to a landscape totally lost in stones, pines, wild grasses, lambs ... Time to walk down the Aradena Gorge: the legendary and beautiful gorge of another area of Crete, 500 years ago!

At the exit of this gorge you'll find the most impressive little beach of South Crete... The cove of Marmara. There, you 'll have the chance to lunch at the the unique, tiny tavern of the location, which is known for its local cuisine.

From there, you can either take a taxi boat to return, or you continue with another 1-hour walk to arrive at the port of the picturesque seaside village of Loutro where you can enjoy a drink. Return to Chora Sfakion by a taxi-boat at the end of the day.

  • Less-walking alternative:
    If you want to avoid walking down all the gorge, you may visit the area of Aradena and the abandoned village, walk a bit down the old stony stairs and then back to top of the gorge where you'll find Ai Ioannis, the last village of the area, a nice location to enjoy a delicious meal in a family tavern.

Travel time: Approximately 4-5-hour walk of moderate difficulty
Accomodation:  At the same hotel in Chora Sfakion
Included in the day: Accommodation, breakfast, transfer to the entrance to the Aradene Gorge
Included in case of the alternative: Accommodation, breakfast, transfer to the entrance to the Aradene Gorge and back, diner in Ai Giannis and transfer from Anopoli to Ai Giannis and return.
Extra cost to be paid on the spot: boat ticket from Marmara/Loutro to Sfakia: 6 €/person. 

 

Day 7 - Day of return to Heraklion

Breakfast and then public bus to move to Heraklion. Υou change buses at Vrisses, a village famous for yoghurt with honey. 

Arrival in Heraklion and settling into your rooms at your hotel. According to the time of your arrival, you may visit the Archaeological Museum which is very recently renovated.

Traveling time: 4h00 in total (Sfakia - Heraklion)
Accommodation: 3* City hotel at Heraklion
Included in the day: Accommodation, breakfast

 

Day 8 - End of the trip

Breakfast and transfer to the airport by taxi.
Have a nice trip back home!

Distance from the city centre to the Heraklion airport: 4 km
Included in the day: Accommodation, breakfast, taxi transfer to the airport

 

The price includes:

  • Transfer from/to the airport to/from your hotel in Heraklion by taxi on the 1st and the last day of your trip.
  • Assistance at the airport or at the hotel (providing the maps and printed material for your trip and discussing thoroughly about your programme)
  • A detailed travel guide specially prepared for your trip (with references, texts, photos, maps and proposals for wonderful visits, treks, eating hangouts etc.)
  • Accommodation in 2* and 3* hotels and high quality apartments, selected by Petassos Travel, including breakfast, free Wi-Fi and air-conditioning
  • Transfer by taxi from the exit of Imbros Gorge to Chora Sfakion
  • Transfer by taxi at the entrance of Aradena
  • Phone support 24/7
  • Third Party Liability
  • Taxes

 

The price does not include:

  • International flights
  • Personal accident insurance, powed by Lloyd's insurance company (upon request)
  • Guided tours and entrance fees to museums and organised archaeological sites
  • Tickets for national parks, buses and boats
  • Beverages, drinks
  • Personal expenses & tips
  • Lunch and dinner, unless otherwise mentioned in the proposal above (in a normal tarvern you'll need around 12-17 euros per person.
  • Rucksack, trekking poles and other technical equipment (upon request)
  • GPS 
  • Personal insurance (upon request)
  • Accommodation VAT (it depends on the type of hotel): it varies from 0.50 to 5 euros per day, per room, to be paid by you directly to each hotel.
  • Anything not mentioned above.

 

Useful Information

TRAVELLING PERIOD: From the beginning of May to the end of October
PREFERED PERIOD: From the beginning of May to mid-June and from mid-September to the end of October.

May: Blue sky, rich nature, flourished flowers and herbs, best season for observing flora. Yet, the sea is still quite cold. Small chances of rain. 
June: Blue sky, dryness begins, but sea temperature is pleasant.
July-August: Blue sky, dry flora, best season for swimming in magnificent seas, more tourism
September-October: Beautiful blue sky with colorful cloud formations, first light rains as October approaches, the land is becoming green again, very warm seas, less tourism.

Notes:

* This trip is a private excursion.
* The trip is made without a guide, except from specific days where escort by our experts is included, as an added value in the programme.
* The trip may be extended and include more options for visits in the area of Chania.
* The trip may be modified according to the travellers' preferences and needs.
* (!) Please inform us of any dietary needs/particularities you might have (allergies, intolerances) or other health issues we have to take into consideration.
INFORMATION
Click to enlarge map
Duration: 8 days (7 nights)
Dates: Dates: Throughout the year
Location: Crete: Heraklion & on the south of Chania
Difficulty: Easy
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