loutro

Contrasts of Crete Walking

8 days
from
£1,249
Loading...
Walking & Trekking
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
W07GI
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays
Activity:
Self-Guided Walking

This self-guided walking holiday explores the most remote south-west corner of Crete. there are often no roads within miles and most of the local commuting is done by boat! You'll follow ancient paths and shepherd trails through gorges and along stoney coastal paths that meander above hidden coves, along virgin beaches and across pebbly promontories, often within metres of the appetisingly clear waters of the Mediterranean.

Starting in Chania, the most charming city of Crete we head towards the White Mountains (Lefka Ori) which take their name from the shining bleached limestone in summer. Explore the lush Samaria and Agia Irini gorges blanketed with colourful Cretan rock lettuce and Aubretia. Follow the southern coastline from Sougia to Ancient Lissos, known for its famous Temple of Asklepios (Aesculapium), where people came from all over Crete to be cured by the local waters. The temple was destroyed in a great earthquake, but its mosaic floor depicting animals and geometrical patterns is preserved. Continue along the coast to Loutro, passing the chapel of St Pavlos, said to mark the place where St Paul landed on Crete. There are plenty of swimming opportunities along the way and your final walk takes you to Freshwater Beach before returning to Chania.

You'll be treated to historical sites, fabulous swimming spots and a spectacular variety of birds. The White Mountains have golden eagles and lammergeyers and at lower altitudes you will find bee-eaters, hoopoes, blue rock thrush and golden oreols.

Key information

  • 7 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of HHH and 3-star hotels
  • All breakfasts
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Walking transfers on days 2, 3 and 7
  • Countries visited: Greece

What's included

  • 7 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of HHH and 3-star hotels
  • All breakfasts
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Walking transfers on days 2, 3 and 7

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Any Solo traveller supplements (where only one person is travelling on a departure date)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

6

Days of Walking & Trekking
Terrain:

Although the paths are quite well-kept the terrain often tends to be very stony and rocky, particularly during the gorge-walking. You will mostly be walking on footpaths, mountain trails and on some tarmac roads and be prepared for few steeper passages.

Day by day breakdown
Day 27.0km/4.5miles
Day 34.0km/2.5miles
Day 410.0km/6.5miles
Day 513.5km/8.5miles
Day 65.0km/3.0miles
Day 77.0km/4.5miles

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

Itinerary

Expand all
Chania
to
Chania
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Chania

    Arrive in the charming city of Chania. Its perfect setting with the White Mountains as a background, lively harbour, historical remains and busy market make it the ideal starting point. You'll be met in the afternoon by our local representative for your briefing.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 2

    Chania to Agia Irini and Sougia Bay

    Today starts with a transfer to the White Mountains. The walk takes you through the narrow gorge of Agia Irini where areas of humidity and shade sustain a variety of plants, and gigantic plane trees grace a large clearing half way up. Ending at Agia Irini village a short transfer takes you to Sougia bay on the Lybian coast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Sougia Bay to Ancient Lissos

    From Sougia walk along a path towards the ancient city of Lissos waterfront, the walk follows a beautiful small canyon with narrow yet high walls, after which the Temple of Asclepius appears in front of you. You walk amongst the scattered ruins of the ancient city discovering tombs, the Roman theatre and the church of Saint Kirikos. Return to Sougia the same way and time permitting relax at the beach before taking a boat transfer to the fishing village of Agia Roumeli where you spend the next two nights.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Samaria Gorge

    Walk from Agia Roumeli up part of the Samaria gorge, Europe's longest gorge. Watch out for lammergeyers as you go over trickling streams and through forests of scented pines tp the 'Iron Gates' the narrowest point of the gorge where the rocks on either side are 600m high. Head back down the gorge to return to Agia Roumeli.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Agia Roumeli to Loutro

    Enjoy a wonderful coastal walk today to the picturesque 13th century chapel of St Pavlos,where the apostle supposedly first arrived in Crete, stop for a swim before heading on to Marmara where you can enjoy lunch in a taverna and stop for another swim, continue on along the coastal path to Loutro or take a water taxi from Marmara (payable locally).

    A shorter walking option is also available.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Optional walk to Aradena

    Spend the day relaxing in Loutro or take a leisurely hike via Foinikas to Marmara beach to the entrance of Aradena gorge. Return the same way or take a water taxi back to Loutro (payable locally).

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Loutro to Hora Sfakion (Chania)

    Follow the coastal path to Freshwater beach, so-called because of the fresh spring water that bubbles just under the surface. Enjoy a swim and a picnic before continuing on to Hora Sfakion where a transfer takes you back to Chania for your last night.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Leave Chania

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Vaccinations

Greece

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

Simple buffet style Greek breakfast consists of bread/toast, butter, jam, fresh juice, milk, local yoghurt, eggs and honey, and coffee/tea. For lunch we recommend taking a picnic on most days although there may be options on some days to eat at a taverna.   For dinner, in each place you stay there will be a range of different local tavernas and restaurants to choose from where you can sample some typical Greek meze dishes, olives, fresh fish, vegetables and much more.

Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Contrasts of Crete Walking

pool
pool

The hotels you'll be staying in are small, family-run properties some of which are close to the sea shore.

Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Have you been on this adventure? Tell others what it’s like by writing a review.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]