WHITE MOUNTAINS

GENERAL INFO

Birthplace of Zeus and the cradle of Europe's earliest civilization, Crete is justifiably known as the “Great Island”. Fabulous beaches and crystalline seas are just the beginning of the story. The mountains, which dominate the view as you approach, consist of dozens of peaks over 2000m of altitude and present a stunning scenic backdrop to life on the western side of Crete. There are few places in the world where high mountains so close to the sea are combined with an often perfect climate.
Our trip starts in Chania, probably the most charming city of Crete, and from there we will head towards White Mountains (Lefka Ori). They borrow their name from the shining bleached limestone in summer and the rich snow cover in winter. For the next week we will hike a network of ancient paths and shepherd trails. We will follow the southern coastline, climb to summits, and submerge to the depths of some of the prettiest gorges of the island, including the most famous one, Samaria. On a hot summer day, heading down to the mouth of a gorge is the ideal hike. We will walk shaded from the sun's ferocity, looking forward to a welcome swim at the end as a reward.

DAILY ITINERARY

We love Chania and we believe you will too. Its perfect setting with the White Mountains as a background, lively harbor, historical remains, busy market, and nearby beaches make it the ideal spot. We will meet in the afternoon at our hotel for an introductory talk and have our first dinner together in a traditional restaurant. Of course Cretan cuisine plays a starring role and we have spent many hours digesting countless delicacies during the research of this important aspect.

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

“Kalimera!” How about a dip  in the clear turquoise waters of the South coast?

Yes! But first we have to 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

In the morning wake up to the quietness our mountain hideaway offers and savor a few moments over a steaming cup of coffee as the dew disappears in the morning sun. 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.

Overnight in Chania, Kriti Hotel (B,L,D)
Hiking distance:
12km / Hiking Duration: 5 Hours
Driving distance:
Chora Sfakion to Chania 70km, 2 Hours

Breakfast is at your leisure at the hotel and following that, your Tripin Adventures trip in Greece concludes. Transfer independently from our accommodations in Chania to one of the international airports of the island for return flights home or continue your explorations of this marvelous region of Greece.

(B)

WHAT'S INCLUDED

PRICE INCLUDES

  • All accommodations as listed (or similar) based on double occupancy
  • Hotel taxes and service charges
  • All transportation during the trip
  • All activities mentioned in the program
  • Ferry tickets
  • Entrance fees at the Gorges of Agia Irini and Samaria
  • Services of a guide throughout the tour
  • Transport and handling of one reasonably sized suitcase and one carry-on per person

NOT INCLUDED

  • Domestic and/or international air fare
  • Medical expenses
  • Travel or emergency evacuation insurance
  • Gratuities for leader/guide or driver
  • Alcoholic beverages and meals other than outlined in itinerary
  • Visas if needed
  • Transfer to and from the airport/port
  • Other items of a personal nature

INCLUDED MEALS

  • Breakfast
  • Lunches and dinners as indicated in the itinerary
  • Snacks during activities

ITINERARY CHANGES

We are constantly updating our unique itineraries based on new information and experiences available. The walks, accommodations, and visits listed may be adjusted. The itineraries presented are subject to modification and change by Tripin Adventures. We reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in our judgment, conditions warrant, or if we deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of participants, anything not mentioned in above program.

TRIP NOTES

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Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included
- pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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