Chania
Off the beaten track

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Our most recommended Chania Off the beaten track

From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

1. From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

Samaria Gorge, the longest gorge in Europe, is located 4,000 feet above sea level. Enjoy a trek in the gorge on a 12-hour excursion that begins with a pick-up in Chania and a drive to Omalos, in the White Mountains. Trek over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees, along a river and by freshwater springs. Take in spectacular views of Crete’s most beautiful mountain range and see mountain goats roaming in the wild. At the end of the trek, visit the village of Agia Roumeli that boasts numerous taverns and shops. Late in the afternoon, board a boat for the trip from Agia Roumeli to Sfakia, where a bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the starting point.

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The Miracle of Wine and Olive Oil: Day Tour from Chania

2. The Miracle of Wine and Olive Oil: Day Tour from Chania

Travel through stunning natural landscapes up into the mountains of the Kissamos region on this 7-hour tour from Chania. Stop at a traditional family winery, established in 1993, and learn about the varieties of wine they produce and their ideas for modern farming processes and wine production. Taste award-winning local Vidiano, Muscat of Spina and some international varieties such as Grenache rouge, Syrah and Mourvèdre that each have a unique taste due the local terroir. Next you’ll visit a traditional village and see the oldest olive tree in the world, with an estimated age of 3,000 years. This is a day filled with tasting different wine expressions of noble grapes and a variety of delicious foods. Head to another winery in the Kissamos region to taste a special local blend of white wines with Vilana, Vidiano and Assyrtiko varieties. Walk through the idyllic landscape of the vineyards and visit the family’s olive oil factory. Learn about extra virgin olive oil production. The wine tasting here will be accompanied by a tasting of extra virgin olive oils and local pure products, creating combinations your palate will never forget. You’ll also learn the Cretan way of saying goodbye drinking the award-winning Tsikoudia.

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The Samariá Gorge Hike from Chania or Rethymno

3. The Samariá Gorge Hike from Chania or Rethymno

Samariá Gorge is the longest gorge in Europe. An area of stunning natural beauty, it is rich with many flowers and herbs and the crystal-clear spring waters that flow from the mountains. Following an early morning pick-up (between 05:30 and 06:30) from the nearest point to your accommodation in Rethymno or Chania, travel through the mountains passing the plateau of Omalos. You will arrive at some wooden stairs at the start of Samariá Gorge. You can opt to start the walk straight away or get some breakfast at the taverna before you begin. Hike for approximately 6-7 hours and experience the magnificent landscape on a 16-kilometer walk. Once you have finished the hike, there will be ample time for a swim and lunch at a taverna in Agia Roumeli. Indicative Timetable: 5:20 AM ‐ 6:10 AM: Pickup 7:30 AM: First stop at Omalos Plateau 8:00 AM: Begin the Xyloskalo hike 2:00 PM: End the hike at Agia Roumeli Village Please note that this timetable depends on how fast you walk and how much free time you take to eat.

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From Rethymno/Chania: Imbros Gorge Hike

4. From Rethymno/Chania: Imbros Gorge Hike

Discover the Imbros Gorge, which runs parallel to the more famous Samaria Gorge. Although the Imbros Gorge is smaller, many people prefer to cross here because it offers a very different hiking experience than the Samaria Gorge. Of the 11 kilometers, 8.5 kilometers are suitable for hiking. Discover the exquisite beauty of nature in this narrow passage and learn about the stunning rock formations.  According to legend, the name Imbros was given to the village, and subsequently the gorge, because two Greek brothers chose to live here after they were banished from Imbros Island when it was connected to Turkey. For many years, the Imbros Gorge served as part of the trail that connected the city of Chania to the Hora Sfakion village. It is notable that during World War II, after the Battle of Crete was lost by Greece and her allies, many thousands of British soldiers passed through the Imbros Gorge towards South Crete in order to get to Egypt.  After the hike, take a swim in the stunning refreshing Libyan sea. Eat lunch with the locals in the taverns. 

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Chania Area: The 7 Villages of Apokoronas Tour with Lunch

5. Chania Area: The 7 Villages of Apokoronas Tour with Lunch

This is a tour of a unique area of Apokoronas, the East part of Chania Region. Heading to Apokoronas one of the first villages is "Gavalochori". Following a route through the nature and traditional Cretan villages you will visit the folklore museum of Apokoronas, 7 rooms of Cretan tradition and unique handmade knitting artworks. An old lady will show you the mind-blowing knitting technique of “Kopaneli”. Pass through Kalives village and then “Xirosterni” to visit the local family “Raki” distillery. Have the chance to learn, and if you are lucky, to see the whole Raki production and taste of course this delicious Cretan spirit. Leaving Xirosterni, in a few minutes you will be at the village of Emprosneros. The experience of the Cretan cheese-making process follows. Visit a cheese factory and taste the local “Graviera” “Mizithra” or “Anthotiros” cheese varieties. After that an olive oil tasting with warm bread in the local bakery. Try the delicacies of the baker and his pure extra virgin olive oil. After that, have lunch in a traditional “kafeneio” in Fres village, speaking with the locals and learning many things about the way of life in the countryside. Have the chance to see the pure beauty and feel the real Crete around you. Apokoronas is one of the most historical places in Crete because of its people. You will definitely understand that while talking with them and hearing their stories. Apokoronas is waiting to reveal its secrets, a whole place is ready to be explored by you!  

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From Heraklion Area: Full-Day Bus Trip to Elafonisi Island

6. From Heraklion Area: Full-Day Bus Trip to Elafonisi Island

Start your day of discovery with a pick-up service. Right after you board your comfortable, air-conditioned bus, you will journey to the southwest corner of Crete to spend a relaxing day on the pink sand beaches on the small island of Elafonisi. Take in the lush green landscape on the way to the island as you travel through the impressive Topolia Gorge and pass many old and very typical villages. Stop for a coffee and breakfast in the village of Elos, known for its chestnut trees. Upon arrival at Elafonisi, get at least 4-hours to relax and swim in the crystal clear water. Laze in the sun, or go for a stroll along the pink sand beach. Benefit from beach kiosks where you can purchase food and water to rehydrate and re-energize. Situated just off the shore of the main island, Elafonisi can be reached by walking through the water. Both the beach and island are protected wildlife areas of rare beauty. Depart by bus at approximately 4:00 PM and return to Heraklion for an estimated arrival time and hotel drop-off at around 7:30 PM.

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Chania: Stand-Up Paddleboard & Snorkeling Small Group Tour

7. Chania: Stand-Up Paddleboard & Snorkeling Small Group Tour

Experience what it feels like to walk on water with a stand-up paddleboard adventure in Chania! Benefit from the area's calm, crystal clear waters that create the perfect environment for stand-up paddleboarding. Get an introductory lesson on basic paddling techniques and learn how to stand up, turn and stop. Explore the hidden caves of the coastline, and get some time to swim and snorkel in the beautiful sea. Masks and snorkels will be provided, and your adventure will be recorded by action cameras as a unique souvenir. All footage will be sent to you as a keepsake memory of your experience. Benefit from the expert guidance of certified instructors who will make everybody feel confident and ready to go within the first few minutes! The program is specially designed for all levels of paddlers, from first timers to professionals.   

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From Souda Port of Chania: Private Sailing Cruise with Meal

8. From Souda Port of Chania: Private Sailing Cruise with Meal

At 9:30 AM sail east out of the bay past the Souda Fortress on a small uninhabited island. If the winds are favorable stop to take a dip or some photos at the pebbled beach of the scenic white chapel of Agiannis. Follow the coast on the wind and marvel at views of the Ottoman fort high up on the hills and the fort of the Idjedin prison just below it. Continue past the seaside villages of Kalyves and Almyrida, around the Isle of Karga before reaching the lighthouse on the peninsula of Drapano. Again, if the gods of the winds are with you the boat will anchor in a tiny, secret cove for another quick swim. The wind will dictate if the boat sails northeast to a very small cove with beautiful sandy waters or otherwise northwest around another small island to a beautiful lagoon. Either way, the White Mountains (Lefka Ori) will be in view, serving as the backdrop to the cruise. After dropping anchor, enjoy a swim or snorkel and play in crystal clear turquoise waters while a freshly cooked Cretan/Spartan lunch is prepared with Greek specialties such as local pasta, sautéed vegetables, fresh salad, mama’s olives, goat cheese and fresh bread with wine and beer to wash it down and a dessert of fresh yogurt and sweet fruit.  Following a relaxing meal sail back to the port as the sun starts to set, arriving back by around 5:30 PM. Even if you’ve never sailed before have a go at taking control of the boat with expert supervision for a roughly 30 nautical mile trip.

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Georgioupolis Safari Discover The Cretan Culture

9. Georgioupolis Safari Discover The Cretan Culture

This tour is for those who would like to get to know Cretan culture and traditions while enjoying a four-hour off-road excursion. You will visit a modern olive mill, so that you can see how olive oil is produced, and you can also enjoy the opportunity to sample some of the oils. After this, you will explore some myths and stories hidden in the stones of an early Christian church which was used as a hiding place by people who were evicted by the Turks. You also learn about the history of a 400-year-old tower which was built by the most fearsome Turkish Janissary and is still almost intact to this day. After that you will climb 1000 metres above sea-level on an off-road route. You will travel through the Lefka Ori woods and you will be stunned by the panoramic views from the trail. Later, you will meet a shepherd who will show you how Cretan cheeses are made and you can try some of the cheeses he makes himself.   Finally, the evening will come to a close with a traditional evening meal. There will be lots of food and traditional dishes for everyone to enjoy, and the evening will leave you with fond memories of your day spent exploring Crete. 

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Samariá Gorge Hike: Day Excursion from Chania

10. Samariá Gorge Hike: Day Excursion from Chania

From its jaw-dropping villages to its healthy Mediterranean cuisine, Crete is a feast for the senses. The stunning beauty of Samariá Gorge National Park is an important part of the island’s attraction. On this full-day excursion you’ll be picked up in Chania and travel by comfortable bus to the park. Get ready to be wowed by the gorge, as high limestone cliffs and quaint village create the background for a great hike. The walking tour from one end of Samaria gorge to the other is a challenging 18 kilometers. The terrain in the gorge is rough, rocky, and uneven and the hike is not suitable for anyone who has heart problems or is unfit, or for pregnant women. There are a number of stopping points along the route, where you’ll find toilets and drinking water. At some points the gorge is only 3 meters wide and you may have to climb over boulders. You’ll reach the end of the gorge at Agia Roumeli, and stop for a break and a bite to eat (the price of the food is not included). You’ll return by boat to Sougia where you’ll be picked up by the coach.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Chania

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What people are saying about Chania

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 646 reviews

Very well organised day out, but be warned, it’s a very long day! We left our hotel at 6am and didn’t return until 8pm. The trail is doable in good runners but much more enjoyable and comfortable in hiking boots. I would recommend bringing a sandwich and some snacks like nuts and bananas. Our bus stopped off at a cafe on the way to the trail head which sold sandwiches and snacks as well as coffee and orange juice. Tomas was very helpful and gave some great guidance on rest stops and suggested times which kept us on track. We are experienced hikers so we didn’t see Tomas again until we collected our ferry tickets in Agria Soumeli. We set off at around 7:45am and reached the beach at Agria Soumeli at 1:30pm. I would strongly recommend bringing a towel and togs as it was one of the best sea dips I’ve ever had! We did the hike at the end of October but I don’t know if I could have done it in July!

We had a wonderful tour with our awesome guide Γιάννης. He provided so much interesting information about the history and culture of Crete along with what we would be seeing at the winery/olive oil factory. Effi was also wonderful explaining how the olive oil is made and then educating us on all the great wines her company makes We highly recommend this tour to anyone who loves wine and/or Olive Oil. 5***** all the way.

We had an amazing time and experience in this tour. The host of the tour Andreas, made it super interesting and entertaining, being professional sommelier he shared his knowledge with the group and made wine tasting even more enjoyable. Though it would be great to add to the tour actual walk through the grapevine field and wine making facilities.

Best day in Crete, absolutely loved it! Think bucolic landscapes, loads of wines and delicious food. Very relaxed yet fun. Out guide, Andreas was absolutely phenomenal. Highly recommended!

I had a great trip and learned a lot about Cretan culture, history and food :) Our guide Yannis was very knowledgeable and kind! I totally recommend this tour!