The best way to explore Crete is to walk off the beaten track, beyond the places reached by car, follow ancient paths, explore the magnificent scents of herbs in the canyons, climb on the tops of the highest mountains and enjoy the view to the deep blue Cretan and South Cretan Sea on the horizon.
A large part of trails runs through areas that have been declared protected. The most famous of these is the National Reserve of the White Mountains (Lefka Ori), one of the seven reserves of Greece, which is home to Samaria Gorge. Other protected areas of outstanding natural beauty, such as areas labeled as Natura 2000, are the entire ranges of Dikti, Ida (Psiloritis), Kedros, Asterousia, Youchtas and Thripti, the peninsulas Gramvousa, Rodopos and Sidero, all the islands that surround the island and special sites like Lafonissi, Georgioupolis, Cape Lithino, the rocky coastline west of Rethymnon, etc.
Moreover, lovers of geo-tourism can discover new places, especially after the declaration of Psiloritis Range and Sitia mountains as designated Geoparks. Such projects aim at promoting such places and providing information about them.
Many travel agencies offer packages and expert guides for trekking on the island and there are many hiking and mountaineering clubs. Important mountain races are also organized, such as Psiloritis Race and the Marathon of Samaria.