Apart from the E4 path, there are dozens of great trails that are worth walking if you visit Crete. Ancient tracks and stone paths that once were the main roads of the island, today are a magnet for nature lovers.
The imposing Ida Range has the highest peak of Crete, Timios Stavros at 2546m altitude. For reaching Timios Stavros, there are many ways from both north and south sides. Since ancient times, many people ascended to the peak to leave some relics at the peak sanctuary, at the side where today we meet the chapel of Timios Stavros (Holy Cross). The chapel is built of stones, without any other material.
The wider area of Agios Ioannis at Sfakia province hosts one of the most beautiful pine forests of Crete. The most famous trail in the area is the ancient stone paved path that connects Agios Ioannis with Agia Roumeli, after reaching the beach with the church of St. Paul at position Selouda.
Climbing on Giouchtas is very easy because there is a very nicely marked and visible trail that crosses the mountain from one side to the other. Giouchtas has amazing and unobstructed views towards all directions, although it is quite low (its highest peak reaches 811m altitude). The trail that crosses the mountain starts right next to very famous archaeological site of Anemospilia and ascends to the south having panoramic views across the north side of the city of Heraklion, the Cretan Sea.
The forest village of Agios Ioannis at Sfakia province is the starting point of one of the most beautiful and best marked trails of Chania prefecture, the trail of Kormokopos. The word Kormokopos means place where trees are cut, due to the dense forest of the area.
The wild Gigilos top at an altitude of 2080m at the Mount Sapimenos dominates above Omalos plateau. From Xyloskalo (1200m altitude) we follow the steep path that from afar seems very difficult because of the flimsy grounds of the mountain, however it is generally well marked and visible.
One of the nicest and easiest paths in Asterousia Range is the one connecting the settlement of Agios Ioannis by Kapetaniana to the monastery Koudoumas. We originally start from Agios Ioannis, we pass the beach Elygia at the exit of the gorge Valachas and via a piney seaside trail we reach the majestic cave of St. Anthony, with the small temple surrounded by stalactites and stalagmites.
During the First World War, Bulgarian war captives were brought to Crete to reconstruct the path connecting Stalis to Mohos. Thus, they built a wider path with an average width of 2m, which for its time was a project of enormous importance. Of course, after the main road was built in the 20th century, the use of the trail virtually disappeared and now attracts only hikers.
The easiest way for someone to conquer the highest peak of the White Mountains and the second in Crete, Pachnes at an altitude of 2453m, is to follow the dirt track of Madara that starts from Anopolis and enters the Mountain Desert of Sfakia crossing the eerie landscape at Ammoutsera and terminating at Mavra Gremna. The ascent from Mavra Gremna to the peak Pachnes lasts about 1:30.