From £ 218.- / 8 days
Price per person based on 2 people sharing
Crete is the largest of the Greek islands. The island has a mild Mediterranean climate and varied landscapes, making it a popular walking holiday destination in Greece.
The island 's spine is formed by great mountain ranges stretching from east to west, with the west greener and more mountaineous, and the east more rocky and barren. The walking is varied, ranging from gentle coastal strolls, to stiff mountain climbs and all shades in between.
Minoan culture and its artefacts can be seen in many places throughout Crete, including the spectacular ruins at the Palace of Knossos.
You will stay in modern studio villa accommodation on a self-catering basis, in a small quiet village just inland.
Your accommodation during this walking holiday to Greece will be in one of three spacious and modern studio villas. Each has a comfortable living area, a shower room and a fully equipped kitchen with oven/hob and fridge. Accommodation is air - conditioned for summer, but also has a cosy open fire for autumn and winter, as well as full central heating.
On arrival, you will find a complimentary basket of essential provisions. Groceries can be bought in the supermarket in the nearby village of Armeni (4km). All linen and towels (inc. beach towels) are provided, with a full change mid-way through each week.
There are private patios for each villa, with beautiful views to the White Mountains in the west, the Sea of Crete to the North and Mount Psiloritis to the east. There is also a CD/tape/radio in each villa, along with a selection of books and games. Outside is a petanque/boules court and barbecue area.
Hiring a car is recommended for this walking holiday, but it is also possible to reach your accommodation from Heraklion airport by taking a taxi (10 mins) to Heraklion and then on to Rethymno by bus (90 mins).
There is wide variety of walks available during this guided walking holiday. Your hosts will aim to show the highlights and contrasts, perhaps a gorge ramble one day, a coastal walk (with swimming opportunity) the next, or maybe a visit to a historic monastery. All of the walks can be accomplished by a reasonably active person, typically someone who might be thought of as a "rambler" in the UK.
A more strenuous walk is usually followed by an easier day and vice versa. A typical walk will be approximately 6 to 12 miles long, but most of the longer walks have an option to stop part way through. For mixed ability/stamina couples, sometimes walks can be offered that will suit both. Your hosts are always pleased to discuss the walking programme with clients at the start of the walking holiday and specific requests can usually be accommodated.
This 8 day/7 nights walking holiday to Crete includes 3 days of guided walking. It is also possible to include 5 guided walks at additional cost, or it is possible to do less or no guided walks, and instead do a mix of self-guided walks perhaps combined with a few leisure days. Please contact the holiday provider, through the contact form, for more information. The walking programme will be tailored to your interest and wishes. The example walks below give an idea of the variety of walks available.
Walk 1 - Eleftherna. A fascinating walk for antiquity enthusiasts. 7 miles, varied terrain, moderate difficulty. You'll walk to "new" Eleftherna over open limestone country. From the new village, you'll descend to the valley floor via a spectacular Hellenistic bridge, later rising to the acropolis of ancient Eleftherna. On the return, you will visit a well - preserved early Byzantine fortification, Roman cisterns and an Iron Age burial site.
Walk 2 - To the Base of Kedros. A moderate - tough walk of 8 miles over some difficult terrain. Walking up from Kendrohori towards the massive bulk of Kedros, you'll ascend the southern slope via the E4 footpath. After reaching the ridge - top at 3000 feet, you will have lunch near a shady spring. Descending across the agricultural plain west of Kedros, you'll return to the start point via Kissos and an old monastery site.
Walk 3 - Moni Preveli. A moderate walk of approximately 10 miles, with some incredible contrasts. The start is Asomatos village, walking alongside the Megalopotamos river to its outflow in the Libyan Sea at Palm Beach. After descending to the beach and maybe a short swim, you'll climb back up and visit the historic monastery of Preveli before returning to the start point.
Walk 4 - Lappa. A lovely walk of 7 miles over easy terrain. Starting off by following the E4 long distance footpath towards Asi Gonia (home of the late "Cretan Runner", George Psychoundakis), you'll pass through the tiny hamlet of Maroulou. After a picnic lunch, you'll complete the walk at Lappa, spending some time exploring this fascinating town and its Roman and Venetian artefacts, including a spectacular Roman necropolis.
Walk 5 - Summit of Vryssinas. Approximately 9 miles, with a moderate/hard ascent of about 1600 feet. You'll leave from close to the Minoan Cemetery at Armeni walking along the base of the Vryssinas ridge, rising to the village of Oros. From Oros, you'll continue a gradual ascent through shepherd country and a limestone plateau to the foot of Vryssinas peak. The final ascent to the top of Vryssinas and the chapel of Prophet Ilias brings fantastic 360 degrees views of Psiloritis, Rethymno, Kedros and the White Mountains. Vultures often patrol this ridge top. The descent is via easy 4x4 tracks back to the start, with views to Rethymno and the north.
Walk 6 - Volika Mountain Refuge. Probably the toughest walk at 10 miles and 2500 feet of ascent. Starting at Kambi, a small village in the foothills of the White Mountains, you'll ascend a ravine to the Volika climbing hut used for overnight stays prior to treks to the White Mountain summit peaks. The refuge sits at just over 4000 feet altitude, so you gain a real mountain feel on this walk. Descending along an easy shepherds' trail, the views of the north west coastline of Crete are spectacular. Also a good opportunity to spot birds of prey, including the Eurasian Griffon Vulture.
The quoted price for this walking holiday is for the "standard season" that runs from 12 March to 7 November. Discounts are available for the rest of the year. Accommodation prices include the use of air conditioning in summer and central heating in winter. A third person can be accommodated for in all villas by use of a foldaway bed. There is no additional charge for this, but any walking charges for a third person will be extra. It is also possible to do more or less guided walks mixed with days of self-guided walks or simply days at leisure. Please contact the holiday provider, through the contact form, for more information about these options.
Guided walking holiday
Board basis: Self-catering
From £ 218.- / 8 days
Price per person based on 2 people sharing
7 nights self-catering accommodation, complimentary basket of essential provisions, 3 days of guided walking.
All other costs, including travel costs to the starting-point of this holiday.
March - June
September - November
Footscapes of Crete
Paul & Liz
For more information about Footscapes of Crete, please phone Paul & Liz on +44 (0)113 815 1141 or +30 (0)697 499 4598.
Go to the Greece overview page for more walking holidays in Greece.