Moderate day walks are interspersed with more strenuous excursions, 4-6 hours per day (excluding breaks) on hilly to mountainous terrain using well kept, sometimes stony paths. The walks are mostly unsurfaced tracks, footpaths, mountain trails and some tarmac roads.
Start: Vamos Finish: Loutro/Chora Sfakion
Travel from Chania or Heraklion Airport take public transport or a pre-arranged transfer to the picturesque village of Vamos. Rinse off the dust from your journey and stroll out to explore your surroundings.
Your week kicks off with a rural route through farmland in the Apokoronas and you hit various villages hiking toward the seaside town of Georgioupolis. Breathe in the country air and linger as you love the views. Then look at your list of highlights and check off a monastery, scattered churches and the oldest olive press in Western Crete.
Challenge: 4 hours, 12 km, 100 m ascent, 325 m descent
Start your circuit in Nippos, a village embedded in lush green landscapes of the Apokoronas District. Cypresses and olive groves carpet the hills with the Lefka Ori’s snowy summits in the background and you’ll believe you’ve walked right into an exquisite painting. After your route, a comfortable taxi transfer takes you to the next accommodation situated on the vast Askifou Plain beneath the aptly named ‘White Mountains’.
Challenge: 4 hours, 14 km, 400 m ascent, 400 m descent
Steel yourself for a challenging mountain hike up to 1300 metres, where you’ll gaze at 2000-metre-high peaks covered with snow in spring. There are no villages in this remote area but you may bump into a shepherd herding his goats or sheep. It’s easy to see why the heart of Sfakia was sought as a suitable hideout over the centuries. Circling back to Askifou you walk down a gorgeous old woodland path through dense forests, peeking out occasionally for fab views across the plain.
Challenge: 6 hours, 16 km, 700 m ascent, 700 m descent
Today’s walk connects you to the southern coast of Crete!
First off a short transfer takes you to Imbros, where you procure some lunch supplies and venture into the island’s second most famous gorge. It’s a tough two hours on stony terrain along a rocky riverbed with the occasional easier section to boost your spirits. The landscape here seems other-worldly and, at its absolute narrowest point, the Imbros Gorge shrinks down to a mere 1m60 wide! Sit in silence to enjoy your lunch as you try to imagine the immense forces that created this striking landscape.
Komitades waits at the end of the gorge, with an array of tempting taverns for a break. Once rejuvenated, you march off through farmed fields to reach Chora Sfakion, a perfect cluster of white-washed buildings huddle beside the deep blue waters of the Libyan Sea. Top your day off with a refreshing well-earned swim.
Challenge: 4 hours, 12.5 km, 350 m ascent, 1100 m descent
Climb confidently up through the Ilinga Gorge to reach authentic Anopolis where you meet locals at the ‘kafeneion’ and try some excellent Sfakiana pitta, a delectable sort of pancake filled with cream cheese and honey. Revived with new energy for the remainder of the walk, you traipse along a terrific path down to the village of Loutro, hidden beside a tiny perfectly round bay. This dreamy car-free spot can only be accessed by ferry or on foot. What better, more peaceful place to spend the next two nights?
Challenge: 4.5 hours, 6.6 / 10.2 km, 180/600 m ascent, 240/670 m descent
Conquer a steep zig-zag section up to the village of Anopolis then hike onward to ancient Aradhena, situated at the edge of a stunning gorge. A breath-taking path leads down into it and all the way out to the coast, then you circle back to Loutro. Looking for a shorter option today? Choose a 4-hour route via tiny Livaniana and walk down the Aradhena Gorge to the sea. If you have an early flight tomorrow, get the ferry to Chora Sfakion today and spend tonight in Chania or Heraklion.
Challenge: 4 hours, 15.7 / 8.7 km, 840/460 m ascent, 840/460 m descent
Jump on the morning ferry back to Chora Sfakion and travel to Chania or Heraklion Airport by public transport or pre-arranged taxi transfer. Say farewell as you depart from one of the most beautiful areas on Crete.
In this part of Crete the choice of accommodation is limited. 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.
Extra overnight: You can book additional night(s) at any of the accommodations along the way. We can also book a hotel in Chania city or Heraklion city for you before and/or after the trip.
The houses are usually separated into smaller independent units. In the houses you will find characteristic features in the building, sometimes you find traditional sofa beds that are on a vide in the room. Furniture is all in traditional style, but meets todays demands for comfort. Hand made traditional embroideries make that you can really feel like a local Cretan citizen of a rural village. Every house is unique; there is always a kitchen or kitchenette and a comfortable bath room, a TV and a terrace or garden. Some houses also have fire places.
At an altitude of 800 metres in Askifou Village, Panorama features an outdoor pool. It features accommodation with White Mountains views. Its restaurant serves Cretan cuisine and local delicacies.
In the heart of Sfakia, the most traditional region of Crete, this accommodation habe been offering hospitality for almost 30 years. Enjoy your stay with the amazing view of the Libyan sea form their rooms..
If you need a hotel with a convenient central location with good transportation to all parts of the island and the comfort of a hotel that faces directly on to the sapphire Aegean and is next to picturesque harbor and the town’ s beach… then you will enjoy staying at Hotel Kyma built in 1917 as a villa in Chios town.
This trip is bookable from April to October, starting any day of the week, subjet to availability.
Please notice: temperatures can be very high in the months of Summer for walking. We highly recommend booking this trip in Spring & Autumn
Arrival in Vamos
The nearest airport is Chania (CHQ). There are direct charter flights from some European countries directly to Chania, as well as domestic flights from Athens (ATH). From Chania Airport(CHQ) to Vamos is possible by public bus, but is is not a good connection. You are advised to take a taxi from the airport to Vamos. It is possible to prebook a taxi with S-Cape Travel from Chania to Vamos at extra costs. The distance is about 30km, so a taxi is not too expensive.
Heraklion airport (HER) has direct connections with many European airports. From the bus station in Heraklion city (6km from the airport, accessible by bus or taxi) there are direct buses to Chania (duration trip 2 hours). The bus also stops in the village Vrysses, near Vamos, and a taxi transfer from Vrysses to Vamos is included in this package.
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.
Departure from Loutro
From the last overnight location, Loutro, you travel per ferry to Chora Sfakion in 20 mins and continue by public bus to Chania or Heraklion. In case your flight departs in the morning you have to either book an extra night in Chania or Heraklion or book a private taxi transfer from Chora Sfakion to the airport as to be on time.
You can also take the daily overnight ferry from Chania back to Piraeus.
We can send you GPS tracks of this trip upon request and after booking.
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