Stride climate

Trip Type : Group Tour
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Great Hikes and Cuisine of Crete

Wilderness Travel
5.0 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
11 days
From: $ 5,595 $ 509 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Discover Crete on hikes throughout the island’s beautiful coastal and mountain trails
  • Enjoy rustic inns in traditional villages on the coast and mountains, meet local chefs, farmers, and winemakers
  • Visit the famed Minoan palace of Knossos, walk through the vast Roman ruins at Gortyn
  • Hike to Crete's highest peak, Mt. Psiloritis (8,056’), with its Zeus cave

Short Description

The ruggedly beautiful island of Crete, renowned for its wild mountain trails, strong traditional culture, and ancient civilizations, is also celebrated for its cuisine. Unique local ingredients, from mountain herbs to farm cheeses, give the food of Crete an unforgettable flavor, and its wines carry the distinctive island terroir. On this southernmost of Greek isles, we’ll get an insider’s perspective with expert Trip Leader Kostas Vasileiou, an accomplished cook and winemaker himself. Daily hikes will bring us above the gleaming blue sea on the south coast and into the soaring Lefka Ori (White Mountains) of the interior. Kostas will introduce us to friends all along the way—shepherds, farmers, taverna owners, and the people who create the island’s signature dishes. Between hikes, we’ll enjoy cooking lessons and demonstrations, wine tasting, and an understanding of the landscape as each local dish teaches us about the physical terrain and microclimate of this island realm. Crete is the legendary birthplace of Zeus and home of Europe’s earliest civilization, so we’ll also take in splendid antiquities, including the labyrinthine Minoan palace of Knossos and the Roman city-state of Gortyn, with its impressive theatre. This is the perfect adventure for hikers, foodies, and anyone who is intrigued by the proud, unique culture of a sun-flecked island on the southern edge of the Aegean.

Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Trip Type Group Tour
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Heraklion, Crete
End City Chania, Crete

Trip Includes

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations as noted
  • All meals included except 1 dinner
  • A glass of wine or beer with dinner
  • Entrance fees to sites
  • Ground transportation as noted in the Detailed Itinerary

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Itinerary

Days 1-2: Heraklion / Farm Lunch / Wine Tasting / Knossos

Accommodation: Lato Boutique Hotel

Explore the Archaeology Museum and Knossos and the great palace of mythical King Minos, with its legends of the Minotaur. Our first taste of traditional cuisine comes at our home-cooked farm lunch outside Heraklion, followed by wine tasting at Lyrarakis.

Dasy 3-6: Kapetaniana / Mt. Kofinas / Koudoumas / Gortyn

Accommodation: Thalori Retreat

We hike up Mt. Kofinas and into the remote Salamias Gorge, and explore the Roman-era site at Gortyn, with its grand theater. One hike brings us to seaside Koudoumas Monastery for lunch with the monks and an atmospheric roasted lamb dinner inside Anthony’s Cave, a Minoan sanctuary. At our village inn, we’ll help prepare the filo (pastry) pies for our delicious dinner.

Dasy 7-8: Anogia / Mt. Psiloritis / Shepherd Lunch

Accommodation: Delina Mountain Resort

Moving to the wild interior mountains and the hill village of Anogia, our hikes bring us up Mt. Psiloritis (8,056’), home to a sanctuary linked to Zeus, and to a typical mitato (stone-built shepherds’ hut) for lunch with a shepherd, including fresh-made cheeses from his goats. At dinner, we’ll be introduced to the making of traditional stifado, cinnamon-and-clove scented beef stew.

Dasy 9-11: Arkadi / Kallergi Mountain Refuge / Chania

Accommodation: Porto Veneziano Hotel

We visit the beautiful Arkadi Monastery en route to lovely Chania, known for its 14th century Venetian harbor and waterfront restaurants. Our last view of the mountains is at our lunch in the Kallergi Mountain Refuge in the White Mountains and we depart on Day 11.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 5,595
Price Per Day: $ 509 per day
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Checking price
Start DateEnd DateDouble StandardSingle SupplementAvailability 
Oct-08-2019Oct-18-2019$ 5,595$ 5,895Limited Reserve
Oct-21-2019Oct-31-2019$ 5,595$ 5,895Limited Reserve

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Wilderness Travel.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Accomodations

Lato Boutique Hotel: Days 1 to 2 (2 nights), Heraklion, Greece

Set near the brilliant turquoise waters of Heraklion overlooking the marvelous Venetian landmark of Koules Fortress, Lato Boutique Hotel offers lovely rooms and sweeping panoramas of the sea or ancient city sights. Enjoy a cocktail at the hotel bar, take in the breathtaking views from their rooftop restaurant, and stroll through the colorful central market during your free time.

Thalori Retreat: Days 3 to 6 (4 nights), Kapetaniana, Greece

Nestled in the Asterousia hills, the Thalori Retreat has a traditional village setting. Each rustic-style guest house has masonry work of locally sourced stone, wood, and marble showing Cretan craftsmanship. Rooms are spacious and comfortable, and there is an open courtyard overlooking the sea. Remember to pack a swimsuit so you can take a refreshing dip in the pool. At the right angle, it appears as if the pool’s edge connects with the sea!

Delina Mountain Resort: Days 7 to 8 (2 nights), Anogia, Greece

The delightful Delina Mountain Resort is set on 28 acres in a tranquil spot near the village of Anogia. The hotel’s 13 cozy guest rooms are comfortable, modern, and spacious, with verandas and fireplaces. This is a place to relax, enjoy a stroll on the grounds, and savor the mountain and sea views.  The staff is friendly and helpful.

Porto Veneziano Hotel: Days 9 to 10 (2 nights), Chania, Greece

With a seaside location, the Porto Veneziano Hotel weaves together nautical themes to create a welcoming stay along the water’s edge. Guest rooms have comfortable beds, views of the harbor, and spacious bathrooms. The hotel is within walking distance to the bustling port (yet far enough from the port’s noise). Enjoy a glass of wine and watch the sunset over the harbor from the comfort of your room.

Cancellation Policy:

  • Up to 91 days prior to departure: No charge!
  • 61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
  • 46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
  • 45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Trip ID#:

hikincwil

Trip Excludes

  • International airfare, airfare from Athens to Heraklion and from Chania to Athens, hotel transfers to/from airports other than the designated group flights
  • Airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff
  • Pre-trip expense of medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance or passports
  • Other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.)

Meals Included:

All meals included

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