Adventures / Adventure Tapas

Kayak and Hike the Coast of Crete

Paddle your way along Crete's turquoise coastline and hike through majestic gorges, fuelled by taverna feasts and tranquil swims

From

Trip Ref #10444

Adventures / Adventure Tapas

Kayak and Hike the Coast of Crete

Paddle your way along Crete's turquoise coastline and hike through majestic gorges, fuelled by taverna feasts and tranquil swims

DURATION

7 nights

LOCATION

Greece

ANNUAL LEAVE

1 week off work

SEASON

Jun-Oct

GROUP SIZE

Up to 8 people

MEETING POINT

Chania Airport, Crete

ACCOMMODATION

Hotel · Guesthouse

DIFFICULTY

Moderate

You'll need good fitness levels to enjoy the hiking and kayaking, but plenty of stops and cool down dips make things manageable for most

Kayak the glistening Aegean waters to reach hidden bays, sea caves, natural pools and remote villages

Hike rugged trails through olive groves and pine forests, and explore the epic Samaria Gorge - the longest in Greece

Settle into a classic Cretan taverna each day for memorable fresh feasts and local wines

This trip is brand new

We’re still waiting to collect any reviews from other travellers on this trip. However, all our hosts go through an extensive vetting process to ensure that your adventure is awesome.

Included

Guides

Expert local hiking and kayaking guides

Accommodation

5 nights in a hotel in Kissamos, 2 in village guesthouses

Meals

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

Transfers

Airport transfers and everything in between

Equipment

All kayaking gear, plus snorkels and masks

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Alcoholic drinks

Tips for your guides

Some meals as described

Some equipment

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Chania Airport (CHQ)

Arrive any time on Day 1

Ends

Chania Airport (CHQ)

Depart any time on Day 8

Transfers

Your trip starts at Chania airport in Crete. Transfers are included if you arrive on the start day between 6.30am and 10.30pm, 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 6.30am and 10.30pm if you depart on the final day, so please let your host know your flight times.

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.

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 4

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5 – Day 6

Guesthouse · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

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, the hotel will pack the breakfast to take with you to have during the morning break after the first hike or paddle 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 big quantity of various dishes and we share 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.

Agia Roumeli

You'll spend one night in twin-share rooms at Calypso Hotel, located just 20 metres from the beach in the village of Agia Roumeli. The hotel has comfortable rooms with air conditioning and an excellent balcony overlooking the Libyan Sea. While Calypso is your host's first choice in Agia Roumeli, you may stay at Hotel Tarra Lodge or Gigilos Hotel depending on availability.

Sougia

In the village of Sougia you'll bunk down in a simple guesthouse called Lissos Rooms, with clean comfortable twin-share rooms, some of which have sea view balconies. Again, you may stay in an alternative accommodation in Sougia depending on availability.

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).

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 adventurers for a welcome dinner of traditional Cretan food.

Day 2

Kayak along the rocky peninsula and hike the villagers’ path

Kayaking

1-2 hours · 4km

Hiking

2 hours · 4km

After breakfast, you'll take a short drive to the corner of Kissamos Bay for an introductory kayak session along the coastline, weaving through dramatic rock formations and sea caves before landing in natural rock pools for a snack and swim in the bay. Hike back along the old villagers’ path: a coastal route with sea commanding views. After the hike, tuck into a late lunch at a coastal taverna with amazing local seafood. Return to Kissamos in the late afternoon for a well-deserved relaxing evening.

Day 3

Hike between two coasts

Kayaking

2-3 hours · 8km

Hiking

2 hours · 5km

Start today's hike from a small traditional village on the north coast, ascending through olive groves to a spectacular ridge. Wind your way down to Falassarna Bay along sand dunes to reach the stunning beach. Hop in your kayak and paddle out to Limpet Island, the tip of the submerged ridge in the bay. If the sea is calm you'll jump in to the clear turquoise waters for a snorkel to admire the glistening shoals of fish. Kayak further along the coast beneath towering cliffs, exploring small bays before heading back to shore for a late lunch overlooking the Mediterranean.

Day 4

Kayak to the juniper forest beach and an ancient temple

Kayaking

3-4 hours · 12km

The stunning kayak route today needs an early start and an hour's drive through the mountainous heartlands to the southwest corner of Crete. Put-in at the famous Elafonissi Beach, heading along the south coast to reach quiet, white-sand beaches fringed by juniper trees. Kayaking here is a dream on the azure water, with myriad spots to jump in for a swim. Continue to a hidden, heart-shaped bay at the site of an ancient temple - a perfect spot for a snack and a snorkel. As is tradition on our Crete trips, your adventure today is rewarded with a classic Cretan late lunch at a taverna in one of the villages en route back to Kissamos.

Day 5

Hike the pine forest gorge

Hiking

5hrs · 12km

Take a break from the sea and get some kilometres in the legs today with a beautiful hike through a forested gorge. Start high in the White Mountains and enter the gorge walking the pine-shaded trail along a burbling river. As you follow the gorge’s descent the cool forest gives way to panoramic views then down into the riverbed, with steep-sided cliffs and rocky boulders to navigate. Keep an eye out for Kri Kri - wild Cretan goats. Follow the quiet riverbed trails and farm tracks to complete the hike at the quiet coastal village of Sougia (there is a shorter hike option of 8km today if the going is tough for anyone). Settle into your village accommodation and have some downtime here at the charming pebble beach for a swim and sundowner overlooking the Libyan Sea.

Day 6

Kayak along the rugged southern coastline

Kayaking

5-6hrs · 14km

The big day on the water awaits today with a memorable 14km paddle along the south coast from Sougia to the village of Agia Roumeli, only accessible by water. Taking only what you need for the next two days, set off in the kayaks and explore the length of this section of coast, finding small bays and beaches, rock formations and sea caves, with plenty of chances for snorkel stops as you go. The final landing spot of the week is on Agia Roumeli’s pebble beach. Once you have dried off, get to know this blissfully isolated village, devoid of cars and connected only by footpaths to the neighbouring towns. Bed down for the evening in this unique and peaceful place.

Day 7

Samaria Gorge

Hiking

5-6hrs · 16km

After yesterday's kayaking culmination, today it's time for the pinnacle of hiking in Crete - Samaria Gorge. Cretans refer to it as 'the' gorge - the longest and the most spectacular of the hundreds of gorges in Crete, it is also one of the longest in Europe. Fuel up with a hearty breakfast before hitting the trail that meanders through the national park. Starting at sea level and walking up the gorge means that you will have the path to yourself for most of the hike and be one of the first people to arrive at the famous narrow passage of Portes. Climbing steadily, the gorge rises from the rocky riverbed and colourful cliffs, through the old village of Samaria and past the church of Santa Maria before a final, tough ascent through shady pine trees to exit at the top of the gorge. You'll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views over the route you have just conquered.

Day 8

Goodbye Crete!

Your Cretan 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.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • Single and twin sit-on-top kayaks
  • Paddles
  • PFDs/Lifejackets
  • Snorkel and mask

What do I need to bring?

BAGS

  • Main pack or suitcase
  • 20-30 litre drybag with backpack straps for carrying
  • Small drybags for kayaking, including waterproof phone case

CLOTHES

  • Swimwear
  • Loose, long sleeved natural fibre top (for kayaking)
  • Long sleeved rash vest that you can swim in
  • Thin long sleeved thermal top and neoprene longjohns
  • Lightweight waterproof boating jacket
  • Neoprene socks, booties or water shoes
  • Swim hat, goggles and mask/snorkel if you prefer your own over those provided by the host
  • Lightweight walking shoes, boots or sandals for the hikes
  • Lightweight hiking wear with good skin coverage
  • Casual clothes for downtime in Kissamos, Sougia and Agia Roumeli

OTHER

  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Lightweight towel
  • Sun protection: hat, sunglasses, suncream
  • Waterproof camera
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Small personal first aid kit
  • Energy bars and snacks - read our article on Best Hiking Snacks

Single room in July & August

Payable Before Departure

Single room in July & August

Per Night

Single room in June

Payable Before Departure

Single room in June

Per Night

Single room in October

Payable Before Departure

Single room in October

Per Night

Twin/double room in July & August

Payable Before Departure

Twin/double room in July & August

Per Night

Twin/double room in June

Payable Before Departure

Twin/double room in June

Per Night

Twin/double room in October

Payable Before Departure

Twin/double room in October

Per Night

Optional private room upgrade - July trips

Payable Before Departure

Optional private room upgrade - July trips

Per Person

Optional private room upgrade - May, Jun & Oct trips

Payable Before Departure

Optional private room upgrade - May, Jun & Oct trips

Per Person

Optional private room upgrade - September trips

Payable Before Departure

Optional private room upgrade - September trips

Per Person

Each way

Payable Before Departure

Each way

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 352kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

This is an active trip with full days of kayaking and hiking, however, the pace is relaxed and there are plenty of rest, snack and swim stops in beautiful secluded spots. You will need good fitness levels and be happy hiking or paddling for up to 6 hours on the bigger days towards the end of the trip.

Sit-on-top kayaks are used on this trip, so proper clothing and protection for the lower body, legs and feet is important. Your host provides a mixture of single and double kayaks. The singles are streamlined, relatively narrow sit-on-top touring kayaks. The doubles are wider boats and extremely stable, sacrificing some speed. Your host will determine the best distribution of single and double kayaks depending on the makeup of the group.

Both the singles and doubles are fine for tall people, there is no constraint on the legs. There is no weight limit for participants, since this is not an expedition-style kayak trip, and you won't be carrying luggage, camping and other equipment.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion and are non-compulsory on this trip. Of course, if you feel that your guides provided an exceptional experience then you are welcome to tip as much as you feel is appropriate. You should factor in tipping 10% on top of the bill in any bars and restaurants during the trip.

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 July and August: 24-27°C October: 23-24°C

You'll be able to leave your luggage at the hotel in Kissamos for the duration of the trip.

Cretan water is clear and safe to drink. You'll be able to refill at the hotels and guesthouses throughout this trip. Be sure to bring along a reusable water bottle or two to carry your own supply on the hikes and kayak stretches. Your guide will ensure there is enough water for the group on the longer days where refill spots are scarce.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

From

Covid Refund Guarantee

If your trip is cancelled due to Covid choose from free date changes, account credit, or a full refund.

Full Financial Protection

Your money is safe. Every booking is fully financially protected.

Similar Trips

From