Discover the beauty of the White mountains in the mythical Crete island on this 7-day itinerary created by Pavlos, a local HMGA mountain guide. You'll visit Chania, traverse through Samaria gorge and climb Mt. Gingilos (2080 m).
Let's venture out on a hiking trip in the mythical island of Crete, traversing the best spots around the White Mountains.
Also known as Lefka Ori, the White Mountains are a group of peaks over 2000 m high, lying in the west side of the Greek island.
It's a very unique destination that combines snow-covered peaks with a wonderful coastline and -of course- an emerald sea.
The starting point of our adventure will be the ancient city of Chania. Here, we'll visit some historic sites and enjoy a traditional dinner.
Then, we'll head to the White Mountains and explore beautiful settings like Agia Irini gorge and Omalos plateau.
One of the highlights of our trip will be climbing Mt Gingilos (2080 m), a very popular hike in Greece**.** From its summit, we'll contemplate an impressive view of Samaria gorge.
We'll also have time to explore Samaria National Park, a natural reserve in the longest gorge in Europe.
For further details about this 1 week trip, you can check the complete itinerary below this description.
Are you ready for a wonderful experience in the fascinating island of Crete? Please, check the next departure dates and contact me!
If you are staying a few more days in Greece, you should also check this 4-day round trip to Mount Olympus or some exciting rock climbing in Athens.
- Accommodation included
- Guiding fee
- Transport during the trip
- Luggage transfer
- Permit and entrance fees
Chania is a perfect setting: the White Mountains as a background, lively harbor, historical remains, busy market, and nearby beaches make it the ideal spot.
I will meet you in the afternoon at our hotel for an introductory talk. We’ll have our first dinner together in a traditional restaurant.
Overnight in Chania, Kriti Hotel (D)
Wake up and get ready to enter the White Mountains through the narrow gorge of Agia Irini. Areas of humidity and shade sustain a variety of plants, and gigantic ancient plane trees grace a large clearing halfway up.
Our hike ends at Agia Irini village and from there we will be transferred to Omalos plateau. In the heart of Omalos, at an altitude of more than 1000m, enjoy the evening breeze listening to the jingling of the occasional goat’s bell.
Overnight in Omalos, Hotel Neos Omalos (B,L,D)
Hiking distance: 7km / Hiking Duration: 3h 30min
Driving distance: Chania to Entrance of the gorge 70km, 1h 30min
Take a deep breath of the mountain fresh air and gear up for today’s high ascent. We will climb Mt. Gingilos the legendary peak overlooking Samaria with its 2080m high summit.
Its north face, a near vertical slope of solid rock will try to scare us, but we will trick it by following the path round the back in order to reach the summit with only a little scrambling.
Lammergeiers, the biggest birds in Europe, from Samaria gorge, glide past this cliff top so often at midday on their foraging trips it is well worth keeping an eye out for them.
Overnight in Omalos, Hotel Neos Omalos (B,L,D)
Hiking distance: 9km / Hiking Duration: 6 Hours
We’ll trek through Samaria, Europe’s longest gorge which lead us to our goal over trickling streams, through forests of scented pines and the “Iron Gates”, the narrowest point where the rocks on either side are 600m high. After a 16km descent we’ll reach the welcoming resort of Agia Roumeli, with its much appreciated fine pebble beach and sparkling sea, in which we will stay overnight.
Overnight in Agia Roumeli, Hotel Pachnes (B,L,D)
Hiking distance: 16km / Hiking Duration: 6h 30min
If you’ve fallen already in love with the blue waters you may start your day with a morning dip or swim. Then put on your hiking shoes again to head towards the mountains, with awe-inspiring views on our way, at one of the best preserved coastlines in all Europe. A cozy hostel in Agios Ioannis, a village well hidden in the forest with only 15 inhabitants, has its doors open for us.
In the evening if your feet still support you, you can participate in an optional short hike to the Papakefala summit to enjoy the tranquil sunset.
Overnight in Agios Ioannis, Hotel Alonia (B,L,D)
**Hiking distance:**10km / Hiking Duration: 4h 30min
From Agios Ioannis we will head down to the Aradena gorge where the rocky riverbed is forced into an extremely narrow gap between sheer walls almost all the way down. This is a superb hike and the sense of achievement at the end is immense.
Passing the beach of Marmara we’ll follow the coastal path which leads to the picturesque harbor of Loutro. A short ferry ride to Sfakia town will follow and from there we will drive to Chania city where we are going to have our farewell dinner.
What are some recommended accommodations near our adventure location?
I am a mountain guide of the Hellenic Federation of Mountaineering and Climbing (HFMC) and an IFMGA mountain guide. I live in Greece, a unique country with some of the least explored landscapes in Europe.
I discovered my passion for mountaineering when I was 17. What started as a hobby soon turned into an exciting profession that has taken me on many expeditions around the world over the last two decades. One of my biggest achievements was reaching the summit of Mt Everest in 2004, as the Deputy Leader of the first successful Greek expedition.
Besides, I studied Mass Media Communication and I'm a Film Director. Producing documentaries is another way of unfolding my love for nature and travel.
I really like designing new itineraries and taking clients off the beaten tracks, allowing them to enjoy authentic experiences in my country.
Greek | German | English | Czech
HMGA | IFMGA
I can't put into words how great our experience was. Pavlos made us feel like family. The climb was a life changing and humbling experience. The mountain was beautiful!
Best guide I have had ever! Always helping and easy to adapt to needs and changes. Really impressed!...and great talker. Interesting and great knowledge of the area, the local restaurants, the history, etc. First class service!
This was an awesome experience! Thansk to Pavlos, who is a perfect guide (and not a luxury at all when you want to climb Mytikas, we had 2 meter of snow in April). We did not reach the top due to heavy snowfall, but made a couple of other hikes while Pavlos told us the complete history of the Olympos mountain range. The breathtaking views from the refuge Giosos Apostolidis with the ever smiling ward Lazaros: it made it all a highly recommended journey! Thanks to all for making this happen!
Pavlos was friendly, accommodating, and knowledgeable as a guide. My wife and I had a perfect day of climbing in the beautiful Parnitha mountains just outside of Athens. Thanks again Pavlos!
Pavlos was an excellent guide. Highly professional and accommodating. He was able to match my limited skills with beautiful climbs, while also appropriately challenging me. He was very knowledgeable of Greek history and went above and beyond his role as a guide to help me gain a better understanding of Greece. He was humble about his many mountaineering accomplishments and success in media production only sharing information after I ask. You would be very lucky to spend the day with such an interesting and beautiful person. It was one of the highlights of my week in Greece.
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