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Traditions & History of Crete

Hill-top villages & cascading waterfalls
Receive first-rate hospitality at a relaxing traditional hotel with a pool on this self-guided, single-centre walking holiday. With car hire included and walking notes provided, you’re free to enjoy varied walking, scenic drives and cultural visits.
Traditions & History of Crete. 7 nights
Traditions & History of Crete. 7 nights

Holiday information


A centre-based walking holiday in Crete

In the splendid west of the island of Crete, dominated by the magnificent White Mountains soaring up to 2,500 metres, the lush hillsides are watered by springs, rivers and lakes and are dotted with picturesque villages, all just a few minutes’ drive from long white sandy beaches. There is a palpable sense of history and tradition here, with Byzantine chapels, historic villages and the fascinating Venetian town of Chania providing constant reminders of the historic struggle of the islanders.
The walks and driving tours that we recommend take you on a pleasant exploration of the local countryside, where you discover ancient monuments, secluded valleys and groves, bustling markets and tavernas, quaint hill-top villages and cascading waterfalls. You will be rewarded with spectacular views over the bay of Kolimbari, the Rodopos Penisula and the surrounding countryside. You can visit the small church of Agia Paraskevi and, in Chrysavgi, discover a traditional shop selling honey, wine and Cretan delicacies.

Walking & more

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights. There’s no fixed itinerary, so take your pick of our suggested walking routes as the mood takes you.
  • 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 14 14 16 19 23 27 29 29 27 22 19 16
    mm 137 104 78 32 13 4 2 2 17 77 77 104
  • Choice of routes: 7km or 8km

    Village circuit: 8km, 2.5hrs; ascent/descent 285m
    This gentle warm-up walk leads you through ancient olive groves, small vineyards and four traditional Cretan villages.

    Ano Vouves circuit: 7km, 2.5hrs; ascent/descent 240m
    This second circular route ascends to a ridge for expansive views over the White Mountans before continuing to the neighbouring village of Ano Vouves, where a 3,000-year-old olive tree – the oldest in Crete – is located.
    Views over the White Mountains
    Wildflowers and olive groves
  • Choice of routes: 4.5km to 15km

    Ancient Phalassarna: 13km, 3.5hrs; ascent/descent 240m
    This walk takes you out along the coast and up to the hamlet of Kavousi, before following a ridge towards the Gramvoussa Peninsula, passing a convenient taverna which offers a great view over the bay. After suitable refreshments, you drop down to the site of the ancient city of Phalassarna then follow the long sandy beach back to your start point. (Drive from the hotel to starting point: 38km/1h)

    Sirikari Gorge: 11.5km, 4.5hrs; ascent/descent 550m
    A beautiful walk that takes you up, and then back down, the lovely gorge of Sirikari, one of the easiest gorges to walk in Crete and not as busy as the larger Samaria Gorge. This is a delightful walk with the prospect of spotting griffon vultures along the way. (Drive from the hotel to starting point: 33km/45mins)

    Palea Roumata Valley: 4.5km, 1.5hrs; ascent/descent 140m
    This is a beautiful, narrow valley with plenty of shade, making it a good option for a hot day. You can retrace your steps back to your car or return via a quiet country lane instead. (Drive from the hotel to starting point: 18km/30mins)

    Irini Gorge to Souyia: 12km, 3.5hrs; ascent 80m/descent 670m; shorter option: 7km
    Smaller and less popular than its more famous neighbour, the Samaria Gorge, Irini promises a delightful walk through shaded glades and rocky river beds accompanied by birdsong. After emerging from the gorge, you continue along a quiet road to Souyia, where you can explore for a while before catching a taxi back to your car. Alternatively, you could get a taxi to collect you from the mouth of the gorge, saving 5km.   (Drive from the hotel to starting point: 37km/1hr)

    Samaria Gorge: 15km, 5hrs; ascent 80m/descent 1250m
    More testing, and requiring a very early start in order to avoid the crowds, this is nevertheless a superb walk, one of the European classics. The descent takes you through a rich variety of landscapes, criss-crossing streams on stepping stones to arrive at Agia Roumeli, from where ferries depart for Souyia and Sfakia. NB the gorge does not open until early May. (Best reached by taxi or bus, approx. 1hr 15mins)
    On the route through the Samaria Gorge
  • Choice of three routes

    Green Crete: 96km (full day)
    Perfect for garden lovers, birdwatchers and anyone who enjoys dramatic scenery, this drive takes in bird-rich Agia Lake; the magnificent Botanical Gardens (including an optional walk); the mountain village of Zourva; and then heads back via Theriso and its stunning gorge with the option of an early dinner in Chania before returning to Elia.

    Coastal Crete: 65km (half day)
    Taking in the lovely north-west coast, this drive leads you through Kolumbari with its fish and seafood restaurants and its monastery before following the coast to visit the Cadets Memorial with its little-known story of local heroism. After lunch, we recommend a short walk through the Deliana Gorge (5km/1hr) before you make your way back to the hotel.

    Ancient Crete: 104km (full day)
    Revealing some of Crete's ancient treasures, this tour begins in Kissamos with its town museum of Minoan and Roman artifacts and goes on to Falassarna with its fascinating site of Ancient Phalasarna; Polirinia, the hill-top settlement dating back to the Dorian period (1000 BC) (including an optional walk of 4km/2hrs to inspect the archaeological site) and on to the rock formations of Porta Midi.
    Enjoy a walk in the magnificent botanical gardens
  • Notes for a town trail included
    For a break from walking, head to Chania and explore this quaint coastal town with its waterfront restaurants, ideal for watching the world go by while enjoying a pleasant lunch of seafood delicacies. Chania has had a diverse and turbulent past and this is particularly evident  in the Old Venetian quarter and the several interesting museums. We provide notes for a town trail, guiding you to the most interesting sights and best places to eat.
    Take a stroll along the harbour in Chania


You spend your week at a lovely hotel with a pool and gardens.
Elia Traditional Hotel
  • Rural hotel



Extend your stay


Prices for 2020

We are in the process of updating our prices for 2020. If you’d like to book now, please contact us – we’ll be happy to provide a quotation.
Get in touch >
Prices & travel options
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  • 7 nights: 31 March 2019 - 30 June 2019 & 24 August 2019 - 31 October 2019

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

    Starting Price Single room
    31 Mar - 24 Apr 2019 £675 £330
    25 - 30 Apr 2019 £695 £330
    1 May - 23 Jun 2019 £755 £330
    24 - 31 Aug 2019 £845 £360
    1 - 15 Sep 2019 £795 £330
    16 - 24 Sep 2019 £755 £330
    25 - 30 Sep 2019 £725 £330
    1 - 24 Oct 2019 £675 £330
    3rd & 4th person discount -£90
    Single traveller supplement £90

    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.

    Price includes: 7 days' category C car hire (eg Hyundai I 20/Hyundai Accent 1.3 or similar with manual transmission)

    Drive time between the airport and the hotel: Chania 0h45, Heraklion 2h15

    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)

    Elia Traditional Hotel, Ano Vouves
    Deluxe: 31 Mar - 30 Jun 2019 £10
    Deluxe: 24 Aug - 31 Oct 2019 £10

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Elia Traditional Hotel, Ano Vouves (B&B) Double room Single room
    31 Mar - 30 Apr 2019 £72 £114
    01 May - 30 Jun 2019 £80 £122
    24 Aug - 31 Aug 2019 £96 £144
    01 Sep - 15 Sep 2019 £84 £126
    16 Sep - 30 Sep 2019 £80 £122
    01 Oct - 31 Oct 2019 £72 £114
    Chania, Heraklion

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly to an airport not listed. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Belfast Intl. - Heraklion jet2,  Thomas Cook 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Chania jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Birmingham - Heraklion jet2,  Thomas Cook,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Bournemouth - Heraklion TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Chania Ryanair,  TUI 
    Bristol - Heraklion easyJet,  Thomas Cook,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Cardiff - Heraklion Thomas Cook,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Doncaster Sheffield - Heraklion TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Nottingham East Midlands - Chania Ryanair 
    Nottingham East Midlands - Heraklion jet2,  Thomas Cook,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Heraklion easyJet,  jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Exeter - Heraklion TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Chania Ryanair 
    Glasgow - Heraklion jet2,  Thomas Cook,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Chania jet2,  Ryanair 
    Leeds Bradford - Heraklion jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Chania easyJet,  TUI 
    Gatwick - Heraklion British Airways,  easyJet,  Thomas Cook,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Chania British Airways 
    Heathrow - Chania (via Athens) Aegean Airlines 
    Heathrow - Heraklion (via Athens) Aegean Airlines 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Heraklion easyJet,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Chania jet2,  Ryanair 
    Stansted - Heraklion jet2,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Chania jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Manchester - Heraklion easyJet,  jet2,  Thomas Cook,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Heraklion jet2,  Thomas Cook,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Norwich - Heraklion TUI 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly to an airport not listed. 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.

What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 2 dinners
    3 picnics
    7 breakfasts
  • route notes and maps
  • category C car hire

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 >



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 >
  • 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: 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 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 : 9/22/2019 3:24:28 AM