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Bestseller
Bestseller
Holidays

Walking the White Mountains of Crete

Greece, Greek Islands
16 reviews
Available Departures: May, Sep, Oct

8 days from

US$1,615

without flights
Walk & Trek
Guided Group
MODERATE MODERATE

The best walks in Crete: from the peaks of the White Mountains, through the Samaria Gorge, to the secluded coves of the Mediterranean coast

Trip Code: CRE
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Walking the White Mountains of Crete

Highlights
  • Descend to the Mediterranean sea through the spectacular Samaria Gorge
  • Reach the summit of Pachnes, the highest peak in the White Mountains of Crete
  • Discover Crete's hidden coves on a stunning coastal walk from Agia Roumeli
  • Stay in charming accommodation, enjoy Cretan cuisine and sip Ouzo in Greek tavernas

At a Glance
  • Group Size 6 to 15
  • 6 days walking
  • Max altitude 2453 metres
  • Join In Chania

Accommodation & Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 5 Lunches
  • 7 Dinners
  • 7 nights Hotel
Overview

This Mediterranean walking holiday on the island of Crete offers a wonderful blend of high mountain scenery, picturesque coastal walking, traditional villages, and legendary Greek food and hospitality. Immerse yourself in the spellbinding beauty of the White Mountains, traverse the rugged terrain of the Samaria Gorge, and discover the hidden beaches along Crete's lesser-explored coast.

Starting from the mountain hamlet of Omalos, our first objective is to hike to the summit of Gingilos (1980m), a rocky peak offering spectacular views across the White Mountains and a bird's-eye perspective of our route for the following day. This route leads us down to the Mediterranean via the world-famous Samaria Gorge, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. We then spend two nights in Agia Roumeli, a charming collection of traditional tavernas accessible only by walking or boat. Here, you have the option to relax on the beach or partake in a variety of day walking excursions.

Continuing along the sun-kissed shoreline and a stunning cliff-side pathway, our next day's walk in Crete takes us to Marmara beach and the delightful white-painted seaside village of Loutro. With a hotel base in Loutro, our trekking adventure ascends to Pachnes (2453m), the highest peak in the 'Lefka Ori' mountain range, before a circular hike via the impressive Aradena Gorge and the charming shepherd's village of Anopolis.

This walking holiday is designed to escape the main tourist hotspots of northern Crete and embrace the magic and tranquility of the quiet southern coastline. While we are sure to enjoy plenty of sun, experience isolated beaches, and sample superb Greek cooking, this holiday is first and foremost tailored for walkers. Our hikes include ascents to the rocky peak of Gingilos, as well as Pachnes, the highest mountain in the area. We anticipate an average of 5 to 7 hours of walking each day, with average ascents and descents of around 700 meters per day. The paths are generally well-maintained, but during the ascents of Gingilos and Pachnes, we will encounter open scree and traverse rocky terrain with no discernible track. This holiday is suitable for weekend hikers seeking tranquility and sun. Be prepared for a unique and authentic Greek experience!

Why KE?

Our itinerary is pretty hard to beat, combining all the walking highlights of unspoiled Western Crete, including a guided walk to summit Pachnes. We love how this adventure consistently surprises and delights travellers - the White Mountains are a true hidden gem and walker's paradise.

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Itinerary

Meet at the group hotel in Omalos. Afternoon and evening transfers from Chania Airport are provided. This is a spectacular drive along narrow winding roads that take us up into the foothills of the White Mountains. The few tavernas that make up the settlement of Omalos are situated on a fertile grazing area amongst rocky limestone peaks. We spend the next 2 nights at a small, friendly, family-run establishment with comfortable rooms and an excellent restaurant, which is popular with the locals.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

D

After breakfast, a 10-minute transfer takes us to the start of the famous trek down the Samaria Gorge. However, we will save the gorge walk for tomorrow. Today, our plan is to climb Gingilos (1980m), the impressive mountain that towers above. Following a rough but well-marked footpath, it's a steady climb for an hour and a half to a year-round spring. After a stop to refill our water bottles, a zigzag path leads to a rocky col, which offers views of the Libyan Sea to the south. Beyond the col, the path becomes slightly more challenging, with some short and easy sections of scrambling. Less than an hour from the col, we reach a rounded summit adorned with a prominent cairn. From here, breathtaking views extend across the entire White Mountains massif to distant Pachnes, the highest mountain in the range and our destination in a few days' time. Closer at hand, a rocky crest marks the true summit of Gingilos, just 5 meters higher than the cairned summit. It's an optional 15-minute scramble to reach this point. We return by the same route and spend a second night in Omalos.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

1000 M

Descent

1000 M

Time

5 - 6 hrs walking

Distance

9 KM

We won't start too early this morning, aiming to avoid the crowds of tourists who arrive by bus from the resorts of the northern coast to walk down the extremely popular Samaria Gorge. This ravine is the longest in Europe and arguably the most spectacular. Our baggage is transported down to Sougia and then by ferry to Agia Roumeli, while we opt for a short transfer to Xiloskala (1250m), a viewpoint overlooking the gorge. Here, we relax in a cafe with a view of the descent path and then, in the late morning, we begin our walk. By this time, the area is usually deserted.

For the first 2km of the walk, we descend dramatically via a path leading to the bottom of the upper gorge. The peaks of Gingilos and Volakias tower above us like gigantic walls of rock, while the White Mountains extend to the east on our left-hand side. The small chapel of Agios Nikolaos, nestled among pines and cypresses, marks the beginning of a gentler descent, and soon we arrive at the old hamlet of Samaria. From here, the path winds its way, passing Saint Mary's Church, which bears the date 1379 over the doorway. We soon reach the narrowest part of the gorge, the famous 'Portes' (Gates). Here, the rock architecture is astounding, with walls soaring vertically upwards for 500 meters on either side of the path. The final few kilometers bring us to the welcome sight of Agia Roumeli and the Libyan Sea.

Arriving in the late afternoon, we find that the majority of people who have walked the gorge have already departed from Agia Roumeli by ferry, either heading westwards to Sougia or eastwards to Hora Sfakion. Once they're gone, Agia Roumeli returns to its tranquil self, nestled between wild mountains and the deep blue sea. This is the hidden Crete that most tourists never experience. While in Agia Roumeli, we stay at a comfortable hotel and enjoy our evening meals at the excellent Artemis Restaurant.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Descent

1200 M

Time

5 - 7 hrs walking

Distance

16 KM

Until the first walkers of the day make their way down the gorge, typically not until mid-afternoon, Agia Roumeli remains the perfect Cretan hideaway and an ideal spot to unwind. A small, clean, pebbly beach lies in front of the village, offering an excellent spot for swimming. Alternatively, a short walk to the east leads to an even quieter beach that stretches for miles. For those eager to engage in some exercise, there are various walking options available. The clearly visible Turkish fort above the village can be reached in 45 minutes, and a decent path to the north leads to the old settlement of Agia Roumeli, providing an easy 2-hour circuit. Longer walking options include the ascent to Papoura, a picturesque spot 900 meters (3000 feet) above the village. It involves a steep climb of 3 to 4 hours, but the rewards include stunning views of the coast, the mountains, and the Samaria Gorge from above. After the day's tourists have departed, we will enjoy a peaceful night at our hotel and have another opportunity to sample the famous Cretan cuisine at the Artemis Restaurant.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B D

Ascent

300 M

Descent

300 M

Time

2 - 3 hrs walking

Distance

4 KM

The walk from Agia Roumeli to Loutro begins along a delightful coastal path. Departing Agia Roumeli in the cool of the early morning, we follow a way-marked path that meanders across beaches, through pine trees, and along cliffs. A pleasant spot for a break and a swim is at the small Byzantine church of Saint Paul, where it's said Saint Paul landed on Crete during his voyage to Greece. Adorned with murals, this historic church by the sea is engaged in a continual battle against the waves. Beyond the church, the path ascends above the beach and eventually leads out of the pine forest, continuing through a more barren area between the Libyan Sea and a barrier of cliffs to the beach of Marmara and the entrance of the Aradena Gorge. Here, we have another opportunity for a swim or a drink at the small beach cafe before continuing toward the Bay of Loutro. From there, a short boat ride will take us to Sfakia, where we will stay at a small, family-run hotel overlooking the sea.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

700 M

Descent

700 M

Time

6 - 7 hrs walking

Distance

15 KM

Today, we will hike to the top of Pachnes (2453m), the highest summit in the White Mountains. Despite being only 3 meters higher than Timios Stavros in the Ida Mountains, Pachnes is arguably the best mountain walk in Crete. While not technically difficult, Pachnes is rarely climbed due to the long day required for the summit trek. Additionally, logistical transport challenges associated with the ascent mean it is almost never offered as a guided route.

We begin by driving up to the mountain village of Anopolis and continuing for approximately 20 kilometers along a rough track to an altitude of 1950m. From there, we embark on our hike through the unique lunar landscape of Crete's high desert region, reaching the summit after 2 hours. On a clear day, the summit offers panoramic views extending over half the island. With a bit of luck, we may be accompanied by griffon and bearded vultures, and even golden eagles. After signing the summit book, we descend back to the drop-off point and return to Sfakia.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

600 M

Descent

600 M

Time

5 hrs walking

Distance

9 KM

Our final day's trekking is a circular route, commencing with a short boat ride to the beach at Marmara. From there, we venture inland into the impressive depths of the Aradena Gorge. Although not as vast as the Samaria Gorge, it boasts equal spectacle and tranquility. If anything, the underfoot conditions are slightly more challenging, with a series of easy scrambles across several rockfalls. It will take us 3 hours to reach the ancient village of Aradena, with the latter part of the walk featuring an intriguing (and ancient) paved pathway that zigzags out of the gorge. Upon arrival, we have the opportunity to explore the ruined village and hopefully enjoy refreshments at the kiosk cafe, offering a spectacular view of the gorge. Here, the gorge narrows to just 30 meters, spanned by a metal bridge offering breathtaking views into its depths.

From here, we hike across country, following an old cobbled road through the rugged fields of an impressive limestone plateau, until we reach the charming village of Anopolis. Here, we pause for lunch at a taverna. Afterward, we leisurely stroll to the clifftop chapel of Agia Katarini, an excellent vantage point for observing griffon vultures as they soar along the plateau's edge. We then descend on a rough track to Loutro and continue onward to Sfakia, with opportunities for a refreshing swim along the way. In the evening, we cap off our memorable holiday with a celebratory meal.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L D

Ascent

800 M

Descent

800 M

Time

6 - 7 hrs walking

Distance

17 KM

The holiday ends after breakfast. There will be a single timed transfer back to Chania Airport, a drive of around 2 hours.

Meals

B
Download Trip Notes
The Route
Airport Airport
Point Point
Peaks Peaks
Direction Direction
Transfer
Trek
Boat

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • A professional and qualified tour leader
  • Up to 2 Chania Airport transfers on Day 1 and 1 on Day 8
  • All land transport required by the itinerary
  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Samaria National Park fee
  • Baggage transfers between overnight stops - by road or by boat

  • Travel insurance
  • Some meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Tips for local staff
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

The group will meet at the group accommodation in Omalos.

There will be two timed transfers from Chania Airport to the group accommodation on Day 1 of the Land Only Itinerary. One meeting flights arriving 1330 and earlier and one meeting flights arriving at 1700 and earlier.

In Arrivals Hall A please look out for our KE representative with a KE signboard and/or your name.

On the last day of the Land Only itinerary, there will be a single group transfer back to Chania Airport. This transfer will arrive at the airport at approximately 1100.

Anyone may join the group transfers by prior arrangement. Travelling as a group or on public transport saves energy. If this is not practical, we can provide private transfers at an additional cost. Taxis are also available.

If your arrival flight does not allow you to take advantage of the timed transfers you will need to make your own way to Omalos. A taxi will cost approximately €95.

If you have spare time in Chania on Day 1 or Day 8 you may wish to spend time in Chania. It is possible to leave luggage at the central bus station (from where you can take a bus to/from the airport) while you explore.

Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

All meals except 1 lunch (on the free day in Agia Roumeli) are included in the holiday price.

Water is drinkable from the taps on this holiday. Please fill your personal bottles for your day in the morning. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

Breakfasts are taken at the overnight hotel and consist of tea and coffee, cereals, bread, jam and the Greek speciality of yoghurt and honey. For lunch, the group will carry a few items to make up a picnic. This will usually be bread, cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, ham or other dried meats, fruit and biscuits. It is generally too warm to carry chocolate, but we can make an exception on the high-level hike to Pachnes which is cooler. Dinner is again served at our overnight taverna and this is always local Cretan fare, with all produce sourced locally and usually some choice of meal. Lamb, moussaka, fresh vegetables, wonderful salads etc.. The dinners are a highlight of the trip. All meals are included.

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

We will spend 7 nights in small local hotels and tavernas. In Omalos we will sleep in simple rooms at small, family-run, accommodations where we will really experience the essence of life in rural Crete.

All accommodation is on a twin share basis. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired with another single traveller of the same sex. A very limited number of single rooms are available for a supplementary cost. If you are planning to extend your holiday, additional nights are available on request.

The group will be led by a professional and qualified tour leader.

This holiday does not involve any significant ascent to altitude and we would not expect any altitude issues with this trip.

Approximately £100 (or the equivalent in dollars or euros) should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses, drinks and souvenir purchases. We recommend that you carry your travel money in the form of euros currency, since there are not many money changing facilities once you leave Chania Airport. If you are intending to buy expensive souvenirs, you should budget accordingly. Also, if you expect to buy considerable quantities of soft drinks, wine or beer, you should make an allowance for this. Credit cards can be used in some places on this trip.

For this holiday you should take one piece of luggage and a daypack. For international flights please check your baggage allowance with your airline.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

Europe

Your passport must meet 2 requirements. It must be:

  • less than 10 years old on the day you enter (check the ‘date of issue’)

  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

For the latest details on visiting countries within the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA), please check the UK Government website

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

Vaccinations

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations.

GHIC / Medical cover

UK residents should carry a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment when you're visiting an EU country or Switzerland. This is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is vital when travelling overseas.

The currency for part or all of this holiday is the Euro.

Getting some additional exercise before coming on an active holiday makes a lot of sense. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience.

You should be aerobically fit and comfortable with walking 3 to 6 hours for consecutive days. Hill walking, with a good amount of ascent and descent, is the best training. Running, cycling and swimming are also good for developing cardiovascular fitness and stamina.

The best time of year for hiking on Crete is in May, early June, September and October - when we have planned our trips. We can expect daytime temperatures to range between 20 and 30 degrees centigrade, dropping at night to 10 degrees centigrade in the mountains and 15 degrees centigrade on the coast. We are unlikely to experience any rain, as Crete enjoys one of the most favourable climates in the Mediterranean. It really is too hot to complete this itinerary comfortably during July and August.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

  • Crete – The White Mountains – Cicerone Guide by Lorraine Wilson

  • The Rough Guide to Crete

  • Lonely Planet. Crete

  • Landscapes of Western Crete – Sunflower Guide

Topografische Bergwanderkarte - Anavasi. Samaria - Sougia. 11-13 Greece. 1:25,000

Great hiking map published by Anavasi. Covers the first part of the walk. 1:25,000 scale.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Please try to keep the weight of your baggage to a minimum. See the ‘baggage allowance’ section for further details.

You Should bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots

  • Gaiters (may be required on pre-summer trips)

  • Socks

  • Trekking trousers

  • Lightweight waterproof overtrousers

  • Underwear

  • Baselayer shirts

  • T-shirts and/or casual shirts

  • Midlayer fleece top

  • Warm fleece jacket

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Lightweight thermal gloves

  • Warm hat

  • Sunhat

  • Sunglasses

  • Daypack 25 to 30 litres capacity

  • Sun protection (including for lips)

  • Water bottles 1 Litre (x2) (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic)

  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Antibacterial handwash

  • Headtorch - in case of power cuts)

  • Basic First Aid Kit including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, insect repellent, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).

The following items are optional:

  • Trainers or sandals

  • Shorts

  • Towel (for swimming)

  • Swimwear

  • Trekking poles

  • Camera

  • Spare laces

  • Pen-knife (for picnic lunches)

  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags)

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

Reviews

4.9 out of 5 from 15 reviews

A well-organized walk to experience the best of Crete & its coasts ★★★★★

Walking in a land where the combined population of sheep and goats exceeds the Greece’s means that rocks, big and small, are every step of the way. It can be a challenge to walk the White Mountains made of rocks, and this is also the attractions are. Fine-tuned over the years, this trip was well organized and our guide, who designed the literary, loved the White Mountains so much that he adopted Greece as his home country. He put his love of Crete to guiding, and showed us the best of the Whit e Mountains, the island coastline, the local culture, and Greek/Mediterranean food. While a 1,000m ascent to Gingilos' summit on the first day of walk can be hard, doing it on a later day may still remain a challenge as novelty fades out and fatigue sets in. Besides, making the logistics work can add quite a lot to the price without sufficient benefits.
By Jin Lisle | 20 June 2023

Outstanding ★★★★★

I have only taken two KE trips - this Crete trip and Everest Base Camp - the Hard Way a few years ago but both trips were simply outstanding with excellent guides. Jean was incredibly well informed about everything and I loved his sense of humour. A joy to have such a relaxed and friendly guide.

By Wilfred Richmond | 18 May 2023

Crete ★★★★★

Well organized, authentic areas visited, good accommodation and knowledgeable guide. Jean was instrumental in making sure I had vegan options at lunches and dinners and I greatly appreciated. He has a deep knowledge of the flora and the areas we visited. It also helps that he’s a cheerful type :)

By Renee Ottawa | 18 May 2023

Excellent walking country

Excellent walking country , nice variety of routes in hills or along coastal paths , very good food especially the lunches ! Jean offered good clear advise when requested , had extensive knowledge of flora and fauna as well as the routes and conditions , was extremely friendly and approachable and took good care of all abilities in the group .

By Peter | 20 October 2022

Remember White Mountains is a Grade 6 ★★★

The White Mountains Grade 6 Trek is interesting & diverse in many aspects! It is a mixture of rugged coastline, challenging climbs, ( particularly on the first day ) & a varied standard of accommodation & cuisine! The Gingillos Climb on the first day was tough, …I would say a 6+ Climb. We had just met the previous evening & in my case the KE. Leader took a while to meet me in the Airport ( So please make sure YOU have clarity on Meeting arrangement) . We drove to our accommodat ion, & whilst the food was wholesome & hearty & the fellow group members affable, the rooms were basic & cold! The next day on Gingillos seemed to be never ending with scrambling, scree & rock climbing mostly led by the helpful & able bodied & not always on tracks…! The remaining days were interesting, the Samaria Gorge, Pachnes & the Arcadia Gorge! Fellow group members were a great help in administering first aid & checking to see that all were enjoying! We had a beautiful lunch after the Arcadia Gorge walk… ! Accommodation & food was mixed, in my opinion… A very challenging start in this Trip but interesting & enjoyable? days thereafter!
By Bernadette Miltown Malbay | 23 October 2021

Traveller Reviews
4.9 out of 5 from 16 reviews

A well-organized walk to experience the best of Crete & its coasts
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Walking in a land where the combined population of sheep and goats exceeds the Greece’s means that rocks, big and small, are every step of the way. It can be a challenge to walk the White Mountains made of rocks, and this is also the attractions are. Fine-tuned over the years, this trip was well organized and our guide, who designed the literary, loved the White Mountains so much that he adopted Greece as his home country. He put his love of Crete to guiding, and showed us the best of the Whit e Mountains, the island coastline, the local culture, and Greek/Mediterranean food. While a 1,000m ascent to Gingilos' summit on the first day of walk can be hard, doing it on a later day may still remain a challenge as novelty fades out and fatigue sets in. Besides, making the logistics work can add quite a lot to the price without sufficient benefits.
By Jin Lisle | 20 June 2023

Outstanding
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I have only taken two KE trips - this Crete trip and Everest Base Camp - the Hard Way a few years ago but both trips were simply outstanding with excellent guides. Jean was incredibly well informed about everything and I loved his sense of humour. A joy to have such a relaxed and friendly guide.

By Wilfred Richmond | 18 May 2023

Crete
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Well organized, authentic areas visited, good accommodation and knowledgeable guide. Jean was instrumental in making sure I had vegan options at lunches and dinners and I greatly appreciated. He has a deep knowledge of the flora and the areas we visited. It also helps that he’s a cheerful type :)

By Renee Ottawa | 18 May 2023

Excellent walking country

Excellent walking country , nice variety of routes in hills or along coastal paths , very good food especially the lunches ! Jean offered good clear advise when requested , had extensive knowledge of flora and fauna as well as the routes and conditions , was extremely friendly and approachable and took good care of all abilities in the group .

By Peter | 20 October 2022

Remember White Mountains is a Grade 6
★ ★ ★
The White Mountains Grade 6 Trek is interesting & diverse in many aspects! It is a mixture of rugged coastline, challenging climbs, ( particularly on the first day ) & a varied standard of accommodation & cuisine! The Gingillos Climb on the first day was tough, …I would say a 6+ Climb. We had just met the previous evening & in my case the KE. Leader took a while to meet me in the Airport ( So please make sure YOU have clarity on Meeting arrangement) . We drove to our accommodat ion, & whilst the food was wholesome & hearty & the fellow group members affable, the rooms were basic & cold! The next day on Gingillos seemed to be never ending with scrambling, scree & rock climbing mostly led by the helpful & able bodied & not always on tracks…! The remaining days were interesting, the Samaria Gorge, Pachnes & the Arcadia Gorge! Fellow group members were a great help in administering first aid & checking to see that all were enjoying! We had a beautiful lunch after the Arcadia Gorge walk… ! Accommodation & food was mixed, in my opinion… A very challenging start in this Trip but interesting & enjoyable? days thereafter!
By Bernadette Miltown Malbay | 23 October 2021

A great week in The White Mountains.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
A great weeks walking with a variety of mountains, coastal paths and gorges. The first days walk up Gingilos is the toughest days walking of the week and in my opinion a hard grade 6 walk. Jean our guide was very knowledgable about the history and nature of Crete. He also had a good sense of humour !!……. Swimming in the sea is a must and was warm, once in. The food was excellent and accommodation comfortable and we were very lucky with the weather as storms had hit the week before. A really enjoyable week and now looking to book my next K E holiday.
By Rosemary Banbury | 25 October 2021

Wonderful hiking trip with a lovely group and guide!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This was my first hiking tour with KE Adventure and I am very pleased to have chosen this trip. Alice, our guide was brilliant. - she was very knowledgable, informative, kind and funny - which helped make the trip so memorable. The hikes were varied, so the week was interesting. Though some treks were quite challenging they were worth it because of the views. I was glad that I had strong soled boots and walking poles as I needed them on the two mountain hikes as the terrain was sometimes steep a nd rough. Although we did walk through snow at the top of the mountains we certainly didn't need gaiters etc. Just a warm top and wind sheeter. The rest of the time I was comfortable walking in shorts and t-shirt. The hotels were lovely, clean and all with fantastic food. Two of the hotels were by the sea and swimming at the end of the day was fab - make sure you take swimming gear. I have visited Crete before but it was marvellous to see another side to the island, away from the tourist resorts. Most of the places we stayed were only accessible by boat or foot which made them very special. Thank you KE for a very well organised trip made even better by the good company of my fellow trekkers!
By Alison Chard | 10 August 2019

Great hiking holiday with amazing views
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This was my first KE trip and I was very pleased. The routes and itinery seemed well planned out and the difficulty grading was correct. I felt well looked after all week by Alice the guide who was superb, super helpful, experienced and hilarious. Accommodation was decent especially the final hotel right on the beach, and food was excellent three meals a day - I was never hungry! I would recommend the trip if you want a relaxed hiking holiday with no stress. If possible have Alice be your guide!

By Edward Brighton | 17 June 2019

A full week of varied walking
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

With walks in the mountains, along the coast and within gorges on the south coast we experienced a good variety of terrain in 1 week. Unfortunately the Samaria gorge was closed as a result of high water levels but the necessary late changes to itinerary and accommodation were excellently managed by Jean.

By Mark Cambridge | 13 May 2019

Fabulous trek!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

It was a cracking trip. Great food, swimming, walking, views and company.

By Michelle York | 18 October 2017

A wonderful trip in wonderful scenery with wonderful people!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

A lovely scenic and varied walking holiday, with 2 peaks, 2 gorges and some coastal walking. Our guide, Jean, was fantastic - friendly, knowledgeable, helpful and sociable. The hotels by the coast were particularly nice and the lunch restaurant in Marmara was excellent. I was also lucky enough to be hiking with a great group of people who got on very well together. All in all - a fantastic break.

By Elaine Maidenhead | 11 October 2017

Varied itinerary in glorious sunshine
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Really enjoyed this holiday in the sunshine! The walking was varied and the atmosphere relaxed. Jean was a knowledgeable guide who managed the group well in his laid back and humorous style. It was great to head to the beach for a swim at the end of each day. The food and accommodation were good. It is a great opportunity to enjoy Crete away from the tourist trail. Be aware that the underfoot conditions include a fair bit of loose rock so full boots, as recommended on the kit list, are a good id ea. Also bear in mind that a couple of the villages on the itinerary don't have shops so take along plenty of snacks if you need them. A cancelled return flight "forced" us to stay an extra day in Chania which we enjoyed and would actually have been a worthwhile extension. Definitely recommend this holiday.
By Allison Wymondham | 18 October 2016

Interesting and enjoyable walking holiday in Crete
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Booking procedures prior to holiday were good and clear. Check list of items to take relevant (do take waterproofs since it did rain and warm items for the mountains since it was cold for us on Pachnes, even though there was no snow). Hotels/rooms were good. Food tasty and enough. The odd muesli bar worth taking but often provided when needed. Walking mainly on paths but some were rough. I come from Scotland so am used to stony paths/rough descents. Day along the coast was lovely with the so und of the sea. Gorges were very impressive. Both mountain days were interesting, Gingilos was warm but Pachnes cold at the summit. Our Guide was excellent and knowledgeable on plants. The sea was too rough one day so we had a day without luggage, carrying the essentials extras for overnight. None of the group minded this (or carried much extra)! Overall a super holiday with some mixed weather (for Crete) though we never got really wet.
By Mary Glasgow | 10 May 2016

2nd time even better than the 1st!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Brilliant variety of walking and mountains and gorges and sun and Greece and .... everything. The trip experience, for me, is all the richer because of Jean's support and care. The only day which could be improved, would the be drive to Pachnes, which is simply too long, and takes too much time out of the day. Top tip for other travellers, would be extend and include a night in Chania. Delightful. I left the functioning part of my heart in Chania, this time. Life changing stuff!

By Graham Warwick | 09 May 2016

Crete was Incredible
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
It was brilliant can it get any better? This is my 5th and possibly the best one yet. The whole trip was so well planned and organised by our excellent Trek Leader Jean (John in French!) plus a top crew of fellow trekkers always the essential final ingredient in the KE cake! The whole thing so well balanced with every day so different - up a huge mountain - down a giant gorge ending in a swim in the warm blue sea - next a day off on the same beach in a tiny quiet village - then coastal walk plus best lunch ever anywhere in such a remote and perfect setting - brilliant final hotel for three nights - "private" beach, super food and service top class and so friendly - up another mountain even higher plus ride on back of goat trucks to get there - yet another gorge and another top lunch too - and boat taxi at a sensible time to meet our bus back to airport. Almost forgot wall to wall sunshine in October - beat that a KE classic - bring on next year but where to next???!!!
By Ian LEEDS | 12 October 2015

Fantastic experience!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This was an excellent trip, as it was my first KE experience I wasn't sure what to expect but the hospitality of our group leader was excellent. We were met straight from the plane in Chania, and taken to our first hotel. ALL aspects of the travel arrangements were spot on. Our bags were ALWAYS waiting for us when we were moving from one accommodation to another. ALL the food that was provided was top quality, traditional greek food, and mainly all locally sourced also. Our guide was extremely w elcoming and had plenty of local knowledge, so anything we asked him about was answered to a high standard giving us full and in depth history of the area. The hotels were fab and they all were in great locations. The weather was fantastic; hot, sunny, and dry every day. The planning of the trip was great, everything was faultless from day one to us getting on the returning plane back to England. I will DEFINIETLY be using KE Adventure again, and will most likely be returning to do the White Mountains of Crete at another time in the year so I can experience it in the spring time.
By Lauren LEEDS | 12 October 2015

DATES & PRICES

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2024

Dates

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  • Walking the White Mountains of Crete
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: CRE /01/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 4 May and ends on Sat 11 May
  • This departure is available and departs within 19 days. Secure your place today with full payment
  • Single Supplement Price: US$380 - A very limited number of single rooms are available. Early booking advised.
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  • Walking the White Mountains of Crete
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: CRE /03/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 14 Sep and ends on Sat 21 Sep
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$350
  • Single Supplement Price: US$380 - A very limited number of single rooms are available. Early booking advised.
  • Download Trip Notes

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  • Walking the White Mountains of Crete
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: CRE /04/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 28 Sep and ends on Sat 5 Oct
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$350
  • Single Supplement Price: US$380 - A very limited number of single rooms are available. Early booking advised.
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Walking the White Mountains of Crete
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: CRE /05/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 12 Oct and ends on Sat 19 Oct
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$350
  • Single Supplement Price: US$380 - A very limited number of single rooms are available. Early booking advised.
  • Download Trip Notes

2025

Dates

Adults from

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  • Walking the White Mountains of Crete
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: CRE /01/25/
  • This trip begins on Sat 3 May and ends on Sat 10 May
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$350
  • Single Supplement Price: US$380 - A very limited number of single rooms are available. Early booking advised.
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More Information

  • Walking the White Mountains of Crete
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: CRE /02/25/
  • This trip begins on Sat 17 May and ends on Sat 24 May
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$350
  • Single Supplement Price: US$380 - A very limited number of single rooms are available. Early booking advised.
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Walking the White Mountains of Crete
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: CRE /03/25/
  • This trip begins on Sat 20 Sep and ends on Sat 27 Sep
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$350
  • Single Supplement Price: US$380 - A very limited number of single rooms are available. Early booking advised.
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Walking the White Mountains of Crete
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: CRE /04/25/
  • This trip begins on Sat 4 Oct and ends on Sat 11 Oct
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$350
  • Single Supplement Price: US$380 - A very limited number of single rooms are available. Early booking advised.
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Walking the White Mountains of Crete
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: CRE /05/25/
  • This trip begins on Sat 18 Oct and ends on Sat 25 Oct
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$350
  • Single Supplement Price: US$380 - A very limited number of single rooms are available. Early booking advised.
  • Download Trip Notes

Land Only Information

The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining at the group accommodation in Omalos. A single timed transfer is provided from Chania Airport to Omalos. The holiday ends in Sfakia. A single timed transfer from the group hotel in Sfakia to Chania Airport is provided.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)


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