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Walking in Crete

Lefka Ori - White Mountains of Crete - Panorama

Walking in Crete - the country for hiking, trekking, mountain climbing and tramping is beautiful all over this large island.

Being 260 km long by 60 km wide, at its widest point, the island has three mountain ranges, and is full of diverse ecosystems, with high peaks, rugged gorges, plateaux, bare rocky hillsides and thickly wooded coastal forests as well as fertile agricultural lands, rolling hills and olive groves. Crete is a wonder world for walkers.

Tour and independent walking options below for keen walkers.

8 Day Hiking Tour in Crete

Walking in Crete Tour - Samaria GorgeWalking in Crete Tour - Samaria Gorge

RATING: 4.7 / 5 17 reviews  | TOUR LENGTH: 8 days | BOOK NOW

Route for this tour:

  • Day 1 Join the group in Chania
  • Day 2 Walking tour of Chania; drive to Omalos Plateau in the White Mountains
  • Day 3 Hike Samaria Gorge to Agia Roumeli
  • Day 4 Coastal walk to Loutro seaside village
  • Day 5 Exploring Loutro - relax by the beach
  • Day 6 Morning relaxing; ferry to Chora Sfakion; drive to Zaros
  • Day 7 Hiking Zaros Gorge
  • Day 8 Drive to Heraklion airport where the trip ends

This 8 day tour of Crete offers glorious hiking and trekking for a maximum of 16 walkers in a fully guided tour. Begin in Chania and end in Heraklion, explore the mountains and enjoy blissful coastal walking.

Take the hike in the famous Samaria Gorge, relax in the coastal hamlet of Agia Roumeli. Walk to the blue and white seaside village of Loutro, and discover Zaros in the Idi Mountains.

Walks in the West - Chania

Walking in Crete - the Lefka Ori - White Mountains of ChaniaWalking in Crete - the Lefka Ori - White Mountains of Chania

Walking in Crete
- in the west of the island, as well as numerous beaches and lowlands, rolling hills and gorges, are The White Mountains known as the Lefka Ori.

These mountains are bare above the snow line (pictured above and below) and from a distance glow white, even in summer, due to the colour of the limestone, which is naked and reflects in the summer sun. These mountains are very high, with the highest peak being Pachnes at 2453 m. It is best to take a guided walk in this difficult terrain.

Portions of these mountains are included in the E4 European Walking path.

Aori Walks - in the west of Crete

Take a guided tour in these mountains with Ann Deckel of Aori Walks. An organised walk with an experienced guide of 1 or 2 days or up to 7 days is a delight to explore these rugged landscapes.

Popular walks in this region include:

Walks in the Central West - Rethymnon

Rethymnon Fortezza - take a half day walking tour hereRethymnon Fortezza - take a half day walking tour of the old town

Walking in Crete - take a walking tour of the old town of Rethymnon, discover authentic corners of the Old Town. Enjoy a Cretan breakfast in a quaint café, watch a handmade filo pastry workshop, and eat a traditional meal in a garden. This tour is only 4 hours.

Interesting walks in this region include:

  • The Amari Valley including Patsos Gorge
  • Kourtaliotiko Gorge Walk
  • Kotsifou Gorge
  • Prassano Gorge Walk
  • Climbing Mt Ida known as Psiloritis - the easy way from Nida Plateau or the hard way from Fourfouras, this is the highest mountain in Crete at 2456 m.

Psiloritis Range (image by Dimitris  Pachakis)The Psiloritis range is covered in snow in winter

Below you will see a video compiled by some Dutch hikers who love Crete climbing Mt Ida with magnificent views.

Below you will see the annual walk to the peak of Psiloritis (the tall one) which takes place on the first Sunday after August 15 every year from the village of Livadia to the chapel of Timios Stavros on the peak .

Walks in the Centre - Heraklion

Phaistos Archaelogical Site

Walking in Crete - in the centre of Crete your attention will turn to Knossos Archaeological site as well as the sites of Phaistos, Gortyna and Agia Triada.

When you have seen the ancient wonders, turning your head towards some of the dramatic mountain and gorge scenery you will not be lost for places to explore:

Agio Farago Gorge (image by Mark Latter)The caves in this gorge were used by monks in solitude

Walks in the East - Lasithi

Zakros Gorge is full of flowers in springtimeZakros Gorge is full of flowers in springtime

Walking in Crete - walks around the eastern part of Crete include:

The Sitia Orchid (image by Andreas Loukakis)The Sitia Orchid is native to this area

The E4 European Walking Path in Crete

E4 path marker in Crete

Walking in Crete - the E4 European walking path in Crete starts in Kissamos in the west and ends in Kato Zakros at the eastern tip of the island, covering rugged and scenic country all over the island for 320 km.

If you decide to do all or some of the E4 path, this is the guidebook for up to date descriptions, maps, GPS data and information on all sections of the path. Written by a walker with climbing and hiking experience all over the world, Luca Gionotti, whose passion for paths shows through in his tireless work and interpretation of the E4 route.

The Cretan Way
is the only guidebook you will need for this trail in Crete, with perhaps some maps, available below.

Walking in Crete
Hiking Maps

Sunflower guides are really great general guides to Crete with good maps and the Anavasi hiking maps can be used for different walks around the island.

Three Ways to Walk to Loutro
Seaside Village in South Crete

Loutro is a small fishing village on the south coast of Chania in the west of Crete, which today is still a tiny hamlet around a tight picturesque cove, with azure and turquoise waters, surrounded by natural beaches. The only way to access the village is by walking in or taking a boat. We share three walks into the beach below.

Leave Only Footprints

Please take all your rubbish with you and don’t build any of those silly piles of rocks. Just leave it all as you found it and leave only footprints because We Love Crete!

Getting Here

Take a 1 hour flight from Athens to Heraklion with Aegean Airlines or Olympic Air, with many flights available per day.

Or take a 9.5 hour overnight ferry from Pireaus port of Athens to Heraklion port.

More on flights and ferries below.

Car hire in Crete is a really good idea as it is a large island 60 km by 260 km. There is so much to explore.

When you book with our car rental partners - Rental Centre Crete - you are supporting a local company with excellent service and easy online booking. We are sure you will be well looked after by the team. Choose from hybrid, electric or regular vehicles.

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We trust you have enjoyed these tips from the We Love Crete team. Evíva!

The We Love Crete team - Anastasi, Katia & Apostoli

Anastasi, Apostoli & Katia are the We Love Crete team
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Walking tour of Crete - Experience

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