Trek the Summits of Crete in 8 Days

Hike through the mountains and gorges of western Crete on this guided 8-day excursion, and relax at night in charming family-run hotels.

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Trek the Summits of Crete in 8 Days

Hike through the mountains and gorges of western Crete on this guided 8-day excursion, and relax at night in charming family-run hotels.

  • Greece
  • May, September
  • Chania International Airport, Chania (CHQ)

Explore the high mountains and precipitous gorges of western Crete on a remarkable 8-day hike. Each day you’ll experience a new facet of the region, including the world-famous Samaria Gorge, remote beach destinations, and tiny mountain villages. Sleep at night in comfortable family-run guesthouses and dine on traditional Greek food. Your hassle-free trip includes:

  • 7 nights of accommodation in small hotels and guesthouses
  • 8 days guided hiking across Crete
  • All meals and snacks
  • One bottle of water each day
  • All transportation during the tour
  • All entrance fees
  • Professional, English-speaking, local guide
  • Luggage transfers while you hike
  • All activities in the itinerary
  • All taxes and service charges

Perfect for:
This tour is perfect for adventurous travelers seeking an active vacation in one of the most beautiful corners of Greece.

What to Expect

Day 1: Arrival in Chania

Your guides love Chania, and hope you will, too! Check into your hotel in the afternoon and spend some time exploring the lively and historical Old Town and Venetian harbour. Meet your guide in the evening for an introductory talk and a delicious dinner at a local taverna.

Day 2: Agia Irini Gorge

Leave Chania in the morning and head into the White Mountains via Agia Irini Gorge, a narrow slot in the mountains. Humid and shady corners in the gorge are home to abundant plant life, including enormous ancient plane trees. Emerge from the gorge and transfer to the Omalos Plateau for a relaxing evening at your hotel.
3.5 hours hiking, 1.5 hours driving

Day 3: Mount Gigilos

Today you’ll ascend Mount Gigilos (2080 m), a nearby peak in the White Mountains recognizable by its sheer north face and known for epic views over the Samaria Gorge. It’s quite an effort to make it to the top, but the rewards—and the possibility of seeing lammergeyers fly past—makes it all worth it. Descend back to your hotel in Omalos.
6 hours hiking

Day 4: Samaria Gorge

Today might just be the highlight of your trip: a long trek through the remarkable Samaria Gorge. The trail through the16 km gorge winds along a small stream, past clear pools, and through stands of fragrant pines. At one point the gorge narrows to just 4 m across with 300 m tall walls to either side of it! You’ll emerge in the beachfront town of Agia Roumeli where you’ll stay for 2 nights at a comfortable hotel.
6.5 hours hiking

Day 5: Rest day with optional hike

Today you can take a well-deserved rest on the pebble beach while gazing out over (and swimming in) the sparkling blue sea. If you’re craving some activity in the afternoon, hike up to an Ottoman-era castle on the hillside overlooking town.
2 hours hiking

Day 6: Agios Ioannis

Put your hiking shoes back on for a scenic trek along the coast and into the mountains. The unmatched views along the way are sure to take your breath away. End at the tiny village of Agios Ioannis, where just 15 people live! You’ll stay in a charming guesthouse with stellar views. If you’re up for it, take a sunset hike to the summit of Papakefala.
4.5 hours hiking

Day 7: Aradena Gorge

Enjoy a leisurely morning in the peaceful village, then embark on your last hike of the trip. You’ll descend into the narrow confines of the Aradena Gorge and walk down its length all the way to the sea, where you’ll emerge at Marmara Beach. From there you’ll walk along the shore to the town of Loutro and catch a ferry to Sfakia. You’ll then drive back to Chania for a well-deserved farewell dinner in a taverna.
5 hours hiking, 2 hours driving

Day 8: Depart Chania

Enjoy a final breakfast and linger over your coffee before continuing your own journey.

Accommodation

You will stay in a variety of hotels and guesthouses across the western end of Crete. While the hotel in Chania is large and modern, the rest are small, charming guesthouses. All the hotels feature ensuite rooms, free wifi, views of either mountains or sea, and onsite restaurants.

Dates & Prices

Prices include

  • Accommodation
  • Equipment
  • Guide
  • Local Transport
  • Meals As Described

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

Large group? Make a private booking
Special requirements? Get a quote for a custom trip

If you can't find a private trip that suits you, try a group trip or ask for a quote.

Trip Photos

Location

View map

Crete is the largest island in Greece with an area of 8336 km2. Western Crete is known for its dramatic landscape of mountains and gorges, many of which you’ll explore on your tour. The trip begins in Chania, a charming city with a long history. The town’s centerpiece is its crumbling Venetian harbor and old town.

South of Chania is the Omalos Plateau, a large, flat region with thriving agriculture. The Lefka Ori (“White Mountains”) thrust up out of the Omalos Plateau to an elevation of 2435 m. The mountains are named after the pale limestone they are formed from. A popular hike in the mountains leads to the summit of Mt. Giglios (2080 m) where visitors can look down the sheer north face, get a bird’s eye view of the Samaria Gorge below, and hopefully spot an enormous lammergeyer soaring past.

The famous Samaria Gorge runs through the mountains for 16 km. At its narrowest point the gorge is just 4 m wide, framed by 300-m tall walls. It is a World’s Biosphere Reserve, and home to the rare kri kri, a species of wild goat. The gorge ends in the charming seaside town of Agia Roumeli. Nearby you can find Agios Ioannis, a tiny village with just 15 residents, as well as the Aradena Gorge, a narrow cleft in the mountains filled with cliff-dwelling flowers. You will never be bored in western Crete!

Start point?
Your guide will meet you at the hotel in Chania. They will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Finish point?
Your trip will end at the hotel in Chania. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Getting there and away?
There are regular flights to Crete from mainland Greece as well as international flights from Europe. Airport transfers are not included in your tour.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are not included in the tour price:

  • Flights to and from Crete
  • Airport transfers
  • Accommodation before and after the tour
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for your guides
  • Alcohol
  • Additional water
  • Personal expenses

Sure can! A lot of people do, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

This trip will run with a minimum of 4 people, and a maximum of 16. Please note, if there are not 4 people booked the trip may be rearranged or cancelled.

Due to the long days of hiking with as much elevation gain as 1000 m in a day, this tour is recommended for travelers in very good physical condition. Previous hiking experience is recommended.

The climate on Crete is Mediterranean, though it can be hotter than mainland Greece due to its proximity to the North African climate zone. Summer temperatures range from 15 – 30 °C, though tend toward the hotter end of that range. Days are generally very sunny, and rain is unlikely.

Greek food is fresh and flavorful. Common dishes include fresh seafood, Greek salad, moussaka (kind of like lasagna), souvlaki (meat skewers served on a platter or in a wrap), and dolmades (stuffed grape leaves). Breakfasts are typically light, with fresh fruit, olives, and yogurt providing the staples.

Absolutely! Just let us know at booking.

You will need to bring adequate clothing for hiking. It is recommended you bring layers of clothes to accommodate both hot and cool temperatures. Also bring a waterproof jacket, a swimsuit, sun protection (hat, sunscreen, sunglasses), broken in hiking boots, casual shoes for the beach, a towel, trekking poles (optional), and a daypack for carrying personal gear on hikes. Please pack all this in one reasonably sized suitcase or backpack.

Start point?
Your guide will meet you at the hotel in Chania. They will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Finish point?
Your trip will end at the hotel in Chania. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Getting there and away?
There are regular flights to Crete from mainland Greece as well as international flights from Europe. Airport transfers are not included in your tour.

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