Lonely beaches & deep gorges — hiking in the south of Crete

Hiking Collection by

Impressive gorges, several two-thousand-metre peaks, hidden bays and crystal-clear water - Crete is an eldorado for hikers and nature lovers.

We were on the southern coast of Crete and have put together seven particularly beautiful and impressive hikes for you. Be enchanted by the fantastic panoramic view over the bay of Kommos, walk through one of the longest gorges in Europe, discover ancient places in the middle of the forest and enjoy the scent of wild thyme and sage.

Most of the tours are well marked and can be mastered by less experienced hikers. Nevertheless, you should always wear sturdy footwear and have enough water, food and sun protection with you. Hiking sticks are also available for some hikes, especially in the longer gorges.

The hiking season on Crete starts at the beginning of May and runs until the end of October. Spring is a good time for hiking holidays: the days are getting warmer, wildflowers are beginning to bloom and the first greenery can be seen everywhere. Autumn is also a delightful time in Crete: the temperatures are still pleasantly warm, most tourists have already left again and you have the hiking trails as well as the small, hidden beaches at the still warm Libyan sea almost for you alone.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Easy
    2.02 mi
    2.3 mph
    75 ft
    250 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The Agiofarango Gorge, also called the "Gorge of the Saints", is relatively easy to walk through and yet beautiful. Especially when the many hundred oleander bushes are in bloom.You do not have to overcome any major obstacles and you do not need a lot of stamina - sturdy shoes are still recommended. In any case, you should pack bathing suits, because at the end of the hike a fantastic bay with a pebble beach and turquoise water as a reward awaits you. You also have enough to drink - there is a drinking water well at the chapel Agios Antonios on the way, but the hand pump was broken on the last visit. So take no chances. If you want to rest longer on the beach, you should also take a sunscreen. The rocks throw only in late summer / autumn and then only in the afternoon enough shade.You can vary the starting point for the hike - depending on how long you want to go. The first car park is at the top of the hill on the road to Kali Limenes, right at the turning to the gorge. From here it is about 4 km to the beach of Agiofarango. But most visitors park their car a little further down so they will not be spared the climb at the end of the hike. Here our tour starts. There is also a parking lot directly at the entrance of the gorge, of which there are only about 2 km way - but you need a cross-country vehicle for it, because the dust road there is very stony and littered by potholes.The entrance of the park is secured by a fence. In the summer months there is often a food truck with cold drinks and sandwiches.

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  • Intermediate
    6.00 mi
    1.4 mph
    1,800 ft
    1,800 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The path through the Rouwas gorge is part of the European long-distance hiking trail E4. It is well developed and very well marked - just look for the red arrows and points on the rocks and rocks. For the hike, you definitely need sturdy shoes, the best right hiking boots, as some passages require high-security. If available, take your hiking poles with you - they will make your way back easier. But it works without it. The hike partly runs over boulder fields and sometimes you have to climb a bit through and over boulders.The way goes almost the entire way uphill. But if you take enough time, you can master the hike without a lot of physical condition. Just remember - especially on an autumn hike - to allow enough time for the return trip, so you do not have to go through the gorge in the dark.At the end of the gorge, at the Chapel of Agios Ioannis, there is a large rest area, where there is also fresh water.The entrance to the hike is on the right side of Votomos Lake and you can best reach it by car. At the lake you will find some taverns and a large parking lot. There is also a daily bus from Iraklion to Zaros. From there it is another 1.5 km to Votomos lake. Another alternative would be to take an hourly bus to Mires and take a taxi from there.

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  • Difficult
    5.05 mi
    1.6 mph
    1,250 ft
    1,250 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The hike takes you first to the wonderful Marmara Beach and then through the impressive Aradena Gorge. The path is promising, diverse and equipped with small challenges. You should definitely wear sturdy shoes and ideally be free from giddiness.The starting point of the tour is the idyllic, small fishing village Loutro - there is not a road connection here. You can reach Loutro either on foot over the mountains or by ferry. If possible, plan your arrival and departure carefully, because the accommodation in Loutro is limited. But staying overnight is worthwhile, as you will be able to experience the village without the many day trippers. If it's just a day trip, be sure to check the ferry times. Loutro is located on the Anendyk ferry route and is mainly driven by Hora Sfakion. After Hora Sfakion you can come by car or by bus. At the port is a large, paid parking. The current summer and winter timetables can be found at anendyk.gr.The hike continues to Marmara Beach on the well-developed and marked long-distance hiking trail E4 - with yellow-black signs. You can shorten the hike up to there and take the taxi boat from Loutro to Marmara Beach. Directly on Marmara Beach begins the Aradena Gorge, through which it goes.You can stop off in Loutro, in Lycos and on Marmara Beach. Take enough to drink for the hike through the gorge, the climb is a bit exhausting.

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  • Easy
    2.65 mi
    2.0 mph
    525 ft
    475 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The most exciting part of the hike is just before the finish: the ruins of ancient Lissos. But even during the relatively easy and easy to walk tour you will be offered a highlight after the next. First it goes through the green Lissos gorge, then over the Kandouni plateau with a great view of the coast. The route follows the long distance path E4 with its yellow and black signs.Refreshments are available only before and after the hike in the numerous cafes, bars and taverns in Sougia. In Lissos, however, you will find a drinking water well where you can replenish your water reserves.In addition, you should not forget your bathing suit - in Lissos, a small, secluded pebble beach awaits you with wonderfully clear water. The bay can only be reached on foot or by taxi boat.You can reach Sougia by bus, car or ferry. Buses run several times a day between Chania and Sougia in the main season. For ferry information, visit anendyk.gr.

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  • Difficult
    10.6 mi
    1.8 mph
    1,850 ft
    5,750 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This hike is, so to speak, a must on Crete - but you should not take it lightly. The Samaria Gorge is one of the longest erosion canyons in Europe, with more than 1200 meters difference in elevation. Unfortunately, it is seen by many as a tourist attraction rather than a sporting challenge. Accordingly, accidents and injuries often occur due to lack of condition and equipment. In any case, you should have walk-resistant footwear and plenty of provisions with you. You can fill up your drinking bottle with several drinking water taps along the way.The paths are very well developed - but the rocks and rocks you have to cross may be slippery depending on the season, the water level and the weather. The way the first 600 meters down is also quite steep. In the spring, it can happen that you have to wade through the river once or twice.Be sure to take swimwear with you, then you can shorten the waiting for the ferry with a cooling in the sea. Baden is prohibited in the Samaria Gorge itself.The gorge is usually open from May to the end of October daily from 6 o'clock until sunset. From 16 clock you may only 2vkm in the gorge. Admission costs 5 euros for adults, and is free for children under 15 accompanied by an adult. In extreme heat around 40 degrees or in the rain, the gorge is closed as a precaution.The entrance to the gorge is located on the plateau of Omalos, near the same place. If you hike by yourself, the best way to get there is by public transport from Chania, Rethymon, Sougia or Paleochora. For more information on departure times and costs, visit e-ktel.com. At the end of the hike in Agia Roumeli, you can only return to Sougia or Chora Sfakion on one of the Anendyk line ferries. Information on this can be found at anendyk.gr. In the approached places there is usually a direct bus connection to Chania and Rethymon. However, it is more relaxing if you are looking for accommodation in Sougia or Chora Sfakion. So you can start in the morning from there and in the evening you are back at your accommodation faster. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle completely, stay overnight in Omalos and go before the first buses arrive with hikers around 8am.

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  • Intermediate
    6.10 mi
    2.2 mph
    600 ft
    600 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The path from Lentas to Trachoulas Beach is quite easy to find: you always go along the sea. You'll have to overcome a few easy climbs and climb a few rocks, but if you're feeling a bit stamina-not running in the blazing noonday heat-these challenges are easy to master.The access is easy to find: in Lentas you go from the large parking lot at the beginning of the village just towards the sea and then left near the Lentas Paradise Studios on the narrow path up the hill. Then just follow the trampled way on the slope. At the end of Petrakis Beach, all you have to do is go up to the street. This can either be done by following the creek bed or climbing directly up the steeper slope. Both paths are easy to walk on and marked with red waypoints.There is hardly any shade at the beach of Trachoulas Gorge. If you want to stay there longer - which is really worthwhile - you should take a sunscreen with you. And do not forget the bathing suit.The easiest way to get there is by car. At the entrance to Lentas, where the hike starts, there is a car park. If you travel by bus, you drive to Mires and change there. Buses between Mires and Lentas leave once a day, except on Sundays.If you just want to hike through the gorge, you can also drive directly to the saddle above the small harbor. From the harbor, a gravel road leads in the direction of Inland.

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  • Easy
    2.59 mi
    2.2 mph
    350 ft
    300 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Starting point is the gravel parking lot on the cliff, near the fish tavern "Mystical View". The trail is not marked, but with a bit of sense of direction, the komoot map and with an eye for the trampled paths, he is very feasible.Especially the great view makes the tour a special experience. During the first few 100 meters you have a wonderful view of the bay of Kommos and the Psiloritis mountains beyond. The highlight of the tour is the panoramic view of the beautiful village of Matala. On the way you roam the wild plateau-strewn small plateau and come past a millennia-old, fossilized fossils.Even if you have very little or no climbing, you should wear sturdy shoes. Take enough water and sunscreen with you - there is no drinking water well and hardly any shade on the way.The best way to get to the starting point of the hike is by car. But you can also take the bus to Matala and then walk the road about 3 km back to the tavern "Mystical View".Especially nice is the small circular walk in the afternoon - afterwards you can enjoy the sunset over the sea with fresh fish in the tavern.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    35.0 mi
  • Duration
    19:28 h
  • Elevation
    6,425 ft

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