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Crete Island Grand Trail: Mount Ida, Samaria Gorge, Loutro

Crete done
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crete 6 day hike
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Spend a week hiking in Crete with local, certified guide, Akis. Climb to the top of Mount Ida, visit Samaria Gorge, Loutro Bay, Sfakia, and more!


6 Days

May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct




  • Discover some of the most amazing spots in Crete.
  • Enjoy seaside and mountain trails.
  • Spend a week enjoying the Mediterranean culture and cuisine.


Crete is a majestic island and the absolute Mediterranean destination, an ideal place to enjoy a hiking and cultural week. 

On this one-week adventure, you will have the chance to explore some of the most amazing spots on the island. High mountains, magnificent gorges and canyons, and the extended trail network close to the Mediterranean Sea make this a unique trekking destination. Furthermore, the culture, history, food, unique flora, and fauna will perfectly complement and enrich your trip.

The hiking itinerary we will follow runs the south coastline of the island, one of the purest, most unspoiled, and isolated areas of South Europe. Some of the landmarks we will visit include the Mount Ida summit, Samaria Gorge, and Loutro, among others. You can find a detailed itinerary below.

Keep in mind that we will spend around 5 hours hiking each day. Therefore,  you will need a good fitness level to join this adventure, however, you don’t need technical skills for this adventure.

So, are you ready to experience a unique 1-week trek in Crete? Then contact me today and let’s start planning your adventure. I look forward to guiding you!

Price includes

- Guiding fee

- Transport during the trip

- Luggage transfer

- Mountain guide expenses

Price details

National Park entrance fees included

Breakfasts included

Snacks during the hike included

Boat ticket during the hike is included

Transfers during the trip

Not included :

Meals and drinks


Day 1: Heraklion City - Ascent the Very Top of Crete 2.456m

Meeting with the guests in Heraklion city in the morning and travel towards the Cretan country side at the foot hills of Mount Ida – The birth place of Zeus. Starting from Mygeros Plateau at an altitude of 1550m, the well-marked trail runs the north west side of the mountain and gives access to an impressive summit crest towards the Peak 2456m.
The summit view is stunning in every direction… the Aegean Sea islands to the North and the African coast line to the South are the highlights of this magnificent ascent.

Duration: 5 – 6 hours
Vertical ascent: 1000m

Pick up the guests and travel towards Chania town where we will settle down in a hotel at the Old Venetian Harbor.
Briefing about the schedule – overnight.

Day 2: Hiking Samaria Gorge

Today we will hike one of the longest and most beautiful gorges in Europe: The famous Samaria Gorge.
A well-marked trail runs 16 km of unspoiled nature inside the gorge, and finally exits at the Mediterranean Sea.

Duration: 5 – 6 hours
Vertical drop: 1250m

The hike ends at the seafront village Agia Roumeli. Rest, relaxation, swimming in crystal clear waters, Mediterranean food, and overnight stay at the village.

Day 3: Agia Roumeli – White Mountains – St. John Village

Breakfast at the guest house and start hiking.
The sea side trail runs the coast line through pine forest, and faces the Mediterranean Sea. Then, a steep but magnificent trail climbs the mountain towards our final destination, the St. John mountain village, too far away from the civilization and almost lost in time…
During our hike we can swim at the crystal sea waters and then continue towards the village.

Duration: 5 – 6 hours
Vertical ascent: 900m

Settle down in a guest house – briefing about the next day’s schedule.
Overnight stay

Day 4: St. John – Aradaina Gorge – Loutro Bay

Breakfast at the guest house and transfer towards the entrance of Aradaina Gorge.
The trail runs the gorge through impressive rock formations, and during the hike we will experience the Cretan nature, smell the Mediterranean herbs and finally we will exit in a magnificent secret beach with crystal waters – The Marble Beach.

Duration: 4 hours
Relaxation & swimming
The same afternoon, transfer with a boat towards Loutro village, the most iconic and magnificent part of the south Crete. The small sea front village with magnificent Aegean architecture welcomes the hikers. Now, we are too far away from roads and vehicles, isolated at the very south end of Europe.
Settle down in a seafront hotel – overnight stay.

Day 5: Loutro Bay – Hiking the countryside round Loutro

After breakfast we will discover the unspoiled nature round Loutro Bay and the archeological site of the area. The Mediterranean Sea is always by our side and we will enjoy the crystal waters many times throughout the day. Early afternoon return to the village – overnight.
Duration: 5 hours

Day 6: Loutro Bay – Sfakia

Breakfast at the hotel and start hiking towards Sfakia.
We will cross the marvelous Sweet Waters beach and finally, we will access the historic Sfakia village, a place very tight connection with the 2nd WW history.

Duration: 3 hours

Short break at the picturesque Sfakia Bay and early afternoon transfer towards Heraklion city, where you will be dropped off.

End of trip




All accommodations are in hotels and guest houses.

Meeting point

Heraklion City, in the morning of the first day of the trip at the Venetian Harbor (08:00)

Equipment you will need to bring



Watter bottle

About the guide

I come from Greece and always remember myself as a kid in the mountains…
Now, I am a Certified Mountain Guide HMGA, member of the Hellenic Mountain Guides Association (License number A.N 867/37, Nr 19 FEK (A)621-999/28-11-07) also a Mountaineering – Ski Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor, member of the Hellenic Federation of Mountaineering & Climbing (H.F.M.C).

My passion for the mountains led me on numerous hikes, ski tours, and rock and ice climbs in Greece, the Alps, France, Switzerland, Italy, and Bulgaria, with many new routes under my signature.

The beautiful valleys at the foot of Mount Olympus – Greece are my home, and the flanks above are the playground to follow my mountain love, may it be ice-climbing, ski touring, hiking, or alpine climbing. For me, it is the perfect terrain to train, play and guide.

I teach mountaineering, rock climbing, and ski mountaineering in various Climbing Schools & Mountaineering Associations, and I spend a lot of wintertime as a ski instructor. I love to share my passion with guests and guide hikers, mountaineers, climbers, and ski tourers all year round.

I am married to Mariza and we have a daughter and two sons together.
I speak Greek, English, and French.


Greek | French | English



What people are saying about Akis Parousis

Rhys McKenzie


July, 2023

The traveller did not leave a comment.

Odelya Holiday


July, 2023

Akis was a wonderful guide. He cared a lot about the people and about the right pace for everyone. He made sure that we are safe and he was smiley and friendly. Climbing Olympus isn’t an easy one, but definitely something to be on your bucket list.

Cynthia Cabuhat


July, 2023

Akis and Bill are very professional, technically skilled, have vast knowledge of Mt. Olympus, gentlemen and have high emotional intelligence. They guided me all the way and understood my strength and weaknesses. Akis pushed me to my potential which I didn’t know I have. Bill was patient and accommodating. We finally made it to Mytikas; the highest peak of Mt. Olympus! I really enjoyed the scrambling going up and down. May childhood experience of climbing trees helped a lot 😊☺️. I found a new passion because of this trip - rock climbing. I would highly recommend this tour and the guides (Akis and Bill), you will be “in good hands” with them.😊 Caution: This tour is for fit people, been working out regularly, and have tenacity to walk at least 2-3hrs with 30L bag. Follow the instructions of Akis on what to bring. He knows the forest very well and can anticipate the weather. Good luck to all who are interested to join this climb. All the best. Cynthia C.

Nir Reitman


July, 2023

Great guide. Amazing road. Feels safe and nice. We climbed the mt myself and son 13 yo. Recommend without hesitation.

Meghan Blackstock


June, 2023

The traveller did not leave a comment.

demetra argeroplos


June, 2023


Filippo Ceccaroli


June, 2023

Akis was fantastic, excellent communication from the beginning of our booking. Without him we would not have reached the summit! Akis was very knowledgeable and kept us safe for all the journey. Thank you very much Akis !!

Caitlin Carleton


June, 2023

Akis was amazing!!! He picked us up from hotel and drive us to trail head. Got us up and down safely. We stopped for dinner at a spot on the way home. Highly recommend!!!!!

Mattias Gunnarsson


May, 2023

Great winter ascent of Mount Olympus with guide Akis. The mountain exceeded my expectations, including the lush forest on lower levels and the vast scenery above the tree line. Also enjoyed staying in the small mountain hut on the snowfield near the summit, as well as the last portion of the ascent which included a 50° snow filled couloir to the top. Akis was excellent and clearly knows the mountain like the back of his hand. Very much recommended!

Riley Smith


April, 2023

Had a great trip with Akis. The primary objective of a Mt Olympus summit was not possible due to snow conditions, which happens sometimes in the mountains. So Akis came up with a great alternative of a climb up Skolio, St Antonio, and Kristakis peaks. We had fun, made all 3 summits on a blue sky day, and got home safely. Great trip all around.

Alexander Baltazzis


March, 2023

Very well organized, amazing stay and very communicative and efficient guide, managed to arrange a wonderful trip, reading the weather well!

Nicholas DeFazio


January, 2023

Akis was a great guide and truly knows the mountain like the back of his hand. He is very realistic which I appreciated and knew what to do in every situation. Couldn’t recommend a better guide. This was a life changing experience!

Ida Poulsen


October, 2022

The traveller did not leave a comment.

Yuval Sasson


October, 2022

Travelled with Akis to Mount Olympus. It was not an easy crowd. We were a family of six with four children aging 5, 9, 12 and 14. Akis was amazing. The hike was not trivial for such a group. Akis showed confidence and great patience setting the pace and walking us literally through it. He knows every rock and tree on the trail and was fully available for all of our needs including changing the route to meet our needs. We felt totally safe and secure with his stories of the Greek Gods adding to the experience. We are all already planning our next trip to the pick with Akis.

Gerry Kennedy


October, 2022

The traveller did not leave a comment.




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