Crete
Outdoor Activities

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Our most recommended Crete Outdoor Activities

Samaria Gorge Trek: Full-Day Excursion from Rethymno

1. Samaria Gorge Trek: Full-Day Excursion from Rethymno

Samaria Gorge, the longest and likely the best-known gorge in Europe, lies 4,000 feet above sea level. Your full-day (12-hour) excursion to Samaria Gorge begins with a pick-up in Rethymno and a drive to Omalos, in the heart of the White Mountains, where you can enjoy breakfast before you start the hike. The trek will take you over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees and along a river and by fresh-water springs. Along the way, you’ll have spectacular views of Crete’s most beautiful mountain range and you are 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 the tickets for the entrance and ferry boat. Entrance fee : 5€ (children up to the age of 15 years old are free of charge). Ferry fee : 11€ ( Sougia ferry). These fees have to be paid to the guide upon arrival. After your breakfast you enter the Samaria Gorge. Walk at your own pace as your guide will be at the end of the group to help 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. Enjoy some free time to take a swim or have some lunch. A meeting point will be arranged so you can collect your ferry tickets from your guide. Late in the afternoon you’ll board a boat that will take you from Agia Roumeli to Sfakia, where the bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the starting point.

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Chania: Boat Trip with Guided Snorkeling & Stand-Up Paddling

2. Chania: Boat Trip with Guided Snorkeling & Stand-Up Paddling

Discover what lies below the surface of the water on an amazing 3-hour boat trip off the northwest coast of Crete. Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in Chania, and then journey by air-conditioned minivan to the resort town of Almyrida. Avail of the services of experienced instructors who will give you a short theory lesson on arrival. Then, sail to secluded beaches that can only be reached by boat and swim with your provided snorkeling equipment. Learn the names of all the fish with the help of a book as the crew takes photos and videos of your experience to send by email as a souvenir. Relax and enjoy the good company in the warm sun, and get fantastic views of the coastline.

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From Agios Nikolaos Area: Day Trip to Chrissi Island

3. From Agios Nikolaos Area: Day Trip to Chrissi Island

Ierapetra is situated on the southern coast of Crete. As it is the only town in the south, it is referred to as the Bride of Libyan Sea. With the rising of the sun, head to the gorgeous port of Ierapetra and set sail toward Chrissi Island.   Chrissi Island, or Gaidouronisi, meaning Golden Beach or Donkey Island, is an uninhabited island around 15 kilometers south of Ierapetra. 7 kilometers in length and covering an area of 4,743 km, the island is covered in golden sand and a rare variety of Lebanon cedars.  Anchoring on the south side of the island, head to the nearby beach for swimming and sunbathing. Walk the path running through the island and the cedar forest to the otherworldly beach of Chrissi Ammos. Hunt for seashells, check out the rockier coast of the island, or make the trek to the island’s lighthouse.  Swim in turquoise crystal clear waters and soak up the sun in this magical and totally undisturbed place of natural beauty.

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From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

4. 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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Richtis Waterfall and North Coast Tour

5. Richtis Waterfall and North Coast Tour

Take a tour to Richtis beach on the far side of Mirabello Bay and trek through the forest to the stunning Richtis waterfall. After pickup from your accommodation, enjoy the beautiful scenery on the 1-hour drive to the bay of Mirabello. Leave the asphalt and travel off road down to Richtis beach, hugging the mountainside.  Park at the bottom and enter Richtis gorge to start the 30-minute walk to reach the falls. Follow a trail through the forest, listening to the sounds of birds and running water. Stop to admire the incredible waterfalls, with time to climb up the stairs to the top of the falls, take photos, or swim in the cool waters.  When you are ready to leave, head back to the beach along the same trail. During the tour you’ll enjoy a traditional lunch at a local tavern, with wine and water included. At the end of your tour, you’ll be dropped off back at your hotel in the Elounda area.

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From Rethymno: Half-Day Quad Bike Safari

6. From Rethymno: Half-Day Quad Bike Safari

Choose from a morning or afternoon Quad Bike safari, and benefit from a hotel pick-up from Rethymno, Bali or Georgiopoulis. Journey to the base in Rethymno town and get kitted out with all the necessary equipment from your guide. Listen to a detailed briefing before you set off for some serious off-road fun! Journey up into the mountains of Maroulas, and head for the summit for a 10-minute break to take in the panoramic views. Then, continue on your bike for another 20 minutes to reach a spot where you can relax over coffee at a traditional kafeneion (Greek coffee house). Soak up the peace and quiet of Café Gidospito overlooking beautiful Lake Potami. Then, make your way to the picturesque village of Prassies for a quick snack to recover from your Quad Bike experience. Return to Rethymno and get dropped off at your hotel to relax and freshen up after you dusty adventure! Each quad is for 2 people, if you like single quads, please make different bookings for each person.

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The Samariá Gorge Hike from Chania or Rethymno

7. 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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Scuba Experience I-Discover Scuba

8. Scuba Experience I-Discover Scuba

This is the ideal diving course for anyone over 10 years old who wants to try scuba diving but does not have a diving certificate. Begin your day with the basic theory on diving and the skills necessary to do so. You will then move on to real-life diving under the supervision of a certified instructor. During the dive, you will have the opportunity to explore the bottom of the sea in Agia Pelagia, learn the basic commands, and get the chance to observe up-close the fish and sea creatures living near the seabed.

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From the Heraklion Area: Day Trip to Chrissi Island

9. From the Heraklion Area: Day Trip to Chrissi Island

Enjoy a day tour to the uninhabited island of Chrissi. Admire this small island with its natural cedar forest and beautiful sandy beaches. Drive to the south of Crete and reach the picturesque old town of Lerapetra. Climb aboard the boat at the port of Lerapetra and travel through the crystal clear waters of the Libyan Sea. With luck you will see dolphins, and finally reach Chrissi – also called the Golden Island. Admire untouched nature – a paradise of unparalleled flora and fauna. Stroll through a natural cedar forest, enjoy the incredible tranquility and discover corals and shells, dunes and salt marshes.

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Heraklion & Mallia: Bus Road Trip to Samaria Gorge

10. 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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Other Sightseeing Options in Crete

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What people are saying about Crete

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!

I visited the Samaria Gorge about a month ago and it turned out to be the highlight of my trip. The views were breathtaking, nothing like i have ever seen before. The route itself is totally doable and not as hard as it is written on the description. Also, shoutout to the very sweet Elena, who organised/guided us wonderfully through this trip :)

What a fab day! All very well organised, we saw some wonderful sea life whilst on the tour, the scenery was beautiful and all felt very seamless! Our guides were wonderful and everything was set up, ready to go! Really impressed, we had a lovely day!

It was a very nice trip. Also demanding. The use of walking sticks can be recommended. The boat trip in the Libyan Sea back to the bus was also fine. A long and good day.

It was a very good organization :-). Pick-up as well as the return journey by ferry worked everything TipTop.