In such a short holiday, it would be impossible to cover all that this gem of the Southern Aegean has to offer, but our carefully crafted and researched itineraries allow you to discover the most beautiful and magical aspects of each.
From Minoan ruins to secluded beaches on Crete, this is a walking holiday for archaeological buffs, avid hikers and active people who desperately need some sun after the winter!!
Crete is Greece's largest and southernmost island, and our guided adventure takes us to one of the Western World's oldest and best preserved archaeological sites, Knossos. Excavated by Sir Arthur Evans in the early 20th Century, Knossos bears testament to the power and skill of the Minoans, the first Europeans who settled permanently, nearly 4000 years ago.
Our hikes and walks are chosen to remain far from the crowds and close to the authentic Crete, meeting shepherds, eating in small tavernas, (local cafes), shaded by ancient plane trees and swimming in the warm, translucent waters off the Cretan Coast.
Day 1: ARRIVAL DAY
A short 15-minute transfer from the International Airport of Iraklio to our hotel overlooking the historic port. If all guests arrive early, we we will have a guided visit of Knossos and the National Museum of Archaeology, containing some of the best-preserved Minoan artifacts in Greece.
If we don't have time on the first day, we will try and visit Knossos when we come back from our hikes at the end of the trip.
Briefing and Cretan welcome dinner.
Day 2: CHANIA
Today we take a public bus for our 2-hour transfer to Chania.
After getting settled in our hotel near the old Venetian centre, we will then have time to explore the town on a guided visit, taking in 4000 years of history from the Minoan period to WWII.
Lunch will be taken in one of the many charming street-side restaurants
serving fresh seafood and local fare.
Free time in the late afternoon to shop for locally made crafts.
Day 3: SOUGHIA
A two-hour taxi ride along a beautiful mountain road takes us from Chania to Soughia, a sleepy village on the Libyan Sea once a thriving trading centre.
After enjoying some free time, we follow the coast for an afternoon walk from Soughia to the Bay of Lissos a taxi-boat will bring us back to Soughia for the evening. Lissos was once a busy city-state, minting coins and trading with Egypt but today is an ideal destination for a swim and a nap.
Day 4: SOUGHIA - AGIA TRIPITI
After a hearty breakfast, we head out to the white-washed chapel of Tripiti, perched high on a cliff above the sea. Descending to the other side, we will have time at the beach for swimming and relaxing. Depending on weather conditions, we will either be picked up by a taxi boat, or hike back to Soughia.
Day 5: SOUGHIA - OMALOS
Early in the morning we leave the coast and head inland towards the White Mountains, through the Agia Irini Gorge and up a very well preserved and impressive Roman road. We will spend the night in Omalos, the starting point for the next day's hike down the Samaria Gorge, Europe's longest.
Walking time: 7 hours.
Day 6: OMALOS - SAMARIA GORGE
From Omalos, we start our walk down the Samaria Gorge, about 12kms of hiking on well-maintained trails before we reach the sea again in Agia Roumeli, our village for the night.
Walking time: 7 hours.
Day 7: AGIA ROUMELI - MARMARA - LOUTROS
An easier day will bring us through ancient olive groves to Marmara, a little pension/restaurant between Agia Roumeli and Loutros, where we will have ample time for lunch and a refreshing swim in the sheltered waters of Marmara Bay. An afternoon ferry ride will take us to Loutros, a blue and white village of small hotels and homes, reachable only by boat and on foot.
Day 8: LOUTROS
Today you can either relax in Loutros, go back for a swim to Marmara, or join us for an amazing hike down the Aradaina Gorge where bearded vultures are often seen.
Day 9: LOUTROS - HERAKLION
We will take the morning ferry to Sfakia, then continue onwards to Heraklion.
Farewell dinner will be served in our favourite sea-side restaurant.
Day 10: DEPARTURE DAY
Transfer to Heraklion International Airport.
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