The E4 European Long Distance Path encompasses a large network of trails with special cultural, natural and historical value. It is marked by the European Ramblers Association and crosses the island from Kissamos to Zakros, after crossing all major Mountain Ranges in Crete (White Mountains, Kedros, Ida Range, Dikti and Thripti). Hikers have the opportunity to explore a wide range of landscapes of great diversity. Apart from the E4, there are plenty of options for majestic mapped routes.
The colors of the E4 trail signing are yellow and black
The Samaria Gorge is the longest trekking gorge in Europe and also the most famous of all. Thousands of tourists flock here daily in the summer season to walk from the top to the bottom. For many visitors, it is the sole purpose of their visit to Crete. The length of the gorge reaches 18km and takes almost 4-7 hours to hike from Omalos to Agia Roumeli, depending on trekking speed.
The route starts from Kissamos and is the first part of the European E4 trail in Crete. After crossing the villages Kato Palekastro, Korfiano and Grigoriana, we arrive at the ancient city of Polirinia and from there we cross the lush green villages Galouva, Lusakies Zahariana and, finally, Sfinari with the beautiful beach.
This part of the European trail E4 starts from Sfinari and ends at Chrisoskalitissa. It is one of the most beautiful and wooded parts of Crete with astonishing sea views. First we go through the desolated village Ano Sfinari, then Kambos, Plagia and Keramoti.
From the exotic lagoon of Lafonisi, located 4.5km south of Chrysoskalitissa, starts the coastal trail to Paleochora. Originally, it comes from the stunning Kedrodasos beach, passes from the church of St. John, the ancient sanctuary of Viena, Krios Cape, and then from the beaches to the west of Paleochora. The trail is one of the nicest parts of the European trail E4.
This amazing hike is about 16km long and takes about 5-6 hours. The trail is clear and well-marked with the typical E4 back-yellow signs. It crosses the archaeological site of Lissos, where you can find water from the local spring. It isn't too difficult but plenty of water, sun protection, and steady shoes are recommended.
The gorge of Agia Irini is on the west side of the White Mountains, with many vertical passes. It gets its name from the homonym village located near the entrance, 46 km from Chania. Its length is 7.5 km and its crossing takes three hours. The gorge ends up in the seaside village of Sougia.
The coastal trail connecting Sougia to Agia Roumeli is one of the most mountainous, tiring, but also beautiful parts of E4 European trail in Crete. The trail starts from ancient Syia (Sougia), runs through Tripiti and Domata beaches, ascends to 550m altitude and descends to Agia Roumeli.
From Agia Roumeli, at the exit of Samaria Gorge, starts the easy and very beautiful coastal part of the European E4 trail that leads to Chora Sfakion. Originally it passes from the church of Saint Paul, surrounded by pines, and continues along the rocky coast to the exit of the gorge of Aradena (Marmara beach). From there it continues to the settlements Likos and Phoenix, reaching the scenic village Loutro. From Loutro starts another path that comes to the beach Glyka Nera. After meeting the main asphalt road to Anopolis, we come by the beach Iligas and finally Chora Sfakion.
Starting from Sougia, apart from the gorge of Agia Irini, we can choose the alternative route that comes through the beautiful settlement Koustogerako. Then the trail continues and crosses the pine wood by Olisma and conludes at Seliniotikos Gyros, i.e. the southwest passage to Omalos Plateau.
Some of those who cross the gorge of Agia Irini, start their course from the plateau Omalos and reach the village of Agia Irini, before entering the canyon via the E4 trail. The trail has amazing views to the groves with the full of the typical cypress trees of the White mountains.
One of the most mystical and most demanding paths of Crete is the European trail E4 crossing of Mountain Desert of the White Mountains. Crossing the White mountains usually takes three days. The proposed route starts at the plateau of Omalos and the first night is spent at Refuge Kallergis.
This is probably the harderst part of the entire Cretan E4 path, but also one of the most amazing sceneries you could ever imagine. The signing of E4 with poles and brushed marks is quite sufficient, but we have to be careful for not losing our directions. This course has some steep passages, thus it is not suggested to cross it in winter when snow is high.
Imbros Gorge is located in the province of Sfakia and is the third most visited gorge in Crete, following Samaria Gorge and Agia Irini by Sougia. The scenery is beautiful and the low difficulty makes the descent of Imbros ideal for families with children. The length of the gorge is 11 km and the course lasts 2-3 hours.
This part of the E4 European path runs along the main paved road connecting Askyfou with Asfendou and Kallikratis villages. The road crosses the scenic and wild east part of the White Mountains and has amazing views to their core to the west. It is suggested that you visit the path with a car.
Kallikratis is a relatively small gorge in the southeast region of Lefka Ori (White Mountains) in Chania Prefecture. The gorge connects the mountainous pasture lands with the lowland villages. It is a very pleasant walk, offering great views and rare flowers, but is not very popular with tourists. The Kallikratis Gorge together with the Asfendou Gorge can be a full day’s excursion.
This section of the E4 European path is the last running on the east White Mountains and is entirely on a paved road. The road connecting Kallikratis village to Asi Gonia then heads to Argiroupolis. The views of the surrounding mountains and valleys and the lush green area of Argiroupolis Springs are the highlights of this route. As the path runs along a paved road, it is suggested that you visit it by car.
The part of the European path E4 that connects Chora Sfakion with Frangokastelo and then with Rodakino is all on paved road and can be visited even by car.
This part of the E4 path has as its main feature the ascent of Mount Kryoneritis, which has panoramic views of the northern and southern coast of Crete. The course continues north and ends at Alones village.
Kollita Gorges, i.e. Twin Ravines are located nearby the picturesque village Argyroupolis, about 22km southwest of Rethymnon city. They are named so, as they consist of two parallel canyons that end near Kato Poros settlement and is part of the E4 trail. The first canyon on the east is called Moudriano Gorge, while the west gorge is Kato Poros Gorge of Vilandredo Gorge, mostly known as the main Kollita Gorge.
The branch of the European path E4 that descends from Kryoneritis heads northwards to meet the north E4 branch coming from Argiroupolis. This part of the route offers a nice stroll in lush green ravines and the ghost village of Nissi near Moudros and Kato Poros.