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Crete island explorer: from coast to coast

€510 per person

Discover the pristine side of Crete, one of Greece’s most incredible islands. Join us on this self-guided hiking adventure and explore the infamous White mountains. Experience the warmth of the locals and the incredible taste of local cuisine. We will take you from the fruitful agricultural area of Apokoronas to the breathtaking south coast through astonishing gorges and the imposing White Mountains. Lose yourself in local culture and hospitality, as you travel off the beaten track through primeval nature.

  • Destination
  • Duration
    8 Days I Difficulty: 3 (of 5)
  • What is included
    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; Emergency telephone assistance; Detailed road book and maps in English; Booklet „Discover Vamos… on foot‟ (one per booking);
  • What is not included
    Public transportation and ferry tickets; Airport arrival and airport departure transfers; Travel insurance; Admissions and entrance fees of any kind; Drinks and other meals; City tax (payable locally in the hotels; 0,5-1,5 Euro/night)
  • Best period
    April, May, June, July, August, September, October
1
Day 1 : Arrival in Vamos, Crete
Arrival in Vamos by taxi (can be arranged in advance) or by public transport from the Chania or Heraklion Airports. Leave some time for an evening walk in the picturesque village of Vamos.
2
Day 2: Countryside walk: Georgioupolis to Vamos (12km, 4hrs, +100m/-325m)
You start your independent hiking tour in Crete with an idyllic walk through the countryside of Apokoronas. Your route takes you through several villages to the seaside town of Georgioupolis. The views are astonishing - an old monastery, charming scattered churches and the oldest olive press of Western Crete will surprise you along the route of this first walking day of the tour.
3
Day 3: Roundtrip from Nippos and travel to Askifou (14km, 4hr, +400m/-400m)
Today you make a self-guided tour around the village of Nippos, located in the lush green area of Apokoronas. You will feel like you are walking in an oil painting as you found yourself surrounded by cypresses and olive trees with the Lefka Ori in the background. Later in the afternoon, a comfortable taxi transfer will take you to the Askifou plain where your next overnight will be.
4
Day 4: Lefka Ori Mountain Walk (16km, 6hrs, +700m/-700m)
A challenging walk awaits you as you go up the mountain and contemplate the peaks enclosing you. The deep serenity of the natural surroundings is interrupted only by the occasional shepherd with his goats or sheep. The views of the Askifou plain peak through the branches as you descend following a beautiful old path through a dense forest.
5
Day 5: Walking the Imbros Gorge (13km, 4hrs, +350m/-1100m)
At the end of the walk today you will have reached the southern coast of Crete! Again, a short transfer from the hotel brings you to the village of Imbros where you can get some supplies in the mini market, before entering the second famous gorge of Crete: the Imbros gorge. You will be walking for about two hours along a rocky riverbed with loose stones and rocks alternated with easier sections. The landscapes here are other-worldly; at its narrowest point, the Imbros gorge is only 1.60m wide! When you sit and have your picnic lunch and listen to the silence it will be hard to imagine the immense forces that created this impressive landscape. At the end of the gorge you come to Komitades where you may relax and have lunch in one of the taverns. Then you continue your walk through agricultural fields and across the Sfakiano gorge until you reach Chora Sfakion, located on the Libyan Sea. You may end you day with a refreshing swim.
6
Day 6: Hiking from Chora Sfakion to Loutro (16km, 6hrs, +675m/-675m)
You begin your hiking day with a climb to the traditional village of Anopolis via the Ilinga gorge. We recommend that you try the traditional “Sfakiana pitta” there: a sort of local pastry typical for Greece with cream cheese and honey. You descend via a picturesque route to the hidden miniature village of Loutro accessible only by ferry. The last 2 overnights will be in Loutro.
7
Day 7: Roundwalk from Loutro (15.5km, 7hrs, +840m/-840m)
After breakfast, you climb to the curious archaeological site of Ancient Aradhena, located at the breathtaking Aradhena Gorge. You then follow a scenic path down to the coast. The path takes you back to Loustro along the coastline. There is an option for a shorter hiking route for this day (4hrs). Walk to the tiny village of Livaniana and descend down the coast through the Aradhena Gorge. Depending on your flight schedule the next day, you might have to travel back to Chora Sfakion per ferry and on to Chania or Heraklion today.
8
Day 8: Departure
You bid Loustro farewell and travel back to Chora Sfakion and from there independently by public transport or prebooked transfer to Chania or Heraklion Airport.

TOUR LOCATION

Price
510 Euro per person in twin/dbl room
* Triple rooms available upon request.
Single room & Solo Traveler supplement
Single room supplement: 90 Euro
Solo traveler supplement: 255 Euro (incl. sgl. room supplement)
Tips
Daily departures between the beginning of April and the end of 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 travelers 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.
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.
Accommodation
Days 1 & 2: Vamos; Days 3 - 4: Askifou; Day 5: Chora Sfakion; 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. Items for lunch are available in the local shops; at Askifou the shop is 1 km from the accommodation and you may ask for a packed lunch or shop in Imbros during the walk. Also the owner can take you to the supermarket in his private car to assist you in Askifou. In the evening you have a wide choice taverns at all locations, except in Askifou where you can only dine at the hotel itself. All necessary luggage transfers are included as per program.

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