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Crete’s South-West Coast

In the footsteps of the Ancients
 
Highly rewarding coastal walks lead across spectacular terrain, revealing stunning views and the island’s rich history. Your luggage is transported ahead as you walk self-guided from one welcoming hotel to the next.
Crete’s South-West Coast. 7 nights
Crete’s South-West Coast. 7 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A walking holiday in south-west Crete

Crete offers some of the best coastal walking in Greece, with magnificent panoramas ahead, perfumed paths at your feet, and a world of mythology and history at your fingertips. 

As you make your way along the island's south-west coast, you'll find panoramic mountain trails, splendid Minoan palaces, old towns with Venetian mansions and forts, sandy beaches, remote hill villages, dramatic gorges, winding coastal paths, frescoed monasteries and delightful fishing villages all vying for your attention.
 
Gallery
 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and take your pick of the walking options on non-itinerant days. Pay locally for all taxis, buses and boats, unless stated otherwise.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 12 13 14 18 22 26 28 28 25 21 18 14
    mm 148 111 85 37 17 7 4 3 19 84 84 119
  • Arrival in  Chryssoskalitissa
    Night 1: Glykeria Hotel (the first of two nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of walking.
  • Linear walk from Elafonisi to Chryssoskalitissa: 11.5km, 4hrs; ascent 175m / descent 160m
    Beginning with a short transfer to Elafonisi Lagoon, this easy walk takes you around the island at the tip of the lagoon before returning along quiet roads and tracks to reach Chrysoskalitissa Monastery. Home to a variety of seabirds, the lagoon is fringed by beautiful sandy beaches and lapped by crystal-clear, turquoise waters in which you can swim. 
    Linear walk from Elafonisi to Chryssoskalitissa: 11.5km
    Elafonisi Beach
  • Chryssoskalitissa to Paleochora: 11km, 4hrs; ascent 315m / descent 330m
    Your route takes you past the famous sands of Elafonisi before continuing around the island’s south-western tip and past the ruins of the ancient city of Vienna on one of Greece’s most picturesque coastal paths. During spring and autumn this walk – one of the classic hikes on Crete – offers beautiful views and wonderful flowers. Your destination is the town of Paleochora (reached following a short transfer from Krios beach) and the aptly-named Hotel On the Rocks.
    Chryssoskalitissa to Paleochora: 11km
    Arrival in Paleochora
  • Choice of routes around Paleochora: 14km or 17km
    Our two walks around Paleochora both reveal a landscape of narrow gorges and mountains rising almost sheer from the sea. 

    Kadros to Paleochora: 17km, 6hrs; ascent 325m / descent 765m 
    After a taxi transfer to Kadros, you follow a flower-lined track which ascends through olive groves and above gorges, offering expansive views over the mountains to the coast. You pass through the idiosyncratic village of Azoyires, complete with waterfalls and a monastery, then head along dappled trails to reach the Anidri gorge. The path through the gorge brings you out at the coast, some 5km east of Paleochora, and you return to your hotel along a quiet road.

    Voutas to Paleochora: 14km, 4.5hrs; ascent 280m / descent 585m
    From Voutas (taxi transfer required), a lane brings you to a splendid balcony walk with views across the mountains and gorges. After visiting ancient burial chambers, you climb to a ridge following a centuries-old path alongside more burial grounds. You then descend via the hamlet of Ayia Triada (Holy Trinity) to the Paleochora road.
    The route from Kadros to Paleochora
    Kadros to Paleochora: 17km
    Voutas to Paleochora: 14km
  • Paleochora to Souyia: 15km, 5.5hrs; ascent/descent 550m
    Your final destination is the fishing village of Souyia, at the end of another superlative day’s walking that begins along the coast then heads past the ancient ruins of Lissos and through a wild gorge. Your efforts will be rewarded with views to the Libyan Sea, the chance of swimming from quiet beaches, and the idyllic ancient spa of Lissos. In Souyia, you stay for three nights at the Syia Hotel Apartments.
    Paleochora to Souyia: 15km
    The gorge on the route from Paleochora to Souyia
  • Choice of routes around Souyia: 9km to 15km
    We suggest a number of options for your time in Souyia.

    Linear walk through the Samaria Gorge: 15km, 5hrs; ascent 80m / descent 1250m
    One of Greece's first national parks, the renowned Samaria Gorge provides the setting for our first recommended route, one of Europe's 'classic' trails. The gorge's popularity is well deserved – it is truly spectacular, with a rich diversity of landscapes, flora and fauna. However, this path is probably the busiest in Crete, so set off early to avoid the crowds (or explore it from the beach side without the hordes – see below). NB the Samaria Gorge does not open until early May.

    Linear walk through the Irini Gorge: 12km, 4hrs; ascent 80m / descent 670m
    This dramatic walk begins with a short bus journey then descends through the spectacular Irini Gorge back to Souyia. The gorge has only recently been opened up for exploration and easily rivals the more famous Samaria Gorge, but (so far!) receives far fewer visitors. The ravine has been pierced through the mountains by millennia of water erosion and supports many birds and other wildlife.

    Circular walk via the Cave of Polyfemos: 9km, 3.5hrs; ascent/descent 490m
    A shorter option which offers you the chance to embark on your own Greek odyssey and follow in the footsteps of Homer's hero by climbing (steeply at times) to the cave of Polyfemos – the cyclops who, in Greek legend, captured Odysseus and his men and held them captive.

    Linear walk through the Samaria Gorge from Agios Roumeli
    Offering an alternative way to explore the Samaria Gorge, this flexible route involves taking the morning boat from Souyia to the coastal hamlet of Agios Roumeli to then walk as far as you wish into the gorge. Take time to enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the many tavernas in Agios Roumeli before returning by boat to Souyia.

    Visit Lissos
    Another leisurely option sees you return to Lissos by boat for a more in-depth exploration of the ancient spa (and idyllic beach!). At the end of the day, return to Souyia on foot (or by boat).

    Beach day
    Of course, a final option is simply to relax! Souyia is a small seaside village with a long history and signs of its distant past can still be seen as you wander its narrow streets, including the remains of a 6th-century basilica on the site of the present church. There is also a lovely long beach – a mixture of sand and pebbles.
    Linear walk through the Samaria Gorge: 15km
    The circular route around Souyia via the Cave of Polyfemos
    Linear walk through the Irini Gorge: 12km
    Circular walk via the Cave of Polyfemos: 9km
 

Accommodation

You stay in a variety of comfortable hotels, all offering a warm welcome. 
The star ratings given below are our own as the hotels have no official classification.
 

Extend your stay

 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter.
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  • 7 nights: 19 April - 30 June 2019 & 01 September - 15 October 2019

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    19 - 30 April £755 £305
    1 - 15 May £795 £315
    16 May - 23 June £840 £330
    1 - 30 September £855 £380
    1 - 8 October £755 £305
    3rd & 4th person discount -£50
    Single traveller supplement £60

    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Pay locally for bus/taxi transfers on optional walks (approx. €25pp in a party of 2)

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Syia Hotel Apartments, Souyia
    Apartment with balcony: 19 Apr - 15 May 2019 £10
    Apartment with balcony: 16 May - 30 Jun 2019 £14
    Apartment with balcony: 01 Sep - 30 Sep 2019 £14
    Apartment with balcony: 01 Oct - 15 Oct 2019 £10
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Chania (you can fly direct or via Athens)

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend Athens. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Chania jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Chania Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Nottingham East Midlands - Chania Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Chania Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Chania jet2,  Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Chania easyJet,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Chania British Airways 
    Heathrow - Chania (via Athens) Aegean Airlines 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Chania jet2,  Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Chania jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend Athens. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £30 per person for our flight booking service (£50 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Chania

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    direct taxi airport to first hotel (1h30) £34 flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    direct taxi last hotel to airport (2h) £26 flexible
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 1 dinner
    2 picnics
    7 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
  • transfer on Day 2
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from hotel to hotel, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our walking holidays in Europe page.
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £30 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £50 per person. More information on flights >
  • Absolutely! We are experts in tailored rail travel. Making use of sleeper trains or stopovers in cities along the route, we can get you from London to virtually anywhere in mainland Europe. We can even make arrangements to Mallorca, Sicily and Norway with a combination of ferries and rail. Please contact Abi to discuss your plans.
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Greece, but not a visa (if you are travelling after 31 October 2019, see the Brexit question below for more information). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found through the following NHS link: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/ You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at www.ehic.org.uk. The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance. EHICs may cease to be valid in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • The most commonly spoken language is Greek. The currency is the Euro. Greek time is GMT/UTC + 2. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 2.
  • Even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it’s been confirmed that flights will continue as normal and that you won’t need a visa to go on holiday (the limit on stays is 90 days). What you will need if there’s no deal is a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your arrival (extra months added because you renewed your passport early do not count) and adequate travel insurance to cover you for accidents and illness in case reciprocal health deals are suspended. If you are driving while on holiday, you will probably need an International Driving Permit (plus a Green Card if you are taking your own car to Europe). More information >
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
Last fetch time is : 8/20/2019 2:44:44 PM