The coast, villages and countryside of the Eastern Algarve and then explore the treasures of this most westerly corner of Europe.
A chance to spend two weeks in Crete, walking in the mountain foothills and along coastal trails
Culture & Natural History
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 15140
Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain.
Most of these holidays have an element of sightseeing as well.
Half day walks will probably involve about 3 hours of walking, with full day walks having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to 600m.
Crete’s White Mountains beckon you into the island’s wild interior. The distant peaks are often covered in snow well into late spring, and the summer sun reflects on the limestone summits making them appear white. The mountains are cut by over 50 gorges, with the Samaria Gorge the most famous and well traversed.
The western part of the island is a walkers’ paradise. It has the unique combination of beautiful seas and high mountains and many trails criss-crossing the region. Experience this journey with Ramblers Walking Holidays. The island’s geographical diversity and wild beauty can be seen in the endemic flora and fauna, spectacular vistas and idyllic picnic spots, which add to the dramatic walking on offer. Mule tracks lead you to breathtaking cols, past remote villages and weathered archaeological remains. Coastal tracks follow rugged cliffs, around small bays. A quiet taverna offers a welcome rest from the afternoon sun.
Our hotel is well located in the charming Venetian harbour town of Chania from which we enjoy a week walking in Crete’s western corner. The town’s narrow streets and quiet squares, colourful buildings adorned with bougainvillea and bustling cafés along the waterfront, add to its lively character. It is a lovely place to while away a warm Mediterranean evening and enjoy some ‘taverna life’. There are many interesting shops, markets and also many intriguing museums dotted around town. The old sea fortress of Frikas now houses the Naval Museum and the old Venetian lighthouse dominates the port. The excellent walking combined with the local cuisine, wines and Greek hospitality create a perfect mix.
Moving on to the easternpart of the island, to Aghios Nicolaos, offers a more relaxed holiday with a great combination of walking and our beachfront property. After a good day's walk, relax on the beach or by the swimming pool before heading out to dinner. From the town of Aghios Nicolaos, where our hotel is located on the edge of the town, across from the beach, our walks take us up into the mountains, offering dramatic views of the ever changing colours, along the coast and into the wild and fertile Potami Valley.
We'll explore small villages, with their shady squares and traditional tavernas, visit the island of Spinalonga and on a free day the archaeological site of Knossos and the city of Heraklion are not too far away.
Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.
NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen
Itinerary & Travel
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
Fly from London Gatwick or Manchester to Crete. On arrival, we transfer by road (approx. 40 minutes) to our hotel for 7 nights’ accommodation. The Hotel Kriti is located just outside the old city walls and is a perfect location for exploring the museums and shops or enjoying a night cap after dinner. The bustling Venitian harbour is a wonderful place to while a way a free afternoon or take a late evening stroll.
During our time in Crete our walks will take us along coastal paths with possible opportunities for a swim and stops at tavernas for lunch or afternoon refreshment, inland with spectacular views of the White Mountains and into rugged gorges. Our walks are flexible to allow for group ability and weather conditions, and may include one of more of the following examples:
Therisso to Zourva and Meskla. A pleasant walk with fine mountain views following an old path to the col above Zourva. After a lunch stop at a wonderful taverna in Zourva, the walk continues mainly on dirt tracks down a partially wooded valley to Meskla.
Ascent 200m / descent 500m 7 miles; 5 hours.
Ravdouha: A beautiful walk that starts at Melissourgio climbs uphill, reaches a wide ridge track with views along the coast in both directions. Then descends to Ravdouha where we have traditional Kalitsounias, (small pastries), before taking a spectacular coastal path to finish at a taverna in Nopogia. Ascent 150m / descent 300m; 7 miles; 5 hours
Laki, Karanos & Askordolos to Fournes. From Laki, in the foothills of the White Mountains, enjoy a varied downhill walk with magnificent views of the north coast.
Ascent 100m / descent 400m; 9 miles; 5 hours.
Kalives to Almyrida: A delightful walk on tracks and paths with good views of the White Mountains and coast. There is the possibility of a stop at a taverna for lunch or refreshments. Ascent 320m / 350m; 8 miles; 5 hours
Melissourgio to Nopigia: One of the most beautiful walks this area of Crete has to offer. It starts with a climb above Ravdouha on a good track with extensive coastal views, and returns via a narrower coastal track. Note: Not suitable for vertigo sufferers. Ascent 150m / 300m; 7 miles; 5 hours
There will be a free day during the week where you may want to walk the Samaria Gorge (at an additional cost) or wander the cobbled streets of Chania or perhaps visit Knossos.
After breakfast we transfer by private coach to Aghios Nikolaos where we check into to the Hotel Faedra Beach Resort with time for a swim before dinner
Walking in Eastern Crete, the mountains will be your constant companion, changing colour from dawn to dusk. Couple that with the pretty coastline, small villages, olive groves and orchards and tavernas offering traditional cuisine, this is a great holiday for lovers of Greece. We plan to offer the following walks during our time in Agios Nikolaos:
Vkritsa-Lato-Flamuriana: This a lovely walk along ancient paths and through olive groves that finishes for refreshments in the village square of Flamuriana 8kms; 3.30 hours inc lunch stop; A/D 200m
Krista Gorge: This is a short walk in a very popular gorge that requires some agility as at times. Combined with a lunch stop in Krista and time to look around the town. as it’s very pretty with lots of local handicrafts for sale, makes this a nice day. 4kms; 2 hours; A/D 150m
Agios Ionnis Point: After a steepish ascent at the start, our walk levels out and offers wonderful views over to Spinalonga and the bay. Once back on the copast at Plaka, there is the opportunity for a swim. 11kms; 4 hours; A/D 350m
Elounda-Kato Pines-Plaka: A delightful walk above Elounda, through some very traditional villages finishing in Plaka where we will then catch the boat to Spinalonga for a visit of the island. 10kms; 3 hours; A/D 350m
Lasithi Plateau Psychro – Tzermiado & the Dikti Cave:An interesting walk through an agricultural plateau where windmills used to be used for irrigation. A taverna lunch followed by a visit to the Dikti Cave, the birthplace of Zeus.
There will also be a free day where you can relax on the beach or explore the area
After breakfast, we transfer to Heraklion airport for our return flight to the UK
Departure dates for your selected tour
4th May 2021 - 18th May 2021 (14 Nights)
11th May 2021 - 25th May 2021 (14 Nights)
18th May 2021 - 1st Jun 2021 (14 Nights)
21st Sep 2021 - 5th Oct 2021 (14 Nights)
28th Sep 2021 - 12th Oct 2021 (14 Nights)
5th Oct 2021 - 19th Oct 2021 (14 Nights)
Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.
The contemporary Hotel Kriti is located is one of the best spots in Chania, being on the very edge of the Venetian Harbour. The excellently reviewed hotel offers easy access to the town’s restaurants, museums, beach, Market Square and shops. All rooms are en suite with a hairdryer, TV, A/C, free Wi-Fi and mini-bar. The hotel has a swimming pool, bar, snack bar and breakfast room, where they serve a buffet breakfast each morning.
The renovated four-star Hotel Faedra Beach Resort is located in a peaceful setting on the seafront on the edge of Aghios Nikolaos on Crete’s north-eastern coast. The beach is on our doorstep and there are free sunbeds and umbrellas for your to use on the beach and also by the hotel's swimming pool. The rooms are all apartment/studio style and have kitchenette facilities, TV, A/C, hairdryer, safety deposit box and balcony or terrace with garden views. The hotel has its own restaurant, located on the water front, serving Cretan dishes.
This Grade 4 moderate holiday includes full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain and is likely to include an element of sightseeing as well. Half day walking will probably include about 3 hours of walking, with full days having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to about 600m. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' section for more information.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
You will find banks and ATM facilities in both of our resorts on this holiday. Both hotels also take credit cards.
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
We fly from Gatwick to Chania returning Heraklion to Gatwick with Easyjet or charter flight. Regional flights from Manchester and Birmingham may be available on some of the dates, please contact us for details.
The arrival transfer from Chania airport to our hotel in Chania takes approximately 30 minutes. From Chania to Aghios Nicholaos takes approximately 3 hours and the return transfer to Heraklion airport takes 1 hour.
Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?
If you wish to organise your own flights from a non-UK or provincial airport or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. Please contact us for details.
Before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.
If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.
Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details.
Please note that your flight must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.
Regional Flights (R3). We offer regional flight options on this holiday and there will be one or two transfer vehicles between the airport and hotel to minimise any waiting time at the overseas airport on the outward or return journeys.
Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents
For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
General Passport Advice
It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.
Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.
Brexit Passport Advice
You should have at least 6 months validity left on your passport from your date of arrival.
If you renewed a 10 year passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months will not count, so you should ensure that your passport is not older than 9 years and 6 months from the date of issue at the time of travel.
You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.
Please ensure to regularly check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for updates on passport requirements leading up to and after Brexit or contact us for more assistance.
UK Government Brexit Information for Passports can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-Brexit.
The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules which can be found at www.passport.service.gov.uk/check-a-passport.
In the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. The UK Government also has information for travellers available at gov.uk/EUexit
Non British Passport holders should consult the host country’s embassy for applicable passport and visa entry requirements.
Buffet breakfasts and dinners are included in the holiday charge. Dinners will be taken in tavernas, providing an opportunity to enjoy local dishes. Lunches are not included in the holiday cost. Picnic lunches can be bought from nearby supermarkets or a day's walking may include lunch at a taverna. The meals on this holiday are a wonderful addition to the walking, and the menus are chosen so that you are able to sample a wide variety of the Greek cuisine. The locally produced Cretan wines are an excellent accompaniment to the Greek cuisine is fresh and healthy and can cater for vegetarian and gluten free diets.
Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
Electricity in Greece
Electricity in Greece is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a European two pin adaptor with round pins. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
The Map Shop
Maps and guidebooks relating to the areas you will be walking in may be bought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Health Advice for Greece
No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to Greece.
You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK.
You may also wish to consider immunisations against Tetanus and Tick-borne Encephalitis.
There is a low to no risk of malaria in Greece. Malaria risk is from May to October and is very limited; confined to the villages of the Evrotas delta area in Lakonia district. Please seek advice from your doctor or travel clinic.
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
You must be adequately insured to join our holidays. We do not insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday. You will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.
Please ensure that as a minimum your travel insurance policy covers you for travel to your holiday destinations (country and geographical region) and for medical expenses, mountain rescue (including helicopter rescue) and emergency repatriation to your home country in the event of illness or injury. Your policy should also provide adequate cover for the activities, included and optional, you are likely to participate in during your holiday.
See our brochure or website for further advice regarding holiday insurance.
Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.
Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.
Please take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you; it will help you in the event of you needing medical assistance during your holiday. Please note that the EHIC has an expiry date, so please check that your card is valid for the duration of your holiday. Please note however the EHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance.
For more information please visit ehic.org.uk.
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
Visas and Passports
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