Hike the magnificent trails in Chania.

Chania is a beautiful place! But you won't know the region well if you have not visited the impressive inland and the imposing high mountains. Ιf you have not hiked the natural scenic trails, revealing the incredible mountainous terrain and unique coastal landscape. Would you ever think that there are extensive and dense forests on this island, so south? The stunning beaches, with crystal clear waters, are only a part of the beautiful natural environment of this place.

The wild beauty of the high mountains will excite you and the tall cypresses and pines anchored over the cliffs will fascinate you. The incredible image of the snow-capped mountains will escort you during your pleasant walk. The unique aromas of the rare herbs and the attractive colors of the wildflowers will captivate you.

It is the place of thyme, sage, dittany, marjoram and malotira (the Cretan mountain tea), and many others. Most of this mountainous area is included in the Natura 2000 network, the nature protection areas, and has a vast wealth of flora and fauna, of rare biodiversity.

Chania is a hiking paradise, with significant alternation and diversity of mountain and semi-mountainous landscapes.

Hike on the sublime mountain trails, hardly be described their grandeur: the magnificent gorge of Samaria, part of the UNESCO world natural heritage network, the breathtaking southern coastline from “Paleochora” to “Loutro”, the rugged and wilderness "Pachnes's" summit" and the majestic “Gigilos”, are only just a few of them!

Whether you are a keen mountain hiker or you simply seeking to enjoy the incomparable natural beauties of the Cretan countryside, in Chania, indeed you will find a suitable walk for you.

Crete is part of the European hiking trail E4, which, as hikers know, has the characteristic yellow and black signs. The top-rated E4 local trails cover a range of moderate to strenuous hikes at famous places like Sougia - Agia Roumeli, Sougia - the gorge of Agia Irini, Samaria Gorge, Askifou - Imbros - Frangokastello.

Further to the routes of the E4 trail, you can stroll around to one of the destinations of the "Green Routes" network, developed by the local mountaineering club EOS Chania, that has marked, with different markings of each one. You will find the colored signs on a white background placed next to the trail on poles, trees, and rocks. Of course, you will also see the characteristic stacked rocks, more commonly known as "Cairns," placed along the trail to signify that you are on the right track. These small stone formations often get you out of a lot of trouble!

Although most routes are moderate hiking difficulty, safety rules should always be adhered to, especially if we travel alone. Never disregard the sweltering weather conditions on our island during the summer. We often face high temperatures and intense sunshine. Even if you choose a short and low-difficulty route, you should always be very careful and well prepared. A hat, sunscreen with a high protection index, and much water are vital for a safe hiking trip. It is wise to wear hiking boots since the terrain on most trails is full of sharp rocks.

Winter hiking in the mountains is very demanding. It is aimed at experienced hikers, especially on high snow-capped peaks, where fog and ice are hazardous factors for those unfamiliar with mountaineering. These sites in the wintertime are only for those ready to take on an extreme challenge.

If you want to excurse with your children or your friends on shorter and easier trails you can choose to walk in the beautiful countryside of Apokoronas, along small rivers, between the picturesque villages of the area, and the notable routes that connect the monasteries of the Byzantine period in Akrotiri and so many others.

An excellent choice is always the participation in the well-organized excursions of the local mountaineering clubs, either of Chania or Rethymnon. These clubs visit beautiful destinations every weekend and are aimed at both beginners and advanced hikers. Registration is usually open until Friday night.

It would be an omission not to mention here the four mountain shelters built with so much effort and the passion of EOS Chania, with the support of the State. The homonymous shelters are located at "Kallergi," "Volika," "Tavri" and "Svourichtis-Chouliopoulos", serving the accommodation and entertainment needs of those who decide to spend a little more time close to the mountain or start for a more challenging trail.

For more information, you can visit the respective websites of EOS Chania and EOS Rethymnon.


We especially thank the tireless walker Christos Oikonomakis, from Heraklion Mountaineering club, for his kindness in providing the photographic material

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