Anoula’s travel notebook.
The Island of Crete is an ideal place to ramble : the beauty of the landscapes and their diversity, its climate, and its numerous little “ends of world” make the walks agreeable and rich of discoveries.In this rubric, I mainly describe reachable walks for people who are used to ramble. These walks are not difficult, but they are mostly situated in canyons from where you can’t escape once inside them, and sometimes, their route can be quite long before you can see the sea…cause that’s where your hiking will end most of the time : on a beach! Don’t forget your swimming suit, but above all, water, and the equipment of the perfect rambler. Avoid high heels (I tell you that because I saw women with high heels in the Samaria Gorge!), and raining days!
Canyons were my main walking destination. Due to weathering, there are a lot of canyons in Crete. However the Cretan landscape is not only composed of gorges, you can also find nine plateau and the most well-known one is the Lassithi plateau and the highest one is the Nida plateau at an altitude of 1400m.
You can also find 3 massifs in Crete with many more than 2000m of altitude summits. The best known, quoted in the Zeus legend, is Mount Dikti (2148m). Of course, hiking is possible on these mountains but I can’t tell you more about it as I only observe them from the distance. In Winter, the summits are covered with snow, fit yourself out with snowshoe and ask for a good guide. Just to be accurate : ski resort doesn’t exist in Crete.
There are also fertile plains on the island, among them Messara plain where the village of Matala is situated. This village was a well-known hippie place in the 70s. On these plains, you can find olive groves and citrus crops. Take some time to walk through olive groves.
You can find road maps in every touristic shops and tourist information centers. There is also a shop specialised in cartography based in Heraklion : Road Editions, 29 odos Handakos. But curiously, I could never find hiking trail maps, so I advise you to ask around before going rambling.
Professional guides are available to guide you anywhere in your hiking.
Don’t forget that the European Long Distance Path E4 crosses Crete from one side to the other.
It is not a complete list of walks in Crete that I give you here, but a few walks that I loved discovering among thousands of others.