phone: +34 985 846 455 / UK call free 0800 707 44 35
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9:00am – 6:00pm (CET)
Samaria Gorge
Find your perfect trip!
Find your perfect trip!
Crete • Gorges of the Southwest
style :
Level :
Duration :
8 days
Comfort :
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
Walking Trekking
price in double room from: € 520
Crete • Gorges of the Southwest

Crete • Gorges of the Southwest

Endless views over the deep blue Lybian sea

  • One of Europe’s most impressive coastal paths
  • The vast Omalos Plateau and brillant White Mountains of Crete
  • World-famous Samaria Gorge
  • The tiny car-free port of Loutro
  • Idyllic beaches circling the island
Crete south-west gorges walking map
View map

Start:Paleochora            Finish:Loutro

Day 1: Arrival in Kythira . Livadi or Kapsali
Day 2: Day walks . Livadi or Kapsali (Several walking possibilities)
Day 3: Day walks . Livadi or Kapsali (Several walking possibilities)
Day 4: Day walks . Livadi or Kapsali (Several walking possibilities)
Day 5: Day walks . Livadi or Kapsali (Several walking possibilities)
Day 6: Day walks . Livadi or Kapsali (Several walking possibilities)
Day 7: Day walks . Livadi or Kapsali (Several walking possibilities)
Day 8: Departure

Day 1:    Arrival in Kythira . Livadi or Kapsali

Arrival in the port Diakofti or the airport ‘Alexandros Aristotle Onasis’ of Kythira. Your rental car is delivered in the port or airport. After signing the necessary car rental documents, you drive to your accommodation in Livadi or Kapsali. Depending on your time of arrival you may already make up for your first walk.

Day 2:    Day walks . Livadi or Kapsali (Several walking possibilities)

Walk 1: Mylopotamos round walk 

The walk starts at the typical Greek village square of Milopotamos with its Kafeneio (traditional coffee house) under the plane tree. An impressive cobblestone trail takes you down into the gorge, housing the ruins of 23 watermills. There are four waterfalls on this trail that carry water most of the year. You then ascend to Kato Chora, with its Venetian castle from 1565. It is known as ‘Exobourgo’, and now an abandoned defensive fortified settlement well worth a visit. The walk crosses the whole settlement of Kato Chora with its narrow alleys and traditional houses.

4,7 km ; 150M acent, 150M descent ; 2 hours

Walk 2: Chora round walk via Kapsali Bay 

From the central square in Chora, you first descend through the main street of Chora. Just before the Kastro (so-called the ‘eye of Crete’), you head down passing by 14 Byzantine churches. A path cutting through the sharp turns of the road takes you down to the twin bays of Kapsali, the port of Chora. The views here are tremendous! After a break in one of the many cafés, you head back via a secluded beach. The ascent to Chora is tough, but views are rewarding! Those with extra energy can visit the Kastro before heading for a refreshing drink at the town square.

4,9 km ; 180M acent, 180M descent ; 2 hours

Day 3:    Day walks . Livadi or Kapsali (Several walking possibilities)

Walk 3: Chora round walk via Trachilas peninsula 

This trail follows the dirt road built by the German Army during WWII. They built a camp to set up their anti-aircraft machine guns, still visible during this walk. The crossing via ‘Diakopi’, the narrow strip of land to Trachilas, is not easy and requires light scrambling at some points (section can be skipped). On the way back you pass the cemetery of Chora and you ascend an old foot path back to Chora. Via the main road of Chora you reach the central square.

5,3 km ; 180M acent, 180M descent ; 2 hours

Walk 4: Round walk from Potamos via Trifyllianika and Paleochora 

The starting point is on the village square in Potamos which offers a lively market on Sunday morning where farmers from all over Kythira sell their products. Via Trifyllianika you reach the old trail to Paleochora. Once setting foot in the ruined citadel, part of the old fortress (until the 16th century the capital of the island), you can explore the ruins of this remarkable stronghold. The return via the dry riverbed is physically more challenging, but the shade makes for a welcoming freshness. Through an aromatic pine forest you walk back to Potamos.

8,5 km ; 200M acent, 200M descent ; 3 hours

Day 4:    Day walks . Livadi or Kapsali (Several walking possibilities)

Walk 5: Aroniadika round walk 

Though most visitors to the island come for its splendid beaches, the actual history of the local population lies in the heartland of the isle, where small villages were built that they were protected from the strong western winds and the frequent pirate attacks during antiquity.

Still today most permanent citizens live in the villages along the ‘spine’ of the island. During this walk you pass through 7 of these traditional villages. You will see how close the houses are built to each other. Crossing the fields via old cobbled paths, you see many remains of threshing floors and wells, some still in use by local farmers.

8,7 km ; 140M acent, 140M descent ; 3,5 hours

Day 5:    Day walks . Livadi or Kapsali (Several walking possibilities)

Walk 6: Livadi round walk along vineyard, fields, Ag. Dimitrios ancient church 

This walk is not part of the local Kythera trail network. Because you may opt to stay in this lively village, this walk is just on your doorstep and should not be missed. The walk leads along vineyards and olive groves and the big church Kaki Melissa (‘Bad Bee’). A scenic path leads you to the tiny hamlet of Klaradika. Nearby is the distinctive church of Agios Dimitrios which has a unique shape and is the oldest in Kythira. Along vineyards and through low bushes you walk back to Livadi.

200 km ; 200M acent, 200M descent ; 3,5 hours

Day 6:    Day walks . Livadi or Kapsali (Several walking possibilities)

Walk 7: Kapsali round walk via Ag. Ioannis, Xeroniamata and Agia Sophia cave church 

From Kapsali Bay you start ascending via dirt roads, along hotel El Sol. This walk reveals more of the rural inland, and runs on easier dirt roads. From the monastery of Agios Ioannis onwards the trail heads again towards the south and becomes more challenging. During the last section before reaching the Agia Sophia church in a cave the path is very narrow and crosses the ravine at higher altitude. From the cave you walk back to Kapsali Bay. Especially the last section reveals the wonderful bay and turquoise sea.

10,4 km ; 400 M ascent , 400 M descent ; 4 hours

Day 7:    Day walks . Livadi or Kapsali (Several walking possibilities)

Walk 8: Karavas round walk via Amir Ali springs, Moudari light house and the Keramari springs (walk can be shortened) 

The longest walk on Kythira starts in the northern village Karavas. First you come to the refreshing springs of Amir Ali. Here starts a cobbled trail that ascends to the abandoned settlement of Mavrogiorgianika, situated high above the valley. Through rural countryside you descend gradually to the Agios Nikolaos church on the beach. Across the sea strait one spots the Peloponnese with the town Neapoli glimmering on the horizon. Further up is the unique light house of Moudari. A nice coastal trail connects the lighthouse to Platia Ammos beach. After a refreshment it is uphill and back to Amir Ali, the last section through the breath-taking scenery. From Amir Ali you make an optional loop through a lush river valley and along the Keramari springs before heading back to Karavas.

14,5 Km ; 350 M ascent , 1100 descent ; 4 hours

Day 8:    Departure

You drive to the airport of Kythira or the port of Diakofti to drop-off your rental car and depart from Kythira.


All hotels of this trip are carefully selected because of their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite.
Below you find the standard hotels of this trip. If a hotel is fully booked, we book a similar alternative for you and inform you about the alternative booked. 

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.

Hotel Aris
Hotel Aris (Paleochora)

Hotel Aris offers clean rooms with balcony or terrace and is near the sea. The rooms and bathrooms are all renovated in 2014/2015. The friendly owner Aris guarantees a pleasant stay.


Hotel Syia
Hotel Syia (Sougia)

The small seaside resort Sougia is located at the end of the Irini gorge. There is a nice beach and you will experience a laid-back 60'ies atmosphere. The apartments & studio’s of hotel Syia are located 200m from the seaside and offer a comfortable stay. Because of very limited availability in the village you may be allocated at a similar accommodation.


Hotel Neos Omalos
Hotel Neos Omalos (Omalos)

On the Omalos plain you overnight in the hotel Neos Omalos at 1100m. Even in summer it is not hot at this spot. Rooms are basic, but comfortable. 


Pachnes Pension
Pachnes Pension (Agia Roumeli)

The Pachnes Pension is new and pleasantly furbished and located in a quiet position. It is 200m from the beach and the port of Agia Roumeli. 


Kyma Hotel (Loutro)
Kyma Hotel (Loutro)

From our rooms you will enjoy the deep blue sea view with the impressive iridescence and beauty of architecture. The beach is two steps (20 meters) from the beach, but for lovers of exploring, there are taxi boats to visit the spectacular beaches of Glika Nera (Sweet Water), Finika (Phoenix) and Marmara (Marbles). These beaches are also accessible on foot.


The walks are mostly on unsurfaced tracks; footpaths and mountain trails. 

Some coastal sections are along cliffs. If you are very afraid of heights, this may be challenging.  

You can book this trip starting any day of the week from 1st April to 25th October.

The best times to travel to the Greek Islands are April to June and September to early November. In Summer it gets very hot. We recommend doing this tour in Spring, when Spring is at its best, or in Autumn, when the sea is still warm.

The Samaria Gorge opens from 1st May onwards. The exact opening date depends on winter rains, which cause falling rock.

  • In case of heavy rains, the Samaria gorge can be closed. Guests will then travel with the luggage from Omalos to Sougia and take the ferry from Sougia to Agia Roumeli. There is a possible walk to the ‘Kastro’ from Agia Roumeli, 10 km (no route description at hand)
  • In case the ferry Sougia-Agia Roumeli is not running due to strong winds, but Samaria gorge is open, guests take basic needs for 1 night with them to Agia Roumeli. Luggage will then be sent on day 6 from Omalos to Loutro, via Sougia / per ferry.
  • In case on day 6, ferry is still not running, luggage is taken from Omalos to Chora Sfakion and arrives in Loutro from Chora Sfakion.

The nearest airport to Western Crete is Chania Airport (CHQ), but the larger Heraklion Airport (HER) is also possible. To reach Paleochora by public bus, it takes approx. 2.5 hours from Chania Airport or approx. 5 hours from Heraklion Airport. You may also book a private transfer from either airport to Paleochora by taxi with S-Cape. 

At the end of the trip it's a 20-minute ferry crossing from Loutro to Chora Sfakion. From there you travel by public transport to Chania Airport in approx. 2 hours. The public bus from Chora Sfakion to Heraklion takes approx. 4 hours including a stop-over in Vrysses. You may also book a private transfer from Chora Sfakion to either Chania or Heraklion Airport.

We can send you GPS tracks of this trip upon request and after booking.



  • 7 nights accommodation with breakfast
  • Roumeli and 2 in Loutro
  • All luggage transfers
  • Transfer Paleochora-Azogirai on day 2 OR ferry ticket Paleochora-Elafonissi if boat is 
  • Operational combined with transfer Kryos beach-Paleochora 
  • Transfers Sougia-starting point Irini gorge and Agios Theodoros (end of Irini gorge)-Omalos
  • Transfer Omalos-Xyloskala (start of Samaria gorge)
  • Digital detailed route notes and maps in English
  • Access to the trip on our navigation app
  • 24-hour telephone assistance

Not included

  • Flights, public transportation and other ferry tickets
  • Airport arrival and airport departure transfers
  • Travel insurance
  • Admissions and entrance fees of any kind. Allow 7 Euro for Samaria andTips and gratuities
  • Personal expenses such as meals, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers eAny items that have not been specifically mentioned in the program 

Optional services

  • Airport arrival and/or departure transfers
  • Additional night/s at any of the accommodations along the way, in Chania, Heraklion or any other destination in Greece
  • Shipment of trip docs to your home address

S-Cape Travel uses cookies to manage the website, to show you personalized content and to manage business goals. Below you can find more information on how we use cookies. You can accept all cookies, select them individually or reject them all. To learn more about our cookie policy, you can visit the dedicated page at any time.