AORI - Original Walks, Hikes and Treks in Crete ORIGINAL WALKS, HIKES & TREKS IN CRETE

Crete walks: On Lefka Ori hiking to Pachnes Crete walks: Climbing goats in Aradena gorge Crete walks: View from Zaranokefala to the sea Crete walks: Agios Pavlos beach Crete walks: Lefka Ori White mountains Crete walks: Flowers in the White mountains

Trekking across the Lefka Ori and discovering authentic Crete

Walking from the highest summits of the White Mountains to the crystal clear waters of the Lybian Sea …
A week’s trekking adventure through the high summer pastures of the Lefka Ori and down deep wild gorges leading to isolated beaches on the south coast ...

Day 1: Arrival in Chania
Night in a pension at the old Venetian Harbour

Day 2: Agios Ioannis – Drako Lakki (4h)
Morning departure with a minibus to Agios Ioannis, an isolated mountain village in the region of Sfakia. Walk to Drako Lakki, a well hidden cave known only by a few locals… We can go inside, without ropes or special equipment, down to a vast chamber where lies a pond of ice cold water, surrounded by very fine stalagmites and stalactites.
Night in a village house organised as a comfortable refuge. Traditional cretan food prepared by our hosts at the village.

Day 3: Pachnes (2454m) (8h)
An amazing centuries old mule track goes around the side of the Zaranokefala mountain and rewards us with panoramic views on the Elias Gorge and the coast. Around a corner, the landscape suddenly changes as we cross a lunar like area before starting the ascent of Pachnes. We take some time enjoying being at the top and seeing most of Crete at our feet, before descending on the north side of the mountain towards Katsivelli, an isolated green valley lying at 2000 meters, in the middle of the “high desert”, where shepherds take their flocks during the summer months. Night in a shelter next to the shepherd’s hut.

Day 4: Katsivelli - Melindaou - Kallergi (7h)
A shepherd’s trail going through a very green area of high pastures leads us towards the summit of Melindaou (2300m) from which we can contemplate all the north coast. We then go down to the Kallergi refuge (1700m) built on the ridge of the famous Samaria Gorge. Night in the refuge.

Day 5: Samaria Gorge - The secret entrance Potistiria (6h)
To reach the main path crossing the gorge we start our walk from higher up, taking a way unknown to the “common crowds”… From higher up than the normal entrance, we go down a steep trail leading to Agios Nikolaos where we join the main path going to Agia Roumeli. Night in a Pension.

Day 6: Agios Pavlos - Selouda - Agios Ioannis (4h)
An hour’s walk to get to the Agios Pavlos Beach where St. Paul baptized some of the first Christians of Crete. A beautiful frescoed Byzantine chapel commemorates the event. We have enough time to really enjoy this unspoilt beach and have a few swims before going up to Selouda on an ancient mule track winding up the side of impressive cliffs. We then follow the path to Agios Ioannis. Night in the village house.

Day 7: Aradena Gorge - Dialeskari (3h)
From the abandoned hamlet of Aradena, we walk through this wild and narrow canyon to Dialeskari, also known as Marmara beach. A boat takes us to Sfakia where our mini bus waits to take us back to Chania. Night in a pension.

Day 8: Departure


© 2011 Anne Deckel