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4.9
| 37 reviews

Hike and Wild Swim Crete's Hidden Coves

7 nights
Moderate

Hike through gorges and along cliff top trails to reach remote wild swim spots in Crete's natural sea pools, lagoons and bays

What's Included?

Activities & Certified Guides

All itinerary activities with expert local guides, plus support kayaks for all swims

Hotel

7 nights in a 3 star hotel in Kissamos

Meals

Breakfast, refuel snacks and a large Greek-style late lunch or dinner each day

Transfers

All transfers to and from Chania Airport to your accommodation in Kissamos

Equipment

Snorkels and masks provided for the shipwreck swim

Small Like-minded Groups

Solo-friendly by design, join our small n’ sociable groups of up to 10 like-minded, active and outdoorsy people
From

excluding flights

What's it like?

4.9
| 37 reviews
Manu, Miltos, Nora and Fiona
July 2024
Shilin Z.
Manu, Miltos, Nora and Fiona
July 2024
Shilin Z.
Manu, Miltos, Nora and Fiona
July 2024
Shilin Z.
Fabulous trip. Beautiful swims and I always...
November 2023
Colleen
Fabulous trip. Beautiful swims and I always...
November 2023
Colleen
Fabulous trip. Beautiful swims and I always...
November 2023
Colleen
Fabulous trip. Beautiful swims and I always...
November 2023
Colleen
This was a wonderful holiday and I recommen...
October 2023
Alison
This was a wonderful holiday and I recommen...
October 2023
Alison
This was a wonderful holiday and I recommen...
October 2023
Alison
Absolutely amazing trip. Swimming and hikin...
October 2023
Wayne
Absolutely amazing trip. Swimming and hikin...
October 2023
Wayne
Absolutely amazing trip. Swimming and hikin...
October 2023
Wayne
Amazing trip, an excellent hotel and fantas...
October 2023
Liz
Amazing trip, an excellent hotel and fantas...
October 2023
Liz
Amazing trip, an excellent hotel and fantas...
October 2023
Liz
Amazing trip, an excellent hotel and fantas...
October 2023
Liz
You've read enough reviews by now - so stop...
August 2023
Alice
You've read enough reviews by now - so stop...
August 2023
Alice
You've read enough reviews by now - so stop...
August 2023
Alice
You've read enough reviews by now - so stop...
August 2023
Alice
You've read enough reviews by now - so stop...
August 2023
Alice
If you are thinking of booking this trip, t...
July 2023
Tess
If you are thinking of booking this trip, t...
July 2023
Tess
If you are thinking of booking this trip, t...
July 2023
Tess
Unforgettable week wild swimming in Crete!...
October 2022
Anna
Unforgettable week wild swimming in Crete!...
October 2022
Anna
Unforgettable week wild swimming in Crete!...
October 2022
Anna
Unforgettable week wild swimming in Crete!...
October 2022
Anna
Unforgettable week wild swimming in Crete!...
October 2022
Anna

Spend a week wild swimming in the warm, clear Mediterranean waters off the coast of Crete

Hike through gorges, forests and dunes between swims, with classic Cretan taverna feasts awaiting you on land each day

Take on a 3.7km open water swim to Limpet Island, completing the 'Falasarna Triangle' swim

Key Information

Day 1

Arrive in Crete

Welcome to Crete! Your host will meet you at Chania Airport and transfer you to your hotel in Kissamos. In the evening, join your host and fellow wild swimmers for a welcome dinner of traditional Cretan food.

Day 2

Swim Kissamos Bay and hike Sirikari Gorge

Swimming

1 hour · 2km

Hiking

2 hours · 4km · 460m up · 130m down

After breakfast, you'll head to a sheltered corner of Kissamos Bay for a gentle introductory swim. Your route will stick close to the shore, taking you above seagrass meadows, around the coastline and to a small cove. After getting dressed and having a quick snack, you'll hike back, stopping to admire the million-year-old fossils in the sandstone. In the afternoon you'll hike through Sirikari Gorge, a secluded area where griffon vultures nest, before spending the evening at a taverna enjoying a traditional Cretan meal, made with local produce.

Day 3

Swim to sea caves and hike the villagers’ coast path

Swimming

1-2 hours · 2-4km

Hiking

3 hours · 7km · 280m up · 270m down

An early start today makes the most of Crete's beautiful mornings. You'll pack up some breakfast to go, then get driven to an eastern peninsula for today's swim. Your swim follows the coast from a tiny pebble beach to a dark, otherworldly sea cave where the light creeps in, casting myriad reflections as you swim. You'll continue past more caves towards a secluded cove where you can clamber out of the water, dry off and enjoy your beach breakfast looking out over the bay. You'll then hike the 'Villagers’ Path' – a coastal route past grand geological features with commanding views over the peninsula and the bays below – before a late lunch at a coastal taverna with amazing local seafood. Late afternoon, you'll drive back to Kissamos to spend the evening relaxing.

Day 4

Swim Cape Crow and hike Kampos Gorge

Swimming

1 hours · 1.6km

Hiking

2.5 hours · 5km · 400m up · 36m down

Today you'll have an adventure on the wild west coast of Crete, combining a hike in Kampos Gorge with a sea swim through crystal clear water to a remote beach (and another well-earned taverna feast!). Reaching the jump-in beach early, you'll swim along the rocky cliffs, around Cape Crow and towards a remote cove. Take in this glorious location while enjoying a large breakfast on the beach, fuelling up for a hike through Kampos Gorge, dense with the Mediterranean fauna of thyme bushes and carob trees. You'll criss-cross a small river during the steady climb, emerging at a tiny village where you'll find a traditional taverna.

Day 5

Swimming the sea pools

Swimming

1-1.5hrs · 2 or 3km

Today you'll head back to the rugged west coast to a wild swimming paradise: large, natural pools carved in the rocks. Launch into impossibly blue waters from a sheltered cove by a small chapel. Swimming towards a cape, you'll first reach a protected natural pool to explore, before passing under huge cliffs as you continue to a sheltered bay, reaching a perfectly circular pool with tranquil waters to immerse yourself in. Enjoy a snack on the rocks and swim further if you wish, before heading back to Kissamos for some afternoon downtime. In the evening, you'll head to a village called Mezedopoleio and eat like the locals do – with plenty of small dishes of fresh local foods, shared between the whole party, with a variety of different tastes. Take your pick! There'll be local raki and wines to wash the good food down.

Day 6

Falasarna open water swim

Swimming

1-1.5hrs · 2-4km

Snorkelling

2hrs

With several days of swimming under your belt, it's time to tackle an open water challenge. Setting off from quiet spot on the sandy beach, you'll swim out to Limpet Island: an elongated rocky ridge in the bay. The visibility in the water here is amazing and at times you'll be surrounded by shoals of fish. There are two swim options, depending on how far you would like to swim today. Clamber out of the water and up some steps by the rock caves to reach a cafe for lunch, with far-reaching views over the Mediterranean. Later, you'll hike to a tiny cove. From here, using masks and snorkels, you'll explore a WWII shipwreck that lies less than 2m below the surface. Dry off, get dressed and then you'll be driven back to Kissamos to enjoy a free evening.

Day 7

Swim a pink sand lagoon and hike through juniper forest

Hiking

1 hour · 2km

Swimming

1-2 hours · 2 or 4km

Set off after breakfast and drive a scenic route all the way across the island to the south coast. Take a walk in the sand dunes, admiring the pink shoreline along small coves, before swimming in the shallow, turquoise waters between the natural rock pools dotting the bay. If you're feeling strong, you can circumnavigate the whole peninsula, swimming through deep, cavernous sections to a shallow, tranquil sea bed. Aftern a post-swim snack on shore, you'll hike along a narrow trail to the juniper forest. These exotic trees grow over sand dunes all the way to the shoreline. You'll find cove after cove of pink sand, against the blue backdrop of the sea, where you'll have a picnic lunch, taking a dip in the sea before retracing your steps back to Elafonissi Beach.

Day 8

Goodbye Crete!

Your wild swimming odyssey had to come to an end eventually. After breakfast, your host will transfer you to the airport at Chania in time for your return flight home.

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 4

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6 – Day 7

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 8

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

The hotel in Kissamos will have a Continental and Greek buffet breakfast each day. On some mornings with an early start, you will have the hotel pack the breakfast and take it with you to have during the morning break after the first swim of the day.

Each day either lunch or dinner is included, at local tavernas, cafes or as a picnic. This will be done the Greek way: with a large quantity of various dishes, sharing everything! You will sit down for a fair amount of time for these meals, sometimes late in the middle of the day, and adapt to the local pace. This is very much the Cretan approach to eating.

There are excellent options for vegetarians. Other dietary requirements can be catered for, please let your host know in advance.

What is the accommodation like?

Hotel in Kissamos

You'll stay at Sunny Bay Hotel in Kissamos a 3 star, family-run hotel with sea view balconies and a swimming pool (if you feel you need even more swimming on this trip!).

Accommodation will be in same sex twin rooms.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).

This trip has been rated as Moderate

This is an active trip with full days of swimming and hiking, however the pace is relaxed and there are plenty of rest and snack stops. The open water swims will be the biggest physical challenge towards the end of the trip.

You will need good fitness levels - and be able to swim! - however the trip suits both experienced and less experienced swimmers. On most days there will be a longer swim option for anyone with the energy and keeness to go further. Otherwise, the group will do the moderate length option each day.

Not only experienced sea swimmers will love this trip. This is also a perfect chance for anyone who swims in a pool a couple of times a week to try their first sea swimming holiday.

The hottest months are July and August with daytime high temperatures ranging from 29-36 degrees Centigrade (82-95F), a "normal" day would be in the middle of this range. By the sea there is, of course, usually a breeze which moderates how this feels and you'll be in and out of the refreshing water!

June and September normally deliver fine sunny days and moderate-to-hot temperatures with daytime highs between 23 and 29 degrees C. The water is a beautiful temperature for swimming and is particularly warm in September.

October is still a fine month with excellent sea temperatures, with the bonus of a less crowded island. There can be the odd chilly day and evening. Daytime peak temperatures range from 17 to 26 degrees C.

Sea Temperatures

June: 20-22°C (a swimming wetsuit is recommended) July and August: 24-27°C October: 23-24°C

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Chania Airport (CHQ)

Arrive any time on Day 1 - Check transfer information below

Ends

Chania Airport (CHQ)

Depart any time on Day 8 - Check transfer information below

Transfers

Your trip starts at Chania airport in Crete. Transfers are included if you arrive on the start day between 7am and 10pm, so please let your host know your flight times.

Your trip ends back at Chania airport in Crete, where your host will drop you off in time for your departing flight. Transfers are also included between 7am and 10pm if you depart on the final day, so please let your host know your flight times. A 7am departure transfer would get you to the airport approximately 8am, so please consider booking flights departing from 10am onwards.

Please note that these are shared transfers for group members arriving at different times, but your host will arrange the transfers to try and ensure that you have the shortest wait possible.

If you arrive or depart outside these times, there are taxis available. The journey to the hotel takes approximately 1 hour and the cost is €83 (check the Optional Extras below). Please contact your host to organise the transfer for you.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • Snorkel and Mask (for shipwreck swim on day 6)

What's available to hire?

There are some wetsuits available through the host, however we only suggest using these for the shipwreck snorkel. In June and October when the water is a little cooler and you feel you might want to swim in a wetsuit, we advise bringing your own. This will ensure you swim in a suit which fits correctly and will be comfortable to swim in for several days in a row.

What do I need to bring?

  • Main pack or suitcase
  • Waterproof backpack or drybag with straps 20-30 litres
  • Swimming goggles x2
  • Swimwear
  • Swimming hats
  • Swimming wetsuit (optional, only usually needed for June)
  • Swimming body lubricant / anti chafe balm (e.g. body glide)
  • Lightweight swim towel
  • Tow float
  • Lightweight walking shoes or hiking sandals for the hikes
  • Small drybag for electronics
  • Waterproof camera
  • Sunhat, sunglasses and suncream
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Small personal first aid kit
  • Lightweight hiking wear with good skin coverage
  • Clothes for downtime in Kissamos
*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Single room in Kissamos (High Season from June to September)

Payable Before Departure

Single room in Kissamos (High Season from June to September)

Per Night

Single room in Kissamos (Low Season in May + October)

Payable Before Departure

Single room in Kissamos (Low Season in May + October)

Per Night

Twin/double room in Kissamos (High Season from June to September)

Payable Before Departure

Twin/double room in Kissamos (High Season from June to September)

Per Night

Twin/double room in Kissamos (Low Season in May + October)

Payable Before Departure

Twin/double room in Kissamos (Low Season in May + October)

Per Night

Optional Private Room Upgrade | High Season from June to September

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade | High Season from June to September

Optional Private Room Upgrade | Low Season in May + October

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade | Low Season in May + October

Airport transfer Chania to Kissamos (each way)

Payable Before Departure

Airport transfer Chania to Kissamos (each way)

India H.(July 2024)
Amazing Trip

Was an absolutely amazing trip. Lovely people, amazing food, amazing hosts and amazing experience.

Shilin Z.(July 2024)
Manu, Miltos, Nora and Fiona
Manu, Miltos, Nora and Fiona
Manu, Miltos, Nora and Fiona
Manu, Miltos, Nora and Fiona

Manu, Miltos, Nora and Fiona are so knowledgeable about west Crete and made sure everyone had a wonderful time ! The daily itinerary was tailored based on weather/wind and everyone has options to swim & hike as much or little based on what they feel comfortable. Great hotel and amazing Greek food everyday. Highly recommend!

Casey M.(July 2024)
This was fun…

This was a fun trip as we had a fun crew. Before booking this trip be aware of a few things. The transfers included may leave you waiting anywhere from 2-6hrs to be picked up. The guides were lovely and incredibly knowledgeable however you do get the impression from some owners that you have to fit in around their personal plans. They book other tours on the same day and stretch resources, which leaves your tour lacking and/or cut short. We had a wonderful group of people however we all felt this. I had a fun time however I’d struggle to recommend this tour to a friend.

Simone C.(June 2024)
What an amazing trip! Met

What an amazing trip! Met every expectation and more. Thanks to Manu and the wonderful team for looking after us so well.

Colleen(November 2023)
Fabulous trip. Beautiful swims and I always...
Fabulous trip. Beautiful swims and I always...
Fabulous trip. Beautiful swims and I always...
Fabulous trip. Beautiful swims and I always...

Fabulous trip. Beautiful swims and I always felt safe and looked after. Perfect balance between activity/adventure and relaxation. Amazing food with vegans/veggies well catered for. Lovely hosts/guides and a friendly, fun, supportive group. Best holiday I've had in a long time 💙

Nicola(November 2023)

This was a wonderful trip for me, and one I will always remember. The guides were fantastic, very experienced and kind and always thinking of our needs. Every day was full of fun and adventure and beauty, and we were taken to tavernas for feasts every day. I would recommend this to everyone I know.

Anke(November 2023)

The trip was perfect. Most of the swims were highlights, can't even decide which one was the best. The food was delicious and had a lot of vegetarian options. Manu, Miltos and Julien took us to many amazing places and took very good care of us. I had a great time and enjoyed every second of it!

Alison(October 2023)
This was a wonderful holiday and I recommen...