Crete provides thousands of possibilities for hikers and walkers.
Whether you are an experienced hiker who wants to plan your own walks or a novice on a holiday to Crete wanting to try an organised walk, if you are hiking on your own or with a group, if you want a day walk, a walking holiday, an organised trek or trekking expedition, or even a short stroll, then Crete has something to suit every requirement.
Walking to Balos Beach and Gramvousa, Chania, Crete
There are so many beautiful locations to explore throughout Crete that you can spend a lifetime visiting them all and walking is definitely the best way to get the most from Crete, its fantastic scenery, traditional villages and friendly, welcoming people.
Mountains and gorges, beaches, unspoilt valleys, lakes, and villages, all offer a unique experience and insight into the life and history of this island paradise. For more ideas of places to walk in Chania, Rethymnon, Heraklion and Lassithi, visit our Photo Gallery and our A-Z of Locations around Crete.
Hiking in the Patsos Gorge, Rethymnon, Crete
Walking on Crete is not just an activity which can be enjoyed in the summer. Weather and temperatures during winter, spring and autumn also provide ideal walking conditions on most days. Winter and spring days often have clearer, less hazy light than hot summer days which is perfect if you want to take photographs of the spectacular scenery you will encounter along your route.
Walking in the snow at Omalos in February, Crete
In addition to the thousands of goat and sheep paths, still used by Cretan shepherds and their flocks, and the donkey paths, there is also the European Footpath E4 which runs across the whole length of Crete from Kissamos in the north west of Crete to Kato Zakros in the south east. The E4 on Crete has several variations along parts of its route so that you can choose whether to follow parts of the coastline for particular stages or hike through the mountains of the Levka Ori (White Mountains), Psiloritis and its foothills and Mount Dikti. Each route regardless of the variations which you choose is approximately 320km in length.
Hiking the Samaria Gorge, Chania, Crete
The E4 is well marked in many areas of Crete and new markers and signs are being added constantly to make the whole network visibly accessible to everyone who wishes to enjoy its treasures. To cover the whole route from west to east takes around 3 weeks depending on the level of experience of the walker but don't worry if you have less time or just want to enjoy a small part of it, you can access the footpath at any point along its route and choose to walk only a small part of it or incorporate it into a circular walk of your own design. (For more information, our detailed E4 page will be available soon).
Alpine mountain landscape environment, Crete
Other footpaths are often marked by a red dot or arrow painted on a rock. Occasionally these can be marked in other colours such as blue. If you see a track or path with painted markers beside it, it is most likely that it is a footpath but it always helps to have a good large scale map with you or a walking guide which will offer specific pointers to look out for along your route. For walks into wild mountain areas and anywhere a long distance from centres of population, make sure you have both a map and compass and that you know how to use them.