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2
introductory to moderate
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 7 nights hotels
Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts

8 Days£780GBP

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


Itinerary

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. Walk 2.5km, +150m, -150m - 1 hour

Meals:  Nil

After breakfast you will be transferred to Perissa beach where you begin your first hike. A steep ascent takes you to the dramatic clifftop ruins of Ancient Thira. After visiting the site, you continue over small summits for panoramic views of the whole island before reaching the 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. 5.2km walk, +500m, -230m - 3hrs

Meals:  B

This morning you will be transferred 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 you will pause for a refreshment before taking the minibus back to Akrotiri. Walk 10.6km, +275m, -365m - 4 hrs

Meals:  B

Today is free to relax at the pool, explore the caldera at your leisure, or shop in Fira - the choice is yours. In the late afternoon you take the high speed ferry to Heraklion (1hr 25 mins). Overnight in Crete's largest city Herakion, in a 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. Later you take a public bus to Chania (2.5hrs, 140km). The historic old town, 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 monors co-exist with Turkish styled houses in the narrow lanes. You will take a walk around the old town to soak up the atmosphere around the charming Venetian harbour or the traditional market.

Meals:  B

This morning you take a public bus 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. Walk 16.3km, +50m, -1200m - 6hrs

Meals:  B

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

Meals:  B

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

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts - breakfasts are usually Greek style inclusive of breads, tomato, olives, feta cheese, yoghurt, tea, coffee & juices
  • 6 nights incomfortable 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.
  • Luggage transfers on days 6 and 7
  • Arrival transfer from airport to Akrotiri
  • Internal transfers on Santorini: Akrotiri to Perissa, Pyrgos to Akrotiri, Akrotiri to Fira and Oia to Akrotiri as part of walk itinerary
  • Transfer Akrotiri to port on day 4
  • Catamaran/high speed ferry from Santorini to Heraklion
  • Transfer Chora Sfakion to Chania Airport on day 8
  • Detailed road book and maps
  • Emergency hotline

  • Travel to Santorini / from Chania Airport
  • Lunches, dinners and drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Entrance fees for museums and other sights of interest
  • Hotel taxes (to be paid locally)
  • Transfers in Crete on public buses

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
DN1
Mid season is 13 Jun to 17 Jul and 31 Aug to 9 Oct. High season is from 18 Jul to 30 Aug . A supplement applies for mid and high season departures.
DN2
Samaria Gorge open from 1 May to 15 Oct (subject to weather).
DN3
Room upgrades are possible in Akrotiri and Heraklion - twinshare only - prices on request. Refer trip notes for further details.

Total Priceper person from

£780GBP

Options & Supplements*
  • Single Supplement - low & mid seasonGBP£240
  • Single Supplement - high seasonGBP£290
  • Single Traveller Surcharge- low & mid seasonGBP£340
  • Single Traveller Surcharge- high seasonGBP£380
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


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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.

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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.