Crete
Garden & Park Tours

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Our most recommended Crete Garden & Park Tours

The Samariá Gorge Hike from Chania or Rethymno

1. 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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Heraklion & Mallia: Bus Road Trip to Samaria Gorge

2. Heraklion & Mallia: Bus Road Trip to Samaria Gorge

Your full-day excursion to Samaria Gorge begins with pickup in Heraklion and a drive to Omalos, in the heart of the White Mountains, where you can enjoy breakfast before you begin your hike. The trek will take you over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees and along a river by fresh-water springs. Along the way, you’ll have spectacular views of Crete’s most beautiful mountain range, and you are also likely to see mountain goats roaming in the wild. You will be accompanied by a professional mountain escort who speaks English, German and Greek. Your escort will be there to explain all the necessary information about your hike and provide you with the tickets for the entrance and ferry. After your breakfast you will enter the Samaria Gorge, where you can walk at your own pace as your guide waits at the end of the group to help you out if you need them. At the end of the trek you’ll visit the village of Agia Roumeli, where you’ll find a number of taverns, bars, and shops. You can enjoy some free time to take a swim or have some lunch. Late in the afternoon you’ll board a boat that will take you from Agia Roumeli to Sfakia, where your bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the starting point.

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From Rethymno: South Crete Private Tour with Lunch

3. From Rethymno: South Crete Private Tour with Lunch

Start your day at the breathtaking Kourtaliotiko Gorge. Walk through the rising rock walls and admire the incredible natural scenery, before you reach the lonely chapel in Agios Nikolaos. Listen to the ethereal sound of the wind, created by its movement through the gorge. Reach the springs of Kourtaliotis, where you can purchase rare herbs, which only grow in the mountains, from the locals. Arrive at the exotic coastal resort of Kalypso, an old pirate shelter. Relax on Karavos beach, which has recently become a national park. Clamber across the towering rocks and dive into the turquoise water of the Libyan Sea. Travel to the village of Mariou and enjoy a delicious local lunch, complimented with their traditional drink, raki. Finish your adventure at the stunning village of Spili, carved into the heart of the mountains. Escape the sun as you relax under the trees and view the famous Lion Fountain. 

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From Heraklion Area: Day Trip to Gramvousa Island and Balos

4. From Heraklion Area: Day Trip to Gramvousa Island and Balos

Start your day with pick-up from the nearest point to your hotel. Drive towards the west side of Crete in a bus to reach the port of Kissamos Kasteli. After your escort gives you all the necessary information about the cruise, arrive at the port to board the ferry boat to Gramvousa. Your escort will collect the money for the boat tickets from you so you can skip the lines at the ticket offices. At about 10:30 AM, set off for the island of Gramvousa on the ferry, which has a restaurant with self-service meals and snacks. Sit back on a deck chair or in the lounge for the journey of approximately 45 minutes. During the cruise, marvel at the cliff edges of the wildest part of Crete and learn about the history of the island with the onboard commentary played through the speakers in various languages. Upon arrival in Gramvousa, either have a swim or take a hike to the top of the island to the Venetian fortress. Enjoy 2.5 hours on Gramvousa before you continue to the lagoon of Balos, which is 20 minutes away. As soon as you arrive at the lagoon, you'll have a little less than 3 hours to enjoy the area. You may go back to the boat at any time for food or also hire umbrellas if the heat is too intense. In the early evening, board the boat to head back to the port of Kissamos, where a bus will be waiting to return you to your hotel area.

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Samariá Gorge Hike: Day Excursion from Chania

5. 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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From Heraklion Area: Bus Trip to Samaria Gorge

6. From Heraklion Area: Bus Trip to Samaria Gorge

You will arrive early in the morning to the traditional village of Sfakia, from where you will take a boat to the beautiful beach of Agia Roumeli. Once there you can choose to walk to the opposite side within the majestic gorge, with most people choosing to walk as far as the famous Iron Gates. This is the narrowest point of the gorge, and offers those inside it the best chance to get a glimpse of the wild beauty and serenity of the area. You will soon return to head to the sandy beach of Agia Roumeli, a superb place nestled between breathtakingly high mountains. There you will have the chance to spend the rest of your day swimming in the crystal-clear waters of the Libyan Sea, sunbathing, or strolling along the fine-pebbled beach. You can also choose to enjoy your meal in one of the many seaside taverns. At the end of your stress-relieving day you will board your boat once again to get to the hospitable and quaint village of Sfakia, where you will take a bus back to your hotel. This is an ideal excursion for people who want to experience some of the magic of the Samaria Gorge, or for families with children.

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Heraklion: Samaria Gorge Easy Way Short Hike Day Trip

7. Heraklion: Samaria Gorge Easy Way Short Hike Day Trip

Be picked up at your accommodation and head to Sfakia. Board a ferry to Agia Roumeli, where you’ll begin your hike to Samaria Gorge. Walk for 3km until you reach the national park entrance. Continue your walk to Samaria Gorge. Once at Samaria Gorge, you can choose where you want to explore and for how long. After the walk to Samaria Gorge, walk back to Agia Roumeli. In Agia Roumeli, you can go for a swim, enjoy some coffee or try some local food. Catch the ferry back to Sfakia at the end of the day. Once in Sfakia, take the bus back to your accommodation.

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From Heraklion: Day Trip to Knossos and the Lasithi Plateau

8. From Heraklion: Day Trip to Knossos and the Lasithi Plateau

Discover the breathtaking beauty of the Lasithi Plateau on a day trip from Heraklion. Admire the remaining windmills and the drainage system that dates back to the Venetian Empire. Pass through traditional villages such as Psychro. Visit the Dikteon Cave, where Zeus is said to have been born. Continue to the village of Tzermiado and enjoy lunch in an authentic tavern before going to the Keras Kardiotissas Monastery, known for its remarkable murals. Next, visit the Minoan Palace of Knossos and learn the legend of the settlement at sites such as the Throne Room and Royal Chambers.

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From Agios Nikolaos Area: Samaria Gorge Day Trip

9. From Agios Nikolaos Area: Samaria Gorge Day Trip

After pickup from your hotel in Agios Nikolaos or Elounda, you’ll head straight to the Omalos plateau, followed by Xyloskalo, the northernmost entrance to the Samaria Gorge. The walk begins with a descent into the bottom of the gorge, changing altitude by over 600 meters. Gaze up at the stark, lush cliffs that line the narrow canyon, keeping your eyes peeled for the rare kri-kri goat, a species endemic to Crete and known for its massive, curled horns. About halfway into the walk, you’ll find the ruins of the Samaria Village, whose inhabitants were relocated after the region was designated as a national park. After a small rest, you’ll continue through the Gorge, passing the church of Osia Maria, from which the gorge takes its name. Shortly thereafter, reach the most famous portion of gorge—the Gates, where the path narrows to less than 10 feet, while cliffs rise over 1,000 feet in the air. With the majority of the path behind you, you’ll soon enter the Agia Roumeli village, set against the stunning Aegean Sea, where you’ll hop on a boat bound for a bus to take you back to your accommodation.

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From Georgioupoli: Day Trip to Chania and the Botanical Park

10. From Georgioupoli: Day Trip to Chania and the Botanical Park

Admire an array of exotic species of flora and fauna at the Botanical Park and enjoy a relaxing stroll through the quaint streets of Chania on this full-day trip. Start your adventure early in the morning and head to the Botanical Garden and Park of Crete. Wander into the park from the small path and see a variety of trees, exotic plants, and a small artificial lake. Once inside this natural paradise, admire the range of animals who call this park home. Next stop: Chania, the city of Zorbas. Enjoy a relaxing walk through the winding Venetian streets and capture incredible photos of city highlights like the famous Lighthouse. As you explore, visit the Turkish market in the center, and admire the traditional crafts on sale. Stroll along the harbor or stop at one of the many cafes and marvel at the breathtaking views of the sea.

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What people are saying about Crete

What a fabulous experience we had on this tour, led by Enda and exceptionally driven through the mountains by Maniolis. Enda really knew his stuff and the day was smattered with interesting stories, histories and anecdotes. It was truly packed with interest. The day was very well paced & did not feel rushed. There were lots of interesting little stops and some bigger: it was a smorgasbord of interest to suit all. The trip takes you through spectacularly beautiful and interesting terrain which, being high up and not driving, you get to absorb. The flora and fauna we saw were exceptional and the beauty blew a lot of us away. There were many places we saw along the way I'd like to see more of. I can't wax lyrical enough about this trip, it was a thrill to go on it and I'd definitely recommend you go on it. In fact I wouldn't hesitate to go on it again myself: that's how good it is! Many thanks to the team behind it.

That was a really great day! Felt more like a trip together with a friend than a guided tour. Angelina picked us up on time and showed us several wonderful places over the course of the tour that we would certainly not have seen on our own. The swim stop was wonderful, the gorge was an experience. And in Spili, too, we saw beautiful alleys and peculiarities that would probably have remained hidden to us on our own. We had a good chat all day and learned a lot about the area and life here. Angelina speaks excellent English and also very good German. We can unreservedly recommend the tour to anyone who wants to get a taste of the south of Crete! Thank you for the nice day, Angelina!

The tour is well organized, you don't lose a lot of time anywhere (e.g. ticket issue) and can therefore enjoy the hike and nature. However, there is a lot of rush in the gorge, you tend to hike in single file. The gorge is still spectacular. Don't forget your swimming trunks when you arrive at Agia Roumeli.

Such an amazing tour with a personal touch. You get to visit a hidden gem in Crete which was the most beautiful place we visited on the whole holiday, and no other tours include this. Not to be missed!! You also do not take up too much time travelling.

Our guide, Orestes, was excellent by providing tips on how to walk down the gourge.