2
introductory to moderate

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 7 nights hotels
Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts

8 Days£885GBP

Overview

Trip Code: SCW

Trip highlights


  • Experiencing the breathtaking coastal scenery of the south west coast of Crete and the volcanic island of Santorini
  • Walking the Samaria gorge and to the highest point of Santorini at Pyrgos
  • History, culture, incredible landscapes and wildlife
  • Wandering through the narrow streets of historic Chania and the delightful laneways of Fira
  • Stay in atmospheric handpicked hotels

The Aegean islands of Santorini and Crete provide the perfect combination for travellers looking for a packed week of stunning walks along the most magical of the Greek Islands' coastlines steeped in fascinating Greek history and mythology. By exploring these two Mediterranean gems on foot, you'll allow yourself extra time to absorb the stunning ocean vistas encountered each day as well as soak in the legends and many stories of the places you visit. On Santorini, walk via Ancient Thira, where you'll encounter ruins of temples, houses and other community buildings from the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine period, as you make your way to the highest point on the island at Pyrgos. You'll also enjoy a spectacular walk to the postcard-famous village of Oia and enjoy a free day on the island before taking a ferry to Crete. Explore the Cretan capital, Heraklion, before heading west to discover relatively unspoiled parts of Crete at Loutro, the Samaria Gorge National Park and the remote fishing village of Hora Sfakion, where the swimming, walking and seafood will fill your days with the Greek Islands' magic you've always dreamed about

Countries:

Greece

Starting Point:

Santorini

Finishing Point:

Chania airport


On arrival at Santorini Airport there will be a transfer to your hotel in Akrotiri, a 20 minute drive, where you spend the first three nights of your trip. The remainder of the day is free to explore the small town, relax in the hotel swimming pool and take in the views on either side - the caldera and out to sea. Optional short walk around Akrotiri via Apothikes (caldera). Walk 2.5km, +150m, -150m, 1hr

Meals:  Nil

After breakfast you will transfer to Perissa beach to begin your first hike. A steep ascent takes you to the dramatic clifftop ruins of Ancient Thira. After visiting the site, continue over small summits for panoramic views of the whole island before reaching the historic village of Pyrgos, set at the highest point of the island. After strolling through the narrow streets, you return to the hotel in Akrotiri. Walk 5.2km, +500m, -230m, 3hrs

Meals:  B

This morning you will transfer to the capital of Santorini, Fira. Located on the west coast of the island on the caldera cliffs opposite the volcano, the town is busy with bars, restaurants, shops and accommodations. There are also interesting museums and a lively nightlife which is possible to access from your hotel (20 minutes by taxi). You explore Fira on foot before setting out on your hike around the caldera rim. This is one of the most scenic hikes in the Greek Islands, with panoramic views of small whitewashed villages built into the edge of the caldera and the endless sea on either side. On reaching Oia, pause for a refreshment and the views before transferring back to Akrotiri. Walk 10.6km, +275m, -365m, 4hrs

Meals:  B

Today is free to relax at the pool, explore the Akrotiri surrounds at your leisure, or shop in Fira - the choice is yours. In the late afternoon you take the high speed ferry (approx 1.5hrs) to Heraklion, Crete's largest city. On arrival, it's a short walk to your hotel near the port.

Meals:  B

You can take an optional walk in the old city this morning to take in the sights of Heraklion and its museums, the Venetian fortress and Byzantine churches, together with its busy harbour and bustling heart. If you'd like to spend time exploring the Knossos archaeological site (palace and museum), you can request an extra night (at time of booking) in Heraklion. Later you take a public bus to Chania (2.5hrs, 140km) - they leave every hour on the half hour. The historic old town of Chania, once occupied by the Venetians and the Turks, is set on and around the hill of Kastelli, overlooking the sea. Throughout the walled town there are numerous vestiges of past civilisations including many Byzantine churches. Elaborately decorated Venetian manors co-exist with Turkish styled houses in the narrow lanes. On arrival take a walk around the old town to soak up the atmosphere around the charming Venetian harbour or the traditional market.

Meals:  B

Early this morning you take a public bus (eg 7am) to Omalos and to Xiloskala at the entrance of Samaria Gorge. Samaria is the longest gorge in Europe and one of the most beautiful. You walk on a good path through a shady pine forest and beside a flowing stream. You reach the village of Agia Roumeli, where you can relax and enjoy a swim before taking the boat to the small port of Loutro, with its blue and white houses (note the last boat departure is at 5.30pm - not included, allow EUR8.50pp. The boat trip takes about 20minutes). Walk 16.3km, +50m, -1200m, 6hrs The Samaria Gorge is open from 1 May-31 Oct. In case the Samaria Gorge is closed due to bad weather, extreme heat etc. you travel by public bus from Chania to Chora Sfakion and from there you take the ferry or a taxi boat to Loutro. Here you have a choice of walks, a longer or a shorter version, both of which visit the amazing Aradena Gorge.

Meals:  B

This morning is at leisure to relax, swim and explore at your own pace. In the afternoon, walk the coastal path to Chora Sfakion along the path that crosses Sweet Water beach (there are many fresh water springs coming out at the pebble beach). Overnight in Chora Sfakion. Walk 6.6km, +180m, -240m, 3hrs

Meals:  B

After breakfast, transfer to Chania airport, where the trip concludes.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts - breakfasts are usually Greek style inclusive of breads, tomato, olives, feta cheese, yoghurt, tea, coffee & juices
  • 6 nights in comfortable hotels and 1 night in a pension on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities (hotel taxes not included). It is possible to upgrade room types in Akrotiri and Herkalion for an additional cost - twinshare only - price on request.
  • Digital information pack including navigational app with route notes, maps & GPX
  • Arrival transfer from airport to Akrotiri on day 1
  • Internal transfers on Santorini: Akrotiri to Perissa & Pyrgos to Akrotiri on day 2, Akrotiri to Fira and Oia to Akrotiri on day 3 as part of walk itinerary
  • Transfer Akrotiri to port on day 4 with luggage
  • Catamaran/high speed ferry from Santorini to Heraklion on day 4 with luggage
  • Luggage transfers on days 6 and 7 between Chora Sfakion and Loutro (on the ferry)
  • Transfer Chora Sfakion to Chania Airport on day 8 with luggage
  • Emergency hotline

  • Travel to Santorini / from Chania Airport
  • Lunches, dinners and drinks
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Guide - this is a self guided walking holiday
  • A supplement will apply if you are travelling solo or book a single room
  • Entrance fees for museums and other sights of interest
  • Transfers by taxi or public transport if you need to skip a stage
  • Transfers in Crete on public buses with luggage: Heraklion-Chania day 5 (approx eur13), Chania-Chora Sfakion day 6 (approx eur6.90)
  • Entrance ticket to Samaria Gorge - eur5
  • re day 6 luggage transfer: payable locally, allow eur3-7 per piece. Note your luggage is transferred to Chora Sfakion on a different bus to you and delivered to the ferry in Loutro. Ensure it is lockable.
  • Boat trip Agia Roumeli to Loutro - allow eur10 pp one way
  • Hotel (and environment) taxes (to be paid locally)
  • Items of a personal nature

Suitability

introductory to moderate

2

INTRODUCTORY TO MODERATE - GRADE 2 The walking is graded introductory to moderate with 2.5 to 6 hours walking each day over hilly to steep terrain. There are numerous ups and downs in any hike in Crete and Santorini so your preparation should include climbing and descending steps. Some coastal sections are along cliffs. If you very afraid of heights or suffer from acrophobia, this may be challenging. A reasonable level of fitness is required. As with all of our trips it is important that you are well prepared. We suggest that you undertake regular exercise – swimming, cycling, stair walking and jogging, two to three times a week for three months prior to your departure.


Departure dates

Daily from 1 Apr to 25 Oct

Notes

M
Mid Season
H
High Season
Note:
Mid season 29 May - 17 Jul and 1 Sep - 8 Oct. High season 18 Jul - 31 Aug, supplement applies
Note:
Samaria Gorge open from 1 May to 15 Oct (subject to weather).
Note:
Room upgrades are possible in Akrotiri and Heraklion - twinshare only - prices on request. Refer trip notes for further details.

Priceper person from

£885GBP

Options & Supplements*
  • Single Supplement - low seasonGBP£250
  • Single Supplement - mid seasonGBP£290
  • Single Supplement - high seasonGBP£350
  • Solo traveller supplement- low seasonGBP£410
  • Solo traveller supplement- mid seasonGBP£450
  • Solo traveller supplement - high seasonGBP£510
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Personal Experience

We've been walking and cycling the planet for over four decades and are passionate about delivering exceptional service. Combined, we’ve travelled to virtually every corner of Europe, and are eager to share the many benefits of travelling on foot or by bike.

Great Value & Quality

Our well priced trips offer great value for money. Included in your package are comprehensive route notes, maps & guide books along with bag transfers and locally run accommodation. We take the stress out of organising your holiday.

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We have been operating active self guided holidays since 1973. We handle all the necessary logistics so that you can relax and explore your destination at your own pace. Many of our tours depart daily, giving you even greater flexibility.