Start: Chora Sfakion Finish: Chora
The walks are mostly on stony trails and there is a great variety in landscape on every walk. Path finding on the walks through the gorges is not difficult. Along the coast there are some higher cliffs that make the walk challenging for those who suffer from acrophobia. The walk on the Askifou plain is a relaxing stroll.
Chora Sfakion is a quaint little town located on the spectacular south coast of Crete. Shortly you will feel at home and explore the nice sandy beaches in and nearby the village. There are a couple of traditional taverns where you can have your evening dinner after a day packed with activities. From the small port ferries and taxi boats leave to other coastal villages, for example car free Loutro and Agia Roumeli.
You take a taxi or travel on the public bus to the Askifou plain where you start your day in the local kafenion in the village Kares. In Kares is an interesting small war museum.
The walk leads you on quiet tarmac roads and dirt roads across the plain until you reach the village Imbros on the south side of the plateau. Locals live from the crops of this area and work on the farm lands for many generations. A good and easy walk to start with, with just minor height differences.
Challenge: 7 km, 2 hours, 150m ascent, 125m descent
By taxi or public bus you travel to the village Imbros, situated on the south side of the Askifou plain. Here starts todays walk down the lovely, narrow Imbros Gorge which is usually very peaceful. The narrowest point is only 2 meters wide! Leaving the gorge, you enter the village Komitades with a couple of taverns. You can continue the walk down to Chora Sfakion or opt for a taxi ride.
Challenge: max. 12.5 km, 4 hrs, 350 m ascent, 1100 m descent
In the morning you take the ferry and travel in 1 hr to the seaside village Agia Roumeli, located at the end of the Samaria gorge.
From the village you walk uphill into the gorge as far as you want and return the same way. Most interesting is to reach the world famous ‘Portes’, the point where the gorge is at its narrowest.
You have to make sure to catch the last ferry at 17:30 hrs back to Chora Sfakion and your hotel.
Challenge: 7.2 km, 3 hrs, 375 m ascent and descent
You travel by public bus to the historic Venetian town of Chania. In Chania you can admire the old Venetian port with the light house and the Firkas Fortress from 1629. There is a maze of narrow pedestrian streets where you find numerous taverns. There are several museums of which the Archaeological Museum, housed in a monastery of Francis monks is the most impressive one. But also the Maritime Museum within the Firkas fortress is worth a visit.
You can opt for the shorter coastal route from Chora Sfakion to Loutro or take the longer route via the Ilingas gorge. The longer route leads you through the authentic village of Anopolis. Here you meet locals in the kafeneion and you may try one of those excellent Sfakiana pitta yourself: 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 terrific path to the village of Loutro, hidden in a tiny, perfectly round, bay. Loutro is only accessible by ferry or walking and there are no cars. You take the afternoon ferry back to Chora Sfakion or you can walk back. Even if you don’t want to walk at all, it is a great day out to take a boat to Loutro, and after a relaxing day, travel back to Chora Sfakion.
Challenge: 6.6 km,3 hrs, 180 m ascent, 240 m descent
(Longer walk) 10 km, 4.5 hrs, 600 m ascent, 670 m descent
The trip ends after breakfast with a transfer to the airport for departure. You can depart from Chania or Heraklion. If you depart from Heraklion airport, there is a supplement for the transfer.
The hotel Xenia, a former state-owned property is located on the best spot in town. The hotel has a restaurant and great views all around. The 24 en-suite rooms are basic, have a fridge, TV and A/C. From the balcony you enjoy great views over the sea and the mountains. Besides the good restaurant of the hotel, there is also a choice of taverns around and minimarkets to purchase your daily picnic lunch. Breakfast is continental.
You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, from march 15th until november 9th.
The season is from early spring to late autumn. Crete is the most southern island of Greece and the temperature during the summer months is high. Best months are April-May and September-October.
All walking routes are provided as GPS track that you can upload on your mobile phone or hand-held GPS device.