Exploring Crete’s walking and hiking trails is one of the most rewarding ways of seeing the island’s outstanding natural beauty. With thousands of kilometres of tracks, walking options are available to suit all levels of fitness and experience. Walk one of our recommended day walks for a few hours or a day or plan a multi-day hike through protected parks, native forests and stunning coastal regions.
Crete's Great Walks showcase some of our most well-known locations and diverse landscapes which attract hikers from all over the globe wanting to experience the dramatic vistas of mountain sceneries, eerie landscapes and towering alpine peaks. Short hikes or day walks are everywhere and easily fit into travel itineraries.
Walk any trail independently by downloading our files for your GPS device or simply book walking holidays with us to see Crete at its best - by foot!
1. Samaria Gorge
Walk down the most famous trekking gorge in Europe in the National Reserve of Lefka Ori and undestand why thousands of tourists flock in Crete solely for descending Samaria. The length of the gorge reaches 18km and takes almost 4-7 hours to hike from the plateau Omalos to the beach of Agia Roumeli, depending on your trekking speed. From Agia Roumeli, you will need to get the ferry to the nearest harbour, as there are no roads.
2. Ascent to the peak of Crete
Conquer the imposing Ida Range and its highest peak, Timios Stavros, at 2546m altitude. 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). For reaching Timios Stavros, there are many ways from both north and south sides, with the trail of Migeros taking the shortest time (2-3 hours).
3. Sfakia coastline
Explore one of the most magnificent, but also demanding parts of the E4 European Trail in Crete, with amazing sceneries alternating before your eyes. Start your journey from Sougia towards the beach of Domata and spend your first night in Agia Roumeli, at the exit of Samaria Gorge. On the next day walk along the piney coastline to Agios Pavlos, pass the exit of Aradena Gorge and spend your second night at Loutro. On the next day, end your trip at Chora Sfakion, after enjoying your swim on the beach of Glika Nera.
4. Richtis Gorge
Explore a small green oasis in the dry eastern part of Crete and have a cooling bath below the 20m high fall of Richtis. Start your course from the picturesque village of Exo Mouliana, pass Lahanas arched bridge and enter the lush green jungle of Richtis gorge. During your walk, you will meet many ruined water mills that were used in the past for grinding grain.
5. Elafonissi - Sougia
Enjoy some of the most exciting seascapes in Crete covering almost all blue hues of the color palette. Start your trip from the emerald lagoon of Elafonissi and walk eastwards, across the juniper grove on beach Kedrodasos, pass the cape of Krios and stay overnight in the scenic town of Paleohora. On the second day, walk along the coastline road to Gialiskari beach and then get the trail to Lissos ancient town and end your trip at Sougia.
6. Rouvas Wood
Explore the most important ecosystem of central Crete by reaching the core of Rouvas oak forest. Start your hike from Zaros Lake and walk up the amazing gorge of Gafaris and reach the lush green wood of Agios Ioannis. Walk back to Zaros and enjoy your meal on the small lake.
7. Crossing the Mountain Desert
One of the most mystical and most demanding paths of Crete is the part of the European trail E4 crossing the Mountain Desert of the White Mountains. Crossing the White mountains usually takes 4 days by spending 3 nights at the mountain shelters of Kallergis, Katsiveli and Tavri. The route will fill your memory with amazing pictures from an unprecedented scenery. The mountains in winter are covered by snow, so summer and autumn are considered as the best seasons to try this.
8. The gorge of the Dead
It is an exceptionally beautiful gorge in East Crete, with high walls with big caves on them. In those caves, tombs of the Minoan era, have been found, which contained findings of great archaeological value. Because of these tombs, the gorge is also called Gorge of the Dead. The gorge ends on the serene beach of Zakros, where the Minoans built a glorious palace 3500 years ago.
9. The trail of Dikti
This part of the E4 trail offers some excellent mountaineering experience with amazing scenery changes. The highlights of the route include the views to Lassithi Plateau and Selakano slopes. The route takes about 6 hours, so you could split it in two and stay overnight in Strovili shelter.
10. Gigilos Peak
The wild Gigilos top at an altitude of 2080m at the Mount Sapimenos dominates above Omalos plateau. From Xyloskalo (1200m altitude) 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. This mountain will offer you really great moments.
11. The trail to Koudoumas
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. Originally start from Agios Ioannis, pass the beach Elygia at the exit of the gorge Valachas and via a piney seaside trail pay a visit to the majestic cave of St. Anthony, with the small temple surrounded by stalactites and stalagmites. Then keep walking to the east, till Koudoumas monastery.
12. Imbros Gorge
Imbros Gorge is located in province Sfakia and is the third most visited gorge in Crete, following Samaria Gorge and Agia Irini by Sougia, all belonging to the E4 European hiking path. The scenery is beautiful and the low difficulty make the descent of Imbros ideal for families with children. The length of the gorge is 11 km and the course lasts 2-3 hours.
13. The sacred trail of Jiouktas
Giouchtas mountain, above village Archanes, since antiquity is a sacred place for the entire island of Crete. The human-head-like shape of it as we look from Heraklion, according to mythology is the head of god Zeus who is buried there. This sacred mountain hosted three caves- sanctuaries and a very important peak sanctuary. With the advent of Christianity the place hosted monasteries and churches.
14. Agia Irini Gorge
The gorge is part of the European path E4. It’s south entrance is located 5 kilometers north from Sougia. It is part of the NATURA 2000 program and has also been designated as a wildlife sanctuary by the Ministry of Agriculture. The gorge hosts the endangered Cretan wild goat, kri kri, and is characterized by a variety of microenvironments that habitat for many species of wildlife.
15. Aradena Gorge
The deepest gorge in Chania is the gorge of Aradaina. The 138 meter deep gorge is ideal not only for sightseeing or hiking but for bunjee jumping as well. The trekking inside the canyon till the exit on the majestic Marmara beach is an unforgettable experience for those who attempt the descent of the canyon.