From the island of Zeus to prehistoric sites and volcanic ashes.

Trip highlights

  • The Venetian port of Chania and the Old Town

  • The stunning Samaria gorge, the longest gorge in Europe.

  • The White Mountain’s highest peak. Pachnes summit (2.454m alt.)

  • Acrotiri Prehistoric settlement at Santorini

  • Sunset sea kayak at Santorini.

  • The cosmopolitan towns of Fira and Oia.

 

 

What is included

  • All accommodations and meals as indicated in the itinerary.

  • Transfer from/ to airport.

  • All transfers on the island, as noted in the itineary.

  • English, French, Spanish speaking Guide

  • Samaria gorge entrance fees

 

Not included

  • Domestic and/or international air fare.

  • Medical expenses.

  • Travel or emergency evacuation insurance.

  • Gratuities for leader/guide or driver.

  • Alcoholic beverages and meals other than outlined in itinerary.

  • Visas if needed.

  • Other items of a personal nature

  • Αnything not mentioned in the itineary. 

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Trip Overview

Our trip begins on the island of Crete with its marvellous gorges and imposing mountains offers to the visitor high spiritual energy comparable to the thrill one feels in a forest at twilight. Crete is located in the southern part of Greece and naturally separates the Aegean from the Libyan Sea. It is the largest island in Greece with more than 600.000 inhabitants. The area around Chania has been called “Land of gorges” and many of them possess a forest “core”. It is a place you will wish to visit over and over again as a no ending conquest. Being ourselves deeply connected to this island of Zeus and Talos and having hiked a good part of the trails in its southwest part, we enthusiastically decided upon sharing our experiences with you. Four days to stopover spectacular cliffs, deep gorges and great mountains before moving on to Santorini which is one of those places that not even the billion online photos can describe its breathtaking beauty. The caldera of Santorini is a truly unique place that needs no introduction. But there is more to see away from the busy streets during the long summer season. Our itinerary combines the must see and the hidden gems of this top destination. We will enjoy the famous Santorinian sunset from our sea kayaks, we will hike on the best routes on the main island but we will also visit and hike on Thirasia which is a small island opposite to Santorini. Once, it used to be part of the main one but after the creation of the caldera it became a separated island. This way we will have the opportunity to experience how Santorini used to be before the touristic development.


Itinerary


Day 1: Arrival Chania. | Introduction to Cretan history |

After meeting at the hotel we will stroll around the town of Chania, walk along the waterfront of the old Venetian harbour, the Old Town and enjoy dinner with traditional Cretan cuisine.

The 14th century preserved monument of the Venetian port with its lighthouse is the trademark of the city of Chania. “Ducato di Candia” (Duchy of Candia) was the official name of Chania during the Venetian rule period as the island was an overseas colony of the Republic of Venice, from the initial Venetian conquest in 1205–1212 to its fall to the Ottoman Empire during the Cretan War (1645–1669).

At the afternoon we will arrive at Omalos Plateau, surrounded by the high mountain tops of Lefka Ori (White Mountains).

  •     Dinner and overnight at omalos


Day 2: Samaria gorge | One gorge - a thousand battles |

Early in the morning we will cross the longest and most famous gorge in Europe, the Samaria gorge (18km long and 150mt at its widest points). Samaria was declared a National Park in 1962 and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It is a Wildlife Refuge and belongs to EU’s Natura 2000 network of protected areas as a shelter of wildlife and endemic plants. It has been estimated that around 450 endemic plant species are existent in the gorge. The perennial cypresses and pine trees present on both sides of it are the remains of the forests once covered the whole place before their timber was used in building ships. It is a most imposing place, the steep slopes of which have always been home and shelter to rebels, warriors and freedom fighters- especially during World War II and the Greek Civil War that followed. It has also been the theatre of The Battle of Samaria- the last battle of the civil war in Crete, which ended in favor of the Greek government army.

At the end of the gorge a beautiful beach for swimming waits for us at the Agia Roumeli village.

Later in the Evening we will take the boat to the village of Loutro where we will spend the night.

  •     Dinner and overnight at Loutro
  •     Hiking distance/hours: 16km/5-6h


Day 3: Loutro – marmara – aradena- agios ioannis

Loutro is considered one of the most picturesque coastal villages in the Mediterranean. All the traditional houses of the village are built around the small beach and the marina. Above the village, the characteristic 600-meter high cliff forms a very scenic landscape, as Loutro lies in the narrow space between the high rocks and the sea. Because of the lack of roadways the village is a pedestrian heaven, unique in Crete.

  •     Dinner and overnight at Agios Giannis
  •     Hiking distance/hours: 17km/6h


Day 4: Pachnes summit | Highest peak of Lefka Ori |

After breakfast we will drive back to the start of our hike. The trail will lead us to the beautiful alpine zone and at the highest peak of Lefka Ori that cover the largest part of the Chania prefecture and are the largest mountain range of Crete, 50km in length and 25km in width. Quite a few of the peaks exceed the 2000 meters. The areas above 2000mt are devoid of vegetation. These mountains have been a sanctuary of bravery and freedom in tough times and are awaiting hikers and travelers to explore their secretiveness.

After lunch we will drive to the city of Heraklion to spend our last night at the island.

  •     Dinner and overnight at Heraklion
  •     Hiking distance/hours: 3km/5h


Day 5: Iraklio- Santorini

Our day starts with an early ferry ride to Santorini. After Checking in to our hotel and having lunch we will hop on the bus to visit the truly amazing Akrotiri Prehistoric settlement. Afterwards, we will go for an evening sea kayak excursion in order to enjoy Santorini's sunset away from the crowds. We will have with us certified guides that will introduce us to the basics of sea kayaking and we will have the chance to admire the amazing volcanic rock formations from the sea level. No previous kayaking experience is required.

  •     Dinner and overnight at Santorini


Day6: Fira | Oia |

After breakfast, we will start our walk from the main town of Fira. All parts of the trail are a continuous photo opportunity since we will be following the edge of the caldera, up to the cosmopolitan town of Oia where we will enjoy our lunch. A transfer will take us back to the hotel and later we will meet again for Dinner. If someone prefers to spend more time to Oia he/she can use the frequent bus service or take one of the many taxis.

  •     Hiking distance/hours: 10km/4h
  •     Included meals: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner


Day 7: Thirasia

In the morning we will get on a boat that will take us to Thirasia from where we will hike to the main town of Manolas and then we will continue, by the caldera, to the beautiful Monastery of Theotokos. We will enjoy our lunch at Manolas village before we go back to Santorini.

Thirasia is a small island opposite to Santorini. Once, it used to be part of the main island but after the creation of the caldera it became a separated island. Thirasia is a great opportunity to understand how Santorini used to be before the touristic development. We will see small villages and traditional houses with amazing views from the edge of the caldera to the impressive island of Santorini.

  •     Hiking distance/hours: km/h
  •     Included meals: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner


Day 8: Road trip

Even though Santorini is a relatively small island, we do not have the time to check out everything on foot. This is why today, we will drive around and visit different towns and places while we make small stops for wine and beer tasting!

The traditional villages of Vothonas, Pirgos and Megalohori are some of our beautiful destinations of the day.

Later in the evening we will enjoy our farewell dinner.

  •     Included meals: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner


Day 9: Departure

Our trip concludes after breakfast. Transfer on your own to Santorini's airport or port, or expand your stay in Santorini.