SOUGIA – PALAIOXORA ELAFONISI (7 days)

A unique beauty! A 7-day walking tour through lots of magnificent landscapes that can be only found in Crete. We start from the plateau of Omalos which is located at the beginning of the WHITE MOUNTAINS mountain range and we descend the stunning AGIA IRINI gorge until we meet the graphic coastal village of SOUGIA. We continue our journey passing through the site of ANCIENT LISSOS and the fantastic coastal path to PALEOCHORA. The last part of the trip continues just next to the sea where the savage Cretan landscape mixes with the endless blue of the sea. We finish this exciting first part of the tour by reaching the famous ELAFONISI PINK BEACH. After a one day rest while visiting CHANIA, we head to RETHYMNO where we have the chance to visit the SHEPHERD’S SHELTER and we get to know all about the local agriculture traditions as well as observe the stunning local flora. The next day we walk from the historical monastery of ARKADI to the beautiful valleys of ANCIENT ELEFTHERNA and to the picturesque village of MARGARITES, known for its many traditional pottery workshops

part of:

day 1

AGIA IRINI GORGE

AGIA IRINI GORGE is 7,5 km long and it’s located at the western side of the White Mountains. It’s a very beautiful and historical gorge. It belongs to the NATURA 2000 European protection net because of its wealthy flora. Its a refuge for the endangered CAPRA AEGAGRUS species most known as KRI-KRI. It is also known, alongside with the Byzantine churches that exist in it, for its historic value as lots of rebels hid there during the Greek revolution at the 19th century. There is fresh water that runs down all the way through the gorge so you don’t have to carry a heavy backpack.

  • 7.5 Km
    walking
    distance
  • 3-4 h
    walking
    duration
  • Easy Km
    walking
    level

  • pickup
    time

  • return
    time
day 2

SOUGIA – ANCIENT LISSOS – PALEOCHORA

From the beautiful coastal village of SOUGIA we enter the LISSOS gorge that leads us at a small plateau and eventually to ANCIENT LISSOS archaeological site, where we can admire the mosaic floors of the temple of ASCLEPIUS and drink fresh water from the natural water well. We continue our walk through an ascending path and after reaching the highest point we start to see PALEOCHORA. The path continues with a breathtaking view to the sea and a walk near various beaches until we end at GIALISKARI beach next to PALEOCHORA.

  • 9.5 Km
    walking
    distance
  • 6 h
    walking
    duration
  • Easy Km
    walking
    level

  • pickup
    time

  • return
    time
day 3

PALEOCHORA – ELAFONISI

We start our walk from the beautiful KRIOS beach and after a short amount of time we also pass by the VIENA beach. Following the ascending road we reach the chapel of Agios Ioannis, a place with a nice view to KEDRODASOS and ELAFONISSI. After about 1 hour and 30 minutes of walking through the stunning landscape of the ELAFONISSI area, we arrive to KEDRODASOS the famous JUNIPERS FOREST with its white sand beach. The last rocky coastal path leads us to ELAFONISSI, a NATURA 2000 protected area with its unique PINK BEACH and its crystal clear waters, ideal for a refreshing swim after our walk!

  • 10 Km
    walking
    distance
  • 5 h
    walking
    duration
  • Easy / Moderate Km
    walking
    level

  • pickup
    time

  • return
    time
day 4

RESTING DAY – VISIT CITY OF CHANIA

day 5

GOURNOLAKOS – SHEPHERD’S SHELTER

We arrive at the mountain range of Psiloritis where we find the Timios Stavros summit, Crete’s highest point (2456m). This place consists a Unesco Global Geopark. From Gournolakkos we begin our walk during which we encounter the most unique landscape of Cretan wild beauty, with its magnificent view and variety of local flora, such as Oak trees and Maple bushes. After 4 to 5 hours we arrive at the Shepherd’s Shelter where Father Andreas Kokkinos is waiting to show us how to milk sheep and make delicious cheese from their milk. This extraordinary tour ends with its greatest highlight: we enjoy a rich meal with local traditional products!

day 6

ARKADI – ANCIENT ELEFTHERNA – MARGARITES

Our starting point is the historical monastery of Arkadi, from here we walk over some plains and hills that offer us wide views and a glimpse of the sea. After that we arrive in the village Eleftherna, which we will actually cross. From there the trail takes us along various excavation sites that all belonged to the ancient city of Eleftherna. Many findings from here can be admired in the brandnew museum that is nearby. The final part of the route takes us over some ridges and through some green gullies and even through some ruins and abandoned villages. This last stretch, which is considered the best part, takes us into the village Margarites. Here you can enjoy many pottery shops, a refreshment and a stroll through small Venetian streets.

  • 12 Km
    walking
    distance
  • 4-5 h
    walking
    duration
  • Easy?Moderate Km
    walking
    level

  • pickup
    time

  • return
    time
day 7

VISIT CITY OF RETHYMNO