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Hiking in Crete

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The ancient paths, which for thousands of years were the “roads of communication” for the locals, have now become, in modern Crete, the most beautiful hiking trails.

Winter hiking in Crete
Photo: Alternative Crete (Psiloritis Mt.)

Although Crete is an island, its landscape is mountainous, and the life and character of its inhabitants is structured around the high mountains of the island. Cretans have always walked and crossed the mountains, since the Minoan times. 

Hiking and trekking in Crete
Photo: Alternative Crete (Lefka Ori)

Why hiking in Crete is special

With three large Mountain ranges, Lefka Ori, Psiloritis, Dikti, dominating the Cretan landscape, countless trails that are going through impressive Gorges and ancient paths crossing folk Villages, make Crete a hiking paradise. The ideal Mediterranean mild climate makes hiking and trekking enjoyable any time of the year, even in the winter!

The changes in the landscape, even on a short hike, can be intense and dramatic, so that the senses are constantly stimulated, and the hike turns into a game of creating new images. After all, the Cretan landscape helps the most of it.

Hiking and trekking in Crete
Photo: G. Panakakis (Lefka Ori)

Hiking in the mountains or at the sea

In Crete both, in one day. There are paths that lead you from the sea directly to the mountain, and vice versa. Coastal trails with continuous view of the high mountains, but also mountain paths that remind you that the vast sea has surrounded this small continent.

There are many times during the wintertime, when local mountaineers after a winter hike in the snow end up at a beautiful swimming beach at the end of the day. There are also routes that are undecided, they cannot decide whether they are coastal trails or mountain paths. What a mess this is in Crete!

Hiking and trekking in Crete
Photo: Alternative Crete (Margarites/Rethymno)

Hiking alone or with the family

There are easy treks for whole family to enjoy together, but also more difficult trails for demanding hikers.

Whatever you like, as long as you have an experienced certified guide with you. Because in Crete, at any time, a path that looks easy can turn into an adventure. The big mountains of Crete, arid and with deep gorges, with the intense climate and the homogeneous stony landscape create all those conditions, so that somebody can easily lose its orientation.

Hiking and trekking in Crete
Photo: Alternative Crete (Lefka Ori)

Mountain hiking, crossing a canyon or a pleasant walk through fertile plain

This is the advantage of Crete, you can choose one of the above or all together. This makes Crete a unique hiking destination, it combines the close distances of an island but also the many options of the mainlands.

It seems that Crete is the ultimate hiking destination if you want to admire unusual landscapes and a wide variety of flora and fauna.
Cobblestones and treks that pass through fertile plains and traditional villages in the lowlands, but also challenging hiking paths in the high mountains.
Meetings with hospitable people but also impressive high mountains ready to welcome every hiker.

So, put on your boots and enjoy the Cretan trails!