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WESTERN CRETE

from £1695
Two weeks combining the Cretan Trails & Tavernas & Wild Crete holidays.

Guided Walking Holidays Western Crete

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. Discover mountains cut by over 50 gorges, with the Samaria Gorge the most famous and well traversed, with Ramblers Walking Holidays.

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.


Holiday Highlights

  • Walk the spectacular Samaria Gorge, one of Greece's top five gorges
  • Sample traditional Greek cuisine with dinners at local tavernas.
  • From Chania, walk in the foothills of the White Mountains, through olive and citrus groves with spectacular viewpoints.
  • Explore Crete's Wild Coast from the artists' village of Paleohora to Loutro, reaching villages only accessible on foot and by ferry
The holiday inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What's included in this holiday Items that are covered in the cost of holiday price.

      Return flights from Gatwick to Chania (Charter or Easyjet)
      Airport transfers
      Baggage transfers
      En-suite accommodation with breakfasts taken in the hotels.
      Services of a dedicated leader.
      Dinners at local tavernas.
      All local travel costs.
Whats not included in this holiday Items that are not covered in the cost of holiday price.

  • Entrance fees to some museums and historic buildings (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Insurance
Please select Departure Date to view:

Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised program, 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.

This departure: Grade 4 1st wk, Grade 6 2nd wk

  1. Day 1

    On arrival into Chania's airport, 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 Venetian harbour is a wonderful place to while a way a free afternoon or take a late evening stroll.

  2. Day 2 to 7
    During our time in Chania our walks will take us along coastal paths, inland trails with spectacular views of the White Mountains and into rugged gorges, and with stops at tavernas for lunch or afternoon refreshment. Our walks are flexible to allow for group ability and weather conditions, and may include one of more of the following walks:

    Therisso to Zourva and Meskla. A pleasant walk with fine mountain views following two old paths to the village of Zourva. After a lunch stop at the panoramic taverna in Zourva, the walk descends first on dirt tracks then through a wooded path to a small gorge before finishing in Meskla. Ascent 300m / descent 650m 8.5 miles; 5-6 hours including lunch stop. Note: This walk is not suitable for vertigo sufferers

    Akrotiri Peninsula – Gouverneto to Stavros. A wild and remote, top of the grade, walk in dramatic hills and gorges near the north-west coast of the peninsula. Visiting the old abandoned Katholiko monastery, walking up a little-known gorge then through uninhabited countryside before ending at a delightful sandy bay, where Anthony Quinn danced in the iconic Zorba movie. Ascent 250m descent 470mm; 5 hours; 6.5 miles.

    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. We visit the local church in Karanos with its beautiful ceiling paintings, before taking a light meze lunch in the village cafe. We descend in the afternoon through small hamlets, finishing at a taverna for drinks near a dry river bed. Ascent 300m / descent 600m; 9 miles; 5-6 hours including lunch stop. 

    Kalyves- Gavolohori- Almyrida. An easy walk on tracks and paths with good views of the White Mountains and coast.  Starting outside Kalyves we pass through the villages of Tsivaras, Douliana and have a lunch stop in Gavolohori. There are visits to a cave church, a disused Olive Oil press and some Venetian Wells. Continue through the small village of Aspro, before finishing on the coast at Almyrida. Ascent 350m / descent 360m 8 miles; 5-6 hours including lunch stop

    Ravdouha. One of the most beautiful walks.  Starts with a climb above and down to Ravdouha on good dirt tracks with extensive coastal views. There we stop for a light snack of traditional Kalitsounia. The return is on a narrow scenic coastal path to Npogia where there is a welcoming taverna for a well-deserved drink. Ascent 300m descent 500m; 5 hours; 7.5 miles. Note: Not for vertigo sufferers

    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.
  3. Day 8

    A more relaxing day today as we have a leisurely morning and an afternoon transfer to the south of the island to Palehora.

  4. Day 9

    Taking the ferry one way, we walk between Paleohora and Sougia with time to visit the Minoan site at Lissos. Distance: 17kms (10.5 miles), 5 hours, Ascent/Descent +/-400m

  5. Day 10

    Today we traverse the imposing Gingilos part of Crete's White Mountain range. A challenging but rewarding day with some stunning panoramas. We stay in Omalos for 1 night's accommodation. Distance: 13kms (8 miles), 5-6 hours, Ascent/descent =+/-850m

  6. Day 11

    The Samaria Gorge beckons today and we'll descend into the National Park today as we walk to Agia Roumeli for 1 night's accommodation. The walk starts amidst almost alpine scenery before heading down into the rocky and dramatic gorge. There is a nice spot close to our hotel for a rewarding swim this afternoon. Distance: 17kms (13 in the gorge) (10.5 miles), 5-6 hours, Descent -1300m

  7. Day 12

    We follow the E4 (European Walking Route) today as we walk the coastal path to Loutro for 2 nights' accommodation Distance: 15kms (9 miles), 5-6 hours, Ascent/descent +/-100m

  8. Day 13

    Today's walk is a beautiful along the Aradhena Gorge, which encompasses terrain and scenery that epitomises "wild Crete". We end at a beach with time for a swim before returning to Loutro. Distance: 11kms (7 miles), 3-4 hours, Ascent/descent +/-350m

  9. Day 14

    Leaving Loutro, our walk takes us along the coast to Hora Sfakion, where we have time for a lunch stop before taking our coach to Chania for 1 night's accommodation. After our hotel check in, there will be time to explore the lovely Venetian harbour and enjoy a waterside drink. Dinner will be at a local restaurant. Distance: 6kms (3.5 miles), 2-2.30 hours, Ascent/descent +/-100m

  10. Day 15

    We transfer to Chania airport for check-in and return flight to the UK.

Travel Details

  • Return flights from Gatwick to Chania (Charter or Easyjet)
  • Airport transfers by road c. 30 minutes
  • Baggage transfers
  • We can offer regional flight options and often there will be up to two transfer vehicles (which may include coaches, minibuses or taxis) from the airport to the hotel and vice versa which will minimise any waiting time at the overseas airport
  • Upgrades are available on most flights. For scheduled flights this may be Premium Economy, Business or First Class. Most low-cost carriers also have extra legroom seats.

Trip Map

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Hotel Ilios, Loutro

Ilios Hotel offers accommodation in two buildings, with spacious sea-front apartments which have private or shared balconies, some with magical views of the sun setting over the Libyan Sea. The hotel rooms are well equipped, featuring air conditioning, bathroom with shower, fridge, TV and free internet.


Hotel Kriti

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. Twin/double rooms also have a balcony. The hotel has a swimming pool, bar, snack bar and breakfast room, where they serve a buffet breakfast each morning.


Hotel Pal Beach, Paleohora

The Hotel Pal Beach is fantastically located just in front of the beautiful Pachia Ammos beach in Paleohóra, on Crete’s south west coast. It is ideally placed to access local walks and the village’s cafes and bars. The hotel’s bedrooms all have a balcony and a side sea view. All rooms are en suite with a shower and have a/c (operational from 1400-2400 daily), ceiling fans, mini-fridge, radio and telephone. The hotel has a safe at the reception, which is free of charge and is accessible 24hrs a day. There is free Wi-Fi in the reception and snack bar areas, but not in the rooms. Hairdryers are available to use from the reception.


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