GUIDED WALKING HOLIDAYS IN THE WEST OF IRELAND

Walking in Crete 2020

 

From Friday May  1st - Friday May 8th 2020

 

 

 

We are delighted to add Crete to our list of European Walks for 2020.

 

 

 

Day 1.  Arrival.

Private coach transfer to The Aris Hotel, Paleochora, our base for the next seven nights. 

Transfer time: 1 hour and 40 minutes approx.

 

Day 2

 

 

 

Elafonissi - Vroulias Bay - Cape Krios

Distance 14kms   Height Gain 300m   Time 5 hours +

 

Depending on the day we will depart for Elafonissi, a famous protected nature reserve and beach, either by ferry or by bus. Both take more or less the same time - just over an hour.

 

 

Elafonissi beach has consistently been voted as one of the ten best beaches in theworld.

 

This walk on the E4 hiking route is part of the European “Long Distance Path” and has a variety of terrains beginning with molten lava type rock for the first twenty minutes, followed by sandy beach and juniper trees at Kedrodasos. Later when we leave the coast and head inland we will walk on a narrow goat track. This whole area is an EU designated protected zone.

 

The walk itself is spectacular with the sea as our constant companion. Beautiful deserted beaches beckon and we have chosen a really lovely spot for lunch and a swim before and after, so pack the swimming gear. We will linger at this really lovely place for an hour. After lunch we will head inland up a narrow gorge. Our efforts will be rewarded with fabulous views over the Libyan sea and archaeological sites like Viena, which was once a Hellenistic and Roman sanctuary dating from 323-67 BC.

 

Returning to our walk, the track meanders from shore to inland before finally reaching Agios Ioannis Church (John the Baptist). A further one hour walk before arriving at the pick up point for our transfer back to Paleochora.

 

Dinner tonight in a local restaurant at your own expense.

 

 Day 3.

 

 

Paleochora- Azogires - Anidri - Ianniscari Beach.

Distance 15k   Height Gain 500m    Time 5 to 6 hours

 

Lunch arranged in the Old School House Anidri. Bring swimming gear and towel.

 

This walk has a variety of scenery including olive groves, a quiet hill top village with a Byzantine church and popular Taverna, mini gorge, tranquil beaches and a coastal return stretch back into town.

 

Leaving the hotel we head east along the beach and after approx 3kms we begin our climb on a narrow rocky goat track which widens to a proper trail. A final ascent to a hilltop church before we descend to  into the village of Anidri for lunch in the old School house Taverna (lunch included today).

 

After lunch we descend a mini gorge to the beach at Glaliskari for a swim before taking the coastal road back to our hotel.

 

Dinner tonight in a local restaurant at your own expense.

 

Day 4.

 

Early start today as the ferry departs at 08:30 for Sougia.

 

We begin our walk Eastward from Sougia on the E4 before heading Inland, crossing a river to pick up a waymarked trail which ends at a small plateau and grazing area. From here we have views of the coastline our objective Profitlis Llias. The route climbs and drops via gorges used as resupply locations during WW2. Our final 300m climb is to an old Turkish Fort and white chapel . After a swim and lunch we retrace our steps to Sougia, where if time allows we will have drink before boarding the ferry back to Paleochora.

 

Dinner tonight is at your own expense.

 

Day 5 - Free Day

 

Dinner tonight is at your own expense.

 

Day 6.

 

 

 

 

Sougia – Lissos - Paleochora

Distance 14k    Height Gain 400m   Time 6 hours approx.

 

We depart our hotel and walk to the pier head where we board the Ferry for Sougia. This will take 1 hour approx.. A coffee or a swim before we start our walk is an option. The walk starts through a narrow gorge that steadily rises before levelling off and we begin our descent to Lissos.

 

Lissos, now a famous deserted village which was the religious centre of the cities in South West Crete. It flourished during the Hellenistic and Roman periods

A further uphill stretch beckons before the track levels off once more. In places the trail narrows and becomes a rocky track that rises and falls as we make our way above the sea.

 

Further along we arrive at Gialiskari Beack where you can have a coffee or swim A further 45 minute walk will take you back to our hotel.

 

Dinner tonight in a local restaurant at your own expense.

 

 

Day 7: Agia Irini Gorge

 

From the south end of the village of Agia Irini, at an altitude of around 560m, the gorge of Agia Irini is a deep cut along the western edge of the White Mountains which will take you all the way down to the shores of the Libyan Sea at Sougia.

 

The gorge of Agia Irini is an excellent alternative to the gorge of Samaria:

 

  • it is far less crowded. Instead of hundreds (and at busy times thousands) of hikers per day you will only find a handful (and at busy times maybe a hundred people a day).
  • it is much shorter: 7.5 km to the exit of the gorge instead of 16 km for the walk through Samaria
  • the amount of descent is only around 500 m instead of 1230 m so it is easier on the knees
  • it is open all year around whereas Samaria is only open from May to October
  • most of the walk is in the shade so it is also suitable for walking on hot days

 

And of course it is a wonderful place to come to if you have already visited the gorge of Samaria (and maybe the gorges of Imbros and Aradena) and want to see another one. Like people, every Cretan gorge has its own personality, looks and character so it will be a new experience.

 

Dinner tonight is included.

 

Day 8

We depart at 10.30am for Chania.

 

Our coach will drop us at the bus station in Chania You will have plenty of time for shopping in the old town and souk type marketplace, ideal for leather goods and gifts. 

 

What’s included:

  • 7 night’s accommodation with breakfast.
  • 1 days sit down lunch at the Old School House.
  • Dinner on evening on departure. ( wine not included )
  • 4  days packed lunch – we will pick up our sandwiches from the bakery in the square.
  • 4 and a half days' days guided walking.
  • Transfer from the airport to our hotel in Paleochora and on the return leg from the hotel to the bus station in Chania.
  • Entry Fee to the Irini Gorge.
  • Charming guides with impeccable standards, good humoured and convivial company.

 

Not Included:

  •  Air Fare .
  • 6 dinners + gratuities to driver wait staff
  • Free day activities.
  • All drinks
  • Taxi from the Bus Station in Chania to the airport.

 

Additional Information:

  • Aris Hotel has hairdryers, tea, coffee making facilities, mini fridge and a safe. Please note they do not have TV.
  • Swimming will be a feature of this trip so pack swimming gear, towel and flip flops as some beaches are stony.
  • Sun Hat, insect repellent, factor 50, sun glasses, walking poles etc.
  • There are a couple of pharmacies in town and also a health center so make sure you have a current European Health Insurance Card.
  • There are a few ATM in Paleochora.

 

Price: €725 per person sharing. Single supplement €150.

 

 

(Click photo to enlarge)

Croagh Patrick Walking Tours, Belclare, Westport, County Mayo, Ireland

Telephone +353 98 26090 Mobile +353 87 2333 295 E-mail gerry@walkingguideireland.com