Central Summit of Crete
Crete Greece: (ZZ-GRC-Hike02)
Explore the mysteries of Central Crete
Crete, the largest and most mountainous of the Greek islands, is the cradle of Europe s earliest civilization and the land where ancient myth and modern reality blend seamlessly against a backdrop of outstanding natural beauty.
Our 8-day exploration focuses on the central region of this fascinating island, and takes us from Preveli s palm beach and the caves of the "gorge of Saints" to Zeus birthplace and into the solitary wilderness of Crete s highest mountains, Mt. Psiloritis and Mt. Dikti.
Starting from Heraklion, the island s bustling capital, we will be transferred to south Rethimnon for our river-trek day. We ll trek along Kourtaliotis River to Mediterranean Sea through a forest of palm trees, to continue to ascent Crete s highest summit (2456m) for spectacular views to Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, the surrounding islands and all the mountain ranges of Crete.
Enjoy a relaxing and refreshing day in the azure blue waters of Agiofarago s cove, before pay homage to Zeus birthplace in Lassithi plateau and continue to climb Mt. Dicti (2148m) accompanied by a pair of eagles.
Returning back to Heraklion we will visit the world-renowned Knossos, the magnificent archaeological area holding remains of a Minoan city that thrived 3500 years ago and the famous palace of the legendary King Minos and the archaeological museum.
Overnights will be in 2* hotels in the main cities, local inns and village pensions, throughout the trip (all with private facilities).
The accommodation upgrade includes overnights in 3* Hotels in the main cities and traditional cottages on the villages.
Meals: Every morning we have breakfast in the hotels, picnic en route for lunch and a nutritious dinner at local taverns with dishes of personal choice or traditional Greek and Cretan cuisine. (Vegetarians are welcome on the trips)
This trip includes
and can accommodate special dietary requests.
Activity Level: The two gorges offer easy treks
with a maximum of 3 hours walk.
For Mt. Dicti and Mt. Psiloritis, participants need to be in good
physical condition with a little of experience, as we walk for approx.
6-7 hours (mostly uphill) on the big mountains and remote terrain .
Day 1 Meet at Heraklion airport and transfer to our hotel. In the evening we will have a brief presentation of the whole trip and will continue with a dinner at a traditional tavern. Welcome to the gastronomic reality of the authentic Cretan cuisine! (Overnight in Heraklion)
Day 2 (3-4 hrs walk): Starting from the ancient city of Eleftherna, built between 970 – 820 B.C. we shall have many things to admire such as the Byzantine tower at city’s entrance, the Roman reservoirs and the Hellenistic bridge. Continuing through the beautiful countryside we shall stop en-route to enjoy our picnic lunch and we end up at the pottery village of Margarites where we shall have the chance to visit the ceramic workshops and be introduced to the traditional art of pottery. (Overnight in Axos)
Day 3 (6 hrs walk): Starting early in the morning, our vehicle will bring us at the mountain hut of the highest mountain of Crete. Following the E4 path, we will reach the summit (2456m) in approximately 3 - 3 1/2 hours. From the highest summit we can enjoy a full view of Crete. We can stare at both Kritiko Pelagos (Aegean Sea) to the north and Liviko Pelagos (Mediterranean Sea) to the south, all the islands that surround Crete and of course all the mountain ranges of the island. We will return by the same path, back to our hotel. (Overnight in Axos)
Day 4 (3 hrs walk): Today on our way to Zaros we will have the opportunity to visit Knossos, to enjoy the magnificent archaeological area holding remains of a Minoan city that thrived 3500 years ago and the famous palace dated 170-1450 B.C., excavated by Sir Arthur Evans at the beginning of this century.
In the afternoon we are free to explore the city of Heraklion or to continue our culture excursion by visiting the very interesting archaeological museum, with exhibits from the Minoan period before we relax by the lake of Zaros. (Overnight in Zaros)
Day 5 (1-2 hrs walk): "Agiofarago" means "Gorge of Saints". This gorge used to be the shelter of the monks of the near-by Monasteries. We will walk through the gorge that leads to one of the most beautiful and quiet beaches of Crete at Liviko Pelagos. There we have the chance to see the cave - house of a monk, a local hero during the revolution of 1866. We will also be impressed by the view of a natural lagoon connected underground with the sea. (Overnight in Zaros)
Day 6 (optional: 3 hrs walk): After breakfast we drive to the largest plateau of Crete. Lassithi plateau had over than 10000 windmills some years ago, used for pumping out water for the locals to water their fields. We will have the chance to experience a small journey through mythology by visiting Dictaion Andro, the cave where Zeus was born. We will also have time for a short walk in the plateau to see the windmills. Optionally you can hike the Mt Karfi for viewing ancient settlement (Overnight in Lassithi)
Day 7 (6-7 hrs walk): From Lassithi plateau we will ascend the highest summit of mountain Dikti (2148m). During our ascent we will have the opportunity to see some pairs of Eagles flying over the cliffs of the impressive west face of the mountain. The summit offers us an unbelievable view of Lassithi plateau and the east area of Crete. We descend by the same route until Agios Georgios village to Lassithi plateau. (Overnight in Lassithi)
Day 8 This is the end of our trip. We transfer you to Heraklion airport at a convenient time.
Transport: We travel by our own rented air-conditioned mini-bus, which leaves us to walk and continues, with our baggage, to the next place where we will stay for the night.
Note on Itineraries: Please bear in mind that the itinerary can be altered for numerous reasons beyond our control (e.g. harsh weather, trail conditions) to ensure the safety and the well being of the group. The final hiking selection is left up to the trip leader.
Rates and Dates for Central Summit of Crete
All accommodation in or 3* hotels and traditional cottages, all meals from dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on the last day, all picnic lunches, group transfers to and from Heraklion airport, all transport throughout the trip, baggage transport, personal accident insurance.
Transfer and Other Options:
Transfer from Heraklion airport included at set times
And any other date upon request from May to October
Rates do not include:
Transport to and from Crete, alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, personal expenses, entrance fees in Museums and other sites of interest (i.e. monasteries, caves, etc)
Transfer: Heraklion airport
What To Bring:
Daypack (approx.25-35lt), trekking shoes, mountain clothing (waterproof wind jacket, polar fleece sweater etc.) water bottle, gloves, hat, sun cream, sun glasses, swimming suit, casual clothing.