8 days
Duration
Moderate
Difficulty
Greece
Location
April-October
Availability

Hiking Crete’s “Wild West”: Highlights

Stay in the traditional village of Vamos with its cobbled alleys

Experience life in the traditional fishing village of Loutro, only accessible by boat or on foot

Conquer the world-famous Samaria Gorge

Walk one of Europe’s most impressive coastal paths along idyllic secluded beaches

Get to know the friendly locals and taste the delicious Cretan food in local taverns


Discover the “unspoilt Crete” while following walking paths through wild flowers, lush valleys and plunging gorges.

This tour will take you from the fertile green farmlands of Apokoronas, via the White Mountains, to the astonishing gorges and secluded beaches of the south coast. 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 stunning views of the White Mountains whilst enjoying a hearty breakfast in the morning sunshine. On the south coast you will explore two impressive gorges: the Aradhena Gorge and the Samaria gorge. You will also discover idyllic deserted beaches as you follow quiet walking trails along the rocky south coast. You will stay in 3 different coastal villages, including the villages Loutro and Agia Roumeli which are only accessible by boat!

8 DAY TOUR From €450 per person sharing*

*A supplement charge will apply to solo walkers.

AVAILABILITY You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, from April-October. In case of heavy rainfall in early spring and late October the Samaria Gorge may be closed. Last minute adjustment to your program may be necessary in that case. Please note that the Samaria Gorge is not open during the month of April, so you will travel by ferry from Agia Roumeli to Sougia on day 6.
ACCOMMODATION 7 nights accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis. The accommodations we have chosen are optimum choices having in mind the atmosphere, comfort and hospitality. All rooms have private facilities and almost always a balcony or terrace.

The standard hotels of this trip are listed below. If a hotel is fully booked, we book a similar alternative for you and inform you about the alternative booked.

MEALS The overnights are on bed & breakfast basis. Items for lunch are available in the local shops. In the evening you have a wide choice taverns at all locations. In Omalos there is a limited choice, but the restaurant of the hotel itself offers good, local dishes
INCLUDED
7 nights accommodation with en suite facilities
7 Breakfasts
All luggage transfers between accommodations
Taxi transfers on days 1, 2 and 3 as per the itinerary
Booklet ‘Discover Vamos… on foot’
Detailed walking notes &  maps
Pre-departure information pack
24/7 telephone support
NOT INCLUDED
Flights & travel insurance
Lunches & dinners
Taxi transfers or public transport not mentioned above
Admissions & entrance fees of any kind
Anything else not mentioned in the “included” section
OPTIONAL EXTRAS
Airport transfers
Additional nights before, during or after the walk
Single Room Supplement(s)

This trip is graded moderate overall. Moderate day walks are interspersed with more strenuous excursions, 4-6 hours per day (excluding breaks) on hilly to mountainous areas using well kept, sometimes stony paths. The walks are on mostly unsurfaced tracks; footpaths and mountain trails.

1

Day 1: Arrival in Vamos

Arrival in Vamos by taxi (it can be arranged in advance) or by public transport from Chania or Heraklion Airport. Depending on your arrival time you can make a stroll in the picturesque village of Vamos or make the 4-hour walk to Georgioupolis. This is a pleasant walk through the agricultural landscape of Apokoronas, passing through several villages to the seaside town of Georgioupolis. Beautiful views, a monastery, scattered churches and the oldest olive press of Western Crete will please you in this first walking day of the tour.

From Georgioupolis back to Vamos by taxi.  It is also possible to do this walk in the morning on Day 3.

Overnight: Vamos Traditional Village

2

Day 2: Loop walk from Nippos

Distance: 14 km | Ascent: 400 m | Descent: 400 m | Walking time: 4 hrs approx.

Today’s walk is a circular route from the village of Nippos, embedded in the lush green area of Apokoronas. Cypresses & olive groves cover this hilly area. In 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 back to Vamos by taxi.

Overnight: Vamos Traditional Village

3

Day 3: Travel to Chora Sfakion

Distance: 12 km | Ascent: 100 m | Descent: 325 m | Walking time: 4 hrs approx.

A short taxi transfer will take you to the nearby village Vrysses, from where you travel by public transport to Chora Sfakion. The bus usually goes in the afternoon, allowing you to make a morning visit to Georgioupolis or to take a short walk around Vamos. (Booklet with short walks in and around Vamos is provided.)

Overnight: Hotel Xenia, Chora Sfakion

4

Day 4: Walk from Chora Sfakion to Loutro

Distance: 6.6/10 km | Ascent: 180/600 m | Descent: 240/670 m | Walking time: 4½ hrs approx.

From Chora Sfakion you climb through the Ilinga gorge to the traditional village of Anopolis. Here you meet locals in the kafeneion and you will have the chance to try one of the excellent Sfakiana pittas: 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 scenic path to the village of Loutro, hidden in a tiny, secluded bay. Loutro is only accessible by ferry or on foot and there are no cars. Throughout the walk you will have splendid views of the brilliant white buildings of Loutro contrasted with the deep blue of the Libyan Sea. You will spend the last 2 nights of this tour in Loutro. In case you prefer a less strenuous walk, you can take the coastal walking route to Loutro, with the option to go for a swim at the lovely Fresh Water Beach.

Overnight: Hotel Kyma, Loutro

5

Day 5: Loutro loop walk

Distance: 9/16 km | Ascent: 460/840 m | Descent: 460/840 m | Walking time: 4 hrs approx.

Via a steep zig-zag path you climb up to the village Anopolis. From here you continue on to ancient Aradhena, located on the edge of the impressive Aradhena Gorge. A spectacular path takes you down into the gorge, which you follow all the way to the coast. During the last part of today´s walk you will 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.

Overnight: Hotel Kyma, Loutro

6

Day 6: From Loutro to Agia Roumeli

Distance: 14.7 km | Ascent: 275 m | Descent: 275 m | Walking time: 5½ hrs approx.

Today’s beautiful coastal walk offers a wide variety of landscapes. You walk first to Marmara beach, where you may have an early morning swim and a coffee before continuing west along the coast. The views of the mountains and into the gorges are overwhelming. You walk through aromatic pine forest and come to the picturesque Byzantine church Agios Pavlos, located on an isolated beach of the same name. Continuing along the beach with great views over the sea, you reach todays destination: the small village of Agia Roumeli, located at the foot of the Samaria Gorge.

Note: In April when the Samaria gorge is NOT open, you will travel on the late afternoon ferry from Agia Roumeli to Sougia and stay overnight in Sougia.

Overnight: Pension Pachnes Agia Roumeli or similar in Souiga

7

Day 7: Through the Samaria Gorge

Distance: 16 km | Ascent: 1200 m | Descent: 50 m | Walking time: 6 hrs approx.

The climb through the Samaria gorge is definitely the hardest walk of this tour, but also the most impressive one. Whilst most tourists walk through the gorge from top to bottom, you walk against the current and avoid the crowds! We recommend starting early today. By the time that you reach the upper end of the gorge, the temperature there will be considerably lower than at sea level; up to 10 degrees cooler, in fact. The last few kilometres are steep and demanding; mostly you will walk in the shade through dense forest until you reach Xyloskala. Here, the hotelier from Omalos will pick you up and take you to his hotel.

Note: in April you will walk through the Irini Gorge from Sougia to the Omalos plain. A beautiful and strenuous walk, similar to the Samaria gorge.

Overnight: Hotel Neos Omalos

8

Day 8: Departure

From Omalos plain you can take the public bus or book an optional taxi to Chania or Heraklion.  In case you are departing on a morning flight, you may need to book an additional night in Chania or Heraklion. Let us know and we can arrange this for you.


Getting to Vamos

  The nearest airport is Chania (CHQ). which is about 30 km from Vamos. It is possible to travel to Vamos by public bus, but is is not a good connection. You are advised to take a taxi from the airport to Vamos. We can also prebook a taxi from Chania to Vamos for an additional fee. Please enquire at the time of booking.

Heraklion airport (HER) also has direct connections with many European airports. From the bus station in Heraklion city (6 km from the airport, accessible by bus or taxi) there are direct buses to Chania (2 hours). The bus also stops in the village Vrysses, near Vamos, and we can arrange a transfer for you from Vrysses to Vamos.

You may travel via Athens Airport (ATH) and take the night ferry from Piraeus to Chania, leaving daily around 9 pm and arriving in Chania at 6 am the next morning. There are cabins with comfortable berths on board and all cabins are en-suite.


Getting from Omalos

  From the last overnight location, Omalos, you travel by public bus or (prebooked) taxi to Chania or Heraklion. The duration of the trip is 1½ hrs approx. In case your flight departs in the morning you may need to either book an extra night in Chania or Heraklion after the arrangement or travel to a hotel in Chania or Heraklion on day 7. In that case you will have to travel by taxi because there is no evening public bus from Omalos to Chania or Heraklion.
You can also take the daily overnight ferry from Chania back to Piraeus
Hiking in Crete
Vamos, Crete
Vamos Traditional Village, Crete
Crete hiking signposts
Loutro, photo
traditional Cretan dishes
Boat taxi, Crete
Sweet Water Beach, Crete
Aradena Gorge, photo
Souiga Beach, photo

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