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Opening hours
  • Monday 9.00am - 5.30pm GMT
  • Tuesday 9.00am - 5.30pm GMT
  • Wednesday 9.00am - 5.30pm GMT
  • Thursday 9.00am - 5.30pm GMT
  • Friday 9.00am - 5.30pm GMT
  • Saturday 9.00am - 5.30pm GMT
  • Sunday Closed
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Self-Guided Walking in South-West Crete

Greece - Trip code WSCR Walking and Trekking
Carbon Footprint Leaf Icon
233Kg of CO²e
Average carbon footprint per person
Carbon Footprint
You deserve to know everything about your holiday, from what is included, what to expect and every kilogram of CO2 emitted on average per person along the way.

We've partnered with ecollective to measure the carbon footprint of this tour based on an average group size. Find out more about how we calculate this and why we think it's important here.
Days 8
Price from Call us
Flights not included

Why book this trip?

Explore south-west Crete on this self-guided walking holiday that takes in an impressive coastline, the beautiful White Mountains and the famous Samaria Gorge. Hike at your own pace and enjoy the changing scenery of natural beaches, fir forests, mountains and gorges.

  • Omalos - Beautifully situated village, surrounded by the White Mountains
  • Samaria Gorge - Hike along Europe's longest gorge
  • Loutro - Relax in this car-free village by the sea
  • Included meals

    Breakfast: 7

  • Trip staff


  • Transport


  • i


    1 nights simple guesthouse

    5 nights comfortable hotel

    1 nights simple hotel

  • i

    Walking grade:



Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Arrive to Paleochora

Accessible from both of Crete's airports, Heraklion and Chania by public transport or taxi, your first two nights' accommodation is in the small seaside town of Paleochora, on Crete's south-west coast. After checking in to your friendly hotel you may have time to take a stroll around this pleasant town, exploring its Venetian fortress and beaches.

We are able to offer private transfers from both Heraklion Airport (HER) and Chania Airport(CHQ). Please contact our self-guided team for further information.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: None

Day 2 - Walk through the Anidri Gorge, or if travelling June to September walk along the coast from Elafonissos to Paleochora

In the morning you will be taken by taxi to the village Azogires where your walk starts along the 'Monastery of the 99 Monks'-trail. You will encounter a variety of scenery today including olive groves, the quiet hill top village of Anidri with a Byzantine church and the popular school house tavern, the small gorge of Anidri, the tranquil beach of Gialiskari and a coastal stretch back into Paleochora. You may swim before going back to your hotel.

From June to September you may opt for the alternative program for today, including a relaxing ferry journey from Paleochora to the enchanting Elafonissi Lagoon, from where you walk back towards Paleochora along the coast. The ferry runs daily except Sundays from June to September. En route, you will pass beautiful, remote sandy beaches - ideal spots from which to enjoy a refreshing dip. The walk ends at Kryos Beach, where a taxi will pick you up for the transfer back to your hotel.

If the ferry is not running, a taxi will take you to Azogires from where you will walk down to Paleochora.

You can expect both of today's 10 kilometre walks to take approximately three to four hours.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 3 - Walk to Sougia via the ancient port of Lissos

Today's walk starts from your hotel, following a dirt track into an undisturbed natural wilderness, before continuing along a stunning coastal path overlooking the sea. You will pass ancient Lissos - an important harbour for the Dorian city of Elyros, which boasted a population of 30,000 at it's peak. In ancient times, people came to Lissos to be cured by the local waters. You can enjoy a picnic lunch on this historic spot and swim in the curative waters before continuing your journey east. The final part of the trek takes you along a spectacular and narrow gorge to the small and laidback seaside resort of Sougia. Here, your night's accommodation is positioned just 200 metres from the beach.

You can expect today's 15 kilometre walk to take approximately five hours.


Grade: Simple Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 4 - Trek through spectacular gorges to the Omalos Plateau

Today, you traverse two impressive gorges, from sea level up to 1000 metres. The first part of your walk takes you through the impressive Irini Gorge along a well-made path. The ascent is demanding but not too steep. You then head into the steeper Figou Gorge, from which stunning views can be enjoyed in the higher sections. The walk ends at a chapel, 'Agios Theodoros', where the hotel minibus will pick you up. Tonight's accommodation is on the Omalos Plateau, surrounded by the spectacular summits of the White Mountains.

Depending on the route you take today's walk will be between 12 and 21 kilometres, and take approximately six to eight hours.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 5 - Trek through the famous Samaria Gorge

Today's walk takes you through Europe's longest and most famous gorge - the Samaria Gorge. You can either start very early or later in the day, avoiding the crowds of people who walk the gorge as a day trip. During quieter hours, you'll enjoy the true beauty of this spectacular gorge all the more. You will be transfered to Xyloskala, the entrance of the gorge, and the start of your walk. Please note that the Samaria Gorge is usually closed until the end of April - Opening depends on the amount of rain the area is receiving. At any time of year if there is heavy rain the Gorge can also be closed. In this event arrangements will be made for you to travel to Sougia and take the ferry from Sougia to Agia Roumeli. From there, there is a optional walk to the 'Kastro' (approximately 10km).

Tonight's accommodation in the seaside village of Agia Roumeli is positioned at the very end of the gorge, which leaves you as much time as you need for the walk. No organised trips to the gorge include an overnight stay here, so it remains peaceful in the evenings. Your modern style accommodation is just 200 metres from the beach. Upon arrival, you may choose to have a relaxing swim in the crystal-clear Libyan Sea, before enjoying dinner at one of the local taverns.

You can expect today's 16 kilometre walk to take approximately five to six hours.


Grade: Simple Guesthouse

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 6 - Walk to beautiful, car-free Loutro via Marmara

Today's splendid coastal walk offers lots of variety. After walking along the beach to the Byzantine church of Agios Pavlos, you then take a higher elevation through fir forest, before continuing on to the beach at Marmara. You may choose to relax at the tavern here, enjoying the views of the mountains and the sea, before your final hour's walk along the coast to the car-free village of Loutro. Widely regarded as one of the most romantic villages on Crete, it is only accessible by boat and on foot and will be your base for the last two nights of your holiday. Your pension accommodation here overlooks the surrounding white-washed houses, mountains and sea.

You can expect today's 15 kilometre walk to take approximately five to six hours.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 7 - Enjoy a circular trek through the Aradhena Gorge

Today's circular route starts with a steep zig-zag path up to the village of Anopolis. From here, you walk further on to ancient Aradhena, situated at the edge of the impressive Aradhena Gorge. You then follow a spectacular path down into the Aradhena Gorge and all the way to the coast. The last leg of your walk takes you along the coast back to Loutro.

As an alternative, it is possible to do a shorter version of this walk, via the tiny village of Livaniana, before descending into the Aradhena Gorge.

If you are leaving Crete tomorrow depending on your flight departure time, you may need to travel back to Chora Sfakion by ferry today, for your return to Chania or Heraklion Airport.

You can expect today's 16 or 9 kilometre walk to take approximately seven or four hours, respectively.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 8 - Trip ends in Loutro

After breakfast, the organised part of your holiday comes to an end.

After returning to Chora Sfakion by ferry, you have the choice between returning to Chania Airport (CHQ) or Heraklion Airport (HER) by public transport. Please contact our self-guided team if you would like to pre-book a private transfer.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Trip information

Climate and country information



Greece has such a vast geographical difference between the mainland and the islands, and travel is possible at all times of year but the climate can vary depending on when you go. During late spring or early autumn, in the months of April-May or September-October, temperatures are warm and pleasant, usually hovering around 25 degrees. Rainfall is low, but can be erratic during these months. Cooler evenings take the heat off the day. If you have booked a walking holiday, wild flowers bloom during the spring, adding colour to the hiking trails. Summers are hot and dry, with plenty of sunshine and little rain. Temperatures can go north of 35 degrees in July and August. On the islands, restaurants and bars may be busy with cruise ship passengers. While this period definitely gives you a ‘summer holiday’ feeling, those wishing to explore Greece’s ancient sites may find the heat challenging. When travelling in winter, from late November to early March, the villages will be very quiet. Temperatures in Athens at this time are around 10-15 degrees, while the nights will be colder. Hotels in northern Greece in particular are well adapted to deal with cold winters, having proper heating and warm fires to retreat to after a day of exploring. This makes it a good destination for travel between November-March.

Time difference to GMT



2 Pin Round





Budgeting and packing


Light clothes suitable for walking in warm weather are recommended. However early and late in the season (May/Juneeptember/ October) also bring warm clothing in case of drops in temperature or the odd shower. In high places like Omalos nights can be cold, so a fleece jacket is a good thing to have at any time of year.


Well worn, sturdy walking boots with good ankle support are essential for the walks. Sandals and trainers are recommended for relaxing in the evenings.

Luggage: On tour

Bring one main piece of baggage as per your airline luggage allowance, maximum 20 kg per person. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage during transfers by public transport so don't overload yourself. Luggage transfers between hotels are normally arranged by the hoteliers. Mark your bags clearly and leave them at the place and time arranged with them. Luggage transfers may be done using ferries rather than vehicles, but again the hoteliers will manage this. (If the ferry between Sougia and Agia Roumeli is not running but the Samaria Gorge is open then it may be necessary to carry one nights essentials with you). When travelling on public transport or on a ferry you should always take your luggage with you.

Luggage transfer

Included between hotels.


Bring a personal water bottle (at least 2 litre capacity) and sun protection for use during the walks. You may find a trekking pole useful over the downhill sections. You may also wish to take a swimming costume and towel.

Please note: 2 x 1:25,000 maps are provided on arrival in your welcome pack. These cover Samaria-Sougia-Paleochora and Lefka Ori-Sfakia / Pachnes.


Local fees
Entrance fee for the Samaria Gorge €5.
Entrance fee for Irini Gorge €2.
The ferry from Loutro to Chora Skafion at the end of your trip is not included. This takes 20 minutes and is currently €5. For further information please see www.anendyk.gr. Private taxi boats may also be available.


Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.

Dinner price
£12.00 - 16.00
Beer price
Water price
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Recommended Currency For Exchange
GBP Sterling or US Dollars, cash.
Where To Exchange
We recommend that you change any currency into Euros prior to arrival. Bureau de Change are generally only found in major cities and large airports
ATM Availability
Cash can be drawn from ATMs from all types of cards in most areas in Greece, including the islands.
Credit Card Acceptance
In major restaurants.
Travellers Cheques
Banking hours may make exchanging Travellers Cheques more difficult.
Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information


Recommended airport

Chania Airport (CHQ) or Heraklion Airport (HER)

Flying to your destination

We'd recomend flying into and out of Chania Airport (CHQ) which is served by budget (including Easyjet and Ryanair), charter (including Thomson Airlines) and scheduled airlines (including Aegean non-direct via Athens) from several UK airports. It is also possible to fly into Heraklion Airport (HER) with similar airlines, although the journey to Paleochora at the beginning of your holiday is longer.

Arrival and departure information

At the start of your trip you can fly into Chania Airport (CHQ) or Heraklion Airport (HER). It is also possible to take a night ferry from Piraeus and arrive to Chania at approximately 6.00.

By public transport from Chania:
There are public buses from Chania airport to Vamos Paleochora via Chania bus station. The last bus from Chania bus station is currently at 16.00. Duration from Chania to Vamos Paleochora is 1.5hrs

By public transport from Heraklion:
There are public buses from Heraklion airport to Vamos Paleochora via Heraklion and Chania bus stations. Total duration appoximately 4.5 hrs. If you arrive after midday an extra night in Chania or Heraklion will be necessary.

On departure take a ferry from Loutro to Chora Sfakion (20 minutes). From here there are public buses to Chania and Heraklion. It is also possible to book a private taxi to the airports from Chora Sfakion. If you have an early flight an extra night in Chania or Heraklion will be necessary. Alternatively it is possible to return to Piraeus by ferry from Chania.

Essential Information

Government Travel Safety Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.

Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

Greece: Visas are not required by UK, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.

From 1st July 2020, All visitors are required to provide a completed 'Passenger Locator Form (PLF)' which must be submitted at least 24 hours before departure at:

You will also receive a QR code (up to 24 hours before you travel, regardless of how early you fill in your form). When you receive your code, make sure you either print it, or can show it on your mobile phone as you will need to show this at check in and on arrival in Greece.

All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related questions with the relevant Embassy prior to departure.

If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Minimum age restrictions

For our group tours, the minimum age is 16. The minimum age on Family trips varies between 7 and 11 - please check the 'Family information' section of the trip page for more information. 


Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.

Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.

The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  

For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here


It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.

Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.


Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Maximum altitude (m)




Nothing compulsory but we recommend protection against tetanus and polio. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Walking and Trekking information
Walking grade
Trek details
On this journey you walk for 5 to 7 hours on 6 days, mainly on unsurfaced tracks, footpaths and mountain trails. The distance covered is a minimum of 92 kms (an average of 15 km per day).
Max walking altitude (m)
Additional Information

Dates, prices and booking

📢 Prices may change - book now and today's trip price is guaranteed in our price promise
Thu 26 May 2022 - Wed 29 Jun 2022 Your trip can depart anytime between the above dates. A solo traveller supplement applies, contact us for prices.
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Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
Thu 30 Jun 2022 - Fri 30 Sep 2022 Your trip can depart anytime between the above dates. A solo traveller supplement applies, contact us for prices.
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Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
Sat 1 Oct 2022 - Tue 25 Oct 2022 Your trip can depart anytime between the above dates. A solo traveller supplement applies, contact us for prices.
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was +€0 Save

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee


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Price Guarantee Promise
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Airport Transfers
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