1, Friday. Day 1, Friday. Our tour starts at our
hotel in late afternoon in the historical city of Iraklion,
located in central Crete. After a short tour
briefing, the group will walk to a traditional taverna for
dinner and our
first experience with Greek cuisine.
Day 2, Saturday.
We wakeup early in the morning for our bus which will take
us up to the Nida plateau, 4600 ft high on Mountain Ida, the
mountain and a symbol of Crete.
We will start walking from Nida Plateau to the south through
one of the last wooded areas on Mt Ida. Our final
destination is the Rouvas gorge and the Zaros Lake. It is
a 6-7 hour
pleasant walk and we will have to carry a light lunch with
Day 3. Sunday.
We will take a guided tour to the Minoan Palace of Knossos and
the archaeological Museum of Iraklion. Here we will admire the
finest samples of the first high-level civilization in Europe.
Elena, our archaeological guide will explain every detail about
this sophisticated and nature-loving civilization and its long
history. As soon as this archaeological tour is over we will
leave for the Myloi (watermills) Gorge where the abandoned village
of Myloi is located. Here we walk for
approximately 2.5 hours. Lunch will be along the way. After
the walk we will continue by bus to Omalos Plateau located high
in the White Mountains of western Crete.
Day 4, Monday.
(No luggage). Early in the morning we enter the spectacular
Samaria Gorge. The Samaria gorge is the longest gorge in Europe
(16 Km, about 10 miles). We will descend from 4000 feet down
to sea level on a paved path. Toilets, water and rest points
are approximately every hour. Good shoes and strong legs are
required. We will arrive at the base of the Gorge, in the village
of Agia Roumeli, after approximately 6-7 hours where we will
Agia Roumeli (ancient Tara) is on the Libyan sea, on the southern
coast of Coast of Crete. We will be in this village, that can
only be reached by foot or boat for one night with dinner at
a local taverna. Far in the horizon the island of Gavdos is
visible. It is believed that Gavdos the outhernmost point in
Europe, was the island of Calypso described by Homer in the
Day 5, Tuesday.
We leave Agia Roumeli and walk along a coastal path for approximately
6 hours to the village of Loutro. This is another village that
can only be reached by foot or boat. The coastal walk takes
us past the Byzantine church of Saint Paul. It is believed that
Saint Paul disembarked on this coast on one of his trips. This
area provides a very long pebble beach with a pine tree forest
above it. Lunch will be along the hike. Our luggage will have
arrived by ferry at our hotel in Loutro.
Day 6, Wednesday.
Today you have an option of a free day enjoying the crystal-clear
sea and the serenity of Loutro, or hiking with your guide in
Day 7, Thursday.
We leave Loutro and take the ferry to Hora Sfakion, the
nearby main town of the historical Sfakia area. We will meet
our bus and
take the winding road up to the Askyfou plateau. It is here
we can enjoy
panoramic views of the Libyan Sea.
We continue for approximately one-hour driving north to the
town of Hania. During the trip between Askyfou and Hania we
will leave the bus for a short walk in the pretty Apokoronas
Early in the afternoon we will arrive at our hotel in Hania.
After unpacking and refreshing, we will meet for our first walk
in the streets of the most scenic town in Crete. The 4000 year
history is evident everywhere we turn. The nations that invaded
Crete, including the Romans, Arabs, Byzantines, Turks and Venetians,
have left their influence on the architecture of the city. The
Byzantine walls still exist, as well as the more impressive
Venetian Walls and the Venetian Harbor, one of the most scenic
harbors in the southern Mediterranean.
Day 8, Friday.We
will have an early departure to Kissamos area, an area
unspoiled by tourism. From Kalyviani village we will start our
scenic coastal walk to the spectacular Mpalos lagoon. There
we will take a swim in the crystal clear water or enjoy an ice-cold
frappe. Later we will take the boat to Kissamos town where our
bus will meet us to take us back to Hania. (NOTE: if the weather
does not allow the boat trip, then we will walk back to Kalyviani
Day 9, Saturday.
Today we will pack our luggage before heading to the Hania market
to shop for souvenirs. At noon we will take our bus to the Hania
airport for departure. (Note: If you have made reservations
for EcoGreece's mainland Greece tour then you will continue
from this point to join the group)