Two week holiday combining the Wild Crete and Cretan Trails Tavernas holidays
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.
Crete, especially 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. 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 and sandy beaches are perfect for a late day swim. Combine this with the local cuisine, wines and the Greek hospitality and you have the perfect mix for a memorable holiday.
From the charming Venetian harbour town of Chania, enjoy a week walking in Crete’s western corner. The town’s narrow streets and quiet squares, colourful buildings adorned with bougainvillea and bustling cafes 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.
Time and the elements have left their mark on the island of Crete with a spectacularly rugged landscape of mountains leading to lush, green valleys and dramatic gorges as well as a rocky coastline with steep-sided coves and bays. Discover the wilder higher ranges that dominate the spine of Crete and its canyons and idyllic coastal routes between villages, some accessible only on foot or by sea.
Wild Crete offers sometimes strenuous, but rewarding walking, exploring deep gorges and imposing summits, and follows much of the E4 path.
Paleohóra, a small tranquil town on the south west coast, was built on a once fortified peninsula jutting into the Libyan Sea. From here, we take the coastal route to Sougia, and walk on the imposing Gingelos (2080m) en route to Omalos, a village situated inland on the mountain plain.
From Omalos, we’ll head into the Samaria Gorge National Park for the 11 mile, 1300m descent through the diverse and spectacular scenery of the gorge. We recover at the village of Agia Roumeli at the end of the gorge on the coast, before moving on, via a coastal route, to the tranquil fishing village of Loutro. From Loutro, we walk through the Aradhena Gorge with the opportunity for a rewarding swim to end the day. We continue along the coast to Hora Sfakion before travelling to the north of the island to Chania where we spend our final night.