Discover “unspoiled Crete” while following walking paths through wild flowers, lush valleys and gorgeous gorges. Get to know the locals, drink wine with them, and taste the famous Cretan food in local taverns. This tour will take you from the fertile green agricultural area of Apokoronas via the White Mountains to the astonishing south coast with its famous gorges. You start in Vamos, a traditional village east of Chania. Meet the locals of this village in the “kafeneion” and drink a “raki” with them. Stay in a beautiful old restored house and enjoy views on the White Mountains whilst having breakfast. Explore the White Mountains and walk at an altitude of 1.300m gazing at the white peaks surrounding you. On the south coast you walk through two beautiful gorges: the Imbros Gorge and the Aradhena Gorge.
♦ Traditional village of Vamos with its cobbled alleys
♦ Stunning views over the Askifou plain
♦ Experience life in a seaside town only accessible by boat or by foot
Day 1. Arrival in Vamos
Arrival in Vamos by taxi (can be arranged in advance) or by public transport from Chania or Heraklion Airport. Afternoon stroll through the picturesque village of Vamos. Accommodation in Vamos.
Day 2. Vamos - Georgioupolis – Vamos
A pleasant walk through the agricultural landscapes of Apokoronas. You will walk along several villages to the seaside town of Georgioupolis. Good views, a monastery, scattered churches and the oldest olive press of Western Crete will please you during this first walking day of the tour. Accommodation in Vamos.
Walking time: 4 hrs, distance: 12 km ascent/descent: 150 m/330 m
Day 3. Roundwalk from Nippos and travel to Askifou
Today you make a round walk from the village of Nippos, embedded in the lush green area of Apokoronas. Cypresses & olive groves cover this hilly area. On the background the Lefka Ori, covered with snow in winter and spring, make you feel like walking in a painting. After the walk you will travel comfortably by taxi to your next accommodation on the Askifou plain in the Lefka Ori (White Mountains). Overnight in Askifou.
Walking time: 4 hrs, distance: 14 km ascent/descent: 400 m/400 m
Day 4. Lefka Ori Mountain Walk - Askifou
Today a challenging walk in the mountains is programmed. You will walk up to 1300m at gaze at 2000m peaks, covered with snow in spring. There are no villages in this area; you may bump into a shepherd with his goats or sheep. You can imagine that this area, the centre of Sfakia, was very suitable to hide oneself when needed. The way back down to Askifou is via a beautiful old path through dense forest. Now and then you have great views to the Askifou plain. Overnight in Askifou.
Walking time: 6 hrs, distance: 16 km ascent/descent: 700 m/700 m
Day 5. Walking the Imbros Gorge
At the end of the walk today you will have reached the southern coast of Crete! Again, a short transfer from the hotel brings you to the village of Imbros where you can get some supplies in the mini market, before entering the second famous gorge of Crete: the Imbros gorge. You will be walking for about two hours along a rocky riverbed with loose stones and rocks alternated with easier sections. The landscapes here are other-worldly; at its narrowest point, the Imbros gorge is only 1.60m wide! When you sit and have your picnic lunch and listen to the silence it will be hard to imagine the immense forces that created this impressive landscape.
At the end of the gorge you come to Komitades where you may relax and have lunch in one of the taverns. Then you continue your walk through agricultural fields and across the Sfakiano gorge until you reach Chora Sfakion, located on the Libyan Sea. You may end you day with a refreshing swim.
Challenge: 4 hours, 12.5 km, 350 m ascent, 1.100 m descent
Day 6. Chora Sfakion - Loutro
From Chora Sfakion you climb via the Ilinga gorge to the authentic village of Anopolis. Here you meet locals in the “kafeneion” (local coffee-shop) and you may try one of those excellent “Sfakiana pitta” yourself: a sort of pancake with cream cheese and honey. This will give you energy for the rest of the walk. You will descend along a terrific path to the village of Loutro, hidden in a tiny, perfectly round bay. Loutro is only accessible by ferry or walking and there are no cars! Throughout the walk you will have splendid views on the sea and Loutro. You spend the last 2 nights
of this tour in Loutro. Accomodation in Loutro.
Walking time: 4,5 hrs, distance: 6,6/10,2 km ascent: 180 m/600 m; descent: 240 m/670 m
Day 7. Roundwalk from Loutro
Via a steep zig-zag path you climb up to the village Anopolis. From here you walk further to Ancient Aradhena, located on the edge of the impressive Aradhena Gorge. A spectacular path takes you down into the Aradhena gorge which you follow until you reach the coast. During the last part of todays walk you follow a path along the coast back to Loutro. It is possible to make a shorter walk of 4 hrs. today via Livaniana (a tiny village) and then descend via the Aradhena Gorge to the sea. It may be necessary, depending on your departure flight tomorrow, to travel today back to Chora Sfakion per ferry and on to Chania or to Heraklion. Accommodation in Loutro.
Walking time: 4 hrs, distance: 15,7/8,7 km. ascent: 840m /460 m; descent: 840 m/460 m
Day 8. Departure
Today morning you travel back by ferry to Chora Sfakion and from there by public transport or prebooked transfer to Chania or Heraklion Airport. Departure from one of the most beautiful areas of Crete.
Recommended travel period: April - June or September - November